For some reason, my kids have always loved going to the beach. And what they love the most, even more than the usual swimming or sandcastle-building, is combing the shore to collect shells. They were doing the same thing in Boracay while I was simultaneously trying to get a good open water swim workout in, when I went ashore and out of the corner of my eye saw a small shell moving by itself. When I stood over it, it stopped. It was obviously a hermit crab and I picked it up and deposited it into one of the kids’ collecting pails. Needless to say, the kids were super excited about the latest find and Julia wanted to take it home to Singapore as a pet. My father-in-law and I patiently explained why she shouldn’t (and couldn’t) do that as it was illegal by law to take any shell from Boracay’s shores out. Finally we made a deal that we would keep the quickly-named Hermie as a guest in our hotel room for the next two days, and release him back on the beach before we went home.
On our last morning, everything went according to plan as we had breakfast with Hermie then ceremonially released him back into the wild after thanking him for spending a couple of days with us. It rained very hard pretty soon after, so we hope he is safe and thriving somewhere in that tropical paradise.
Ah, Boracay. A tiny little slice of tropical paradise, home to one of the best beaches in the world and famous for its powder-like sand that you have to feel between your toes to believe. I built quite a few resorts here during my time in 2004-06 but haven’t been back in 6 years. In the interim my life and point of view has totally changed, and so has Boracay. Not necessarily for the better as overcrowding and an ever increasing amount of tourism has brought with it progress (new airport, bigger jetty, well-paved roads) and its attendant diseases (traffic, flooding, garbage). One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the glorious sunrise and sunset along Boracay’s Long Beach. Worth getting up at 6am with a camera in hand for.
Merry Christmas from the island of Boracay, Philippines!