Whether you’re a Filipino or a foreigner, I highly encourage you to visit and enjoy one of nature’s greatest spots – Boracay, Philippines. Many have been said and written about this picturesque island; lately a number of negative/discouraging posts and comments had been made because of “the island being too congested and commercialized.” But I, for one, beg to differ.
Boracay has always been a source of pride for Filipinos. The island is surrounded by stunning white sand beaches, making it a top-competition of the best beaches of the world. In fact, it’s not unheard of that a number of foreign and local celebrities and personalities frequently spend their vacation in the island.
In the past couple of years, I’ve been blessed to have the time and resources to enjoy Boracay twice (2008 and 2010). Crossing fingers, I’m Bora-bound again before the year ends. Here are some basic, quick tips that I’d like to share to fully maximize and make your island experience one for the books!
1. Going to Boracay is merely an hour’s flight away from Manila (or Cebu). If you’re thinking of an alternate mode of transportation, you may also consider traveling via road and ferry. I personally suggest to just travel by plane as it saves more time and energy. Also if you can, try to book a flight to Caticlan airport rather than Kalibo. The former is just five to ten minutes ride away from the boat port; while the latter will take more or less two hours of additional land travel.
After the plane ride, you’d be traveling by boat (for a good 10-15 minutes) to reach the island. From there, you can ride a van (if you’ve booked a hotel with pick-up/transfer freebies) or motorized tricycles which are the “taxis/cabs” of the island.
Now, although this is a short-flight, it’s always a must that you bring a bottle of water and some crackers with you. Travel delays may happen so it’s better if you have something to snack on while waiting.
2. Get around. Hop from one station to another, from one island to the next. Sure, lounging is fine, sunbathing is good, people-watching is interesting, but you’re in an island, so go, enjoy the sun and sand. Instead of riding a tricycle, just try walking around. If you’re with your loved ones and having fun, you won’t even notice how far you’ve reached.
3. Explore and do as much activity as you can. Swim, scuba dive, cliff dive, kite-board, parasail, motorbike, and skim-board. Try something new that the island offers. And don’t forget to get a massage! I don’t know what it is, but Boracay’s massage is pure heaven!
4. Enjoy the “happy hour.” But the thing is, in the island, any hour is practically a happy one. So, just make the most out of it. Nightlife in Bora is particularly interesting, especially during peak season. So, while you drink and dance your heart out, just make certain you secure your valuables, too. You wouldn’t want your Boracay experience to just be about your stolen camera or phone, right?
5. Lastly, (as if I haven’t stressed this enough) ENJOY! Savor nature’s beauty, breathe in the stunning sunshine, let the dawn give you peace and quiet. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been in Boracay or if it’s going to be your first time. It even doesn’t matter if you’re traveling alone or with your loved ones. In the island, nature is your friend and your playground.
Bonus tip: Don’t leave Boracay without trying Jonah’s Fruit Shake!