Exploring Boracay alone or with friends.....
Two Ways to reach Boracay Island
Boracay can be reached by plane via Caticlan or Aklan. I have never been to Boracay via Caticlan but all I know, Caticlan is nearer to Boracay or Jetty port where boats are waiting for passengers to transport to Boracay. Landing via Aklan is also fine, visitors will travel for almost 2 hours by land. At the Kalibu airport, you will not worry with what or where to ride. Shuttle service going to Jetty Port Caticlan are waiting for passengers anytime. I think the fare from Aklan to Jetty Port is 175.00, the vehicle is comfortable and fully air- conditioned which makes long travel very comfortable.
Boracay Island via Aklan
THE JETTY PORTClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Jetty Port is an indication of good economic condition in Aklan. When I went to Boracay in 1997, there was no Jetty port yet, but there was this port where boats were waiting for passengers to ferry them to Boracay Island, at that time passengers will be sent directly to the Island's shore which is also called now as station..
What is so different with the port now except that it is called as "Jetty Port"? well the place was arranged accordingly, at jetty port, you will need to go to three counters first to pay the Terminal fee (P100.00), Environmental fee (P75.00), and Boat fare fee (25.00). the boat will just bring passengers to another port where all types of vehicles are waiting for them to bring them to their destination whether in station 1,2 or 3.
So every moves you take going to the Island you will need to pay, which means greater income to the government of Aklan and more job opportunities for the people.
Transportation from the port to Boracay StationsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Upon reaching the port, you will not lose your way because all types of vehicles according to your choice are already there waiting for you. If you are part of a group, you can hire one vehicle. If you are alone you can take the Tricycle. My Group was lucky to hire a van because it was spacious, so we were comfortable. We only paid P250.00 and my group just shared to pay it.
ACCOMODATIONClick thumbnail to view full-size
Our Accomodation was at La Carmela. I think this is cheap and good enough,specially if what you want is just a nice air-conditioned room with flat-screen TV, a good toilet and bath, with ready bath towels anytime and most of all clean. In case you encounter problems with water just call their attention and they will attend to you immediately. I think free breakfast for 2 is always part of the package. La carmela also offers buffet packages for lunch and dinner, but I suggest that you try to eat elsewhere in the island. If you want cheaper deals, you can always go to Mc. Donalds, Andoks or Mang Inasal. You can also try the "Paluto" at talipapa... Just explore and don't limit yourself to one place.
First thing I did "Braid my unruly hair"Click thumbnail to view full-size
To begin my adventure, I first looked for someone who can braid my hair. Boracay Island is also known for people or women who can braid hair like a professional hair stylist. Even before this vacation, It's my number one in my list, I will go home with my hair braided, no matter what it takes (joke). Obviously at the first picture, you see how my hair got unruly with the air and sea breeze LOL, luckily one woman approached me, showed me the photos of different braid styles and offered hair braiding services. Wait, a tip first, they said it is much cheaper if you just negotiate with someone who are strolling like vendors with photos of designs of braid for their customers, than to go to someone with rented place and accept customers. Prices are depending on the hairstyle that you will choose. Length and thickness of hair will affect the price too.
I paid P250.00 for my braid, first because the design that I want was quite unique as compared with the samples in the photos. Second my hair is long and thick hahaha... but for me the price is fair enough. The important thing here is I really liked how I looked with that hair. For sure I will do the same the next time that I will visit Boracay ....and by the way, that hairstyle can last up to 4 days... you can shampoo it lightly and just massage gently if you want to maintain it.
EARRINGS AND OTHER ACCESSORIESClick thumbnail to view full-size
Since officemates were already busy with their own adventures, instead of looking for them I decided to stroll along the island and try to find my second target.... Friends said there are too many beautiful earring in Boracay. All from products of the sea. I bought 3 pairs and another pair the following day, and I regret that I did not buy more. They said it is made from Capiz and I thought it came from the "mother of pearl", I am not sure... oh if you know please do comment here and tell me what it is...
I like the shapes of those earrings... Heartshaped is a favorite, Triangle is rare, the green oblongs are good too.
WHERE I DINED INClick thumbnail to view full-size
Although I went to Boracay with a group, whenever I dined in to take my lunch and dinner, I was alone but I did it gracefully and with a purpose. I only stayed in Boracay for three days but I really start my adventure only on the second day.
