Category Archives: Boom Boom Lagoon

LBFM Trip Report by an AE member

Chapter 5: The Anticlimax


We were spent. Both of us.
If you actually made it all the way through Chapter 4, then you know why I’m smiling as I type these words. Spent, yes, but neither Spinner nor I wanted to leave Miniloc Island. When I expressed that thought out loud, our departing outrigger captain offered up a very sincere scheme to call both the Philippine airline and my American business with a story of a sudden serious injury that would require a “couple more weeks” of hospital stay. (Dude has done this before!)
Long after reluctantly passing up this offer, the ITI turboprop glided gently into Manila, the fading orange sunset barely illuminating the singular profile of the Spinner and I. Our bodies clung together inside the airplane with the same natural, familiar bond of returning honeymooners. Spinner had just conquered her fear of flying on this fourth and final flight of our adventure. My assurances of air-travel safety finally paid off. She felt calm and sleepy in my arms. I smiled with my face quietly buried in her wonderfully wild hair as the plane drifted downward within a few feet of touchdown.
I sighed.

I flinched.
I fucking jerked!
My head snapped up just as both engines unexpectedly spooled up to full power just before any tires safely screeched onto the runway.
Take Off and Go Around. Emergency style.
The little craft struggled, shuddering at the flat altitude of 15 or 20 feet above the runway for a few seconds before finally pulling up into the sunset.
I madly goosenecked at the window, searching for the cause of our emergency ascent. Another plane on the runway? Couldn’t tell. Just then, during our crazy climb, I heard the unmistakable mechanical thunk of the landing gear, followed by the unmistakable rumble of the WIND through the landing gear.
I never heard any such wind-rumble on our approach.
We were just a few feet from making a truly spectacular BELLY landing on the Manila runway. Spinner smiled unknowingly, as most of my very pale face was hidden in her hair. I could hear all the echoes of my “flying is safe” speeches bouncing in my head as I hung onto the armrest with knuckles as white as those that Spinner displayed on Lt Kilgore’s speedboat. Earlier in this report, wrote that SEAIR sucketh. ITI might just be worse.

“Why the emergency TOGA?!” I drilled the pinay copilot who was maybe 19, after we were all safely walking together on the tarmac away from the plane. I already knew the answer. She hesitated. The pilot interrupted her.
“A warning light, sir. Don’t worry, we will get it serviced.”
“Bulla Bulla.”
“BullSHIT! You FORGOT to deploy the landing gear.” He started walking away. “Warning light, my ass! Three wheels DOWN, three green lights ON. You almost did a belly-flop! Thank God there was still a little daylight- the tower probably spotted no gear, right?”
Captain Careful smiled back over his shoulder as he walked away. I knew that stupid smile. That was the stupid smile of a happy guy after an airborne airstart. I used that smile too. Fucker. Too far away for my heat/humidity speech.

Our ride through the darkness to Angeles in the back seat of the hotel car was quiet, intimate. I felt her lips in the dark before I felt her tears. I dropped Spinner off at her house with the happy exhaustion of a teenage boy on the morning after the high school prom. (minus the grass-stained dress) I was sad to part with her, yet I was happy to part with her. Hell, I was in Angeles City. I had one more night. (Whoo hoooo.)

Spinner and I slowly kissed goodbye, barely swaying in the silent darkness of her neighborhood to a soundtrack of sad music in my head. (My life seems to happen this way) It was “Love Hurts”, by Incubus. (sappy fucker, here) For an entire week, we shared emotions. We shared intimacy. We shared love. Yes, we shared love that was no phonier than the convenient “love” volunteered by most Western girls confronted by a man of means. No less significant. Funny how that works…

“Louie? Your girls are getting skinny,” I grinned with the surprise delivery.
Louie’s eyes held the contempt of Lt. Kilgore’s boat passengers forced to hear my singing. The Hawaiian pizzas arrived in Tender Touch as Louie rolled his eyes. It seems there was one previous UPI (Ugly Pizza Incident) involving a few Tender Touch girls hoarding several pieces while a few other girls went without. How was I to know when I ordered? (I think I identified two of the plump pizza pirates!) We all ate Hawaiian pizza because that’s the topping begged by Louie’s harem as I conducted my informal survey, while he was distracted with other customers.

Louie eventually introduced me to another AE member.
WHAT?? Holy shit! Doc??!!
Small world. How cool is Asian Escapades?
Yep, this particular Doc was the very same experienced AE member who answered a stranger’s PM regarding El Nido just a month earlier. I altered my island travel plans just a bit based upon Docjaidee’s wisdom. I now have to give him much credit for my amazing memories from Chapter 4. (Thanks, Buddy!)
Our AE house doctor, here, was back in Angeles just a bit early from his own Chapter 4- style visit to an island just south of my own Boom Boom Beach. Lagen Island, I think. I was still glowing so much from my trip to paradise with Spinner that Doc first eyed me with the careful distance that he might save for Mjibbo dressed in a skirt with full makeup. My colorful stories were all born from his recommendations. I was the student who finally met the master who steered me to paradise.
(did I mention that AE is truly cool?)

Eventually, we all embarked upon the ritual AE barhop including Louie, running into Shagger and Lewis the Hotelier along the way. (Lewis draws the women!) We stumbled through Lolipop, Vortex, Carousel, Cambodia, Neros, and Blue Nile Exec. Finally, after two trips to AC, I was on a REAL barhop… tasting tequila from titties, feeling feminine behinds in my lap, gazing in awe at Ronalie’s tricks with her friends. (me likey Ronalie, diba?) The sounds were shouts, squeals, giggles, and thumping music. The smells were beer, sweat, and the unmistakable pungent pleasure of transudated skin oil. Yep, smegma. Female variety. Maybe a little lime juice mixed in, found much higher on the body than expected. Smegma nipples?? Yummy! (who put that stuff THERE baby??!!)
As Louie and I stumbled into Carousel, I witnessed a shocking event. At the mere SIGHT of AC’s youngest pimp, I saw four or five bargirls faint. Fucking FAINT, I tell you. Just like a heard of those stupid fainting goats that fall over sideways when they are startled. Shit. MVPIMP truly has powers of some evil variety. Just when I was bowing down to the God of the Fainting Bargirls, we entered another bar where three other gyrating pinays suddenly started screaming and pointing at us like we were rock stars. Louie beamed. I shook my head with simultaneous respect and disgust. Louie proudly stepped in front of me to fully acknowledge his fan club, arms raised like Bono in a large stadium. One of the girls urgently waived him to the side and then they all pointed to me. ME? Louie looked back at me, arms comically frozen in false benediction. What?? HAAA. It seems that just being THE one white guy in Rock Star Louie’s entourage makes some of them wet. Good times. It was Louie’s turn to shake his head. It was my turn to be Bono. Haaa.

“SHAGGER!! I just barfined three lesbians!!” I shouted over the chaos surrounding Louie’s bodyshots with a pretty girl who looked to be about 18. (Barely.)
I received a wise yet reserved grin after my declaration. Let’s be clear: Dude knows stuff. I was on HIS turf, yet too Patron-fueled to grasp the subtlety in his smile that was fading into a smirk.
My three new lesbian friends were very happy to participate in my multiple bastos body shots. The tequila was flowing in… BNE? Maybe. I think so. It was a bit of a sticky blur. The music caused all three semi-nude bodies to sway while the tequila dripped into hidden places that increasingly occupied my lick-that-later mental notes list.

