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I've loosely grouped these into Getting There and Back, Day One, and Day Two.  Three pages, to ease downloading for phone connected folks.  As usual, click on smaller pics to see larger ones.  And I retained the massive size pics for specific requests.  Unfortunately I've lost my large scale pictures of the Boracay trip, bad story, nightmares.

This resort was very nice. or I believe are two official links.  This was a one place fits all setup.  Around 18 single cabanas, and 10 family duplex ones.  Each side of a duplex had four beds, two up and two downstairs. Roomy enough for what you're there to do.  All had stocked mini-fridge, air conditioners, and NO TVs!  Amazingly the family duplex was the same price as the single cabanas, and much more roomy.  They priced by person, at least during the season we went.  For three of us, 2 nights, 3 days (full day, night, full day, night, left early morning), and airfare the cost was P60,000, around 1200.00.  So for 400.00 each, this included 3 meals a day, and everything else.  Basically, everything except drinks and motorized or special arrangements.  The meals were great, every one being buffet style.

The price included snorkeling gear, a sample scuba dive (yes I actually went scuba diving, a 15 minute submersion, tanks, BCV, the whole bit), a boat ride to another island with more snorkeling, and dinner time entertainment each night.  Also any type of non-motorized water craft was available, included. We had our own recreation assistant assigned, only had to ask her and it was arranged.  Really a neat deal!  The only thing on our island was this resort, the occupants, and the folks working there.  Oh, and many armed soldiers, a combination of the Philippine Navy and a private force, the Dragon Force.  Since this island was in Palawan, which has been the scene of nastiness in the past.  Kidnappings and such.  And there are still pirates off the coast further south.  So the Navy patrols the sea, and the Dragons are on shore and provide escort service whenever any boat rides were needed.  They also manned spotlights at night, regularly sweeping the waters of the bay and lagoon with double spots.

Getting there and back:

Above is our plane in Manila to and from the island.  Seated 19 folks altogether.  Smallest plane I've ever flown on.  Middle photo shows guy whose job it was to keep us from running into the propeller.  I guess he also kept the wind from spinning the prop.  Last photo shows the cockpit, open to the passenger compartment.  There are two people up front.  You'll notice the guy to the right with a headset.  He was a trainee, and was wired into whatever was going on up front.  But since there was no room for him up there, they had a long extension cord for his headset. When returning from the island, the co-pilot gave the safety vest and evacuation instructions.  A funny story on the return.  There were two planes parked on the dirt runway.  Liz and I were standing by the wrong one waiting to board.  We were on the far side of the larger airplane, no one could see us.  The pilot was running around looking for us, everyone was waiting to take off.  At last, Pam spotted our legs under the airplane body, and told someone to check out the two pairs of legs.  When I get back home, I'll post the mpeg Liz took of the larger airplane landing.  It captures the dirt runway, and a security guard yelling for some kids to get off it, as the plane was landing behind them.  A four prop plane coming in, and a group of about 5 kids and dogs were walking down the runway.  And chickens, but no one was yelling at them.
Here we are at the airport in Taytay.  We're on the dirt approach road.  In the first picture in the background is the airport building itself.  The second picture shows the waiting room.  Serious dirt floor action, but great cups of welcoming juice.  Roosters, oh, I'm sorry, Cocks strolling and crowing around.  Cockfighting is legal and huge in the Philippines.  They're televised.  People have cocks in cages everywhere, even in the medians of four lane each way roads.  Anyway, it thrilled Liz to no end to be in a country where a woman saying "cock" out loud was accepted.  She took advantage and practiced several times a day.

