Disclaimer!! This entry is a bit long.. that’s how much we enjoyed our vacay in Boracay!!! I’ve divided it up into sections so that anyone who attempts to read it can just skip to whichever part they think is relevant 😛
The trip was totally unplanned but I had been yearning to go to the beach again. A beach far enough that we had to take a plane to get there. Thus, it was really a blessing when Espie’s colleague asked us if we wanted to use their gift certificates at The Sitio Boracay. It was a package for 3 days and 2 nights for two persons which included breakfast. It even included two plane tickets via Sea Air. Unfortunately there was a clause that we could only book a day before our intended flight so we booked with another airline instead. This looked to us like a very nice bargain so we grabbed the opportunity! We were off on our own again but not for want of trying. We invited numerous friends/family but no one wanted to join us. 😦 They all thought it was going to be our 2nd honeymoon. Ha!!
Anyway, we took an Air Philippines flight on the morning of April 16. We boarded the plane via Terminal 3 which was very, very impressive. Currently, I believe it just caters to local flights and a few flights to Singapore. I hope we will have international flights there soon because it is way better than Terminal 1! Taking us straight to Caticlan was a Bombardier Q300 plane.
I was a bit apprehensive that it might be a small plane. Good thing we had a very good pilot :). In less than an hour we were already in Caticlan. Right outside the airport is a ticket booth where one can pay for both the terminal fee and tricycle fare which takes you to the port. Once you reach the port you also pay an environmental fee and the boat fare to Boracay island. The ride to the island doesn’t take more than 20 minutes. Upon reaching the pier, tricycles are waiting to take you to your resort or wherever you want to go.
Our resort is located at Station 1 and is just behind the church. It’s very convenient in that it’s not at the beach front where all the parties are happening and it gets quite noisy at night but it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to walk to the beach. It has its own swimming pool and they only have 4/5 villas so its very private. By some stroke of luck we were given the biggest villa in the resort which was enough to fit 6 or 7 people. We had our own living room, with bar, a balcony overlooking the pool and even two queen-size beds all to ourselves (one inside the bedroom and another one in the loft). There was even a jacuzzi in our bathroom 🙂 Not to mention, free wi-fi! We really loved our stay there and the resort staff was very efficient and friendly.
We loved swimming in the pool during the day and night especially when they turned on the artificial waterfall. Their regular rates are quite expensive and we were very lucky to stay there for a fraction of the cost. For anyone who’s interested in trying out this resort, they have summer promos as well. Just check their site. We’re giving The Sitio a 5/5 🙂
The Food and Night Life
One never has to worry about food with all that Boracay has to offer. There are numerous restaurants and cafe’s on the beach (there’s even a Starbucks outlet) and you can choose depending on your budget.
Breakfasts was included in our resort package and we had the typical Filipino breakfast menu to choose from. These tasted good enough considering they had no in-house kitchen. I guess that’s the only drawback from the resort.
Believe it or not, it was my first time to try out Jonah’s milk shakes and I am proud to say I am addicted! When I was there the last time (which was around 2002), I don’t think it was as popular as it is now. But I’ve heard about it from so many people that I was eager to try it right away. On Day 1, we had our very first meal there. The food was okay and so was the price. But I think the real draw for the people is the different flavors of fruit shakes. These average at about PHP90 and are quite large. The banana choco-vanilla is definitely my fave.
Another Boracay staple is the Chorizo Burger and it was our first time to try it. This ended up being dinner on Day 1 combined with some chicken from Club Para since we weren’t that hungry. Must have been all the swimming and walking we did.
The Boracay experience would not be complete if we didn’t visit the clubs so on Day 1 we had our drinks at Club Para while Day 2 was spent at Guilly’s where we also tried their buffet dinner. Food at Club Para was so-so, but I loved their flavored margarita (more than Guilly’s version). We enjoyed eating at Guilly’s because there was so much variety and it was very, very cheap (about 300 PHP or less per person).