From La Carmela beach front, I strolled to my right leading my direction to D'Mall, trying to find a place where I can eat, I don't know why, but when I saw the Pancake house, I decided to take my lunch there. Not that I have never been to Pancake (gosh I have been there so many times), but I don't know maybe because I was alone I want something familiar to me, so Pancake turned out to be the best options.
Dinner Time I strolled again and I ended up with Hap Chan, although I knew Hap Chan has branches in Manila, it was my first time to visit the resto and try the food. It was cold and windy, so I decided to try the bola bola congee combined with sharkspin. I love it that a pot of tea will be served to you automatically and it was free of charge.
The following day I had my lunch at Calypso Lounge.... I ordered for grilled liempo and rice and a tall glass of Iced tea. The atmosphere at Calypso Lounge is very cozy, the lady said they were always full at night but that day I was the only one. It was a nice experience eating while looking at the sea and behind me was a lovely swimming pool as if inviting me to swim or just dip my feet. By the way Calypso Lounge was at the left side of the Island. I mean from La Carmela facing Beach front, if the D'mall is at the right side of the island, the lounge was at the opposite side.
For my merienda before leaving the Island, I went to Mc. Donalds and ordered a Chicken Burger.... I am not really a fan of Mc. Donalds but at that time I was thankful it was there.
MILKSHAKES OR SMOOTHIESClick thumbnail to view full-size
I always craved for fruit shake or smoothies during my Boracay adventure. Maybe because I saw lots of them while I was strolling. The first that I tried was with the simple cart that has the word "fruit shake" . I requested the woman not to add milk to my watermelon. I needed to tell her that because when you said fruit shake it will mean milk will be added. The price of Milkshake from this movable cart, P50.00.
Then on my way to Station 1, to see the Grotto at the beach, it was 2pm, when I decided to go to Jonah's fruit shake, and as my friend recommended, I ordered for the Mango-pineapple shake. I saw lots of my favorite food at Jonah's but I was still full because of my lunch. The Price of my Mango-pineapple shake P110.00.
On my 3rd day before going back to Aklan, because we still have plenty of time, I strolled again and just after I finished my lunch, I saw this store El Centro. I saw a Korean Couple waiting for their orders, so out of curiosity again I went thinking that I will order my favorite watermelon shake again, But the avocado shake looks tempting so, I ordered it for a change, and I made the right decision. Avocado shake so delicious..... the price P 75.00.
I really enjoyed my fruit shakes. I rarely indulged myself with shakes as I did in Boracay and now I am craving for one....
ENJOYING THE BEACHClick thumbnail to view full-size
It's impossible not to enjoy the beach, You are a fool if you go to Boracay and went home without getting wet in the ocean... hahaha I thought that would happen to me, but of course I won't allow it. Anyway just by looking at the ocean, you'll be mesmerized with its beauty, that anyone just can't help but swim and feel the water although the sun is getting hot enough to burn the skin...the wave was a bit strong the last time I went there, so I really did not swim that much, I mean I don't know how to swim, I don't know why I didn't learn although my parents were both good swimmers....
What I like about Boracay is the confidence it can give to everyone, specially to those people who are not really comfortable in wearing swimsuit. It's not a place for people who will laugh at someone because that someone looks bad in her swimsuit. I saw a few biggies who wore two piece and yet they are confident.... I really envy them hahaha
The last time I wore swimsuit was more than 10 years ago hahaha and since I am on the heavy side, it's not always easy to find a proper swimsuit for me... But I have one good swimsuit that a friend from Dubai got for me. The tag said it was from a group of swimsuit brand called Moon Tide, try to check in the net, I think they have sizes for biggies like me. and thanks for the cover ups that my cousin gave me, it really covers a lot hahahah.
My apologies for excessive hahahaha, it was really a happy experience for me to wear swimsuti confidently with cover ups and strolled at the long stretch of Boracay...
