Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pebrero 1

Sabbath Day. I took President Amar and Mark Cabreros to Bugasong to work on their accounts and audit. It was a nice day, hot but windy. The noise outside was terrible; truck and buses passing and a guy across the street working on his motorcycle. Every few minutes he started the engine and ran the rpms up so high we could not hear testimonies.
This is the chapel at Bugasong. We had picked up the chairs and left a circle for the branch council to meet in a while.
 For some reason, ignorance of the handbook I expect, I was asked to bless and name two babies today. What a surprise, and it was an honor, but . . .

One little girl was there for confirmation. The counselor did that. As it turned out, the little girl and one of the babies' father was there. I asked the missionaries what priesthood the man held. They told me he was a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, but was less active. I told them that the father should have done all the ordinances and the next time there is any question to call me, or the mission president and get help, but the rule of thumb is the father will preside always in his family. We will teach the branch presidency and the missionaries at Zone Conference about this, so they really don't need to consult me or the mission pres. It is a good lesson for them, but I was sorry for the father. I was delighted to help and hold little baby boys, but I feel like a robber.
This is Francis Celestial. Named and blessed this morning.

This guy is Precy (pree cee) Roy Galecia. This is the guy whose father ought to have named and blessed him. His father promised me that he would be there and ready to baptize Precy.
Sister S fixed potatoes and meat balls for dinner to end our fast today. It was great. Now we hope to get some rest.

Last night, somewhere in the barangay, the music and bass drummed from 10 pm until about 5-5:15 this morning. I asked Pres. Amar if there are not ordinances to protect the citizens from such inconsiderate behavior. It seems that there is not, as long as the group has a license from the municipality to party or fiesta, they can disturb everyone else at will. Sucks, is the word. Anyway, we are worn out. It has been a good Sabbath.
Tomorrow, in America, is Tommy's Birthday. We wish him the best and we love and miss him and his family. I will slap it on facebook right now.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Paalam Enero

31 Enero . . . So long to a long month.
We have been doing very little after Wednesday, but yesterday we went to Iloilo to get groceries and have lunch with the Robinsons and Elder and Sister Cushing. We wanted to meet them and we had a nice lunch and visit.
Selfie, minus self. I like it that way.

The waiter took this one. We had a nice time and a great lunch.
We got home about 8:00 last night. The drive to Iloilo is getting more and more difficult, long, and boring. If one could catch more than glimpses of the ocean through the huts and trees, it would be a beautiful drive, but . . .
We saw President and Sister Aquino yesterday. President is feeling better, but he was pretty low because he received some negative criticism from Antique. I tried to bolster him some and wrote an e-mail to him last night. I hope he lets the criticism go over his head, forgetting all about the comments. They are of no account anyway.

He is a good Priesthood man, who wants the blessings the Lord has in store to be given to Antique, but until leaders become worthy and lead and magnify their callings, the blessings will be withheld (to the detriment of members). President Amar appears to be on the right track. . . There is no problem with Pres. Aquino, it is Antique leadership that is weak. President Aquino and Sister Aquino have a huge number of missionaries to watch over. It is unfortunate that adult leaders in Antique cause him any heart ache.

Today I went to the Binarayan track to meet the baseball team. We walked Thursday evening and met them at the fields. The coach asked me if I could help and I jumped at the chance. They practiced this morning. We worked on throwing, fielding, and hitting. The guys are from two area high schools and will play tomorrow in Sibalom. I am hoping the time will not conflict with church, but it probably will. It is okay. practicing with them is fun.
They practice on the soccer field at the track. I have seen no baseball fields anywhere, but they say there is on at the University in Sibalom

Semi-serious pic of the "Stealers" the name we decided upon. They are the Antique Stealers. (stealing bases)

When they wanted wacky (pronounced walk-ee in Filipino English) The coach is the man in the light blue cap, back row.
I taught them how to play "work-up". They have nobody close to compete with, so this little hitting competition is good and fun. I played with them from right field to hitting. They got me out and I was out of gas. We will practice again this afternoon at 3:00. Now this is missionary work I like. Still trying to rationalize it as mission work.

Tomorrow I take President Amar and Mark Cabreros to Bugasong to do more with the audit. I am hoping they can get the accounts reconciled for Bugasong to the satisfaction of the area.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Martes ang 27 Enero

Enero is about at an end. It has been an interesting few days.