Two out of three limp-lesbians landed in my bed and one limp-lesbian landed in the (empty) Jacuzzi. I was truly infatuated with one of the carpet-munchers, but there was very little carpet-munching that occurred that night. I woke naked, next to two of my fully-clothed companions, and contemplated the Spinner/tequila mathematics that I ignored in Chapter 3. Seems like I suck at math in South East Asia. My little cutie woke earlier than her hungover cohorts, though, and salvaged her tip as I submerged MY tip.

I was NOT yet ready to let go.
One more Sunday afternoon in AC found me at the white-washed Lewis Grand Hotel for the first time. The previous night, I had shared the man-in-paradise-grin with Lewis, and was determined to see his hotel. I instantly understood his disgust at my response to his previous “where are you staying” question. Wow. I found my obvious accommodations for my next trip. Who knew? (okay, YOU guys knew!)
The mellow Sunday Lewis Grand pool party included amazing food (seriously-spicy wings!), cold SML, and many AE regulars. While I was again making goo-goo eyes at Ronalie, Shagger spoke up.
“Mate, you were very excited about your lesbians last night!(?)”
“Well, yep, I had all KINDS of plans, based upon mr_bastos pictures,” I replied.
“And?” came the now-familiar sideways Shagger smirk.
“And they all passed out from too much tequila,” I shrugged sheepishly.
”Ohh, I NEVER give the girls tequila,” Master Shagger declared.
I squinted at Ronalie the Tequila Girl like Phoenix might squint at dad’s naked girls in the rain in his backyard. My very hungover brain sensed an oxymoron, yet was not even prepared to spell “oxymoron” at that moment.

The afternoon pool party was fun, but at first lacked the proper quantity of submerged labia. I had just asked Louie which nearby bars could cure balls that were a bit lonely and blue when the other famous Lewis Grand hotelier, Pateng, walked right up.
“ I hear you want to barfine a few girls?”
“YES!” I exclaimed to Bobby, who shared my crazy-eyed vision.
It turned out that Mr. Bobby Pateng, here, was tight with the Geckos manager and merely a phone call produced the requisite wet labia. We both barfined a few, and the party cranked up a notch.
I spent the early afternoon of my final day truly in awe of Lewis, Bobby, and Mr. DJ Dude.
I spent the late afternoon of my final day perfecting underwater tickling of the cherry girl among the Geckos girls.
I spent the evening of my final day reluctantly flying back home.
The Post Philippine Depression kicked in while I was still on the plane.
My PPD won’t fucking let up.
Look out.
I’m coming back!
(ooh hey, and look out, the sky is fucking blue!)

Chapter 3: The Impossibly Cyan Sea


It was all I could whisper to myself, as the tiny turboprop teetered through white cumulus cotton down to the almost-too-short Caticlan runway. Minutes before, somewhere just under 9700ft with my nose pressed flat to the cold window ala Ronalie (mmm, me likey Ronalie), I had been treated to a spectacular aerial view of the famous Boracay white beach. I was truly in awe of the intensely saturated cyan colors of the shallow, warm Sulu Sea. Cyan, indeed… turquoise, maybe. But NOT fucking AZURE (blue), as in my Philippines travel book. It was penned by the same drab author who wrote about the “sad expatriates in Angeles City who sit alone watching dancing prostitutes”. Dumb-ass on all counts. Saturated Cyan, I tell you. Would my digital camera even CAPTURE this splendor?

Then I smiled. It was a postcard that I really wanted to share, but Spinner was pocket-blocking my camera. She couldn’t hear my “whoa” whisper over the droning Hamilton Sundstrand propellers, as her pretty head was still in my lap- initially hiding like an ostrich from the fear of her first flight, then studiously practicing for the entrance exam to the Mile High Club, Air-Start Chapter. There were only four passengers, and luckily we were farthest back.(!) This trip quickly introduced me to the unabashed malibog nature of my most petite companion. It also quickly introduced both of my wet-behind-the-ears estrogen-fueled friends to the confusing mechanical puzzle of the metal airplane seatbelt clasp. I grinned. First time in a plane. All three of us were destined to learn a few things on this trip. I glanced two seats forward to innocent Chastity’s alluring teenage silhouette, while her hungry cousin’s lips surrounded my prop shaft. It was indeed MY idea to bring along the cherry girl college student, who would never DREAM of setting foot in the Angeles bars of her older cousin. There was a tantalizing freshness to her flirting, her smell, and there was a toga-clad devil sitting on my shoulder who was speaking in the tone that Homer Simpson reserves only for doughnut flavors. (Mmmm, cheeerrry)

Our sweaty trio was cheerfully met at the terminal by carefully rehearsed 5-star resort smiles from our driver and porter. A 30 minute van-boat-van sequence led us to the ass-end of the stark white, very modern Discovery Shores Resort. Did I mention that this trip was going to be over-the-top? (don’t remember) If you haven’t been there, Discover Shores Boracay is one of the hotels listed in that little hardcover book: “Small Luxury Resorts of the World”. You get the picture here: two poor young girls get dragged from the slums, and then sent straight to the palace. Good times.

We could all die tomorrow; therefore we should all live well today.
We should flip the bird to the former and include beautiful girls in the latter.
(Okay, I’m done with my bastardized mantras for a while.)

Yep, this place was definitely on the obscene high-end of hotels in Boracay, especially when you could score an economy hotel room right down on same the amazing white beach for about the price of a spotlight girl barfine. Our suite was also similar in cost to a barfine… a barfine for an entire cultural dance troop! (hmm, new idea, here, dance troop barfine…)

“Sir, I’m here to wash your feet” blurted the pretty pony-tailed white-clad pinay who slithered in behind us as the bellhop dropped the luggage upon first entry to the hotel room.
“Ummm… whaaat??”
“Your feet, sir. Please sit down,” she nodded at the huge wooden foot-laundering bowl on the floor next to three pairs of white cotton slippers.
For some reason the two girls straight from the province and I all arrived at the same response at the same time.
“No thank you” we chorused.
Puhleease. Feet?? I’m gonna wash my feet in that friggin warm waveless ocean about 100 meters West of here! Bada bing, dammit.

We splashed into the salty cyan bathwater of the sunny Sulu Sea with all the eagerness of three freshly tagged game fish with oxygen-starved gills. (yes, CYAN, dammit) As Chastity frolicked in the water beside me, it only seemed natural to hug Spinner in front of me and give her a salty kiss. It only seemed natural for her legs to wrap around me. It only seemed natural to slip her bikini to the side and make face-to-face boom boom in front of her cousin and 25 odd tourists in the morning sun.

“Don’t bounce… just stay still!” I urged between laughs.
We were long-parted North and South poles from two different magnets. Hard NOT to bounce. Spinner was tiny, hot, accommodating, and much more slippery than mere salt water should be. She felt like heaven upon initial entry. Both of my hands supported her ass as one finger tickled her o-ring. Just over Spinner’s shoulder, I locked onto Chastity’s eyelids which widened slightly just before she broke our stare and glanced left and right with the concerned cop-scoping gaze of a teenager driving with open alcohol. It wouldn’t be the last time that she and I locked eyes while I was inside her cousin. The water safely hid our connection from any beachgoers 100 meters away. Right next to us, however, Chastity’s innocent eyes were at a different angle altogether.