ISLAND HOPPINGClick thumbnail to view full-size
Boracay offers a lot of water activities. Island hopping is one that must not be missed. In this activity it is hard to be alone, so here, I was reunited with my office mates. Our group hired a boat that will bring us to different Islands nearby. The payment for the boat is not that expensive because we divided it among ourselves and I only paid P100.00 . By the way, the gaggles or other accessories for snorkeling are also available in the boat and you will just need to pay a little if you are going to use them.
There are various things to enjoy in this activity. The boat will stop at middle of the ocean, and you will be provided with bread so you can feed the school of fish. I saw lots of them really mobbing on the bread, but I am not too sure if they are visible in the photos I posted above.
Some of my friends jumped on the water and enjoyed the snorkeling activities. After a few more minutes we went to one Island where the water was so peaceful and clear...
The disappointing part was, we were not able to visit the remaining Island because according to the boatman, the sea was a bit wavy in those areas that it is \was not advisable to visit them at that moment, because of that they refunded portion of our payment by paying the tricycle that will bring us to La Carmela.
Oh and before I forget... I love the part when a coconut vendor rode in a small boat approached us and offered his coconut, I think the price is not that expensive but no matter what I love to think that I was drinking coconut juice in the middle of the ocean while instagramming and facebooking... what a life really!!!
ENJOY THE VIEW WHILE ON A BOAT RIDEClick thumbnail to view full-size
Aside from enjoying the activities included in Island hopping, I also enjoyed looking at the views while sailing....mountains, trees, some kind of big rock formation, a mansion on top of the mountain... everything that looks like a good painting came to life...
BORACAY AT NIGHTClick thumbnail to view full-size
If you want a nightlife, it looks like Boracay never sleeps. It is indeed livelier at night, where lights of different colors dominant the street. Establishments have their own gimmicks to attract guests. Sounds and Music here and there... Dancing waiters are cute, people especially girls really stopped just to watch them dance. There are bars every where.... just enjoy walking until you found the right one where you think the night is worth spending.
MORE TO ENJOY AT BORACAY,Click thumbnail to view full-size
I haven't tried these water activities but I would like to share anyway, That's my cousin riding in a a Jetski. Although I am quite afraid of the ocean because I don't swin, riding a jetski is a dream. I think this is not advisable for first timers unless with supervision from the people managing the jetski for hire.
Riding the banana boat is another thing... some officemates are adventurous people and they obviously enjoyed this. Looks like just riding a boat to me but I am not sure I am going to try this in the future.
Then the Parasailing.... those were my cousins trying the parasailing. This is quite expensive but good for those who love to test their adrenalin rush. Make sure to observe safety precaution before engaging to this activity. I don't think I will try this in the future hahahah
MY FAVORITE STATIONClick thumbnail to view full-size
I swore not to leave Boracay without visiting this place... The Station 1 where there is a grotto near the shore but part of the ocean. It was the first and only thing I remember about Boracay. In fact I had a picture there but lost it. I wish to have a picture with it again, but unfortunately I was not able to get near it. The waves was a bit strong and the man said I might hurt my feet because of some stones or rock underneath the sea. So after praying my wishes to Mama Mary, I content myself by looking from afar, zoomed my camera and took pictures. I took photos of myself with the Grotto at the background, and I know deep inside me that I will return to Boracay, and visit this place again and that journey will be happier whether I'll be alone or with love ones and friends
MORE AT BORACAYClick thumbnail to view full-size
Most of the photos shown above this capsule were taken inside D'Mall. I went inside to find a manong with small gadgets store so I can recharge my Iphone without going back to my hotel room. I paid him P 30.00 for more than enough time.
Now that I am writing this, I have things in mind that I want to do again when I return to the Island
1. Choose other hotel for a change
2. Have a Braid again
3. Go to Jonah's, El Centro and try all the fruitshakes
4. Try other restaurants and eat seafood
5. Buy Earrings
6. Try the nightlife
7. Buy more attractive Boracay Blouse
8. Go to Station 1 to visit the Grotto again
9. Try the All Terrain Vehicle
more more and more.... of course enjoy the beach with new sets of swimsuit and cover ups.
Boracay is currently closed to the public for rehabilitation. As of writing this, it is not certain yet if the island's sewerage problem can be solved within 6 months. Looks like more problems are being discovered during rehabilitation. Well no matter how long it will take to improve the place, the important thing is to see a better Boracay, free from abuse of some business owners.