The third and forth pictures show us loading up the jeepney for the ride from the airport to the little boat, which took us the the big boat, which took us to another little boat, which took us the the island.  Jeepneys are strange hybrid leftovers from the war.  Now they're manufactured commercially.  Incredibly colorful in the cities, it's a point of pride to the owners.  The two guards are our escorts on the jeepney and boats.  I think one other guy riding on top has a machete or bolo, as they're called here.  I'm not liking the fact that one guard has his gun pointed down, resting on the barrel tip.  One bad bump, and someone inside is getting shot in the head.  I think that's Liz in the white tee shirt.  The last picture is at the boat dock, where the first little boat awaits.  There was a funny soldier/gun episode later in the trip.  We had taken a boat ride off to some snorkeling somewhere.  The little boats always took us out to the big ocean going bangka boats, which ferried us around.  On returning from one of these trips, the little boat got pretty wet in the bottom.  At the dock we climbed out, and waited for everyone else.  So we're standing on the dock edge, helping other folks out of the boat.  The soldier guard is getting out, rifle in one hand, the other hand outstretched for some assistance.  Then, he slips.  Now this guy has flip-flops on, fatigues, and a rifle waving around in the air while he's trying to catch his balance.  Folks on the dock are ducking and dodging, with no real place to hide should he go down, slam his gun against something, and accidentally start shooting people.  I'd hate to be the next article in the Tempo newspaper.  The other resort workers were just laughing, I guess this sort of thing happens occasionally.

Here we are on the little and big boats.  In the third picture is Randy with the glasses, he was sort of the resort manager.  Accompanied everyone to and from the airport.  Arranged for advance groups of guards to go out ahead of tours and such.  Little administrative tasks like that.  In the second pic is a lady, far left, kinda grimacing. She was worried about the previous kidnappings.  Spent some of our boat trip asking Randy about the kidnappings a couple years ago when the decapitated a couple of their hostages.  Since we were heading to the same section of the country, Palawan Island.  Big island, many, many miles long.  Our island was a speck at one end of it.  The kidnappings sort of took place at the other end, at least that's what we were assured of.  Randy assured her the Dragon Force and the Philippine Navy were on the case.  She wondered aloud if they would stay or run if we were actually attacked.  By the way, this was all in front of her kids and husband, the two boys and guy in the middle on the third pic, between Randy and Liz.

Another funny bit, and shows how small the world really is when you get outside of that cocoon called USA.  In the second pic, next to the grimacing woman far left, is the barely showing head of a Chinese woman with glasses.  Next to her is a slightly balding Indian guy, much more hair than I have.  They were married.  I spoke with him at some point during our stay.  He and his wife were living in Japan at the time.  Long term, many year projects for both of them, they were in different cities.  Now for the scene that made me feel like a dumbass americano.  One day I was listening to he and his wife talk, and realized I was in the Philippines, listening to an Middle Eastern Indian guy converse with his Chinese wife using the Japanese language.  I felt sooo ill equipped.  Maybe that's what I'm contemplating in the fourth picture.

Nice river shot.  We had to go down a rive a ways before reaching the ocean.  Most of the river portion was through a monster mangrove forest, pretty neat.  At some point on the ocean it was starting to sprinkle.  Randy pulled out a large bag of orange ponchos.  He announced to all aboard "It's starting to rain, here is a, uh a,  uhh, some anti-rain for everyone."  This is a shot of Pamela and Liz in their anti-rain.
These shots are from us leaving to go home.  The crew is all there. There were many others helping in the resort, but these folks were always visible and helpful.  The guitar guy and co-singer behind him.  The middle woman was our very own recreation officer, she arranged everything for us.  Or left us alone, whatever we wanted.  If we wanted to do anything at all, she kind of appeared and set it up.  Including the night time boat ride and moonlight wine and appetizers on the separate secluded beach they pulled out just for Liz, Pam and I.  More on that later. The other guy behind her was the scuba instructor.  In ten minutes of verbal directions he made me feel really safe under water, with tanks on, inflatable vest, the whole bit.  Next to him is Randy and the the other scuba instructor.  Or maybe he was the guy that took us to another island to go snorkeling.  Beautiful corals, too bad I didn't take my underwater camera.  After this trip I can definitely understand folks getting addicted to scuba diving.

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