Anything you need to know about BORACAY? Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Sea and Water Sports , ask me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Simple Tips for a First Timer in Boracay

It would be an understatement when you say Boracay is Beautiful.This paradise is considered to be one of the best in the world. Proof of which, among many awards and recognitions, when it was awarded as "Travelers Choice 2011" by TripAdvisor ranking second among 25 others in the world. The island also made its debut appearance on the "Top Ten Island List" in the Travel+Leisure magazines "World Best Awards 2011" ranking fourth.

But no matter how beautiful the paradise is, you might not maximize what the island could offer if you don't do your assignment. Research is the key. Online reviews, blogs and promotional ads would help, but if you got a friend in the island, it won't hurt if you ask a little  help from them, plus who knows they can ask discounts for you, sound better right? 

Here's the basic things you might need to consider.

Aside from the boat ticket which cost Php. 25.00, (Php. 30.00 after 6:00pm) you also need to pay an Environmental Fee (Php. 75.00) and Terminal Fee (Php. 50.00) in Caticlan Jetty Port. On going out of the island, a terminal fee and a boat ticket will be collected from you by Cagban Port Employees. No more environmental fee this time.

It would always be a good idea if you already have a place in mind to stay, at least for one night to avoid hassle on your first day. But if you are confident enough, take on the challenge of scouting cheaper and better rooms for a very affordable price. Just make sure that you have enough convincing power to ask discounts from the resort/hotel staff. It wont harm you if you try asking for a discount. Strategy? wear your best and sweetest smile. Note. Front Beach Hotels/Resorts are usually more expensive for a very obvious reason. Try those at the back.

Need Cash? No worries theres BPI, Metrobank, RCBC and Allied Bank in the island. Automated Teller Machines (ATM) is strategically located in d' Mall area. There's Metrobank, BPI and Allied ATM booth.

Sea and Water Sports:
Your Boracay vacation wont be complete if you wont try water and sea sports. Banana boat ride, flyfish, jetski etc. Also a must try is the island hopping which usually last up to four hours. They will bring you to different scenic spots around the island, plus you can do fish feeding too. You can rent a boat for you and your friends or join a group tour. One more must try is the Helmet Diving where you can have underwater pictures to bring back home. How to do it? ask help from resort staff or walk along the beach, someone will offer you those activity. Again try to ask discount.

Restaurants is all over the island. Check all resto that will satisfy your palette. From Korean dishes, Chinese foods, Indian to Arab Cuisine, American, German or European cuisine or Morocan, all that can be found in the island. Or maybe you want to buy your own seafoods and ask hotel staff to cook it for a minimal cooking charge. For cheaper cooking charges try to check d' Talipapa in station 2 and buy your own seafoods. Restaurants just in front offers cooking services. Recommended for budget conscious traveler.

Souvenir Shops:
Of course the best proof aside from the pictures you taken in the island are those souvenirs you need to buy for the people back home. Souvenir shops usually open at 9:00 till 10:00. It depends actually on the stores. Some opens early, some a little late. Check  d' Mall de Boracay and d' Talipapa in station 2. There are also shops along the white beach. Need pearls? Boracay Muslim Vendors Association offers wide selection of south sea pearls, fresh water pearls etc. Just check the vendors ID's to make sure that they are legitimate vendors plus at least you buy from a trusted one.

Henna Tattoo:
Want one? Henna Tattoo artist are along the beach. Prices varies on sizes. If you want a permanent tattoo it is also available in the island. Check on the prices if its okey, go for it.

Supermarkets and Convenience Stores and Drugstores
If you forget your tanning lotion or perhaps your sun block, check it on the nearest stores. Theres Budget Mart and Krafts of Boracay Supermarket in d' Mall area and 24/7 supermarket along the highway in station 1. Most drugstores can be found in d'Mall. There are also few small convenience store along the beach.

Night life in the Island? Get drunk and enjoy partying from dusk till dawn. Just dont forget to tell your friends that "what happens in bora stays in bora" for you not to be their favorite subject in the office. EPIC Bar in d' mall, Juice Bar along the white beach with super cool and friendly people, and Club Paraw, Guillys Island and Cocomangas Bar in station 1 are some of my favorite bars.

Hospitals and Clinics:
Just in any case you over eat or whatever the reasons that you need doctors attention, Ciriaco Tirol District Hospital (a public operated Hospital) is just along the highway. Just tell the tricycle driver that you are going to Boracay Hospital. For convenience there are also On-call doctors from private clinics. Metropolitan Doctors Medical Clinic and Island Clinic does Hotel Service. Note: consultation/professional fees on On-Call service is slightly higher because usually they add their trasportation expenses.

more update soon....

Monday, December 12, 2011

Boracay Then and Now

I was in grade five then, an innocent 11 year old boy attending my first regional boy scout jamboree. When our scout coordinator announced in class that the jamboree will be held in Boracay, I was the most excited among the boys, not just it will be held in the most beautiful island, but more than that, I'll get to see my grandma and my cousins who used to be our neighbor, my playmates and my occasional bully and heros.

See? I really don't care about Boracay, except for the fact that its my cousins playground for a period of time, but that was until the day of jamboree has come. The first time I step on its pure sugar like sand, very refined on that matter, I cant explain how happy I was. The crystal clear water, thebeautiful palms lined up along the white beach, the tourists, the boats, everything seems new to me. Yeah it was indeed a paradise, as my grandma describes it every time I'm asking her how Boracay is like when she visits us occasionally.

Ten years after, I graduated my degree course in college. Though my course is not at all in lined with the Hotel Industry, I aimed working in the paradise. I know for a fact that hotel and restaurant industry has limited offer for my course, but I'm way too determined to go back to the paradise. Maybe Lady Luck is with me, I was accepted in one of known hotel in the island. Now I had been working in this paradise for almost seven years and yes, Boracay 17 years ago is totally different now, the Nipa Huts are almost gone, only few are lefts, but nevertheless, it is still the paradise island maybe everyone is dreaming of.  It is still the place I get to dreamed eversince. It is still Boracay, the Island Paradise.

Let me share you some of the pics I had taken before. Disclaimer: I am not a professional photographer so please just bear with me.Note. if the picture appears too small in your screen, please click on it to enlarge

At the northern most part of Boracay, you can see this beautiful and natural rock formations. Very nice for photo shoots and yes its one of the best picnic area in the island, just in any case you want to have intimate moments with your family and uhmmmm your love one. :-)

different angle of the area above.

The White Beach, do I need to say how beautiful and romantic it is while walking side by side and holding the hand of the most special person in your life. This married couple is a perfect example plus the "paraws" adds romance in this picture.

Skimboarding in late afternoon would really be a perfect activity for those who love sports. Of course you can play "beach ultimate" (frisbee) or beach soccer/football and enjoy diving your face on its pure white sand. Believe me, it wont hurt you, but of course, still be careful.

The Aetas. Maybe no one or few had given attentions to this people. They are actually the original settlers of the island but unfortunately they had been displaced in the place they once called theirs. There is an Aeta Community in Bolabog area (back beach) supported by and guided by the Sisters. They produce beautiful handmade products such as necklaces, lampshades and other souvenirs items which is perfect "pasalubong" to our family and friends back home. You can too give your donations just in case you visit the site, they would really appreciate it. :-)

These are the übërly amazing people I work with. The clever and compassionate front office staff, and do I need to say that all are extremely good looking? of course for you its a joke but for us who's always on our conceited mode, its not LOL.(L-R me, shing, sam, des and carl)

Soon I will be posting more about Boracay.