Hello! I just got back last Tuesday from a super fun, 9-day summer vacation with friends! That’s why I haven’t been able to respond to emails and messages for the past week (I’m sorry!), also, because the internet connection back here in Bulacan is extremely slow, as compared to Boracay island’s ultra fast LTE connection (which I’m already missing right now OTL). I will get back to business as soon as I finish writing these posts (part 1 and 2), thanks for your patience! ✌
As mentioned earlier, I shall be dividing the whole trip into two posts. For the first part/post, I’ll be sharing Day 0 – Day 3 of our whole trip! This will be image-heavy (we made sure to take LOTS of pictures, hehe), so heads up I guess :P
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We’ve been planning and saving for this trip since early last year, but we only decided to book our flight last January. There were no piso fares that time but we got cheaper-than-usual flights at around 2,000 php (round trip) each, and that was okay with us because we thought the sooner we booked, the better! :D
Kaila, Kaye, Francis, and I booked a trip from May 9, 2016 to May 17, 2016. 9 days on a vacation island sounds super long, especially on a tight budget lol! But luckily, I’ve resided in Boracay for 2 years in the past so I have a bit of background knowledge about where and how we can get the cheapest deals on stuff (also, Francis’s parents live in Caticlan, just a few yards away from the jetty port across Boracay = connections)! We also booked for a 9-day stay at My Hostel Boracay through AirBNB, which costed us around 500php a day, individually. (That’s really cheap!♥) :p
On May 9, after some of us had voted, Kaila’s parents drove us to the airport. Because it was election day, we expected either heavy traffic along EDSA due to the number of people getting to precincts etc., or, no traffic at all due to people being in precincts all day. Luckily, EDSA was free of traffic that day! :D Our trip from Tandang Sora QC to the airport took less than an hour (it takes at least 2 hours on a normal day)!
So, we arrived at the airport at 1:00 pm, for an 8:30 pm flight. (O_O); Wow, 7 hours waiting period! And that’s if our flight wouldn’t get delayed. While we were checking in and figuring out what to do with the next 7 hours, luck intervened again: we were informed that because we checked in early, they could transfer us on an earlier flight! So, our 8:30pm flight became a 2:30pm flight, and, guess what? They even gave us business-class seats. ✨✨✨
~ ~ Boarding Time! ~ ~
When we got to Kalibo International Airport, the next step was a 2-3 hour road trip to Caticlan.
♥ TIP ♥ Usually, you can either ride a public-utility van, a bus, or a tourist car from Kalibo airport to Caticlan jetty port. If you’re a group of 4 people like us, the best choice is to hire a private tourist car for 1000 pesos. This way, you’ll get there faster because there won’t be any stop overs for other passengers unlike in PUVs, you have more space to stow away your luggage, you can divide the fare into 4 so you’ll pay 250php each (just 50php higher than the public van fare, which is 200php), plus, if you’re lucky like us, you’ll get a friendly driver-slash-tour-guide who will take you to scenic spots along the way and take your group photos! ♥
Our driver, Kuya Abdiel, who was coincidentally a tour guide, took us to scenic stops along the road like the Jawili Falls and a cliff overlooking the beautiful ocean! He was also really friendly, he even shared with us his 2015 Top 40 songs which, according to him, was his daughter’s collection (but he memorized Ariana Grande’s song by heart lol!)
When we got to Caticlan, the queue at the jetty port was extremely long because of the elections. Thankfully, Francis’ family helped us charter a small private cargo boat to take us to the island! Please do note that this is only advisable for 1. locals, 2. family members of locals. Its not for the weak-hearted! haha (゜▽゜;)
The boat ride was around 10-15 minutes, because it was a small boat. The sun was setting during the boat ride, so we were treated to a special view of the sunset! It was really cool! :D
We reached Boracay’s “cargoes” shore at 6 pm. Francis’s older sister and her husband, who lived in the island, fetched us with their cargo tricycle which was basically a motorbike plus a roofless sidecar with no seats, so we had to sit on the railings. The ride was equally thrilling and fun!!!
