Showing posts with label Boracay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boracay. Show all posts

Friday, July 5, 2013

Boracay: The Party Island. And The Best Place To Walk on a Beach

July 05, 2013 6
Morning walk in Boracay


Gorgeous tropical environment, stunning coastline, sparkling water, romantic sunset, fun-filled daytime activities by the sea and vibrant night life, where else to experience all of it in the Philippines?

At the dazzling island of Boracay!

Unlike other beach resorts in the Philippines where visitors only enjoy the beauty of the seaside at day time, Boracay offers a unique experience of fun and adventure even at night time. 

Crystal cove during our island hopping

As the sun dramatically goes down, Boracay springs to life and visitors are treated to an ultimate party adventure. 

I'm not a party girl and I hate night life, I don't like staying up late and I detested liquors and cigarettes but during my Boracay trip, I enjoyed watching the crowd at night time. 

The laughter. The vigour. The vibes. I had fun watching people dancing, exchanging pleasantries, laughing and singing along. 

Morning grind in Boracay


So many tourists from diverse cultural background fidgeted the area!! It looks like Ibiza, a beach party destination in Spain frequently visited by famous celebrities and European royals.

I have been into many islands and beach resorts in the country, in fact seaside is no longer a stranger to me because I grew up in the coastal area of Surigao del sur at the outskirt of Mindanao peninsula, but nothing knocks the splendor and magnificence of Boracay. 

Truly impressive!!

So why I love Boracay? I figured, it’s not just about the island’s sun-kissed shoreline, ivory sand and crystal-clear water, but more about fun and discoveries, the exciting activities at daytime and lively scene at night time, the sugary sand, the sunset and the energy! 

Simply the best of both worlds!

Banana boat ride 

For three days and two nights it felt like I was in a completely different world, no worries, no concerns, no tension, I relished every moment of pleasure and freedom. 

It's good to think life one at a time. I had this very amazing, really incredible experience of fun and leisure. A million thanks to my very generous long-time friend, Anelyn Arcon, for sponsoring this once-in-a-lifetime moment of bonding at this world-class beach resort.

Planning Our Boracay Trip

This travel was almost impossible because of the stormy weather that the country had experienced over the last week of June. 

We originally wanted to travel via 2Go at the Batangas port to Caticlan, but due to the low pressure forecast, we did not push through, too risky. 

Strolling around the White Beach, Boracay


We waited for another day. On July 1, the weather had improved so we immediately checked the promo rates of Zest Air, luckily for us, the airline offered a cheaper rate.

Entering Boracay!

We boarded Zest Air from Manila to Kalibo, Aklan last July 2, the air travel took only 45 minutes. I was quite surprise with the runway of the Kalibo International Airport, so narrow and rocky, felt like I was riding a bus.
At the Kalibo International Airport disembarking from Zest Air


Caticlan airport, which is nearer to Boracay, also serves commercial flights but the airfare is quite expensive so we chose the Kalibo route.

After disembarking from the aircraft, we proceeded to the arrival section of the airport, we looked around where to catch a ride for Caticlan. 

Along the exit area, travelers have lots of options to choose, either ride a bus or hire a van or  a package of van plus boat transfer, we chose the latter because it was more convenient (Php250.00 each person for this package).

At the Caticlan jetty port, we paid P100 for terminal fee and P75.00 for environmental fee. The boat ride took only 10 minutes. 

After disembarking off the boat, we hired a multi-cab from the port to reach the beach area (fare is approximately P100.00 each) where we still need to scout for accommodations.

We did not book a hotel prior to our travel. 😄

Villa de Oro at station 2

There was a man we met named Sonny who worked for the tourism department of the local government and whose job is to help assist visitors. 

He guided us from the van to the Caticlan port and to Boracay, he also helped us find hotel because we did not book online. He brought us to Villa de Oro at station 2 located at the beachfront besides La Carmela. 

One good advantage of not booking online is that you still have options where to stay the moment you arrive. But this is only applicable during low season. If it's peak season, it will be difficult to look for a vacant place to stay.

Villa de Oro loft


We visited La Camela first but it was already full so Sonny introduced us to another villa. Since it was no longer a peak season, resorts at Boracay offered promotional packages to visitors who will book personally. 

We got a cheaper rate at Villa de Oro. 

Villa de Oro accommodation

We stayed in a loft style villa good for 6 people, it has an original rate of Php7,000.00 and it was given to us for only Php 4,800.00, the package included breakfast and dinner.

Mongolian buffet at Villa de Oro

We were amused with the villa's Mongolian buffet at dinner time because we're the one to choose and mix our vegetables and noodles. 

During our first night, it was truly an adventure. We mixed whatever ingredients displayed at the counter and brought it to the waiting chef and puff! the taste was strange! 

At breakfast time we had two choices: Filipino and American starters and I tried both starters for two mornings.

American style breakfast at Villa de Oro


Day 1: Watersports Activities, Island Hopping

Not being able to book a tour package to Boracay posed no problem to us. During day time, plenty of vendors/agents offering island hopping and other activities crowded the beachside.

They will offer competitive activities and prices. Travelers have different options to choose.

