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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 3... Island tour, and much more!!

Last night, I stopped by the local grocery store on my way back to the resort and picked up a Philippino issue of OK magazine!  A great way to end a great day!

This morning I woke up to blue skies and warm weather!!  Glorious!   I headed out my door and was greeted by Ariel, my chauffer, who drove me to the clubhouse for breakfast! When I arrived, Romel was waiting for me in the lobby and said, "Miss Dolly has aranged for your breakfast to be taken care of during your stay!!" Umm, amazing!

There was a family of 5 and 2 older gentlemen in their 70's eating on the patio... One of the men said, "Excuse me, did I overhear you are from California?" Turns out he is from the Philippines but lives in Irvine (about 10 minutes from where I grew up). They said "please join us for breakfast!" Turns out I had breakfast with a guy from orange county and a Philippino politician who works with the President!  People served us as if we were kings and queens!  I guess I was technically sitting with "philippino royalty!"

When I was finished eating, I walked over to find Romel, who was standing with this wrapped box!! 

He said, "My aunt owns a bakery and she made these black forest chocolate cupcakes just for you! And these are butterscotch candies! They are famous here in the Philippines!  I saw you looking at them near the port yesterday so I brought them too!"  I couldn't believe his thoughtfulness.  He said "Miss Dolly told us to take care of you, so that is what we will do!"  THANK YOU Dolly!

Then, he walked me over to a group of hotel guests and introduced me, saying, "This is my friends Jill.  She will be joining us on our island tour today!"  He then pulled me aside and said, "This is a very expensive tour, but you don't have to pay!"  Are you serious?! What did I do to deserve this?!  I was so excited by this point and couldn't wait to see what we were going to do!

We were taken, in a shuttle, to the fish market, where the group of people I was going with were buying fresh seafood to have prepared for a picnic!

They actually bought the lobster above, and the fish below!

Then we boarded the boat and off we went!  The whole gang! They were such a fun group to hang with for the day!

Romel and I

Our first stop... Snorkeling about a 1/4 mile off the shore of Boracay!   There was a fee to rent the snorkeling gear, but Romel said, "You don't pay! Miss Dolly is taking care of this!" :)

I was the 2nd to jump in the 20-25 ft deep, crystal clear water! Most of the group couldn't swim and suited up with life vests! I, on the other hand, got my workout!! The fish were stunnng, in all different shapes and sizes! My favorite were about 3 inches long and were the most gorgeous shade of electric blue you've ever seen! I also spotted 2 dinner-plate-sized starfish!!

As we were getting back into the boat, this Philippino man paddled over, on his surfboard, to cut us fresh coconuts for coconut juice!

After snorkeling, we boated over to Crystal Cove Island for some picture oops...

I loved that they took me into their group so quickly, as if I were one of their friends, and always asked me to be in their pictures!

We ventured down spiral staircases into underground caves...

It was dangerous, but don't worry!  We had a security guard for this cave! hahaha! Definitely the most interesting "get-up" I've ever seen a security guard wearing!!

We crawled through really small tunnels...

 The girls stuck close while the boys went exploring in the caves!

We were all hungry and ready for some lunch, so we boated over to Magic Island, a really small island, probably less than a 1/4 mile wide! 

They had the seafood they had bought, earlier in the day, prepared by a cook on the island!! I was content with my bag of philippino chips for lunch, but they invited me to eat with them, and I couldn't refuse!! Would you?! Look at this lobster?!! 

mmmm, fresh shrimpies!

Remember that fish on the scale in the fish market?!  Here's what it looks like all cooked up!  D-licious! 

 During lunch I learned that they were all born in Brazil, but live and work in Japan... Which explained why the Japanese looking people of the group were speaking perfect Portugese!! They were such a fun and spunky group of people to share my day with!!

After our island picnic, Romel and I headed back to the resort and were met by Dolly in the on-site restaurant! It was the first time I had seen her since the airport!  I thanked her profusely and went on and on about how wonderful this place was!  I told her I was heading to my room for a shower and she asked, "Have you had a massage yet?!"  I think you all know where this is going... She said, "Go and shower and I'll send a masseuse to your room in 30 minutes!" I was speechless!  A masseuse in my room, all for free?!  I feel so undeserving of this treatment!

It gets BETTER though!!! As I was leaving she said, "After your massage, get all dolled up and come to the clubhouse!  You're coming to my home for dinner tonight!"  I told her I would love to come, and that she was out of control! She laughed and said, "I told you I would take care of you, didn't I?!"

Sure enough, I heard a knock on my door 30 minutes later! My masseuse was here!!
My massage felt sooo good, and was incredibly relaxing!!

I got ready and went down to the clubhouse. When I got there, Dolly invited me upstairs, in her office, while she met with a bunch of important people: the mayor, the captain of boracay, the CEO of the hotel and the owner! We ended up sitting around the conference table for an hour or so, just charting away! They were very interested in my opinion of the philippines and what I thought the biggest draws were for tourists.  They're working on an upcoming tourist campaign!!   I even came up with a slogan: "7 islands in 7 days, and 7000 more to discover on day 8!"  They started clapping when I said it!  Not bad huh?!

We went back to Dollys house for drinks and some appetizers, which were prepared by 2 of her 4 housekeepers!!!  I guess when you have a 9,000 square foot house, you need a few!  Me on the other hand, I prefer my little 250 square foot studio in Korea, and the fact that it only takes me a couple minutes to clean it!

Left to right: Ike (the resort director), Sumit (Dollys husband), Dolly and Me!

I snapped this picture of their back patio and pool, which happens to be on a cliff overlooking the ocean! STUNNING!!

One of her housekeepers turned on the karaeoke machine and serenaded us!  He was like the Susan Boyle of the Philippines!  He sang, "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban, and if I had closed my eyes, I may have thought it was actually Josh singing... except for when he sang "tis" instead of "this!"  That was a dead giveaway!
Dolly and I did a little karaeokee ourselves!  I think she was a little tipsy here, as we were picking out a song!  I, on the other hand, only had one glass of wine!  I like to drink responsibly! :)

Dolly asked, "Jill, Do you wanna just stay here tonight? We have a beatiful guestroom upstairs and you can wake up early to see the sunrise over the water!! It's gorgeosu! My response, "Absolutely! Sounds amazing! Thanskyou! So, this was my accommodation for the night...

... complete with my own private bathroom and balcony!

I slept like a baby in one of the most comfortable beds I've ever layed down in!

Day 3 was definitely a jam-packed-amazing-day! I will say though, even after being pampered all day long today, I'd take my simple life in Korea over being oober rich anyday!! This lifestyle is exhausting!!


  1. jill, your day sounded so amazing! what a incredible blessing to have so much given to you, i'm so excited for you!

  2. WOW. This Dolly woman sounds too good to be true!

    And your pictures are amazing! I can't wait to go to the Philippines in September!

  3. We are loving it! Enjoy the pampering! And I am with you, being treated like royalty is fun and at the end of the day we enjoy the simple life.