Showers, naps, and a sunset filled our first day, as did the sea, shower, Jacuzzi, couch, and bed. Chastity watched our intimacy with the curiosity that only a virgin could summon. Spinner and I grew closer and closer, until our love making exhibited the same synchronization that our laughter did.

After dinner, the three of us ventured south from our hotel on the dark white sand until we stumbled upon Guilly’s Island: bar, disco, beach grill. The thump-thump bass line led us in and the tequila body shots held us captive. We danced, we drank, we flirted, we laughed. The three-way dirty-dancing was oddly lust-filled. Chastity had no boyfriend and her cousin was willing to share me, yet there was a certain selosa flavor to the Angeles-style three-way kisses. I had no conscious cherry-picking penchant, but there WAS that toga-sporting devil on my shoulder. The little evil dude likes tequila. The other tequila hound was Spinner. She proudly matched me body shot for body shot. Completely sticky, we all stumbled back onto the sand in the wee hours for the trek back to the hotel. Spinner descended the Guillys steps and promptly collapsed into a comatose heap. Had I done the math, I would have simply realized that a girl who weighs less than HALF my weight cannot drink the SAME amount of alcohol and still deal.

I slung the limp Spinner over my shoulder as Chastity walked beside me. I looked up and down the beach with visions of a stomach pump and activated charcoal for my tiny little rubber friend who was dead to the world. I vaguely remembered a dentist office/24 hour emergency clinic on the main road. I carried her lifeless body a few hundred meters, dropped to the sand for a rest, and then she jerked to life only to leave her entire dinner on the beach. At this point I suddenly realized why Chastity came along. She expertly held Spinner’s long hair back in the ancient tradition on the friend of the suka girl.

Morning found me next to Spinner on the couch, as I stayed awake next to her through the night, visions of John Bonham in my head. She made clever use of the decorative foot-bath bowl in ways that would make the foot-bathers grimace. She popped to her feet showing new life with the sunrise, as if ready for a morning jog, asking for breakfast.
“Of course you want breakfast, you gave your dinner to the fishes” I groaned.
“Do you remember walking back to the hotel?”
“mmmmm” she tried to remember, hands to head.
“Of course not. I CARRIED you!”
“mmmm, really? How about pancakes?” she deadpanned.
“Aye animal!”

We lounged on beach chairs that day which included our personal manservant who fetched drinks, folded crumpled shirts, and cleaned sunglasses. The next night was filled with SML sipping for me and chocolate shakes for the girls. We saw a band, sang karaoke, and retired to the Jacuzzi where the underwater boom boom in front of the cherry girl evolved into a family affair. At some point the three of us ended up on the big bed. Chastity pretended to sleep at first while the two love birds did their thing next to her. She seemed too shy to join in but too interested, urgent to push away. There was a certain ensuing exhibitionist excitement mixed with innocent curiosity that left everyone wet and me quite dehydrated.

Chasity left Boracay a virgin.
Pretty sure.
She did not leave innocent, however.
Spinner and I left Boracay as very intimate friends… ready for another island… with just the two of us…


Almost forgot.
SEAIR. Turds.
How could I forget?

We reversed the Boracay van-boat-van sequence and found ourselves back at the tiny Caticlan airport for a really convenient flight back to Clark. Just over an hour. No brainer.

When I presented our boarding passes to the SEAIR agent, she blinked at the laser-printed paper. She blinked at me. The paper again. Me again. Before I could ask, she ran to another little counter across the room with my printout. A group of four young probable SEAIR employees without matching shirts huddled together, each excitedly grabbing at our boarding passes. The shark feeding frenzy suddenly ended as all four heads slowly lifted to look at me with the same concern that a group of nurses might share while trying to elect a fatal-news messenger among them. The trouble I smelled was enhanced by the humidity. I could feel my old-fart voice spontaneously warming up.

“Sir, your flight is canceled,” blurted the girl who must have drawn the short straw. “But its okay, we will put you on a later PAL flight to Manila instead.”
“How is that okay? Have you ever BEEN to Manila?” I replied.
“How do we get back to ANGELES?” (easy, bud)
“A van sir. We will provide a van at no charge to you.”
“No charge?! WOW. My golly. Thank you!!” I smiled.
She smiled back, devoid of all sarcasm-perception skills.

I had guessed that the plane coming from Clark had no passengers that afternoon, so they just didn’t fly it. Hell, there were only four of us on the way down.

“You failed us, ma’am,” I uttered quietly, wiping the smile from the rocket-surgeon girl’s face. I wasn’t angry. I WAS going to have a little more fun, though. I was owed.
“Your company. SEAIR. You failed us. You have my email address and cell phone numbers, yet you failed to get any sort of message to us about the cancellation. Text. Do you know what a text message is?”
“Sir, the system didn’t have your information,” she replied.
“The SAME system that printed out all of that information onto the paper I just gave you? That system?” I asked, eyebrows raised.
“It seems it forgot your information, sir.”
“It forgot??”
“Yes, sir.”
“It forgot…”
“Yes, sir.”
“The computer forgot?”
“Yes, sir.”

I was laughing WAY too much to pull off a decent old-fart voice at this stage. The rocket surgeon girl would just have to discover the science of heat versus humidity without my coaching.

Chapter 2: My Visit to the Province


Province? What??!!
I know what you’re thinking:
There had better be a goddamned BLUE LAGOON in this here goddamned province!
Chapter 4, maybe?

Some wise AE author on this thing once wrote that time is quite accelerated in Angeles City. Hell, LIFE is accelerated. I think he was referring to the fact that a second barfine with the same girl is sort of the AC equivalent to getting engaged. I would guess a trek to the province to meet the family is pretty much the equivalent of a wedding, in that line of thinking.
Therefore, I guess I’m sorta married now.
Wait. I’m getting way ahead of myself. We haven’t even gotten past the morning Walk-of-Shame with Miss Slutty Straps from Chapter 1…

Perpetual smiles.
Mjibbo’s Vortex Vixen who was strutting around in the slutty strappy shoes spent most of her time in my room radiating the pure smile of a girl who was just plain happy inside. I found this to be very endearing in an oddly powerful, sexy way. Oh sure, you guys now think I am merely reciting the mantra of the friend-of-the-American-fat-girl: “she has a great personality!” Well… this girl DID have a great personality, and she was hot. Sue me. I kind of dug that, in a sexual way. (Weird? Yes, weird for me too.)
Alright, MAYBE her grin was just a result of my clever peanut-tickling technique. I win either way. (peanuts are great snacks)

The sloppy gray “omelette” that dropped onto my side of the neat white breakfast table in the hotel’s cozy restaurant did not entertain my curiosity as much as the deafening female body language echoing all around me. Miss Slutty Straps slowly ate her rice, chin raised high and proud, occasionally trading glances with the roaming waitress and the two receptionists within view. These flying glances carried no cargo of friendship whatsoever. It was a war. A loud war with much shouting and shooting, yet it was obviously very quiet to all the oblivious men at other tables who were also treating their conquests to a morning farewell meal.
It all started with the Walk-of-Shame. You know: You take that morning stroll past the sexy receptionist with your barfine who is styling in the same outfit in which she arrived at 2am, except that her hair is still wet from the shower needed to remove all traces of wayward man-butter. You’ve been there, yes? Well, it SHOULD be the Walk-of-Shame by Western standards. I’m convinced the tables are turned in AC, however. It seems to be a friggin Walk-of-PRIDE instead. Every time. The paid female companion seems to enjoy a temporary rung on the social bamboo ladder just above the receptionist, and clearly above the waitress. Fascinating. I was so content to observe this non-verbal status jousting, that my fingers almost reached for my Moleskine to take notes like a good embedded reporter.
The clock.
It was almost time for the switch. Gotta make the switch!
“Check, please!”