Saturday we attended the baptism of Syrel Dalut, age 13 and Chiara Dalute, age 9, I believe. These are Dulito and Lily's girls. Dulito baptized them and they had a wonderful service, like it is supposed to be. Sister S and I are so pleased to see them build a Gospel Centered Family and proceed toward the temple and become an Eternal Family. The missionaries started teaching a their home some 10-12 months ago and we have had a small part in all of it. We will assist Dulito in saving money for the temple. That will happen after we leave, but as long as it happens . . .

Elders from left, Folsom and Soon taught the girls and many missionaries have been involved with the family over time .  . . Elder Alforque and Morgan when when we first got involved, Elder Fogavai and Morgan next, then Fogavai and Ananga, then Asuro and Ananga, then Asi and Orr, but I don't think they taught Daluts. Then came Folsom and Soon. So, many have been involved.
Sunday we went to church at Sibalom and saw the girls confirmed by their father and I got called upon to speak. I gave my "Keeper of the Stream" talk. It went fairly well.

I ragged the priesthood pretty well in that meeting, and asked them to repent. I expect they were offended, but . . . something has got to give. The members do absolutely nothing to retain, or rescue less actives. It is not unlike the other branches; all of them.

We did absolutely nothing Monday beside Sister S washing missionary clothing. Sister Sessions and I watched Elder Cook's talk from Conference Priesthood Meeting for FHE last night. It is funny that I don't remember the talk, but it was very powerful and I tried to share it on Facebook, but I had technical difficulties. It didn't happen.

This morning we went to District Meeting and we had a pretty good meeting. Elder Orr taught about having the Spirit when we teach and the role of The Spirit in conversion. Sister S went for cake to celebrate Sister Haun's birthday. It was fun.

President Amar and I went to the jail to visit/teach Joseph. I was asked at the front door for my identification and my age. I was shocked to hear myself say, "67". Whoa! 

The guys at jail gave me the remaining coin purses I had made for the grand kids and a small picture frame Joseph made for me out of sugar cane stalks. It is way cool. I hope to paint a few tiny watercolors, or oils, to fit the frame.

We received permission from the warden to go teach at the jail on Fridays from 9-11. I think the young Elders are a little afraid of the place, but President Amar and I can go, or we can go with the Elders. I look forward and have been preparing a lesson for the the first go, "The Plan Of Salvation" video and the first half of the lesson from PMG. It ought to be great and I think the men at the jail will like it too.

We pray for Zach Bruneel and ask that The Lord will bless him and his family. We pray he will get well and that his family will be strengthened in the interim. It is an opportunity for ward members to serve.

Tomorrow we go with the Elders to visit James Brugato at noon. He has a new baptism date of February 7. We pray for him and look forward to having a great time with the Elders visiting him.

I am way excited about teaching in the jail. They are my kind of guys. . . At least I feel comfortable with them. The Lord loves a sinner and loves to bring them back to sit in the "sheep seats", gets? Couldn't help myself. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Miyercoles ang 21 Enero

Pretty busy day. I did linguahe study with Pres. Amar, then we picked up Pres. Villavert and drove to Bugasong to train Pres. Tandoy. I sat in the car and read the Old Testament and drew some in my sketchbook. They took a long time. We went to the Island Choice resto for lunch after.

Pres. Amar knows a lot about old TV from the U.S. And we had fun talking about old cowboy shows as we drove back to San Jose. He wondered if Arizona was really like the movies, with swinging saloon doors and unfriendly comments to "strangers". Sister S and I went walking a little after arriving home.
President Tandoy on the left. Pres. Villavert center and Pres. Amar right.
Freshly planted rice paddies next to Pres. Tandoy's house. Pretty day. . . A bit warm, but not like it is going to be. We received a nice note from Sister Gingery. Always fun to hear from her.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Martes, araw 20, Enero

We met Robinsons at the mission home yesterday to test 8 missionaries. We picked up 4, two companionships, on the way in. We got there on time, but then the WiFi was down and we had all sorts of problems getting the laptops up and going, so we started testing one hour late. We were all day long.