We finally arrived at My Hostel Boracay just before it got dark. Their staff was really friendly, plus, the whole place was super clean and had lovely interiors! Our room was a shared room with 3 bunk beds. It was air conditioned, and the bathroom was complete with a heater+shower. We were only 4 in the room so we had an extra bunk bed to put our stuff on (we brought a LOT of stuff with us lol). (゜▽゜;) We were also given individual lockers to keep our valuables safe! :)
As soon as we settled in the room, we decided to eat dinner outside and have a quick preview of the beach front. The hostel was quite far from the beach front, so we had to take a long tricycle ride to reach the main commercial areas (Station 3, 2, and 1).
That night, we ate at Bonchon, watched fire dancers at the front beach, and drank some late-night fruit shakes.
Afterwards, we went back to the hostel to shower and to finally get some sleep. The staff informed us that there’s free breakfast on the rooftop bar at 8:00am everyday. ♥ Ahh yes, good night indeed! :D
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It’s the first day of our #Boracawaii trip! (^▽^) <3
We woke up fresh at 8:00am to a free breakfast at the hostel’s barefoot rooftop bar. Barefoot as in you shouldn’t wear slippers/shoes there! :D
The hostel’s rooftop bar was REAAALLLY nice! (*O*) ♥ They prepared bread, different kinds of spreads, fruits, and juice for breakfast. Everything was self-service, adding to the home-y feel of the hostel. :)
After breakfast, we dressed up and prepared for today’s activities. We decided to take it slow on the first day and just take a stroll along the beach to see what kinds of activities were available to us during our stay.
We rode a tricycle to Station 3, and took the path beside De Rose Mart to the beach front. This path had beautiful kalachuchi (plumeria) trees!
It was already 11 a.m and the day was getting so much hotter so we decided to look for a cafe or a place with cool beverages along the beach.
We found Chatime in Station 3!
After brunch, we continued our stroll and took more pictures! We sat on beach mats under coconut trees while chatting about random (mostly silly) things LOL. (゜▽゜;)
Around 2:00 pm, the heat was becoming unbearable lol and we were getting hungry (again hahahaha), so we decided to find an air conditioned place to have a late lunch. Francis and I knew this cute place in DMall called “Super Sub” that sold sandwiches and shakes, so we decided to go there.
We finished our late lunch late in the afternoon and it was still so hot! We continued walking towards Station 1, and found a spot with lots of shade. We took out our beach mats and sat on the beach again. We weren’t wearing swimsuits that day but the sea was so inviting! We decided to play around in the water just to satisfy our sea cravings hahaha.
After an hour, the sun was getting lower so we decided to continue walking towards the Grotto at Station 1. It was low tide, and the wet sand dunes felt so cool and refreshing on bare foot!
Sunsets are one of my favorite things in Boracay. ♥ We sat on our beach mats while watching the colorful sky get darker and darker.
We were invited by our friend Justin’s dad, Mr. James, to a free al fresco dinner at 7pm at Mamita’s Grill, a beach-side restaurant in Station 1. Everything was so delicious!!! Their prices are good too! I recommend trying their Crispy Pata, sisig, and cheesy butter-garlic prawns! ;A; ♥ Thank you so much, Mr. James and Mamita!
After watching fire dancers from afar again, we decided to head back to the hostel at 10pm. Showered, browsed the internet at ultra fast LTE internet connection (I can never get over this lol), then finally fell asleep on our soft My Hostel beds to recharge for tomorrow’s activities!
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After our free breakfast, we headed out towards a new day in Boracay!
For our 2nd day, we decided to start if off by heading to Yapak / Puka beach! It was named like that because of the puka shells normally found on the beach. Puka beach was on the farther end of the island, so we had to charter a tricycle for 200 pesos to get there. (We divide all expenses into 4, so no biggie!)