Trike of tricks.
After swiftly executing the classic anti-bamboo-telegraph hotel switch-a-roo move, I waited for my reunion with Spinner while lounging next to the Wild Orchid pool. I was becoming quite anxious to see the sweet little girl whom I left a few months back. Mid-afternoon, several SMLs later (Pilipino-time, here), I was summoned to meet a trike in front of the hotel. As I cautiously approached the rusty yellow tricycle with the impossibly opaque windscreen, I was compelled to glance left and right, expecting to hear circus music. You see, there were suddenly SO many bodies pouring out of the tiny vehicle, I was convinced that THIS little three-wheeled death-wagon was actually one of those clown-cars that magically transports a dozen jugglers into the big ring, Chinese fire-drill fashion. My startled blinking eyes and incredulous half-smile must have sparked the round of laughter that Spinner’s entire extended family employed as their greeting. I didn’t take a good head-count because I was busy writing a new Dr. Seuss book in my head, entitled “Big Peeps, Little Peeps, and Peeps In Between”. After the stun wore off just a bit, put on my best John McCain face and began kissing babies and shaking hands, amidst the incessant cat-calls of the blow-job bargirls across the street. Surreal. I wouldn’t say rude. I would say Angeles City. Spinner ignored them, yet was still just a bit shy in front of her big family, though her hug was filled with that healing affection that I remembered from months back. I gazed down at her close-up with the un-jaded eyes of admiration that one Phoenix might reserve for the one most beautiful girl in the bar. (I see much, my young friend) Her warmth took me back a few months to a tearful goodbye in the very same spot. My God, she felt good in my arms.

I finally ponied up some pesos for Father Clown, whose role was also driver. Go figure. He sped away, but only after the entire clown troop executed the inverse Chinese fire drill, and loaded up the trike. Well, the entire family that is, except for Spinner and her two cousins. I had agreed to allow the other two girls to hang out in the pool with us for the afternoon. Smelling just like the classic AC under-aged scam setup, I checked both cousins’ IDs to their amusement. I was reasonably satisfied, but still practicing my Station 4 speech for the Chief Inspector Louie, hopeful that the good exchange rate would get me out of jail without killing all my savings.

A sunny, humid afternoon in the Wild Orchid pool was just what Spinner and I needed to become reacquainted. Her soft touch, her honest laugh, her smell, her taste… it all came back to me as I could hear the blood rushing in my ear drums. (Okay, the blood was actually rushing downstairs somewhere.) I was tasting life again. This tiny, curvy girl had that exact effect on me. The three cousins swam with all the grace of three girls who grew up in a land-locked city without pool privileges. Still, there is a good reason that Freud was convinced dreams of water were merely dreams of sex. These clumsy girls displayed enough slow motion underwater sexuality to fill many of my dreams for nights to come.

Swimming like a rock.
I was only mildly concerned that I was about to tow a girl with limited swimming skills to an island- the kind of island completely surrounded by water. You know the type. I was even more concerned that Spinner’s little cousin had NO swimming skills. Zero. Zip. Nada. Thankfully, the Wild Orchid pool is not as deep as the Sulu Sea. Why did I care about the little cousin?
Because she was going with us to Boracay. (!)
Did I say TWO tickets to paradise? I meant THREE.
“What the fuck. Are you crazy??” exclaimed the voice in my head.
“What the fuck. Are you crazy??” exclaim you readers of my story.
Yes. Crazy. Probably.
I shall dub Spinner’s little 18yo cousin “Chastity”. Yep, Chastity.
Aw, crap.. a CHERRY girl??
Yes. A cherry girl. Not only that, a cherry girl who is a college student, NOT a bar girl. I like her. I LUST after Spinner and I LIKE her little cousin Chastity. Call me weird. I’ve been called worse.
Sure, why not? (This story goes even farther over-the-top. Stay tuned…)
I shall dub the other cousin Miss Odd Girl Out. I believe that four is a crowd for a trip like that, and Miss Odd Girl Out missed out on any sort of plane ticket. A fellow has to draw the line SOMEWHERE, or else the clown-car Chinese fire-drill scene would just keep repeating like Groundhog Day, only the setting would be an exotic beach resort.

My Province Trek.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, the province in question here was Pampanga. That’s right, my little Spinner is from Pampanga. A local girl. (“aw shit”, I can hear it now.) If I had conducted the original barfine interview on my cherry trip with the official prescribed barfine list of questions, then I might have known this from the start. Don’t get me wrong, I would have still completely ignored the common advice against local girls, utilizing the very same shrug often tossed by an expat with a latex allergy to a lecturing mamason. I march to my own iPod, if you couldn’t tell. (that’s my story, I’m sticking with it)
That evening, Father Clown’s rusty yellow trike returned to the same spot on the same red paver-stone driveway in front of the hotel. This time he was lacking the entire clown troop as well as any hint of clown music. His death-wagon was empty and beckoning as was his smile at his potential white-monkey meal-ticket. Spinner, Chastity, Miss Odd Girl Out and I all piled in.

I really had no idea that the back roads of Angeles and surrounding towns were all unmarked and indistinguishable by Western eyes. My life was now completely in the hands of this old guy driving a smoky overloaded trike deep, deep into the bowels of Angeles. Or Mountain View. Or some other town with a fancy name that matched its true appearance like my loud board shorts matched my quiet T-shirt. Who knows where the hell I was? I began to compose my epitaph in the growing darkness to keep my mind off my increasingly bruised kidneys.

The four of us finally arrived in a sloppy, muddy “parking lot” in the pitch black, in the middle of nowhere, piled out, and walked down three dirt paths that doubled as sewage canals. Ok, maybe gray-water, not so much the black-water? Dunno. The strong funk was hinting at the latter. Was my nose extra-sensitive that night? There was suddenly an ancient voice inside my head. (“Its not the heat, it’s the HUMIDITEE”) In the dark distance I could hear someone’s videoke box complete with the amplified dissonance that comes with two tone-deaf singers. (Why is that fun?) I had a lot of trouble resisting the urge to shout “Anyone up for a card game?!” As you can see, I have very little respect for the Grim Reaper. Bring it on.

Spinner’s huge family was gracious, hospitable, and funny. Really funny. Her 70yo grandmother had the hots for me. That is EXACTLY the kind of humor that tugs at my heart and I laughed until I needed to re-hydrate. Lacking any bottled water at this residence, I urged Spinner and Chastity to finish packing for Boracay.
After a hundred goodbyes and not one card game, we retraced our journey down the river Styx, and miraculously ended up at the Wild Orchid. My epitaph would have to wait.

