A week ago, Jec and I joined a Balangay Sunset Cruise at Roxas Boulevard. I almost didn’t go because I was feeling lazy at the last minute, but since we already made reservations, we still went. And I enjoyed it a lot! Motion sickness and phobias aside, it was refreshing to be away from the noise of Manila even for 2 hours. There were less than 20 of us in the Balangay, so it was pretty intimate. The boat could fit more people, but I guess they really intended to make the cruise for a close group of people. I’m not very good at describing my experiences and recalling all the little details, so I’ll borrow Jec’s words to make up for it.
The cruise went around Manila Bay, from the docks behind Gloria Maris near Palisoc Circle, going to Mall of Asia, to near Cavite Coastline.
It was a simple tour. Just I and Bae, and a number of then-strangers in the roster, a total not exceeding 20 including the crew who are from the Philippine Coast Guard personnel and members of the 1st Philippine Mt. Everest Team plus volunteers from Mindanao. It was headed by Sir Fung Yu, a renowned heritage conservation photographer.
But what made it very unique despite its simplicity is the diversity of the the people who joined the tour. There were foreign nationals – there’s one Aussie who has already written books about his travels around the Philippines. And the pretty Pinays and women from Asian descent who happen to come from different places – and two couples, us included.
They all talked about how their experience were when they traveled around the country – most of them recall the great ones, comparing it with the places they’ve been to abroad; and some mentioned some significantly bad ones – and talked about how economy and capitalism seem to hinder the preservation of our tourist spots and exploit our natural resources. I won’t be surprised if I bump elbows with them again in the future when I get to attend other tours.
Listening to them was enlightening. I decided to not engage in a conversation with them and just enjoy silently their company, nodding occasionally in agreement to what they were discussing, and at the same time, have a good grasp of how beautiful Manila Bay is when you’re on a boat (I used to only view it from the Baywalk area or the MoA Seaside.
Schedule for a cruise here: http://
First two batches of photos from Jec. The rest are mine. View all photos here: Balangay Cruise. 🙂