Home is where the heart is: Thinkerbell’s return to Boracay



I am Thinkerbell, and I’m so happy to be back in Boracay again. Two years ago a good friend of mine invited me to visit him in Angol, Station 3, and an intended stay of a few days turned into five weeks. I was totally captured by this magical island and had the funniest and craziest time of my life.

I returned back to my home country Finland and tried to return to my normal life but somehow life didn’t feel the same anymore. Finland is a beautiful country but I realized that I really missed the life I experienced here – the sun, the beach, and especially the smiles and amazing positive attitude of the Filipino people.

I tried traveling to other countries, having toured around Europe and Asia but all the time there was a longing in my heart to come back to Boracay. So I packed my bags once again, gave away my apartment in Finland, and bought a one-way ticket to Manila and then to Boracay. That was the best decision of my life.

This amazing island is generally known for beautiful beaches and vivid party life, and I totally agree, but there is also another side of Boracay. During my first visit here I was overwhelmed by the friendliest, most welcoming, and open-hearted people I’ve ever met. We jammed with local bands, traveled around the island, enjoyed wild parties and barbeques together, and spent time with so many incredible people. I was impressed by the talent of local artists and by the hard-working people, especially in the Angol area, who touched my heart and who made my visit to Boracay unforgettable.

Many tourists see only that luxurious side of the island: five-star hotels, fancy bars and clubs, excessive seafood buffets, and designer stores in the mall. I had the luck to stay in Angol, and it changed my life. We lived among local people sharing everyday life. Many mornings I woke up with the sound of children playing outside our window or contractors chatting away on their lunch break. Our neighbor was a lovely lady who washed our laundry. Often a fisherman, also living in the neighborhood, passed by our house and we could buy the freshest fish. We cooked our meals outdoors with open fire and picked bananas from a tree in our backyard. Kids and teenagers spent time playing basketball in the courtyard, and later in the evening when we walked back home there was often a group of older men playing cards and sharing rum who’d offer us a night cap.

The best thing we did was organizing an art school for local children in Angol. We created a small community of guerrilla teachers – a group of travelers and locals who wanted to share their talent in arts. We gathered three times a week to draw, paint, sing, and play. Everybody was so happy, the children, their parents, and the volunteers. We got an opportunity to experience something unique and beautiful. When I came back and saw the kids again, my heart melted with joy. Those hugs and smiles are priceless. I wish more travelers will see this side of Boracay. There is always a possibility to do something good for the community.

Now it’s summer in Finland and many of my friends are wondering why I travel during this unusual season. Well, there is so much to do in Boracay, no matter the season! I’m looking forward to seeing more of the local’s everyday life. The beautiful nature is bountiful and I can’t wait to explore this island more. After a wild night of partying you can have a snack from street food cart, treat yourself to a relaxing massage from a local healer, or enjoy a yoga class on the beach. This season is also good for kiteboarding; my new favourite sport. I’ve only tried handling a little practice kite but that was enough to charm me with that feeling of the wind and beach life.

So, enjoy Boracay this season and keep smiling! See you on the beach!

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