Spinner and I quickly ushered Chastity into her own private room at the Wild Orchid. I was NOT going to miss our 8:00am SEAIR flight to Caticlan the next morning because of another detour through the bowels of Angeles. I told cherry Chastity to txt her boyfriend that she had a nice room for the night, all to herself (I remember being 18!).
No boyfriend.
Spinner and I retired to a different room altogether. The love we made that night was the urgent style of a couple unduly separated by time and distance. She felt like heaven. She felt more like home than home. I dig Spinner. You already knew that.

Bleep bleep bleep.
What the fuck? Its still dark!
I blame SEAIR. Fuck SEAIR. Our 8:00am departure from Clark to Caticlan (Boracay) was tagged on their website as having check-in at 6:00am. Skeptical, I set the alarm at 5:00am. Spinner, Chastity, and I piled our sleepy asses into the waiting car at 5:45am and arrived at Clark Field exactly at 6:00am. The security guards laughed and told us to take a seat outside, as the terminal would not even open until 7:00am. Actually, 7:30 would have been fine.

Well, the extra hour of sleep would have been nice, but still- the price was right. It was only about P5,800 per person, round-trip. I was gung-ho to get out of Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the bar scene, the male bonding, the GIRLS. It’s just that Angeles City is exactly 75 minutes away from one of the top-ten beaches in the world, and I now had a female companion (or two) with whom to share it. I just cannot let go of a chance for humor, though…

“Ma’am, your website states that check-in is at 6:00am”, I blurted out to the sleepy yet sexy young SEAIR ticket girl, upon check-in.
“Sorry, sir, that time is meant more for Manila.”
“But we’re not in Manila are we? We’re in Clark, yes?”
“Diosdado Macapagal Airport, sir.”
“Don’t you think you should somehow inform Clark passengers of the difference? My maganda harem, here, coulda used a bit more sleep, what with all the boom-boom, diba? Don’t YOU like to sleep after boom-boom?” “Sir?”
“What time did YOUR alarm go off?”
“Your alarm. Ours went of at 5 friggin am. Do you see our problem?”
“Sir? I’m sorry.”
My eyes closed indignantly right before the “remember where you are” voice inside my head started again.
“Its not the heat, missy. It’s the HUMIDITEE!”
(score two for me)

Chapter 1: Santa Claus Muffs the Delivery


Both the shiny 747 door and my dull senses sprang to life at the jet way in Manila like Chinese synchronized divers leaving a tiny splash upon entry.
What IS this magic, I pondered as the airplane hatch came to rest. It all came back in a flash- the sights, sounds, . the SMELLS. Aha! The smells. At once, I was assaulted with the familiar odors of Manila. Bitter smog, pungent rotting tropical vegetation, rotting garbage…maybe a malfunctioning sewage treatment plant… all the other foul smells. I scrunched up my nose as I realized it was the humidity that intensified the local funk. Leaving the PAL airliner, I stared back at the pretty pinay flight attendant who welcomed me to Manila. Pausing in front of her, I slightly violated her personal space and donned my best crazy-eyed Roupa-gaze. I then summoned my trusty 90 year-old grumpy toothless voice while blurting out the anthem of the American Midwestern elderly:
“It’s not the HEAT, missy. It’s the HUMIDITEEE!”
She battled my loud cliché with the same confused blink that was once wielded by the lead singer of a Filipino bar band after I shouted “Free Bird!!” (hell, nobody really wants to HEAR “Free Bird”, it’s a JOKE, dammit) She was neither amused nor offended. Confused.
Hee. (!)
Score one for me. (my game. my rules.)

I guess I was just a bit cranky after sitting on the Manila runway for half an hour because the fucking STEERING would not work on the plane’s landing gear upon touchdown. Nice.
“Check the hydraulic maintenance records, Captain!”, I shouted to the PAL 747 pilot with the same old-fart voice I had used on the flight attendant. He mumbled some excuse while smiling like a clumsy Dollhouse waitress sporting spilled SML on her skirt. Then, there was a soft, paternal voice inside my head: “remember where you ARE dude”. This trip was still quite young—many more pilots at whom to yell, more voices inside my head. I had ten days this time. No, not a marathon, but definitely not the four-day puki- sprint of my cherry trip. (relax, bud)

Looking back, now, I really couldn’t have been TOO grumpy that morning, as I was grinning at the nasty north-bound Manila traffic from the back of my Margarita Station car with the same toothy grin that Prince Charles aims at Vortex Vixens still sticky from tequila. My grin was possibly widened slightly by the three ice cold San Miguels, which the brilliant peeps at Marg Station had placed in the back seat knowing full well that 7:30am was exactly beer-thirty for a guy who had just spent a very long night sitting on a plane next to a very big American stranger whose legs were not made for coach. The dull brown morning haze of Manila could not hide the familiar visual chaos of Jeepneys, motorcycles, buses, and those damned pedestrians playing that curiously casual traffic game of Frogger, wherein the loser gets death by vehicle-induced blunt force trauma. Good times.

Northbound. NLE.
The stubborn honking of Manila traffic chaos slowly faded to much quieter rich green rice fields peppered with bored looking water buffalo in the bright morning haze. The putrid, polluted rotting city smells gave way to less-offensive rotting country smells. (“It’s the humidity, Missy!”)

Passing the huge new SM Mall construction outside Angeles, I pondered my first challenge: The Bamboo Telegraph. My plan was to meet up with Spinner the NEXT day, giving me one day/night to meet a few AE blokes, deliver a few gifts, and get a good night’s sleep. (well, okay, the FIRST two goals were sincere) I won’t call Spinner my GIRLFRIEND, here… maybe my steady GFE. Sumpin like that. Regardless, I know many of you handle the barhop-without-the-GF situation with honesty, but I wanted one night to myself in AC without even a conversation about it to spoil our trip to Boracay. Oh. Did I mention Boracay? Yes, I was slightly confident that there was maybe ONE maganda girl in AC that would go to Bora with me if the Bamboo Telegraph caused the very maganda Spinner to flip-out about my one-day early covert ingress. Simple supply/demand, diba? Eddie Money had my back here. I had two tickets to paradise in my pocket. They weren’t winning Lotto tickets, but certainly as good as Scratch-and-Win cards with all 777s. I knew I wanted to take Spinner, but if things went South, I was pretty sure Mjibbo could have found me a replacement. (dude has skeels)