When we got there, the office missionaries were changing a tire on one of their vehicles. Elder Seeds and Swan were deeply into it, on the ground in their white shirts and ties. Other missionaries were playing basketball out front, a normal P-day activity. Seeds and Swan must have been in the barrel.

Elder Oliver, Elder Guzman's companion checking on Elder Seeds' work.
We tested until almost 2:30, then went to the Atrium for lunch. We had the best meal since coming to the Philippines. I had pumpkin soup, a greek salad, and some sort of fish (a gamble that paid off) and a lime/mango float. Sister S had carbonara (sp?), which is a penne pasta dish. We really enjoyed it and so did Robinsons.

We stayed at the Urban Sands Motel last night. It was great. We had breakfast and it was excellent too. I can't believe it myself. I wanted to stay a few more days. We will go back. The service was great and it was clean and the beds were super.

We got to Zone Conference at 8 and got in the photographs and the instruction was pretty good all sessions.
Elder Cabatauando. He goes home next week. We met him and taught with he and Elder Christensen when we first came. We had some fun times. He will be missed.

Elder Seeds studying the zone photograph during morning break.
We were going to back up-town and get a few things, but we decided to give 4 Sisters a ride back to San Jose to save them a few pesos. We had fun visiting with them on the way back. We are pooped out from the sitting and traveling, but it was a good time and we found a good place to stay and eat when we travel to Iloilo. I didn't think we ever would.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Biyernes ang 16

Nothing much happening today. I got up early and read the BoM. I was reading in Mosiah 1:2 about King Benjamin's sons being taught by their father, or he caused them to be taught, in all the language of the past fathers that thereby they might become "men of understanding." Because of their learning, they would understand the prophesies and words of the Lord. "Men of understanding," stuck in my mind. I remembered reading about Jewish teaching regarding "men of understanding."

Rabbi Jose’ ben Chlafta:  “A certain matron was arguing with the Rabbi on the point of God giving wisdom to ‘men of understanding’. This, she thought, was paradoxical, as it would be more proper if God granted wisdom to simpletons, who are more in want of it than wise men.

Rabi Jose’ put a simple question to her, ‘If two men were to appear before you, one wealthy and one poor, each asking you for a loan of money, whom would you be more inclined to trust?’
‘Surely the one possessed of wealth’, she replied.

‘God in His dispensation’, said Rabbi Jose’, ‘giveth wisdom to the man of understanding, who possesses and knows the value of it, and will make profitable use of the augmentation; like the man you would prefer to trust with your money, knowing that he has facilities to employ profitably what you lend him; whereas, a fool entrusted with wisdom would abuse the precious gift and convert it to folly, like the poor man whom you would not care to trust, lest the money should be lost through his inability to employ it profitably.” 

This reminds me of teaching people simply, milk before meat, Gospel Essentials before Gospel Doctrine . . . 
I would like to be a man of understanding and I hope my children are men of understanding (using "men" here to cover all my human progeny, man, woman, children . . . men.) So, when we hear wisdom, we understand and can put the wisdom to good use. Here is some:

God lives, Jesus is the Christ, God the Holy Ghost administers to us on the Earth. We have prophets in our midst who are definitely men of understanding. Father give them His words and they share with those who will listen and profit from them, "ears to hear."  As the world continues to slide further away from God, let us draw closer to Him by keeping His commandments, by obedience to His words and prophets, by keeping ourselves qualified to partake of the Sacrament and attend His Holy Temples. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Huebes ang 15 sa Enero

We went to Sibalom to start apartment checks this morning at 8:00. We had a good time and the Elder's apartments were pretty much excellent. Sister S gave all of them a bag of cookies, their choice between Chips Ahoy and Oreos.

We traveled to Bugasong, then to Tibiao and on to Culasi. We had lunch at Mama Mia's and it was a good one. It was the best we have had there, or I was particularly hungry, or both.

It has been a nice day. I read that a storm was coming, a baggio, but it has not shown yet. The report also said it might turn north and not come to Philippine land. There were some major clouds building over the mountains, but no rain or wind. I like the rain and wind to cool the place down.

At Mama Mia's. It is actually the first time since we have been here that I wished I had my shorts to go swimming. The water looked so clean and inviting up this far north.

Light day. Usually the jeepney would be squatted down with people stacked all over the top and inside. Pretty colorful rig though, so I snapped it off.

