Boracay by Dusk
It is dusk and we are riding a trike.
Earlier on, we recieved a text asking us if we can go to a certain Puka Beach to gather Puka shells. I asked the cafe barista how far it is. He looked at his watch, frown creased his forehead and said "alis kayo? dapat ngayon na" (you should leave now) with the emphasis on NGAYON na.
So off we go on a 100 pesos (one way!), 20 Minute trike ride going inland of boracay. We passed the end of station 1 at Friday's and went uphill. Gone were the foreigners, gone were the beaches, gone were the resorts. Instead we were greeted by the natural provincial scene. Shanties and nipa huts aligned along roads to the right and a view of the vast ocean to the left. The farther we go in the more local life we see. At the beach, tourists are common sights, but inland we can feel the stares following our speeding trike. Nothing hostile though, It is more of a curiosity towards us, obliously tourist pale Pinoys, and what we are doing this far from the beach.
The trike driver never runs out of praises of how isolated the cove is, how clear it's water, and the absence of seeweeds. We arrived at Puka beach uneventfully, and the sight was quite interesting.
Puka beach is what you'll consider a "local's beach". There are no high end resorts, and no loud bars. Instead we were greeted by a community-made welcome ark and the sound of children laughing and people cheering. At the left part of the entrance there was a beach volleyball competition, but instead of bikini babes playing, and throngs of tourist as audience, we have a mix of old and young, both male and female players with their families and neigbors cheering as loud as they can. Dark skinned Aklanons with flashy white smiles followed by peals of laughter.
At the beach there are a group of teenagers swimming with their shirts and jeans. Further down the shore, half dozen Bancas where lazily floating and swaying to and fro with the waves. They are used to carry pails of fishes and supplies, and not to ferry tourists.
As opposed to powdery sands associated with Boracay, the beach at Puka is pebbly and littered with well, Puka Shells. We walked a for some time and instead of soft thuds from the sand, we can hear the crunch of our every step. Puka has its own merits though. While this is not the part of beach for proper relaxation, it has the greatest view of the sun setting. With the horizon uncluttered by the sails, and no passers by shading the view, you can observe the blue sky turn yellow, to orange to red and to violet tinge.
We reckoned that if we turn back time before Boracay became what it is now. We'd be somewhere like Puka beach too. Rustic and cheery in a natural way.