Under the Stars

Posted on Jordyn Christine

New York based photographer Madi Atkins and  “The Blonde Vagabond” Jordyn Christine’s delightful adventure in the sunny islands of the Philippines.

As I flew over the crystal blue lagoons, islands of limestone covered in greenery, and small villages along the coast… I knew my first trip to the islands of the Philippines would be breathtaking. There is a subtle calmness to the islands that truly allows you to break through and be carefree.

Whether it’s the old tree swing that pushes you out over the water, the fresh cocktails served at a private beach bar on a tucked away island, or the feeling of adventure that rushes through you as you kayak the winding trails through the lagoons… there really is something for everyone to enjoy.

On our trip we went to Boracay and El Nido, with a quick layover in Cebu. All three destinations were vastly different while still only being a short 45-min flight apart. Boracay is full of amazing beaches, beachfront restaurants, and popping nightlife. We rented a luxury apartment at Under the Stars, and also stayed at the luxurious Pool Villa at the Mandala Spa and Resort. Although this island gets bad rap for being overly touristy in the main areas, you can still find laid back bohemian hideaways in the outskirts of the islands if you know where to look.

El Nido was my favorite island by far, as I found it a bit more undiscovered and wildly mesmerizing  We stayed on a private island resort called Cauayan, that was a perfect blend of the Maldives, Hawaii and the best of the Philippines. We did a day trip on a boat to the bays and lagoons, dined under the stars, and caught enough warms rays to perfect our golden tans.

One of the most unbelievable moments during our trip happened on a warm evening just after dark. We had drinks at sunset on another private island and were heading back to the resort for dinner. The ocean was glass, the moon barely visible, and a bright blanket of stars lit the way home. As the boat quietly guided through the water, I saw a green light… multiple flickers of green lights! In the wake of our boat, trailing behind us, flying out with every splash the boat made against the water. Suddenly it dawned on me, we were driving through a bioluminescent bay. So with thousands of stars lighting the sky and the green flickering light of the living organism in the water below, it was one if the most beautiful and memorable moments I’ve ever experienced while traveling.

While we had a solid 10 days in the Philippines, it was honestly not long enough. There is so much to see and do on the islands, I feel as though I have only scratched the surface. I know there is plenty more to be discovered and I can’t wait for the next trip back to the magical islands of the Philippines.


Photographer: Madi Atkins
Muse and words: Jordyn Christine