We tried texting to arrange for Sister Malarga to go teaching with the San Jose Sisters soon, but there is such a language barrier that I am not sure what is what. We will keep trying. She doesn't report to the mission home and the MTC until the 29th, so there is time. She is a sweetheart and she will be a fine missionary.

Finished reading 2 Nephi 25 to the end yesterday. What powerful chapters. Today I started into Jacob, only reading to the end of Chapter 3. It was sort of strange to spend all that time with the Prophet Nephi and then to have him die so suddenly. Jacob 1:12 . . ."And it came to pass that Nephi died." That's it.

It came to me, dense as I am, that in Jacob Chapter 3, the "pure in heart" are sometimes vile sinners. But they have a heart that feels and ears to hear. And, "The pure in heart receive the pleasing word of God." (Summary note at the beginning of chapter 3.) When they do, they make changes, or in another words, they repent, and keep receiving the pleasing word of God. His words become delicious to them.

 Pure in heart does not necessarily mean clean hands and a proper prior life. It is fun to meet a person with a pure heart. They recognize the Gospel immediately, the "pleasing word of God." And we know that the Lord has been watching for them to come unto Him. He loves the pure in heart and I believe he is overjoyed when He sees them accept His Doctrine. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday ang 13 Enero

This morning I read 2nd Nephi for about an hour before we went to the district meetings. Only we and the Dao Elders were on time. I was fried. They asked me to do the handbook presentation. I took them to the bottom of page 13 . . . regarding time. I told them that I knew they thought I was a crusty old grumpy guy, but that the church does not work being late for everything. I asked them to start being examples of being on time for everything, church, appointments, baptisms . . .

The FM has been working on the San Jose Chapel. This morning they were painting the steeple.
Sister S and I had little to do today. We talked about problems . . . that is an everyday thing. I wish we could come up with solutions, but that is up to leaders. Until then, I guess we will struggle along and try to sustain our leaders the best we can.

We went to Chow King for lunch. I overdid it on rice. I have to back off that stuff. The guy who washed the car today told me I was "Chubby" as he patted my gut after I gave him his tip. We laughed, but he is right. The rice has got to be the culprit, but I am limited here.

We walked at Hamtic this evening. It was pretty warm and the tide was way in. There is a baggio coming in from the East. The weather ought to be very pleasant for the next week. The temperatures are supposed to be down in the high 70's. The humidity will still be high. The wind is supposed to reach as high as 19 mph. It will be a sweet week for being outdoors. The rain will likely be intermittent.
Selfie as we started out our walk.

On the way back, we ran into these little beans and I had to photograph them and and the guy who was watching over them. They loved it and thanked my for taking their picture . . . I wonder why. I thanked them.

Not much going on tomorrow, at all. I do have a linguahe lesson with Pres. and I have written my assignment, which I know will be full of errors. We will do apartment checks Thursday and Saturday we have meetings with the Self-Reliance Missionaries. We look forward.

Monday, January 12, 2015

P-Day ang 12Enero

Dead day. We got up and had a good walk at he Binarayan track. It is a provincial facility with a concrete floor gym for basketball and a soccer field and several outdoor courts for basketball, tennis, volleyball and badminton (weird spelling). The track was very nice, at one time. It is rubberized, but it has been torn and mis-treated over time. The folks living around the track like to burn garbage in the mornings, so it is often unpleasant. This morning it was bad. 

had my linguahe lesson with Pres. Amar and we had a good discussion about why branch presidents and bishops have to visit the members in their boundaries and get to know the people so they can approve home teaching assignments and watch over their flock. Until Antique has this kind of leadership they will never be a stake. It all starts with leadership...

Sister S did laundry for the Sisters today. I painted for a few minutes. We went to lunch at Santiago's. A bunch of Elders came in and decided the prices were too high for their budgets. We offered to sponsor lunch, but they turned us down. We have never had that happen before, anywhere. Not sure why. . . They may not like us, they weren't thinking clearly, they were shy, or ???

We took a nap, we read the BoM, and that is it. BORING.....

Oops. Wishful thinking/dreaming.
San Remigio
Road by the San Jose Missionary apartments. I may try a watercolor of this. Tomorrow we have district meeting and I will get the truck washed. That is about it for plans beside study. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

11 Enero

Sunday Afternoon.