After the hotel, my first stop was Shano’s. It was mid-morning, I was sweaty, and I badly needed a Guinness. Actually, I was curious to see the very friendly Shano’s waitresses, especially the one who bruised my pubic bone months earlier. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I entered. I was one of only two thirsty customers at that early hour, and the waitresses flocked to my table with the eagerness of a huge Monitor Lizard attacking a gourmet lunch. (future chapter reference) I didn’t see Pubic-Bone-Bruiser, but several of the other waitresses remembered me and then the fun began. Ladies’ Drinks at 10:30am just seemed natural. The girls were quite spirited, flirty, and again pretended to be infatuated. (Fine by me.) The new beautiful face in the crowd was a cherry girl. A friggin 22 YEAR OLD cherry girl. Whoa. Three Guinness’s later, the flock suddenly ran from my table amid giggles, huddled around the long-in-the-tooth but huge-in-the-eyes cherry girl, and returned with mischievous grins all around. The flock wanted ME to take away the cherry of the cherry girl. My jaw dropped almost as wide as my eyes bulged, focusing on those of the maganda babe in question. She stared back, smiled shyly, and slowly nodded. Her story involved something about a slick Korean dude who offered up a bucket of cash, but wouldn’t be back for many months. I was elected to do the deed with the speed of her need. I think young Louie could possibly explain what was going on here, but I wasn’t destined to meet him until later that night. I was confused. I was torn. (SIC) This young lady had these big brown eyes that just made me melt inside.
I couldn’t.
I’m not sure what Kimchee does to one’s soul (evil fermentation?), but I just COULDN’T take away this beautiful girl’s virginity, and walk away from the emotions.
It just wasn’t in me.
My eyes were still quite wide, but my gaping jaw was cleverly hidden by my quickly-draining Guinness. My eyes softened. “Sorry Thotoy”, I whispered into my beer.
I was at a complete loss to pony up a noble response worthy of the offer on the table. How in the WORLD would I rebuke this beautiful girl’s once-in-a-lifetime request??
Right on cue, my Pubic-Bone-Bruiser horny friend with the tramp-stamp suddenly arrived, saw me, and threw her arms around me while jumping into my lap.
(Thank you!)
Cherry Girl’s eyes dropped to the floor, witnessing this unexpected display of affection right in front of her. She then turned and walked away. Stuck to my seat, I was at once filled with sweet relief and sour sorrow. I kissed Bone-Bruiser with both the passion of a man saved and that of a man condemned. She sucked my tongue. Painfully. (Damn, I like that.)
Mid afternoon visions of only another sore pubic bone and still no AE introductions led me to say goodbye to the Shano’s bunch. I never saw the cherry girl again, but I have to believe that the fury of that woman scorned is very minor to the turmoil in my own soul that might have followed a bloody afternoon. Brocklanders will now wonder how much Oprah I watch… but it just isn’t in me, boys.

Around nightfall, I found myself standing alone in the middle of the street of the unholy Corner-of-the-Trike-Drivers, my back to the growing Friday night macho mongering meeting at Kokomo’s. My Guinness-blurred stare was fixed upon the interesting door girls at Tender Touch. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember why the name “Tender Touch” fired such a sinful burst of dopamine into my motor cortex, but that’s the door (and the long hallway) that I found next.
Louie!! MVPIMP.

I found the famous Louie’s bar by accident or maybe by autopilot. Same same.
Louie’s hospitality instantly gave me the warm grin that I usually only display for my old college buddies. We drank. We ogred. I pulled a funny cord from the ceiling that unleashed a bazillion ping-pong balls from a net-contraption, transporting the normally slow-motion Tender Touch bikini girls into hungry hyper-active piranha fish. Power. Forty bucks commands fourteen girls to get on their knees. Power.
Thotoy drifted through with a female in tow. I wanted to tell the guy that I had whispered his name into a Guinness earlier. Haa.

I had many peeps to meet. Louie led me across the street to Lolipop, where I saw Shagger, Drummer, etc. Bang. I held up one finger (houwd-up) and quickly ran to my hotel to get tequila presents.
I found myself running toward Lolipop, but somehow found Vortex instead, tequila bag in hand, walked up to the manager’s table where Mjibbo was hanging out alone. I smiled. I can appreciate alone. I introduced myself with the stupid look that a disciple might save for Jesus.
I delivered my tequila present, but the booze was secondary to the frenzy that the girls displayed over whom exactly would get to keep the fancy bag CONTAINING the bottle.
Mjibbo pointed at a sexy little pinay thing with shoes that included calf lace-up straps.
Fuck me.

Chapter 4: I am Christopher Atkins


Formative years.
I believe we humans collect certain experiences in our youth that permanently register in our brains as much more than mere memories. If the age is just right, some events that surround us may well DEFINE us. They determine who we are, how we are built. Pretty sure. Hell, why do most men seek women that resemble their mothers? (wait- my mom was NOT brown-skinned. Okay, never mind)

As an impressionable teenager, I pedaled my Schwinn fifteen miles on one humid summer afternoon to spend my lawn-mowing earnings on a ticket to the movie “The Blue Lagoon”. I think I sported wood in anticipation even before I got to the theater, but at that age it might have just been the friction of the bike seat. I haven’t seen the movie since, but I can still recall the underwater nude swimming scenes. Vividly. (I SWEAR I saw her bush) Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins played cousins (!) who were stranded on a deserted tropical island together as children, and eventually grew to teenagers who discovered their sexuality together. Under the hot sun. In the warm lagoon. On the beach. Free. Absolutely free. Adam and Eve. No one to tell them to wear clothes. No one to keep them apart. No worries about food (lots of fish). No society to apply pressure of any sort. They did what came naturally.
As a land-locked boy long-obsessed with tropical islands, this beautiful scenery tingled my mind. As a girl-starved boy newly obsessed with anything remotely female, the beautiful barely-dressed teenage Brooke tingled my naughty bits as well. I became Christopher Atkins. I could FEEL me feeling her. (most likely, it was just me feeling me) I hung my head the day I learned it was only a body-double who swam naked on screen with the colorful fish in the lagoon. I think Brooke was maybe a bit too young for a nude scene in 1980. So was I.

Without trying to, I think I spent the next couple of decades searching for my own Blue Lagoon. I can just taste that clear salty lagoon water. I can hear the tropical birds from the lush jungle and I can feel the warm sand. I can smell those wonderfully feminine scents that sweaty outdoor lovemaking in the humid afternoon sun brings to life. I can just see the Blue Lagoon. My blue lagoon.

Last month, these were my old vivid daydreams of fantasy swirling in an office that sported a large framed photograph of some random lagoon in Bora Bora.
Today, these are my new vivid memories of reality swirling an office that sports a large framed photograph of one Big Lagoon, Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Republic of the Philippines… Aka: Boom Boom Lagoon.
Fantasy is good.
Reality is better.
(Trust me on this one.)

Apocalypse Now.
I sang. I sang straight into the humid wind filled with the scents of exotic flora bombarding my virgin nose. My voice was colored with the smile of adventure. I sang very loudly because the wind was madly rushing at the faces of the six passengers seated next to me in the little white speedboat charging down the muddy Nyung river toward its delta.
I sang Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”. Okay, not really. I mean, there ARE words to this famous opera,(German words, whatever) but instead I sang “Bum Budda Da-da, BUM budda DA-da”, to the tune in my head. We were in Cambodia, and I don’t mean the bar. There was napalm in the air. It was 1969.

Well… okay, not really the Nyung. This river was actually in Palawan, there was no napalm that I could smell, and the year was 2008. But holy bejesus, this place did look familiar. No, I’m far too young to be a vet from ‘Nam. However I did feel like I was at that river delta in the movie “Apocalypse Now” where Lt. Kilgore lamented that the smell of napalm in the morning. {inhale}“Smells like victory.”
Strikingly similar.
(yes, its just one old movie to the next with me!)

