|Boracay’s other tourist destination
|Author: Tammy David
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.
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
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