Before the Philippine summer vacation comes to an end, I thought I should probably get around to blogging about what’s probably the most popular Philippine summer destination – Boracay!
The last time I had been to Boracay was 10 years ago, and it was not the ideal time to go as it was during rainy season and I didn’t really get to enjoy its beauty. So I was pretty excited to go this time around, which was last March.
Fair warning: this post is photo-heavy and wordy, but necessary, especially all the funny parts.
On the first day I was by myself. Now I’m a pretty independent girl who usually doesn’t mind being by herself, except when it comes to traveling. Solo travel is definitely not for me because I easily get bored.
Still, I tried to make the most of my time alone. I walked around the beach in station 2 and took photos of specially built sandcastles, watched fire dancers, and even bought an overpriced coconut and sipped it while lying down on the sand and gazing up at the stars in the sky.
Then I had a very weird dinner – dinuguan and green mangoes with bagoong, two dishes that normally don’t go together, but which I both craved.
Before I found it, I had asked some random guy if their restaurant had any green mangoes, to which he said, no, then asking, “Why, are you pregnant?”
Tse, Kuya. 😑
Later that night, I ordered a full body massage in my hotel room and had such a sound sleep that I did not notice Flisha’s texts the next morning. Luckily she managed to call my room and wake me up.
After breakfast, we walked around Boracay’s gorgeous beaches and scouted for a spot where we could lounge and sip fruit shakes.
The beach was so beautiful but it was a shame that there was so much algae on the shore, ruining the white sand.
We eventually found some lounge chairs but they were not free. We had to pay 30o (I think? Can’t be so sure now, Fli, help?) to rent them for the whole day.
We lay down and relaxed for an hour or two but we couldn’t stay there the entire time because we got hungry and eventually had to leave and find some food.
This grilled tuna jaw really hit the spot!
It was somewhere around this time when Flisha asked me to be her maid of honour in a funny unconventional way.
Then we decided that we had enough of being lazy and asked one of the many peddlers of water sports packages to hook us up with parasailing and sunset sailing sessions, and he led us to station 3.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was how the bride and maid of honour ended up on an adventure so memorable, it definitely deserves to be mentioned in the maid of honour speech.
You see, it was Flisha who wanted to go parasailing because she had never done it before. I had done it in Thailand, and I had thought then that it was surprisingly fun even though I’m scared of heights, so I didn’t mind going again because I had not been able to get a picture the last time.
The moment we lifted up into the sky, though, Flisha started panicking out loud. “OMG there’s only a very small hook holding us to the parachute. What if that breaks? Are we sure that can hold us?”
“Ummmm…” I was suddenly very paranoid.
“You know, the reason why I decided to do this without Gim [her fiance] is so that if anything ever happened, at least one of us would be left to continue our family.”
“But you don’t even have a family yet!” I protested.
Fear is catching. (Or is it fire? Whatevs. Same difference.) So it wasn’t exactly the most relaxing 15 minutes of my life. 😅
The boat guys had asked us if we wanted to be dipped in the water, to which we said yes.
It was actually quite beautiful up there, to have a bird’s eye view of the entire Boracay, as I constantly tried to remind myself and a terrified Flisha, to distract us from the fact that it was quite possible that we were too heavy for the thing holding us to the parachute and we were about to plummet to our deaths at any given time. 😱
After that scary adventure, we had to wait for sunset to go sailing, so we grabbed some mango shakes while waiting.
The barista wasn’t around, but the owner (we presumed) gave it a go and came up with the most delicious mango shakes we had ever had.
As we sipped and looked towards the beach, some very sexy, bikini-clad women passed by.
“Life is so unfair,” I sighed. “Why can’t we be that sexy?”
“Because look at what we’re drinking!” Flisha pointed out.
She had a point. 😅
Just then, our water sports guy came and said we should get going. I wasn’t even halfway through my glorious shake, so I panicked and tried to slurp more quickly, causing brain freeze.
“Idiot!” I berated myself when I realized something. “Why did we have to do that? We can take out the rest and drink it on the boat!” Duh. So we did just that.
