Philippines · Travel

It’s Bora Beach!

When people hear that I am from the Philippines, one of the many things they’d usually ask me is if it’s really nice in Boracay. Is the sand really white in there and is it really a paradise on Earth? I’d feel bad every time I had to tell them “no, I haven’t been to Bora, sorry I really can’t tell.”

Well now, that’s about to change! Summer this year, I and my family went on a 3-day tour to this paradise-like island that is Boracay.

Our flight to the island is via Caticlan Aiport, we booked via PAL since they offer flights from Clark (we’re from Pampanga) and that’s convenient enough for us.

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From the two airports near Boracay Island, Caticlan is much more advisable since the jetty port (that is the gateway to the island) is just minutes away from the airport. If you book flights to Kalibo on the other hand, an advantage is that it’s much cheaper compared to Caticlan but a bit “hassle” since the travel from Kalibo airport to the jetty port might takes hours. So in that matter, you just have to figure whatever floats your boat.

Upon arrival at Caticlan, you will have to get to the port terminal where you will purchase tickets for the ferry that will take you to Boracay Island.

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After you get your ticket, you will go straight to the jetty port where you will be guided on the boat you were to take. This is how it looks at the jetty port.

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This here is the “bangka” that’s operated by, maybe three to four men, runs on gasoline (I guess?!) and can accommodate 10-15 persons.

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Here’s how it looks inside. And yes, you have to wear the life jacket, because S-A-F-E-T-Y! Life is short, wear the damn jacket! HAHAHA! Fifteen minutes lang naman, what is fifteen minutes of your life, diba?

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This is the Cagban Jetty Port, once you reached this point, you can already feel the “island vibe”. W E L C O M E !!

Most of the tourists at Boracay travel by tricycle. There are e-tricycles (TWO THUMBS UP!) and of course, the traditional ones. They have all sorts, shapes, sizes and colors of tricycle in the island and are everywhere, so in terms of moving around, it’s really not a worry.

With our case, since we were touring with our parents, we decided to arrange for an “airport transfer” option from the resort we booked in. We didn’t want our parents going through all the trouble of getting in the “tryk”, sitting/cramped in it, all the while being cooked by the hot, hot sun. We, youngsters wouldn’t mind, I wouldn’t mind it but given their old age, I guess they deserve some comfort.

So here we are, sitting pretty at our service van on the way to the resort.

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We stayed at Alta Vista de Boracay which is located on the “mountainous” side of the island. It’s quite far from the main beach but their service, facilities and amenities are commendable enough, so that’s how they make up for it.

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Boracay Island is mainly divided in to Stations 1, 2 and 3. Our resort was located after Station 1 and it’s a 20 minute-ride to D’Mall which is located in Station 2. From the Cagban Jetty Port, you will reach Stations 3, 2 and 1 respectively so like, our resort is already considered “far” from the main beach. :/

Alta Vista provides shuttle service to and from D’Mall. OK, I took a photo of the shuttle schedule because WHY THE HELL NOT?!

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For our first day, after we had settled everything at our villa, we decided to discover the island right away! We only have four days to appreciate Boracay and off we go to Station 2 to see the famed beach.

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I’ve heard a lot of people telling me that Boracay had already lost its “glory” over the years. What with all the number of tourists flocking to the island, it’s only a matter of time (add in the negligence of some of these tourists) before destruction meets this island.  In spite of all these negative remarks, I still appreciated Bora. I guess I can say the same with the parents, if you can see their faces here. Well, my Tatay’s face is always awkward in photos, but really, he’s having a good time here! Cheers!

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Station 2 is the most crowded area in the island because D’Mall is located here and bars after bars are lined by the beachfront. Youngsters mostly enjoy this ambiance and they make up the most number/groups among Bora’s visitors, hence, the crowding issue.

We ended the day by having a light dinner around the area, mainly lounging at our villa and calling it a day afterwards. Again, since we were with the parentals (and we’re not party animals!), we did not explore Boracay’s famed night life.

The next day (considered last day for exploring), we went to Puka Beach in the morning since Alta Vista also have shuttle service to the said beach and boy, was it breathtaking!

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After Puka Beach, we went to D’Mall for lunch then went to Station 1 afterwards to while the time away. D’Mall is at Station 2, it’s a 10 minute-walk to Station 1 but you wouldn’t notice the distance you have walked on because there are scenery, stores and other commotions happening left and right -that’s Boracay for you! 😉

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From the photos (below) you will see some green-colored moss being washed in to the beach. Nonetheless, I still loved the view with or without the moss. I just wished people would take more care when visiting this island to preserve its beauty and wonder.

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This here is Station 1 where you will find the fine, white sand. Some stores from the D’Mall sells small jars of this sand as souvenir. Can’t blame them though, but if you want to bring some of it home, you can take some for yourself (no need to spend pa).

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After spending the afternoon at Station 1 (White Beach), we went back to D’Mall to buy souvenirs then went back to the resort.

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Of course, your trip to Boracay won’t be complete without the obligatory pose with one of these sand sculptures.

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The next day was our flight back to Clark and that summed up our short but sweet escape to the beautiful island of Boracay.

To sum up our three day-tour, it’s simply “bitin” (not enough time) to put it. We could’ve easily spent three to four more days in the island but because we were only given limited time to visit the Philippines, our time at Boracay was also that short.

Nonetheless, we enjoyed it. I love how laid-back the general vibe of the whole place is. Though yup, it’s crowded (and I don’t like crowds!), the beautiful, beautiful beaches make it all worth it. If given the chance to come back, maybe I’d choose to go during “lean” season to avoid the crowd.

Also, the choice of resort/hotel is a big advantage especially if you wanna make the most out of the trip. With our case, though the resort was a 20 minute-ride from the main attractions, it was fitting in a way because we also want peace and quiet when the day was over.

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If you are visiting the island, you have to prepare yourself to the scorching heat of the sun especially if you are not from the Philippines or any tropical countries where the weathers are 1.) hot and 2.) super hot!  Also, food is quite expensive as well as some products that are sold from various stores. Souvenir prices are reasonable enough on the other hand, but you can always haggle. 🙂

Boracay may have lost its original beauty over the years and have faced (still facing) competition against all the other (newly discovered) summer destinations in the country, but its glory is not lost. Foreigners and locals alike are still drawn to it, I can see. Maybe, by doing our part in keeping it clean and orderly, it might bring back the beauty it has lost. Boracay has given us wonderful memories/experience (and to us, Filipinos -something to be proud of) let’s all do the same and take good care of her. Not only to Bora but all the other beaches and natural resources in and out of our country.

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