Speaking of beach getaways -- I was pretty blessed to be able to go to the coolest summer destination in the country last year -- this is the beautiful island of BORACAY. Not only was I able to visit it once for my honeymoon, I returned for a brief stay a few days before we bit 2010 goodbye. The vibe and weather was different when I first went there in July and returned in December.
For one thing, the island was more quiet during July with windbreakers lining up the shoreline. It somehow ruins the beauty of the island. I also noticed that there were a lot of algae during my first visit which I do not like the sight and feel of whereas none was seen last December. However, it was way more crowded and harder to grab a table last December as it seems like half of the Metro Manila population all decided to spend their holiday in Boracay too. Each has its good and bad points but whatever your preference may be, rest assured Boracay has a lot to offer to its visitors.
Let me share with you TEN amazing things you should not miss when in Boracay:
1) Get sporty!!!
There are a lot of water sports that you can do and you surely won't miss it as a lot of manongs will come up to you offering to take you on an island hopping tour or down to the ocean floor for some reef walking.
It was my first time to ride a jet ski and boy was a terrified but the experience after left me speechless. It was amazing! My sister, the pro, took care of maneuvering the jet ski and we went around faster and farther compared to when I tried driving once.
For those who are not that adventurous, why not join an island hopping tour that would take you to the neighboring islands around Boracay. Paul and our companions were able to snorkel and feed the fish. The underwater view was amazing according to Paul. He even saw Dory and Nemo!
I enjoyed our stop at Puca Beach which was very quiet and the water was peaceful. However, you can see the stark contrast of these islands to the very commercialized side of Boracay.
2) Spot a sand art
Around 5PM you'll notice that a lot of locals will start working their creativity on the sand with their unique and artistic sand arts. Some would build castles while even little ones know how to carve out cute characters such as turtles and flowers. Pay a little price as your way of appreciating their hard work and have your picture taken for souvenir-sake.
3) Take a stroll down the white sandy beach
This is what continue to make Boracay famous -- its powdery white sand. I hope the next generation will still be able to enjoy this. I enjoy spending my mornings walking the entire stretch of the shoreline. It's the best way to lose all the calories gained from the delicious food in the island and a good time to just reflect and be thankful for your countless blessings. :)
4) Visit D'Mall
No visit to Boracay would be complete without visiting D'Mall. Located right at the heart of Station 2, this is the place where you can find basically all the things you need. From water to food, from medicines to an extra sarong, there are plenty of stores in D'Mall where you can shop to your hearts content.
I love visiting D'Mall to shop for gifts to take home to Manila with me. There are also a lot of restaurants here but since visitors would tend to hang out here, best to come early to be able to grab a table.
5) Lie in the sand and daydream
This is the reason why I love to visit Boracay -- it's really the place where I can chill out and relax. Forget all the worries and just enjoy the sun while daydreaming. A friendly tip though, don't forget to put on some sunblock lotion before sunbathing unless you want to end up looking like a burnt lobster on your way back to Manila. Believe me, I learned it the hard, painful way.
6) Eat a Chori-burger
This is one island snack that you can't find elsewhere. It's Boracay's very own choriburger. Finding one is easy, most carts come out around the time the sun sets and you'll be able to score yourself a meaty sandwich filled with sweet chorizo or longganisa (sausage) grilled to perfection. Never leave Boracay without this!
7) Have a Romantic Buffet Dinner by the Beach
Don't know what to have for dinner? Indulge in a seafood buffet where you can enjoy the freshest catch in the island. Thanks to my sister and her friends, Paul and I were able to enjoy a delicious seafood dinner at SeaWind Resort.
See those prawns? HUGEEEEE!!!
8) Watch the Fire Dancers
There's really a lot of attractions happening in Boracay day and night. As the sun goes down, brave dancers will begin to bring out their gears and dance the night away while twirling their poi that's blazing in fire. You can have a photo op with them too!
9) Show some Boracay L♥ve
Show some love by buying these Island Souvenir shirts that's specifically made and is only available in Boracay. Just like the ever-famous Starbucks City Mugs, these shirts are indeed collectible too. Wear them with pride as you enjoy your day in the island.
10) Party the night away!
As the saying goes, whatever happens in Boracay, stays in Boracay. Well, we can all unwind, enjoy a drink or two, dance the night away but let's all still drink and party safely ok? Enjoy the crowd, mingle with new friends and hey, maybe you'd bump into a celebrity or two! Whatever happens, make this the best vacation as you truly deserve it!
No wonder no one tires of visiting Boracay. It still has its magic and with everyone's help I hope our future children will also be able to enjoy it as much as we all did. Let's keep the island clean!
How to get to Boracay:
Boracay is easily accessible via a 50-minute plane ride from Manila. All commercial airlines fly to Boracay on a daily basis. Visit Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Seair to check out the latest rates. You may opt to either land in Caticlan or Kalibo.
When landing in Kalibo: you'll have to take a shuttle van to take you to the port of Caticlan. This will take around 1.5-2 hours drive.
When landing in Caticlan: take the ferry boat from the Caticlan Jetty Port to take you to the island of Boracay.
I personally prefer flying straight to Caticlan as it will save you precious time which you can use to enjoy the island.
See you in Boracay!