Friday, December 16, 2011

boracay with the girls

boracay at last!

I was truly hesitant with this trip. They have been bugging me to go on vacation. Since I’ve discovered my thirst to visit places I do not often think twice, but this one was different, my concern – budget. I do not earn as nice as them and I have a family to support. True that we really need money to go places but I strongly believe that there’s always a way to spend less and save money.

They booked everything with Zestair as they offer travel packages covering airfare and accommodation. I think I was the only one that they’re waiting for confirmation. In cases like this I always weigh the pros and cons. Yes it will break my wallet but will surely be a priceless experience. What the hell I’ll join them! I said yes with eyes closed and was just telling myself that I’ve been working my ass out and this will just be my gift to myself.
project pa din kahit namumutla sa kaba, my first time!
 Putting the budget issue behind, I had to admit I was very excited I was filled with different emotions. This will be my first plane ride, first out-of-Luzon trip, first all girls vacation, first time in Boracay and first to travel without Jayjay.

So this is how it feels to travel by air. I am the only plane ride virgin in the group, all of them are frequent flyers. All throughout the ride they were laughing and talking, me on the other hand was savoring the moment a new experience for me (emo and kaba mode).

approaching boracay island
50 minutes thereafter, we landed at Kalibo International Airport. It’s still a 2 hour drive going to Caticlan Port and from Caticlan Port another 20-minute boat ride to the island of Boracay. When we get off the boat I was like “ay eto na ung Boracay”. I don’t see any beach nor any sand I was truly disappointed. Then one of the men on the port told me that we still have to travel around 15 minutes as the beach was at the other side. (ahh un naman pala e, sinong excited). The resort van picked us up and 15 minutes later we’re walking on an alley and there at the end of the alley was the white beach of Boracay (pero teka ang dami naming harang kakarampot lang ung nakita kong beach at buhangin).

stores and restaurants lined up along the shores
They told me that we were at station 2, I’m not sure if all the Boracay stations are the same but this is not what I am expecting or maybe I just had high expectations of Boracay because from what I’ve heard and from I’ve seen in TV and ads that it was such a beautiful place. True the beach and sand is impeccable but resorts, stores and restaurants have eaten up the shore. I just told myself that for sure there’s something truly amazing with Boracay why its world-renowned and a lot of people are wishing and hoping to go here.

boracay shores
We stayed at the Le Soleil de Boracay. Whenever I go out I’m not very particular with the accommodations as long as it’s clean and the most important for me is that the staff’s attitude. Even if it’s a bahay kubo as long as we’re treated nicely and with respect I already feel that I’m in a 5-star hotel. And that’s the first thing that I appreciated of Boracay the people are nice, not sure about the other resorts but with Le Soleil it was a memorable stay. So far this was the best staff I’ve encountered they’re all nice and respectful.

le soleil de boracay
We arrived past noon and are all hungry. One problem with travelling with an all-girl big group is when it comes to eating time. One will say “where do you want to eat”, another will say “whichever you like”, and one will say “I’ll eat where you guys will eat” (haggardness! Hehe) When I noticed that we’re going to that situation I started walking and scout for an affordable looking restaurant (bakit parang walang murang kainan dito) and just sat down at one of the restaurants and asked for a menu, they all followed and did not say anything anymore and just ordered for their food (eto po ang nagagawa ng gutom hehe). I forgot the name of the place maybe because of hunger and that it’s not that affordable. On our way back to the hotel I found out that there’s a Mang Inasal and Andok’s at one of D Mall’s allies (ay kung alam ko lang!). I’m not sure if there’s other area where you can eat carinderia-style and pay less but it seems that inside D Mall and within station 2 every meal will cost you not lower that $150. You can also try going to talipapa thru a tricycle and buy seafoods on the market and have it cooked in one of the restaurants there which will be a little costly if you’re a small group.

the always bustling d mall alley
It was gloomy at Boracay on our first day and we decided to just lounge by the beach and take a swim. From where we are lounging I can see the stretch of the beach, it was long but it seems that most of its stretch was occupied by an establishment. Too bad because the sand is really nice and these establishment have eaten up most of it.

It rained hard on our first night so we decided to stay indoor good thing there’s a bar at the second floor of Le Soleil, bad thing there’s no roof at the middle/dance floor area. Another good thing there’s only one group there so we don’t have to worry about squeezing ourselves to the covered area. Some of the girls vowed to just 2 bottles but of course we all know where 2 bottles can bring us. We finished off 2 bottles – tequila bottles that is! Problem is only me, Cha and Gina (medyo humina na hehe) are hardcore drinkers which ended with us having the most number of shots. We also had the chance to do Boracay activities but were not able to take advantage and enjoy most of it due to weather changes.

paddle boarding 101
Travelling with a big group has its pros and cons, there’s the misunderstandings, the bullying, the story telling - love life, family and work, the gossips, the fun and laughter, the love, care and respect. They say that you usually spend less with a big group but this one I think is different haha! This experience not only opened my eyes to a new place but made me realize further that I was blessed with good friends. ‘Til our next adventure girls! Tsup tsup!

thanks girls!
I will surely go back to Boracay there’s still a lot of things to do and places to explore. And new acquaintances on the way, my new friends are – 2 guards in the resort, Kuya Jonathan the paddleboarder, 2 kids – Australian and British (muntik na kong maospital sa sobrang nosebleed). I noticed that there were several mini grocery stores in station 2 and took note of that so that when I come back I know where to buy breakfast, lunch and dinner haha! And when I come back I’ll make sure that it’s a budget-friendly adventure (hindi talaga maka move-on). See you soon Boracay!

see you soon boracay!

You may fly in to Kalibo or Caticlan, Caticlan is the closest to Boracay but make sure to book a flight in the morning as there are chances of either being cancelled or being diverted to Kalibo airport if weather is not so good or if it’s almost sunset.

After getting out of Caticlan airport go to the right and there will be tricycles going to the Jetty Port, it costs arounf P50 and is only a 10-minute ride. From the port ride a boat going to Boracay island for P25 and you have to pay P75 environmental fee and P25 terminal fee, boat ride is around 25 minutes. Once you arrived at Boracay island several tricycles for P25 were lined-up going to the beach.

If you’re flying in to Kalibo, you still need to travel by land for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. After getting out of the airport there are several vans lined up going to Jetty Port for around P200-250. If you would want a less hassle (but much expensive) way you may want to avail of the services of the Southwest Tours that offers transportation services from Kalibo to Boracay island or direct to resort. 

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