It has been a fairly uneventful week. I finished a couple of paintings that I liked. We exercised 4 days. We attended meetings and went with the missionaries to teach James.  I studied Tagalog three mornings and learned a bit, but I can't remember what I studied before . . . so I can't say I learned. (No memory, no learning)We hauled district leaders to interview a baptism candidate whose parent won't allow the baptism. We started apartment checks with Dao, Hamtic, and San Jose. We will go again Thursday to Sibalom, Bugasong, Tibiao and Culasi. I went to Bugasong with President Amar and Brother Mark Cabreros to church. Sister S went to San Jose.

We look forward to a restful afternoon and evening. This coming week we have a few things lined-up, but not much. We will do English testing, a big zone conference at the mission home, apartment checks in Iloilo, and whatever else we can squeeze in . . . James we hope.

Adding a few pictures. I may already have put some of these on, but I am not going to check. Some are new.
Elders Nocom and Suerte. Elder Suerte, right, is going home this next transfer, about two weeks. We will miss him. We think Elder Nocom may be transferred out because he has been in Dao for quite a while. We will definitely miss him too. Two good men.

From the left: Elder Tracy, Elder Borboran, Elder Chapman and Elder Tolentino. Four more good guys.

From left: Sister Smith, Sister Haun, SisterFantone and Sister Cristano. They are great and after teaching here in San Jose. Serious Sister missionaries

Zone Leaders, Elder Panganiban and Elder Ramos. Elder P is going home soon, in Elder Suerte's batch and Elder Ramos has been here for some time. We shall see what happens at transfer. Two more good men. Elder Panganiban loves purple and is a lot of fun and he is very kind.

Christmas tree decoration in Hamtic Plaza. Sister S took this, thinking it was pretty unusual . . .  She is right.

It's a fourple. Not a big thing here, but I snapped it quick last evening while we waited for missionaries to give them a lift to San Jose.

I have been enjoying my BoM study. In 2 Nephi. I really like that book. It is full of meat. I love the Song/Psalm of Nephi, 2 Nephi 4: 17 thru 35. These verses make me feel closer to Nephi as he describes his very human feelings of being easily set upon by sin. He is such a hero that I can only be in awe of him, but he describes human weakness. Then, he counts his blessings and his knowledge of the Atonement and says, ". . . why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow . . . " Because of the Atonement, verse 26, "And why should I yield to sin . . . why should I give way to temptations . . . " Then in verse 27, "Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin . . ." Because of the Savior, we can move forward always, why droop in sin and sorrow. We can repent. Thanks oh my Father in Heaven for the Plan of Salvation, for The Savior's key role, for repentance, for mercy and long suffering.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Martes ang 6 Enero

Zone Conference today. It was good and we had a good time. I am having a harder time hearing lately. My ears feel sort of wide open, with stuff behind the ear drum and I hear everything, loud and mixed. If more that one persons speaks at a time, I am lost.

The missionaries now are mostly Elders and Sisters who came in under President Aquino's leadership. They are now very loyal to him. We saw the same sort of thing occur in Alabama with President Tate and President Holzapfel. It is human nature I suppose. It is a good thing. Now, and for the next 18 months as well, all the missionaries will be Aquino led.

We tested three Filipino Elders in English today. They enjoyed coming over and Sister S made sloppy joes and pineapple and her good potato slices in mushroom sauce and miner's cake. We had some cans of Shasta, which was a hit. Sister S fit them up with bags of sugared peanuts and they went away happy. We will miss these guys as they leave in three weeks for home.
From left rear to right: Elder Comilang, Elder Chapman, Elder Coronel, Elder Tracy, Elder Folsom, Elder Kellerstrass, Elder Swanton, Elder Larson, Elder Robertson, Elder Orr . . .  Left Middle: Elder Nocom, Elder Tolentino, Sister Fantone, Sister Haun, Sister Sessions, Elder S, Sister Smith, Sister Crisanto, Elder Suerte, Elder Daniel . . . Left front: Elder Ramos, Elder Estrada, Elder Soon, Elder Borboran, Elder Olivar, Elder Egama, Elder Capulac and Elder Panganiban. 

