A week alone on Boracay Island

Tambisaan Beach on Boracay Island in the Philippines at low tide

Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by Ellen

You might have noticed we haven’t posted to the blog much lately. Theo and I are involved in some projects that take up some time. One of mine is a book I wrote! I took off for a week alone on Boracay Island to finish the story.

It’s easier for me to write without distractions. Sure, I can shut the bedroom door, but I also craved a change of scenery. As I told a few people recently: I have never in my life been in one spot so long.

No, really. Even as a child we took summer vacations to other states – many years I spent most of the summer with grandparents in Florida! I have always gone somewhere regionally – more than the 50 miles from Malay to Kalibo, in Aklan Province in the Philippines. Mainland Malay is where we have stayed since March 16, 2020.

As Theo reminded me: During our years of travel, I lamented I could never write a book with all the traveling we did. I often dreamed of staying somewhere for six months or so to get my first book out of my system. Yet, in this past year-plus break, I hadn’t started writing a book.

He had a good point. And that realization inspired me to ‘just do it’ one day. It wasn’t any special day. I just did it. And I kept doing it.

I wrote on the bus to and from my weekly Kalibo visits, two hours each way. Mornings, afternoons, evenings – whenever the mood hit, I wrote here and there, when home, when Theo was around, in an occasional cafe. I even took a week off twice- and stopped writing. But I got back to it.

Then, one day, I was ready to write the climax and denouement! I had written a little bit often enough that I had some real pages leading to my goal.

Like most things in life, it required persistent, consistent effort – even just a little bit a day. (I’m gonna use this reminder to get into shape soon…)

And, as happens often my life, my soul gets restless. So, I decided to change my location and spend a week alone on Boracay Island.

A week alone on Boracay Island — during COVID

Yes, there are COVID cases on Boracay. But now they’re on the mainland where we live, too. I didn’t let that stop me from a week’s stay on a beautiful Philippine island. I follow the rules.

As (temporary) Aklan residents, Boracay is open to us. Flights from Manila stopped earlier in the month due to a COVID surge. With virtually no tourists on the island, I had many hotel options. Everything is empty. It’s sad.

There are some hotels with great amenities – and views of White Beach – that offer specials to locals for just 1,000 pesos ($20) and up per night through May! Unheard of!

Instead, I chose a family-run, certified hotel on Tambisaan Beach. (Certified by the health department for all safety protocols.) This time of year, the wind comes from the east. I didn’t even need a fan. Hardly ever broke a sweat. And I went for a snorkel whenever I wanted – right out the front door. (See picture above.)

Best of all: it was wonderfully quiet. I was wonderfully alone. I finished my book! I’m an author now!

The 90 minutes before sunrises sparked my imagination (see picture below).

I used how I felt on one morning an hour before sunrise as a way to rework my book’s opening, and also the ending.

Other times of the year, like during the habagat season, the wind comes from the west, accompanied by a different current. The Tambisaan port, within sight of the beach at my week-long rental, is then used to ferry people to and from Caticlan, Malay’s port town.

I imagine Marnin’s Bora Place is busier during those times, with more foot traffic. But their beach hotel is still well off to the side of the port. And, with a different current, the snorkeling will be easier for less-experienced swimmers – especially kids.

The family at Marnin’s Bora Place is a beautiful family. Three well-behaved children, mom and dad.

Like Theo, they didn’t quite understand why I needed to be alone to finish my work. They expected to meet my husband. Like Theo, they accepted and honored my desire for quiet. I hardly knew the family was there, even when the kids were a few porches down.

If you want a clean, modern, reasonably-priced rental on Tambisaan, with fantastic owners, this is the place. Seriously. Cannot recommend Marnin’s enough. AC, fridge, cable TV, good (!) WiFi! There also are larger family rooms to rent.

Reminder: This is an independent blog. We don’t work with affiliates or sponsors, and we get nothing in return for positive reviews!

So, my book…

It’s nearly done. I took a break from my fictional adventure romance to write this post.

The book needs a few more tweaks. Then it needs some polish. It needs reviews and editing.

No idea what, if anything, will become of it. And that’s OK! It was my first run and I had fun. I enjoyed the process, including my week alone on Boracay Island. I learned a lot.

As a dear friend says, this experience set me up for the book I really want to write…

Please note!

Coming to Boracay?

With frequent changes to rules for tourists, I recommend you visit the Malay Tourism Facebook page – it’s how officials communicate with the public – and also the LGU Malay (Malay Local Government Unit) Facebook page for COVID updates.

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