The usual package offered by the locals:

Activities                   Rate             Duration

Island hopping    Php 1,200.00      3 hours (rate of one boat per group)
Snorkeling          Php    120.00      30 minutes
Helmet Diving    Php     700.00      15 minutes
Banana Boat      Php     500.00      15 minutes
Para sailing        Php 1,500.00       15 minutes  

We chose three activities: 
  • Island hopping, Helmet diving and Banana Boat. 
  • It costs us around Php 1,371.00 each. 
  • The island hopping lasted 3 hours, we passed at the crocodile island and disembarked at the crystal cove where we hopped in and spent lunch. 
  • We resumed the tour after lunch. The island hopping was followed by Banana boat ride and Helmet diving.
At the crystal cove along Ilig-iligan beach during our island hopping
Lunch time at Crystal Cove

Banana boat

Fabulous! For moderate adventurers like me who cringed on extreme adventure and death-defying watersports, banana boat is a perfect adventure to choose. 

Banana boat ride

It's just purely fun, swishing around the sea water with inflated banana thing being pulled by a raging speed boat. I screamed on top of my lungs!

Helmet Diving

Yeah, this is somewhat a daredevil water adventure and I would never want to do it again. Ever! That was so scary!

The scary helmet diving

There was a quick orientation before going down the water but felt like the lecture did not sink in my scared brain. It's so scary because you have to go down to the deep blue water wearing a pressurized helmet, a slight error can be very fatal. 

I was so nervous that I did not immediately catch the instruction so I kept on asking my companions about those critical reminders.

It was really terrifying! 

Fish feeding under water

When it was our turn to go down, I hesitated at first but because it was non-refundable I forced myself to calm down and control my fears. 

Honestly, despite the orientation, I was oblivious what to do so when the helmet was put on my head scare for my safety stroke in my mind, I gripped hardly on the iron handle and did not release my hand so the diver pulled my body down and gently guided me. 

It was terrible because the helmet was so heavy and it felt like my eardrums were about to explode due to pressure! I was holding my breath and struggled to touch my feet on the sea bed. 

But when I saw Anelyn smiled and gestured the “OK” sign, I released a deep sigh of relief and slowly smiled back and realized it's safe to breath underwater hehe!

The diver had to pull us together constantly because we kept on moving due to the strong current of water and we could not be put together for the picture and video taking.

We were given slices of bread to feed the fishes but I was not concentrating, I was thinking more of going up back to the boat. 

We did not consume the 15 minutes, it was too much for our nervous system so I touched Anelyn's hand to send a signal to the diver to pull us up. 

Once back to the boat we could not help ourselves but poke fun with each other and laughed hardly on our bloopers!

Night Life in Boracay

Boracay is known as a party beach island.

At night time, the white beach springs to life. Blasting sound system tears the night.  Tourists packed the bar lounges and street enjoying the music, the food, drinks, partying until early dawn. 

Fire dance at night time


Yeah it was so vibrant, full of energy. The crowd is restless and foreigners enjoy the night, but we did not savor this moment anyway.

After walking around, observing people, watching the fun and scrutinizing the area, we went back to the villa and retired to bed.

Day 3

We're scheduled to leave the island at 1:00 after lunch. So the morning on our third day was just relaxing at the room.

Quick dip in the morning of our day 3


But I chose to do another morning walk along the shoreline, and a quick dip at the calm water. Morning in the white beach is not really as lively during afternoon and night time.

Guests seem still sleeping. Only few are strolling in the beach area. But I love the calmness of this scenario. It gives me more space to enjoy some quiet moment in the beach.

We left the island at 1:30 in the afternoon.

Photos of our Boracay trip

1. Walk on a Beach





2. Beach fun and bonding






3. Island Hopping




4. Island Strolling





Budget

For visitors who dreamed to experience the best of Boracay choose hotels or villas from station one or station two, these are nearer to party junctions, restaurants and shopping destinations plus the scene at night is more fascinating and exciting.

Here's my itemized cost for each person based on our trip:

1. Roundtrip airfare from Manila to Kalibo (Zestair promo rates)  Php 1,656.00
2. Van plus boat transfer package from Kalibo to Caticlan            Php    250.00
3. Terminal Fee (from Caticlan jetty port to Boracay)                  Php    100.00
4. Environmental Fee (one time only)                                         Php      75.00
5. Accommodation (Villa de Oro) loft style villa good for 6           Php 1,600.00
6. Lunch at Crystal Cove                                                           Php     200.00
7. Island Hopping                                                                      Php     200.00
8. Banana boat ride                                                                   Php     500.00
9. Helmet diving                                                                       Php     700.00
10. Meals (for three days)                                                         Php     600.00
11. Multicab fare (from the port to Boracay and vice versa)         Php     200.00                        
12. Boat transfer (to Caticlan port)                                             Php       25.00
13. Terminal Fee - port (yes, you have to pay twice)                   Php     100.00
14. Van (from Caticlan to Kalibo)                                              Php      175.00
15. Terminal Fee (airport)                                                         Php        40.00
16. Shopping for souvenirs                                                        Php      700.00

TOTAL: Php 7,121.00 each person

Back to Manila

boarding Zest Air going back to Manila
At the Kalibo International Airport @ 4:00 am 

We left Boracay on the 4th of July at 5:00 in the afternoon and traveled back to Kalibo for our flight back to Manila. The moment we arrived at the Caticlan airport thunderstorm greeted us, it was so awful, the weather turned pretty bad.

We rested at the nearby restaurant in Kalibo and went to the airport at 4:00 in the early morning. We had no sleep but still energetic when we boarded Zest Air back to Manila at 6:00 on the morning! Such a spectacular, relaxing experience at Boracay!

Thanks to Anelyn Arcon!!!

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