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Boracay’s other tourist destination
Source: Inquirer
Author: Tammy David
Date: 2001-05-02
AND you thought Boracay was only a place for swimming and gulping down

gallons of fruit shakes. Wait till you take a "trike" ride to the central market

located in the heart of the island. The talipapa, Boracay’s answer to

Baguio’s ukay-ukay and Zamboanga’s barter trade, has everything you need

to complete your Boracay experience.

Like Greenhills, it offers a lot of bargains although a little cramped. You have

to really go inside and search to find the best stuff. I don’t think you can leave

Boracay without visiting the talipapa unless you settle for bottled sand or zip

locks as pasalubong for your loved ones.

Boracay fashion

Days before I left for Boracay, I turned Manila and Zamboanga upside down

looking for a cheap, nice-looking sarong price. I settled for a plain black one

with a not-so-reasonable price--anything to hide my chunky sick-looking


When I got to the talipapa, I almost banged my head on the tricycle. There

were loads of sarongs and other Boracay fashion items like swimsuits, shirts,

shorts (Are you sure hindi ito Quiksilver?) shades and more sarongs! So if

you misplaced your suitcase or your clothes accidentally got wet on your way

there, you know where to go for replacement.

Beads, bags and more beads

Wondering where your favorite rap-rock artist got his necklace? The white

string of ethnic beads that has become a must-have is about five bucks

cheaper in the talipapa than in Greenhills and you also have more varieties to

choose from.

You might find bags in the ever-updated tiangges and bazaars, but if you

want to save and be a month ahead in style, then you really should visit the

talipapa. There are also lots of bags to choose from in most of the stores.


If you’re tired of the local cuisine, there are mini groceries selling snack items

and bottled water to wash your face with if salt water irritates your skin. No

bargain for these items, of course, but you can haggle over the fresh fish.

You can also get popular Filipino delicacies like yema, mango tart,

polvoron, bagoong/ginamos, barquillos and the best-selling piyaya. These

are always the most welcome pasalubong so try not to eat them before you

get home. They cost from P45 to P500.

Bora for the home

For pasalubong that is not perishable or something the recipient can use or

display all year round, home items are the thing. Colorful chimes, picture

frames and woodcarvings as paperweights or for display are also bestsellers

in the talipapa. The more expensive ones are very nice, even exquisite. The

only problem is, some of the things are so fragile you would need an extra

hand to carry them.


Want a souvenir that will last longer than a sunburn or the scar you got from

the jet-ski? There are two tattoo places in the talipapa and the more popular

one according to a local is Noel’s studio.

Noel Morales, the guy with the needle, is a member of the Professional

Tattoo Artists Association of the Philippines (PTAAP). He has been

practicing the art for 15 years and has made about a thousand tattoos.

Definitely a pro, his customers include the likes of Philippine Cinema’s bad

boy, Robin Padilla, and tourists from as far as Sweden.

Morales can make his drawings cover you from arms to thighs, chest to

ankles or, if you’re the wild type, even the privates. "Trabaho lang, walang

malisya," says Noel. The studio has the appearance of a clinic with one

corner full of needles, rubbing alcohol and other stuff aimed at preventing

infection or diseases.

The cheapest tattoo cost P1,500 and the most expensive he’s done--a full

back--cost about $1,500. He also did a lot of last year’s fad, henna tattoo,

for people whose parents back home might not be fans of body art. Anybody

can just walk in and have a tattoo done instantly at Morales’ fully

air-conditioned place.

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