Who could forget about the beach?!? We are no strangers to the sun, sand and surf. Both Espie and I have been to numerous beaches in the country and Boracay still gets our vote for the best overall beach experience. The sand alone is unrivaled in the Philippines at the very least. It’s literally what you would call POWDER WHITE SAND. The nearest comparison would be to Polvoron (a powdered milk-based Filipino dessert). This is the only beach I’ve seen where people choose to carry their footwear just to walk barefoot on the sand even at high-noon. On any other beach, you wouldn’t even dare to step on the sand barefoot. It would just be too hot.
Another great thing about Boracay is that for most of the day, the water level in front of the white beach is quite shallow and swimmers can go quite far out into the water without fear of their safety. It’s quite ideal for children too. The turquoise waters are very clear and clean despite the algae which I think just adds to the overall charm of the island.
FUN Under The Sun
Right after checking into the resort, the very first thing I wanted to do was to get my henna tattoos. It’s really an art now and the tattoo artists are not just relying on patterns anymore, they are doing it free-style and they are very, very good. We tried out the tattoo artists over at Jonah’s and both Espie and I got two each. We got ours for about PHP 100 each. Next time I think I’ll try to have my hair braided Jamaican style 🙂
One of our favorite activities to do in Bora was to swim just as the sun is about to set. The sunsets in Boracay are beautiful! And you can enjoy it all while swimming in shallow water just so long as you can withstand the cold. 😛 Our resort is located very near the famous and scenic Willy’s Rock so it was only natural that we had “numerous” photos with it as a backdrop 😛
While waiting for the sun to set you can enjoy all the different activities going on around like the skim boarders and even frisbee-catching labrador retrievers 🙂 If only we could stay there forever. Bliss!
Boracay night life has also changed a lot in the last few years and enterprising locals have focused their talents into creating beautiful works of art through sand castles and sand art. How they do it is still a mystery to me. Some start creating their masterpieces as early as noon only to have them destroyed during the night and then start over again the next day. All this for small donations from the tourists.
One of the establishments has even showcased fire dancers in order to draw people in. It’s fun to watch but all too soon, people drift on to other things.
Early the next day, we decided to go island hopping (about PHP1500 if I remember correctly). We’d already tried that before (on separate trips) but we had never been to the Crystal Cove, so it wasn’t hard to decide where to go.
Unfortunately, it’s really not for us.. on the way there we came across really huge waves (I mean the ‘you can’t see the island you’re going to’ type of wave).. We’re used to going out on bancas but this was the very first time the boatmen decided to turn the banca around. Even they thought it was too high. Most of the other bancas following us turned around as well. Better luck next time.. Anyway, we just went snorkeling in another area. This didn’t turn out well either. The waves were really strong and it took all our might to hold unto the banca while in the water to keep from hitting the “katig” while trying to snorkel. Espie even became sea-sick.. (eww… hehe..) It wasn’t such a big loss though, Boracay is not that well known for snorkeling. We have other islands for that 🙂 But our tour guide took as to a very nice cove so we could swim for a bit.
We also wanted to try reef diving (ranging from 400 to 500 PHP) but after Espie’s episode in the boat, we chose to reserve that for our next visit along with the trip to Crystal Cove. Boracay also offers banana boat rides, flying fish, ATV (all-terrain vehicle) rides to the top of the mountain and sunset sailing but we chose to spend the last few hours we had just relaxing and shopping for pasalubong.
D’ Mall is so different from the way it looked the last time I was in Bora. Now it looks like something out of Ayala Center. There are a lot of restaurants and a lot of shops! It took as about two hours to navigate through all of it because we had to stop by to check them out. You can find almost anything you’re looking for plus more.
In the last seven years, there have been a lot of changes in Boracay. Now they even have NAWASA when before I had to take a shower using salt water. 🙂
People now have more fun activities to choose from and there are more commercial establishments now than ever before. I’m not sure if I like that or not. I hope that commercialization won’t go too far. Somehow, I think that people who call Boracay their home are trying their best to take care of their island. Let’s hope it stays that way.
That said, we’re ready to plan our next visit.. we love Boracay and we will be missing it until were back there again.