The sailboats were not quite what I expected, though. I didn’t realize that we were just going to sit down on the sides, our feet dangling over the water, like so:
But it was such a glorious experience to feel the wind on your face and the water on your feet as you gazed at the breathtaking sunset. 😍
It was so wonderful, in fact, that Flisha wanted to do it again the next day so Chu could experience it too.
After 15 minutes, we were back on shore. The sunset was not yet over, so we stayed awhile to take more pictures and take a night swim.
Then we found a restaurant in station 3 and had some dinner before calling it a night.
The next day, Chu arrived, sleepless after long haul flights straight from San Francisco.
Here’s the funny thing – we had decided to go to Boracay in the first place because of Chu. But due to some confusion on when his flight out of SF would be, he didn’t realize that he could only be in Bora for one full day.
He made the most of his day with us. We booked an island hopping tour and surprisingly got a very spiffy speedboat as our vehicle. It was really fast, and our driver cut through the water effortlessly, swaying the boat from side to side and eliciting roars of amazement from us.
Our first stop was the middle of the sea for some snorkeling. The waves were so strong that we had to hold on to a rope lest we get pushed out very far, like what happened the last time Chu and I had been snorkeling in Bora 10 years ago. Chu had a go pro, so we took some videos (which he has not shared so I have nothing to post, sorry). It became a running joke for us to pretend we were filming episodes of S na S, an old local show from our hometown.
The trip included a free lunch at one of the islands, but it wasn’t like the one we had done before, where they grilled fresh food solely for us. This time around it was a buffet with so many people.
We swam at almost every spot, and this was our downfall. We forgot to reapply sunblock every hour and ended up sunburned.
At our last stop, you could buy shakes and get a free lounge spot under a native umbrella.
When we got back on shore, we decided to get massages and found a real spa. The price was just slightly over the price of a beach massage and was more worth it, because you get to shower and have privacy in a room.
After that we literally ran to the shore because Flisha was afraid we’d miss the sunset sail.
Chu really enjoyed it, too, and so did we. Can’t get enough of sunsets! 😍
Unfortunately Chu wasn’t able to ride a flyfish because we had ran out of time… Yes, Chu, we swear that was the only reason and it wasn’t because Flisha and I didn’t want to do it and purposely manipulated the activities of the day so there wouldn’t be time! 😁
Then we walked around to look for a place to eat dinner and I found this restaurant with a cozy looking beach dining area.
It was so cozy, in fact, that somebody decided to get a bit of shuteye right there on the sandy floor. 😅
The food was really great as well – more grilled seafood! 😋
The next day, Flisha had to leave ahead, so when she had left, Chu and I decided to head to station 1, which is known for having the best sand. It was too far away to walk given our time constraint, so following instructions from a local, we walked towards a back road and rode a tricycle there.
We asked to be dropped at Jonah’s, which we had gone to 10 years ago as it was famous back then for its fruit shakes. Not sure if that is still the case now, but it was still alive!
We ordered lunch to go with our shakes and they still got it, you guys! Would recommend.
This was our final shot in station 1 before we headed back to our station 2 hotel to gather our things and wait for our door-to-door airport pick up.
I’m really glad I finally got to experience Boracay the way it’s meant to be experienced – during summer! (Okay so it wasn’t April yet, but it was starting to be summer, okay?)
- Book Southwest tours to get you from the airport to your Boracay hotel. Get the door to door service so your trip is streamlined. It’s cheaper if you buy it inside the Cebu Pacific plane, but if you miss it there, you can still buy it outside the airport.
- If you’re looking for cheap accommodation at a good location (station 2, the center of it all), check out La Carmela at Agoda.com.
- Do not forget to use sunblock and reapply it every hour. You might want to consider getting those sunblock pills for convenience.
- Must trys: shakes, seafood, massages, water sports if you have the heart for it
- If you can get away with pretending to be a Filipino (in case you’re not), do so, because they have cheaper prices for Filipinos. If not, then haggle as best as you can.
- If it’s too hot to walk from station 2 to 1, walk towards the main road and hire a tricycle to take you there instead. You’ll save a lot of time and energy.