The muddy jungle river conveniently led straight to the warm ocean from back at the wobbly bamboo dock next to the gravel jungle airstrip that passes for El Nido Airport. The speedboat’s little outboard engine was revving with an ever-increasing pitch, competing with my rendition of Wagner, straight out of the movie… right on cue. The other passengers looked at me like I was insane. Except for Spinner. Spinner smiled. (Boss is singing. Boss is happy.) Few people get all of my humor. (Hey, I’m funny in my own head. I think.) Convinced that the little rusty outboard would explode at that RPM, I finally hit pause on my personal opera, turned back to Lt. Kilgore(shorter, browner though) piloting from the stern, and hollered over the roar:
He shouted back, “NO DIE!”
I could see the furious white wake twist behind the boat as we rounded a bend. Way too fast for wakeboarding. Oh well. Next time.
“WHAT?” I scrunched up my face.
“NO DIE GUNNING!!” Lt Kilgore shouted while staring back over my shoulder, eyes glued to something ahead of the boat like a kid with an Xbox controller in his hands.
“FUCKIN’ AYE!…NO DIE GUNNING!” I shouted back in agreement. Fuck. Must be Viet Cong snipers on the shore. Fuck.
Okay, I didn’t REALLY think there were snipers– just my kind of fun in the midst of my iffy comprehension. Much later, I decoded this conversation. “No die gunning” was actually “Low tide coming”.
Had I not spent a whole night studying Bar Girl Communication 101 in the classroom of Mjibbo, I would have completely missed his subtle lip-pointing gesture. (Seriously: Lips? Pointing?) I spun around in my seat to see what Lt. Kilgore was staring at, pouting at, just as Spinner’s knuckles went white while clamping onto my wrist. Spinner was already looking forward.

Crashing two hundred meters ahead of the boat were large white frothy waves at the exact point where the muddy river met the angry South China Sea. We were hauling ass in VERY shallow river rapids as Kilgore smoothly trimmed up the outboard to clear the rocks looming about 9 inches below us. We hit the frothy delta with all the grace of a jet ski barreling up the surfing side of a righteous wave.
“WHOOO HOOO!” I shouted as my backpack floated weightlessly at knee level.
We splashed down with the relief of Apollo 13 astronauts while Lt. Kilgore throttled back to cruising speed. I tasted adrenalin on my tongue. I tasted salt water.

The captain of the larger, slower outrigger who waited for us just offshore completely lacked Lt. Kilgore’s sense of adventure. That was just fine with me. That was just fine with all of the other passengers.
Fourty minutes of amazing scenery entertained us as we slowly traveled through the Bacuit archipelago with El Nido town and all civilization fading behind us in the distance. Dozens of ripped, jagged vertical gray limestone cliffs dotted with tropical greenery jutted out of the ocean off both port and starboard gunwales, as if unexpectedly pushed upward millions of years ago by some artistic force.
“Ohhh… this is cool,” was all I could utter.
As we passed each lush green and gray deserted island in the Miniloc Ecological Preserve, I examined the many white sand beaches. I held Spinner’s hand in the breeze. The daydreams started. The grin started.

When the outrigger finally slowed, we were just offshore from the very remote Miniloc Island Resort. It was almost completely hidden in a huge cove on eastern Miniloc Island, surrounded on three sides by those same gray jagged cliffs reaching thousands of vertical feet. The small resort with its white beach occupied the entire cove behind the breakwater, from cliff-to-cliff. Visible were many thatched roof huts, plush beach chairs, and on the left was a row of little cottages on stilts over water that captured my curious gaze. Déjà vu. Stilts. Of course. The photograph of Bora Bora in my office. My fantasy. My island. So it began.

The entire smiling Miniloc staff welcomed us with a cheesy song and dance routine complete with all the enthusiasm of the dreaded Angeles shuffle on a slow Monday in Lolipop. My polite smile and pained eyes did not match, so Spinner and I pulled a covert egress, finding the only place to eat for many miles- the resort’s outdoor restaurant. I had purchased the “complete package” which included three meals per day (minus alcohol) and all the water sports. The cheaper option was a room only, but I doubt that anyone could actually survive on just stray Lapu Lapu speared while snorkeling. (Christopher Atkins didn’t NEED no stinking snorkel, bro!) Luckily the restaurant was decent. Buffet style, it usually included a stir-fry chef to make up whatever Mongolian-style meat and veggie mixture one might fancy. Out of the dozens of spices, I successfully crafted tasty Indian, Tai, and Chinese meals with chicken, shrimp, and beef (I noticed the USDA imported fillet mignon boxes from the outrigger). Spinner usually stuck to mere meat and rice but with very creative sauce concoctions. She selected soy and chili sauce, carefully chopping up odd shaped little red and little green peppers, seeds included. I just had to taste her sauce. (haaa) I took a piece of chicken, drowned it in her creation, and tasted. BANG. Wow. I do like spicy food, but this was Dave’s Insanity hot, threatening to blister my lips. Spinner grinned.

Our thatched-roof air conditioned hut was not quite up to Western 5-star standards, but it was very hip. We were in a little bamboo cottage on stilts, just large enough for a bed and bathroom, no TV.(good call) Its saving grace was the covered porch that included a day-bed style couch and pillows. The row of water cottages were cleverly arranged, so that every porch was isolated from neighbors while still providing a great view of the lagoon. This thing was PERFECT for boom-boom after dark! Spinner and I explored the resort then took the rest of the afternoon to allow our bodies to become slowly reacquainted with the special kind of sweaty lust usually prompted only by teenage hormones.

Just before dinner, we boarded an outrigger for “bottom fishing”. I was a bit bummed about the lack of real sportfishing, but what the hell- give me a rod and I’m happy to go local and try for Lapu Lapu. Well, I went local, but it wasn’t exactly a ROD they handed me on the boat. It was more like a small bicycle wheel rim wrapped with 30# fishing line. Are you KIDDING me?? Nope. The technique was to hook some squid and let the line spool to the bottom, at which point we were expected to tug the bare line until something bit, then haul the line hand-over-hand. Fucking quaint.
“Hey Fish-Killer, do you have a rod and reel on board? I don’t need a Penn International, just lightweight tackle will do, diba?”
“Oh, no, sir. This is the traditional way we fish here. No need for rod and reel, sir,” replied the friendly captain.
It turns out that the SMLs I took on board were a life-saver. There was no need for a rod and reel because there was no real intention of catching any fucking fish. Maybe it was the mellow atmosphere at this resort, but I felt absolutely none of my typical knee-jerk angst as a result. (no heat/humidity education) Was I finally relaxing? First I was all wound-up to slay some big game, then relented to hopes of bottom fish, then was merely happy to be surrounded by 360 degrees of beauty with a cold beer. I just sipped my SML, enjoyed the sunset from the boat, and smiled at the fading orange light highlighting Spinner’s delicate features while she struggled with the pile of tangled fishing line at her feet. (technology trumps tradition, diba?)

After a scrumptious stir-fry dinner, Spinner let her SML do the talking, spouting some yang about playing really good billiards because of off-hours practicing where she worked. After adjusting for the wind velocity of the beach bar pool table, I promptly disposed of her misconception. We retired early for wound licking, and spent the rest of the evening on our front porch day-bed. Our sweaty forms were safely hidden by the darkness, yet Spinner’s noises were occasionally met with my hand to her mouth followed by our quiet laughter.

