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Great Getaways : Times Correspondents' Course in Favorite Weekend Escapes : MANILA

October 19, 1986|Mark Fineman

When Lotty Green was picking a name for her beachfront resort on Boracay Island, 200 miles south of Manila, her first thought was of Daniel Defoe's masterpiece, "Robinson Crusoe."

There are no telephones on Boracay--no electricity, no roads, no cars, no television. On Boracay, everyone goes barefoot, and no one reads a newspaper.

There is only mile after mile of secluded, white-sand beach; translucent coral reefs that so abound with rare marine life that they help explain how the Philippines cornered 80% of the world's tropical-fish market. There are crude but safe outrigger sailboats that rent, with crew, for 60 pesos ($3) a day, plenty of scuba and snorkel gear for hire and dozens of basic but comfortable bamboo cottages.

So Green, a Briton who came to all this unspoiled beauty six years ago and never left, named her resort Friday's, after Crusoe's castaway companion.

The name is appropriate for other reasons. The magic of Boracay--its 5,000 or so native islanders swear that their island is enchanted, and many claim that they occasionally see a solid-gold fairy ship offshore, even without the help of the strange mushrooms growing wild--is less than two hours' journey from the pollution, traffic and noise of Manila. It is among the favorite weekend hideaways of longtime Manila residents--a romantic spot for couples and also a marvelous playground for families.

Getting there is half the fun: a one-hour trip on a chartered twin-engine plane--which can be arranged for about $100 per person, per round-trip through Pacific Airways in Manila--followed by a 15-minute ride in a powered outrigger to one of the many beach-cottage resorts.

For tourists who prefer all the modern amenities, Friday's is recommended. The accommodations and food there--fresh crab and fish served on your beachfront veranda; four-posters and private, Western-style bathrooms--are by far the most luxurious on the island.

For more information or reservations, write to Lotty Green, or just take your chances. The hideaway resorts are rarely full.

Friday's, P.O. Box 35, Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines. No telephone. Cost: $12.50 per night for a cottage.

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