Nestled in the idyllic surroundings of a forested bay in clear emerald waters, the house of Boayan, a little isle in the South China Sea, is an ideal spot for those in search of secluded comfort.
Boayan is not a resort, but the home of Philippe, Ditchay and their daughter Amelle. It becomes yours for the duration if your stay. In fact, they literally move out into another house nearby. Domestic help is on call and you can indulge in the services of an incomparable cook — Ditchay herself! Given that provisions cannot be obtained easily on the isle, you will be amazed by the excellent variety of culinary dishes she cooks up in Franco-Philippine style — duck (preserves, souffles, curry, rilettes), pates, cheese toasts, chocolate cake and delicious home-made bread. Vegetables and herbs are grown in the garden and the hen house assures fresh eggs for breakfast.
Six years ago, in their search for another way of life, Philippe and Ditchay said goodbye to their respective professions as a photographer and actress and came to settle here. They live on the isle like modern Robinson Crusoes — no television, electricity or telephones, but the magnificent spectacle of the bay, solar panels, the clarity of the digital satellite radio, a satellite telephone in case of an emergency and internet. They are attentive but discreet hosts who will provide you with interesting political, cultural or tourist information om the Philippines that they know so well.
The house is a large wooden pavilion on stilts, surrounded by a planked terrace facing a lagoon. It has two rooms and a bathroom. The kitchen is in a separate pavilion, very nice and inviting with wicker-work and kitchen utensils decorating the walls.
The terrace, with its fabulous view of the surrounding hills, is the place where you will spend most of your time. Mealtimes are the highlights of the day and are turned to the sounds of the waves. You are only a hop, skip and a jump from the crystal waters of the lagoon, which you can consider your own private swimming pool, where no mortal will come to disturb your tranquility. The lagoons boasts of an easily accessible beautiful coral reef. You can also admire the multi-colored fish of this sea garden with the help of snorkeling equipment.
The powdery white-sanded beach stretches out in from of the house. At low tide, it is pleasant to wander about in search of seashells. However, do restrain from destroying the fragile surroundings of the reef.
You can go fishing in a motorboat driven by an experienced boat man, on an excursion or a picnic on the golden deserted beaches, explore the little forest in the hills opposite or simply laze on your terrace and dream.
You will feel as if you’re in another world here, where time is of no consequence and where peace and tranquility are omnipresent. It is a tricky task returning to the hustle ad bustle of the capital, but the memory of this paradise lost will remain with you for a long time.
How to get there
By air, land and sea, 75-minute daily flights on Air Philippines Cebu Pacific, Asian Spirit or PAL from Manila to Puerto Princesa. Two hours by car from airport to Port Barton. 45 minutes from Port Barton to Boayan Island. Transfer from the airport is usually included in the tour package.
More photos here