Boracay is not just the finest white sand beach that people enjoy during the holidays or the summer vacation. It’s more than just that. It’s a total escapade and an ultimate tourist destination by which people freely splurge and maximize their opportunity to break free from work, school or basically what we call, “real world”.
- Tourists: Russel, Sheldon, Arlan-z, Tapan, Niko, Dust
- Home Base: Davao City
- Port of Call: Boracay Island via Iloilo City
April 19, 2012 ; 5:00 AM
We get out from bed and ecstatically prepared for our early morning flight to Iloilo (a province located in the western part of the Visayas region). It is best known for their Chicken Inasal–an Ilonggo (Iloilo demonym) delicacy.
Upon arrival at the airport (Francisco Bangoy International Airport), we took our breakfast at Solomon’s Den. I gobbled down a huge serving of corned beef wrapped in an egg omelet (P150). After which, we patiently waited for our 7:45 AM flight to Iloilo.
Waiting for our rocket to come. Snapshot of the travelers at Davao airport (L-R) Niko, Sheldon, Me, Arlan-z, Tapan. Taken by Russel via iPhone + Instagram effect.
At 8:50 AM, we arrived at the Iloilo airport and immediately met up with the driver that Russel arranged for the group. There are a lot of ways to head to Boracay. You can opt to use the bus transit which will consume about six hours of travel. You can also fly directly from Cebu or Manila to Caticlan–although the latter is more expensive. The ticket from Davao to Iloilo cost each of us about P3500-4000 (roundtrip). It’s more preferable to book your ticket ahead of time, and you might also be able to avail of airline promos which will definitely lessen your airfare cost.
Two hours later after the lengthy road-trip, we had a pitstop at Capiz where we had our lunch at Pengee’s Restaurant. I got two native pritong manok and a cup of rice (P110). It was undeniably succulent as it slides through my empty throat down to my starving stomach.
Nothing’s beats the native [chicken]!
When I was young, I used to be a motion-sick kid. I used to throw up whenever I travel with my relatives especially when using a taxi cab. As a matter of fact, nausea became my close friend. I just kept on traveling until I sort of conquered it. It was totally a breakthrough!
At long last, we arrived at the Caticlan port going to Boracay Island. As expected, there were a lot of people from different places who were lining up for boat ride tickets from the port. Most of the people are from the southeast asia given the fact that there are actually direct flights available from Hong Kong to Kalibo (northwest part of the western Visayas region; two hours from Caticlan).
In order to enter the majestic isle of Boracay, you need to pay for three separate fees:
- Terminal free for P50
- Environmental and Admission Fee for P75
- Passenger ticket for P30
While waiting for our boat ride, I managed to sit on a vacant chair amidst a group of veteran inhabitants who were entertaining for the waiting crowd. I just wanted to take a picture with them when suddenly, one of them offered his guitar for me to play. Strumming the stringed instrument as if I know what they are doing, one of my friends took a quick shot of the moment.
Five to ten minutes from the Caticlan jetty, we arrived at the island at around 2:00 PM and marched to the tricycle terminal which is just located in a walking distance from the port. We hustled our way under the scorching heat of the sun via yellow tricycles which transported us to our hotel location. We passed by the third and second station, and finally made it to the first station where we strolled a couple of minutes to Isla del Mar. We checked in, quickly fixed ourselves, and in no time, went to the shore and embraced the waterfront.
After taking some pictures of the beach, we toured ourselves around the vicinity. We went to the second station’s D’Mall (Boracay’s emporium which encompasses one-stop-shop stores, restaurants and bars). It is located at the heart of the stations. At 3:00 PM, we grabbed a snack at Lemoni Café. I ordered the Lemons Club, Pesto, Mayo, Chicken, Bacon, Shrimps on Focaccia which costs P320. Since it is too big to consume, we split it in half and shared the other half with one of my companions. For those who are citrus enthusiasts, this is the best place for you. They specialize in sour-based gourmet food from cakes, pastries, pies and breads that are undoubtedly scrumptious.
After filling up our belly, we wandered around the open-air mall. I dropped by in a store and bought a handy dandy steno notebook and a pen to document the trip. Instead of paying for P21, the lady in the counter gave them for P20. It gave me an inkling that the stores in D’Mall are totally flexible and pliant for price haggles.
At 5:00 PM, we went on swimming.
We also witnessed the “15th Nestea Beach Volleyball” event which ran from April 19-21. Among the schools that participated, University of Visayas (UV) concluded the men’s division, while Central Philippines University (CPU) secured their position in the women’s division.
As soon as the sun set, we headed back to our hotel and got ourselves ready to party the rest of the night out.
At 7:00 PM, we stopped by in a breakfast station and I ordered tocilog (Tocino + Egg) & iced tea for P85. For dessert, I grabbed a mango shake at the Truly Fruity Fresh Fruit Shake (P50; small 16 oz).
After which, we promenaded and explored the unrevealed terrain. We, once in awhile, stopped by in some stores along the way. Russel bought souvenir bracelets for some of our friends who prayed for our safe and sound trip. Because truly, prayer works.
By the way, the island is divided in three different stations (1, 2 and 3). The party havens are located in the second and first stations, where people rave their lives up like there’s no tomorrow. There used to be jetty ports in every station but they were obliterated to put the transportation system into proper order. It also helped the trike drivers’ livelihood in a regular operation.
It was already 9:00 PM when we pulled over a henna (or temporary tattoo) artwork shop. Each of us had a henna tattoo with epic designs that may or probably may not represent our personalities.
Better known as “henna” tattoos, these black temporary tattoos are made from powdered leaves of a tropical shrub called lawsonia inermis or the Henna tree. It is primarily used as self-expression or plain fashion for those who don’t wish to put a permanent print-mark on their bodies. As soon as it is painted on the skin, it will take about two to three hours in order for it to dry. Rinse the overlapping ink which might cause a splatter so as to leave the base print in a perfect condition. With regards to its longevity, this non-permanent tattoo will slowly wither after a couple of weeks.
After getting ourselves inked, we stretched our legs along the seashore and passed by some good music. We then halted in a yellow-dimmed resto-bar which exuded an acoustic ambient feel.
Good music. Good food. Good times.
Craving for an iced up dessert, I sauntered a couple of steps from the resto to the Fruits in Ice Cream stall and grabbed a Raspberry Rapture (P75) to soothe the night down.
That was at 10:00 PM when we continued to jam with the acoustic musicians. There was one performer who amusingly entertained us with the use of loop music. It’s as if he’s performing as a full band when in fact he’s only using an acoustic guitar.
Another performer who also enraptured our evening is a lady who sang like Adele and Up Dharma Down combined. In a swift hindsight, talents in Boracay are irrefutably talented. To think, each set of musicians only get to serenade the crowd with three to five songs per set. They don’t leave dull and monotonous moments; instead, successfully entertain diverse people of different faces from different places.
11:30 PM. We headed back to our hotel and called it a night. It was definitely a night! Oops. Before hitting the sack, we dropped by at a barbecue stall and got hold of Boracay’s famous “Chori” burger.
Chori because the burger patty used is a Spanish pork sausage or chorizo. Other option is the “Longa” burger which contains a longaniza or longganisa patty.
What a perfect way to end the night!
End of the Boracay Escapade: Day 1
PS. Thanks to Sheldon who shouldered our hotel expense.
To be continued…