I guess the last picture is usually wacky. Wish I had known so I could have gotten wacky with them.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Lunes ang 5 Enero

I was up about 4:45 this morning. I could not sleep. I suppose I went to bed too early last evening. We walked this morning and talked with June and his wife. June is an officer in the Salvation Army here in San Jose. He is really a nice man. I wish he weren't attached, but it is a good organization and they do much good in the world.

We came home and I studied Tagalog for a while before Pres. Amar came and we did my lesson. It was pretty fun, but we have not met for two weeks and I was pretty rusty already. It went okay.

After the lesson, we drove to Iloilo for supplies. We went to Robinson's and to SM. We tried to hit the Atrium, but the traffic in Iloilo proper was at a stand still. I was pretty frustrated, but we drove out to SM and had lunch at the Moon Cafe. It is supposed to be Mexican food, but . . .  not even close. We had a good enough lunch and we went to the grocery store in SM and got a few things, then headed for home. We got back into the house at about 6:45.

Tomorrow we have zone conference. The zone leaders texted and asked Sister S to do the presentation from the handbook and they asked that I wear a long sleeve white shirt with the rest of the Elders. I don't know why, and I don't like to, but I agreed. After the conference, we have three missionaries coming over to the house to do English testing. I am praying the computer will serve and that all will go well.

Few pics from today:
Chungi in Oton. I am going to do a little project painting sari sari stores and see how that turns out. This one looked colorful.

Fruit stand along the way outside Oton. There is another, like a mirror image across the street which would be to the right of this pic. It is pretty colorful too, so  . . . . I wonder why "Medicus".

Saturday, January 3, 2015

3 Enero 2015

Sabado evening, about 4:30. We had Cluster Meeting at San Jose Chapel today. President Aquino and President Villoso came over from Iloilo with Sister Aquino, to meet with leadership and train and interview. The meetings started late about 20 minutes and there was only one branch president and one high counselor and the district presidency in attendance. I was actually ill, thinking they would not be coming. They started trickling in and after about an hour, all the branch presidents were there and a good many others in leadership. Embarrassing to see them all late, but I was so happy to see they came. Unfortunately, they missed a lot of good basic training that they all so desperately need.

Sister Aquino met and trained the Relief Society, Young Women's leaders and Primary presidencies. Sister Sessions said the meeting was pretty good. Ours was as well.

President Aquino mostly used videos to train, but they were great and they gave a good example of how the Church/presidents/bishops/leaders operate correctly. Now, if the Presidents will use the videos (they all received a copy) and their handbooks, and do . . .  the place can get off the ground floor. Ezekiel 3411, 15-56 tell how the Lord does His visiting. It is the same for our leaders. Visiting 1 on 1 and strengthening each other. I throw in Luke 15 (parables) to emphasize how the Lord feels about lost ones.

This afternoon, Pres. Aquiono set up interviews with branch presidents. I think that was a great idea. Hoping they went well. Hopefully, something will come of it. There is a base, but the Church in Antique is simply not functioning. President Aquino was pretty blunt in placing responsibility on leadership. We are praying for it to work. I do feel so much better today after being in the church for training and seeing my brothers and sisters there. I have been pretty down.
Plaza Christmas Tree in the barangay Malay on the way to Boracay. The bells are all baskets. Sister S. liked all the Christmas decorations around the island.

Sister S checking out sand sculptures on the beach in Boracay. All the sculptures were the same it turned out. They all just said Boracay January 1, 2015.

This is off the northwest shore out of Buruanga. It was windy and stormy. I tried to capture the rainbow over the horizon. The water was about 6-10 inches deep from the edge all the way out to where the waves were curling. Very pretty sights.

One finds chess games all over. It is very popular here. These men were playing in a little alley off the beach in Boracay. We have seen games going on in waiting sheds along the highway, outdoor markets and restos, all over.

Just a gang shot of folks walking along the strand above the beach. There are all sorts of people hustling sun glasses, selfie rods, massages food, trinkets, art (mostly caricatures) and anything else they can think of to make a few pesos. There are bars and restos and really nice hotels and resorts. One can rent motorcycles, get a ride on a sailboat, go diving or just sight seeing on a pumpboat.  It is the off season, so I imagine the place gets way crowded come summer (March)