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The blue dot (click image to see it) marks the Philippines, southeast of China and just north of Malaysia and Indonesia. We flew 14 hours from JFK in New York to Narita airport in Tokyo. After a short layover, we flew on to Manila, a five hour flight. On the first leg, flying a great circle route, we were over the frozen subarctic and Arctic for much of the trip: there was a forbidding view out of the window.
Our final destination was in the island of Panay, in the Visayan Islands in the central Philippines (marked by the blue dot).
Map showing more detail. island of Luzon in the north, home of the capital of the Republic, Manila. The large island in the south is Mindanao, populated by a large Muslim population. The Visayan Islands are in the middle of the Philippine archipelago. Here is located the island of Panay, our final destination, as well as other islands of interest, e.g., Leyte - where MacArthur made his famous "I shall return" landing during WW II, and Cebu, former home of a large U.S. naval base.
From Manila, we flew to the Island of Panay - an approximately a 45 minute flight. By the time we got to Banga, we had been traveling for two days, with approximately 20 hours of that in the air.
The green lines demarcate different provinces: Aklan, Capiz, Iloilo, and Antique. The island is said to be shaped like a chicken with Aklan being at the beak. Note the resort island of Boracay, maked with a red asterisk *.
Closer view of the region of Aklan which we visited. Locations are highlighted on the next map. Our final destination, Not quite equatorial, Banga, is 11° 38' N, 122° E. It is about ½-way around the earth. Across the International Date Line, add 13 hours to EST to get the local time in the Philippines (12 hr. when on daylight savings time).
We landed in Kalibo, the capital of the province. The family home is in Banga. We traveled to Libacao via motorcycle along the Aklan River and to the resort Island of Boracay, via highway to Caticlan and a short boat ride to Boracay.
Satellite view of Boracay just off the tip of Panay Island. Boracay is part of the province of Aklan. Andre' Salvador has posted nice pictures from the Philippines, including Boracay and other areas in Aklan. (Satellite view from Google.)