Boom Boom Lagoon.
As the next day’s hazy mid-morning sun grew hotter, we grabbed a two-man kayak from the white beach next to our water cottage. I was determined to paddle to the two famous lagoons on the island, owning the overly-creative names of Big Lagoon and Little Lagoon. We were politely warned not to go to Big Lagoon until after 12:00noon because it was not possible to enter the inlet during low tide. I think my right eyebrow raised slightly at this warning, while I recalled Lt. Kilgore’s shallow water technique from the speedboat. (when in doubt, go faster!)
We paddled along the picturesque jagged gray green East coast of Miniloc Island until we came across the tantalizing cliff-saddled inlet to Big Lagoon. The warm Bacuit Bay was rushing into Big Lagoon via crystal clear swift rapids that were only about 3 inches deep. You guessed it. Before Spinner could protest twice, I navigated our little yellow plastic kayak with the two inch draft into the “river”, dodging rocks and coral. (of course I was in back, steering) Sixty seconds of excitement without a punctured kayak or broken coral ended with a calm landing into the sparkling, incredibly deep blue Big Lagoon of Miniloc. I knew instantly. I could smell it. I could feel it. MY BLUE LAGOON. It was strangely familiar. If the climax of years of anticipation actually has a taste, then that was exactly the taste on my lips at that very moment. I caught my breath at the raw beauty. Spinner spun around just then and caught something magical in my eyes of wonder, suddenly smiling broadly right back at me.
“Baby? We’re going swimming,” I whispered, still in awe of the dead-silent tall gray cliff cathedral that skirted the glassy turquoise water, concealing this little paradise from the outside world. It felt right to whisper, though we were very alone in one of those rare moments of nature in which one is truly humbled by the creator of such splendor.

The dark circle of steep cliffs left absolutely no beach available, but the very thoughtful folks at Miniloc Resort had anchored a large wooden raft in the middle of the lagoon. We tied off our trusty rapids-worthy kayak to the raft and climbed onto the deck. Spinner dropped her paddle as I dropped my board shorts, unashamed to stand naked in the sun. Spinner’s mouth opened at my audacity, glancing cautiously in the direction of the hidden inlet.
“Come on, live a little!” I shouted mid air while executing a carefully over-rotated swan dive so as to avoid all possibility of the dreaded belly-flop with the junk hanging out. (!) Spinner finally dropped both pieces of her bikini onto the raft deck and jumped in with me. I will always remember my pure joy surrounding our slow-motion nude swimming through the sparkling sun beams. Dolphins. Dolphins in mating season, I tell you.

I now realize that Tagalog is PACKED with words that have meanings that sound just like the very action described by the word. On Boracay (in Chapter 3) I learned that “suka” actually SOUNDS like the puking that it describes. On the wooden raft in the middle of Big Lagoon, I learned that the action of “boom boom” actually SOUNDS like the phrase. The floating boards of the raft loudly reverberated like a bass drum across the lagoon as Spinner and I transferred our underwater dolphin-mating technique to the raft deck like two of Darwin’s creatures, quickly making the water-to-land transition.
“Boom Boom Lagoon,” indeed.
It seems that all other kayakers that morning obeyed the low tide warning, because we had a solid solitary hour in which to play Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins.
Good Times.

The Small Lagoon was equally impressive for scenery but completely packed with snorkellers who arrived by outrigger from El Nido town and Lagen Resort. Spinner and I explored this lagoon with the other tourists, but we shared many longing glances that hinted at wishes for privacy. The next morning, our unspoken wishes were granted.

Boom Boom Beach.
“Sir, you may choose from scuba diving, cliff climbing, fishing, hiking, wind surfing, kayaking, bird watching, sailing…” droned the smiling pinay hostess whose job it was to keep the easily-bored guests from running low on stimulation.
“Umm, can we just go to a remote beach?” I responded. I had read on the website that there were many beautiful remote beaches to explore on the 45 deserted islands in the area. MY idea of fun, castaway style.
“Of course, sir. What would you like to do there?”
I fought the involuntary grin while I squeezed Spinner’s hand, seated next to me. I struggled, then I spontaneously exploded with a sudden snort.
“Snorkeling!” I volunteered. “We like to snorkel!”
Both Spinner and the hostess watched me crack up with confused amusement on their faces.

The wooden boat’s happy captain shouted only one question as we jumped from the tiny craft onto the pristine hidden beach of the unidentified deserted island mid morning.
“What time pick up?!”
“Umm, how about four o clock?” I shouted back as he was already motoring away.
“Okay, sir!”
We were officially marooned together on an uninhabited island in the middle of a very sparsely populated sea. Just as Spinner and I began dropping our swimwear as if we were still floating on a certain large lagoon, an outrigger appeared. Crap. Muslim rebels?
“Hello, sir! Your lunch is here!” shouted the guy on the bow.
Holy shit. Lunch, indeed. The two guys produced a real wooden table, two chairs, and enough food for maybe ten people. They planted the table under the only shade tree on the white beach, and then we were given fillet mignon, grilled fish of three varieties, and many other dishes. After serving up the feast, they quickly sped away but not before one of the guys shouted: “LIKE ADAM AND EVE!”

Spinner and I laughed, sat and gorged, lounged then finally waded into the inviting clear water. I spent the next few hours perfecting the fine art of love making in two feet of warm salt water, punctuated by love making on beach towels, sun on my ass. We were completely alone, completely naked, miles away from the nearest human. Free in the sunshine. Free in the warm salty ocean.

We were busy perfecting the ocean portion of this intimate paradise-love routine when we heard the sudden crashing of plates on our beach lunch table.
“Oh, look, there is a bird eating our leftover food,” pointed Spinner.
“Umm, I’m thinking bigger than a bird,” I responded after seeing a large tail hanging down one side of the table.
The monitor lizard that dropped right out of the tree onto our table was not a huge specimen at roughly one meter from head-to-tail. However, he was a bit larger than my naked self was cool with, for lizard-picture time. Fuck that.
It turns out that we were not really marooned, because at exactly 4:00pm we were picked up by the same friendly crew that dropped us off.
The next morning included scuba diving and rock climbing, but Spinner and I shared a longing look that inevitably led to Boom Boom Beach Number 2. We left the remote Miniloc Resort as nudists. We left as intimate partners, with a taste of true paradise.
Wow, is all I can write, stumbling for adjectives, adverbs, and similes.
My old fantasy was fulfilled.
Big time.

PROLOGUE: Brooke Is Maybe Too Young

Brooke Is Maybe Too Young

Ahhhh yes.
My second trip to Angeles City.
The glorious end of an itchy four-month PPD (Post-Philippine Depression) infection.
Finally. (!)

As you may have read elsewhere in this section, my cherry trip in was merely a four-day Angeles frenzy that blended great comical disappointment with great wondrous pleasures. We all have our reasons, I guess. The fuel that propelled me to AC the first time was curiosity. The vehicle was Asian Escapades. The pilots were Mjibbo, Shagger, and others, if only with their prose.

For this second trip, I had big plans for a fantasy tropical vacation with “Spinner”, whom I met on my very last night of my very first trip. I was thinking “Blue Lagoon”, circa 1980 here. I get to be Christopher Atkins, and Spinner gets to be Brooke Shields. (ok, under-aged Brooke’s body-double, anyway)

Oh, but wait.
First, I had a debt to repay. You see, I blew right through this dusty town the first time around without even meeting anyone from AE. (Hey, I was on a mission) This time I needed to bring presents for two of the guys whose internet personas introduced me to this little hidden nirvana: Shagger and Mjibbo…