P.S sorry for the blurry pics, I forgot to fix my camera’s ISO ;__; (it’s at 3200 in these pics OTL)
When I stayed in Boracay in the past, Puka beach was just a beach, without restaurants, establishments, or even umbrella seats. Now, it has been developed to have small restaurants, establishments, and umbrella seats. :)) Anyway, most of these establishments are owned by the locals themselves, so I guess it’s okay. Support the locals! :D
To avail 2 umbrella seats, one must order a fruit shake from any of the restaurants/stands there. One fruit shake is 250 php (wow ok), so we ordered 2 shakes to avail 4 seats. Of course, we divided the cost among the 4 of us hahaha (it’s still pricey but..support the locals!) :)
Anyway, I still can’t get over the 250php-fruit shakes. (*-*) Well, I guess it was worth it because the view in Puka beach is breathtaking! The sea was so beautiful, and the sand was so white (even whiter than in the front beach)!
We headed back to Station 1 for a quick lunch at Andok’s, just before our next activity, Boracay Submarine!!!
As of the moment, Diamond Watersports is the only company who has submarine activities, and we were so lucky to be given a chance to experience it! Again, huge thanks to Mr. James for the treat!!! ;A; such a kind soul huhuhu
From Station 1, we rode a speedboat to the middle of the sea, where a larger boat waited for us. The larger boat took us on a 30-minute ride to a huge barge in the ocean with a yellow submarine parked beside it.
Upon going down to the submarine, we were instantly awed. ( O A O ) ♥ ♥ ♥ Such cute little fishies!!!!! AAHH what an unforgettable experience!
I can’t describe how I felt hahaha so here are some pictures instead~
After an awesome hour of being submerged in the water, we went back to the larger boat to head back to Boracay.
As soon as we landed in Station 1, we prepared ourselves for our next activity: parasailing!!!
Francis and I have tried this last year, and it was so thrilling! Francis didn’t want to try it anymore lol, so it was up to Kaila, Kaye and me to fly! :D
Personally, it wasn’t really scary, in fact, it felt good flying up there, seeing the view of the whole island and more. Definitely a must try! ♥ We even got a bonus speedboat adventure going back to shore hahaha + + +
If you’re planning to go to Boracay, I personally recommend booking activities through Diamond Watersports. Their staff are kind and helpful, plus their facilities are new and virtually safe!
All those activities made us super hungry, LOL. We went for a quick merienda (afternoon snack) at Army Navy, where we met up with Ashley and Justin!
Now there’s 6 of us, yay! :D (Ashley and Justin stayed at a hotel near Station 1, though!) :)
After merienda, we took a quick swim while watching the sunset. When it got dark, we headed back to Station 2 for dinner! We ate at “Hoy! Panga!“, al fresco by the beach. They had these cute little tables and large pillows for seats. I ordered “Sinuglaw”, because I liked Kuya J’s version of it, but sadly, Hoy Panga’s version is a bit too sour for my taste. >3< Also, their seafood pancit was too salty that time, but we did like their chicken nuggets. :))
After a short stroll, we talked about our activities for the next day, then went back to our hotels. :)
Fun fact: we played “maiba-taya” to figure out who will shower first LOL good times
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On our 3rd day, we agreed to meet up with Ashley and Justin at Dmall at 10am.
We waited for them at Halowich, which was serving 150php-brunch (fruit shake + sandwich) from 8-10am, so we tried it! It was so filling!! ;A; Their mango shake was so delicious (plus their sandwich looked very cute!) ♥
After meeting with Ashley and Justin, the 6 of us rode an e-trike (an electric-powered tricyle) to the ATV (all-terrain vehicles) place.
The first place we went to was a bit expensive, so Francis tried to look for other places to rent ATVs.
He found “MJ ATV and Buggy”, 2 blocks away from the first one, which was considerably cheaper! Each ATV was priced at 500 php for a 1 hour trip. After paying, one of the staff briefed us about operating and driving the ATV, and also about our route. We would be driving our ATVs to Mt. Luho and back, and it will take approx. 1 hour.
♥ TIP ♥ Don’t forget to put a lot of sunblock lol trust me
Driving the ATV was surprisingly easy! (Plus, we had two guides, one in front of the queue and one at the back) :)) I have no experience driving anything in real life (I’m a pro at racing games at the arcade lol also Need for Speed and Burnout), but I’ve never driven anything aside from a bike in my life. Driving an ATV was as easy as “squeeze left, squeeze right”, “watch out for curves, brake when going down a slope”. We even drove beside steep cliffs and I was chill as heck :))))
After a 15-minute ATV drive, we arrived at the foot of the Mt. Luho view deck.
I’ve been here a gazillion times now lol (it’s my favorite spot to go to when I lived here), but the view still amazes me. However, some parts of the view had slightly changed. Some of the mountains and forests have been cleared to give way to new resorts and hotels, and it was a little bit sad to watch. :c My only hope is that these resort owners will try to replant trees somehow, please? ;_;
After a 30-minute stay at the view deck, we went back to our ATVs and drove back to the base.
Trivia: Let it be known that on the way back to the base, Ashley Dy did an overtake on all of us. #badass :))) ♥
♥ TIP ♥ It’s not required, but we encourage you to tip your guide, even 50php for snacks will do! :)
It was past lunchtime when we got back to DMall, so we decided to grab a late lunch at “Spice Bird” (which, according to Ashley, ranks 3rd on the top 10 restaurants in Boracay).
After lunch, we went to the beachfront to book for sunset sailing later in the afternoon. We got a private sailboat for 1,800php (300php each if divided among the 6 of us), which will sail at 5:30pm, just before sunset.
It was just 2:30pm that time, so Ashley and Justin headed back to their hotel to change, while the 4 of us walked along the beach to find a good place to have a full-body massage (it’s on our Boracawaii bucket list haha)!
We found the perfect spot just in front of the fruit shake stand we went to on Day 0. Kaila, Kaye and I paid 350php each for a 1-hour full body massage under the coconut trees, in front of the beach. AAAAH ~ so relaxing! Francis stood by and drank fruit shakes, because he was ticklish. :)))
After the massage, we sat on our beach mats and wondered if it’s okay to take a swim after the massage (the massage therapists said it was okay!). We gave in and went in the water LOL
A paddleboarding kuya rented us his paddleboard for 400php an hour, which the 4 of us shared. Riding the paddleboard is much harder than riding the ATV, IMHO. D:
At 5:00pm, we met up with the booker for our sunset sailing activity. He advised us to wait for the boat captain’s signal, so we could sail just in time for sunset. In the meantime, we took some photos! :D
At 5:30 pm, we sailed off on a paraw from shore into the warm glow of the sunset-stained sea!
The paraw has no seats, and we were seated on either sides of the arms (outriggers..?) of the boat. It was a unique experience, and the sunset was so cool to watch (even though the setting sun hid behind a row of clouds on its way down, OTL).
♥ TIP ♥ Surprisingly, you are most likely prone to get wet during sunset sailing because of the waves (I didn’t expect this at first lol). Don’t forget to stow your bags, valuables, and electronic gadgets on the safety cabin inside the boat! It’s also advisable to bring a waterproof bag if you want to take pictures, so you can easily keep your camera or phone safe from splashes of water. :))
When we got back to shore, we took a quick swim again until the sky got dark, then headed back to Station 2 for a dinner at Bonchon. The day ended as we briefly (and vaguely lol) talked about what we’d do on the next day, then went back to our hotels to shower and sleep. ♥
~ ~ ~ Thanks for reading Part 1! ♥ ~ ~ ~
Please refer to the next blog post for the continuation of our #Boracawaii2016 trip! ♥ PART 2 here: LINK
Cheers, Chichi ♥