Island Getaway: Boracay Weekend

I’ve heard  a lot of good things about Boracay through friends and acquaintances. They said it has beautiful white sands, the bars, the nightlife, and the people will make you want to stay there longer. It’s one of the top destinations in the Philippines and voted as one of the most beautiful islands around the world, it sure made me intrigued. From the 1970’s it changed from a small humble island to an exploited tourism hub.

Boracay-Past
Boracay in the 1970s from Local Philippines

The opportunity rose in the month of May, since we have a long weekend in the Philippines, my friend Marl decided to go out of town. We first thought of Iloilo and our second choice was Boracay. The flights to Iloilo went higher than expected so we got the Kalibo flight going to Boracay. It was great that Air Asia sends notifications for delayed flights, I was scheduled to leave at 2pm but the airline company sent an sms that my flight will be delayed to 3:55. I took a 45 minutes flight, 2 hours van ride, 15 minutes boat ride going to the island and 10 minutes tricycle ride from the port to my hotel. It was a smooth trip given that I had lots of transfers going to my destination.

A part of my agenda is to review hotels one cheap and one on the higher end of the spectrum. After reading several reviews and seeing pictures of W Hostel, I decided to give it a go for the first night. I booked it in advance through Agoda. One of the main reasons I booked a hostel was to get a cheaper stay and meet other people who are also in the same spot, unfortunately it was the off-peak season. We had the room to ourselves. The place is well maintained and the staff is very friendly. I call it a boutique hostel simply because they took the time in designing the hostel to make it look good and appealing. It’s clean and affordable. I wouldn’t recommend it for a group of 5 or more friends, you’re better off getting a room at a hotel.

All the bars are in Station 2, if you want a quiet stay in Boracay, avoid it. We went to Boracay a few days before the election and there was a liquor ban, some bars are still selling alcohol because they have a permit (they had to pay extra for the night so they can sell liquor to guests). The first bar we went to didn’t have any liquor available so we went to Epic and ordered some drinks there. It’s not the place I would hang out but my friend wanted booze and to party. Most of the people in Boracay are friendly, if you’re alone, you won’t feel alone.

Having mastered the art of going out and waking up sober, I woke up early to check the breakfast spread at the hostel. It wasn’t that great (as expected, you get what you pay for), my friend and I decided to walk around and found Lucha Libre. They also serve Mexican food, and their breakfast meal was ok. I was in the mood for Longganisa and rice, we had a simple breakfast and had a morning walk before moving to the next hotel. It was easy to move around Boracay walking from Station 1 to Station 3 along the beach. It was windy, if you prefer walking, bring an umbrella or a hat.

We took the tricycle from our hostel to our new hotel. I picked Current by Astoria because my friend said it’s a new hotel. I found out that the hotel is a time share investment. The property is in Station 3, away from the hustle and bustle of Station 1 and 2 but near enough to enjoy the long strip of White Beach. Everything is new and their color selection and accessories in the room are very pleasing to the eyes. Service is fantastic. They will provide welcome drinks as soon as you check in. Still lacking sleep, my friend and I decided to take a nap after breakfast so we can be awake for the rest of the night.

After our nap, we walked along the stretch of White Beach, by the time we reached Station 1, we were already hungry. We went to Tacos La Cozina Churros. They have a good selection of food. I had high hopes for the pulled pork sandwich but it was lacking some flavours that I would normally get in a pulled pork sandwich. They toned down  on the spiciness probably because of their patrons (mostly Filipinos). Taking the safer choice, my friend’s sandwich was better.

The Paraw sailing was fantastic. For 250 pesos, we enjoyed the breeze, sailed and viewed the sunset from the boat. It was a beautiful scene. Despite the alcohol ban, we still went to Epic that night and tried to party. I was in a better mood for getting more sleep, I turned in early again.

Astoria provided a generous spread for breakfast. We thoroughly enjoyed it, the seating was comfortable and we have a great view of the beach. My friend and I decided to lounge at the beach area and read a book after breakfast. We also enjoyed the pool area. We’ve already decided where to have lunch that day, after checking out, we left our belongings at the hotel concierge and went to Spider house. The location is a little bit further from Station 1. We took a tricycle to get there. Spider house is famous for its deck. You can jump right into the sea to cool off. Rustic, unlike all the fancy hotels in Boracay which makes it so appealing. The entrance feels like an adventure on its own. You go inside what looks like a cave at the side of the cliff, and then you go through a passage going up to a gate. The management did an amazing work keeping up the place. Their accommodations are also cheap. If you want to experience a much calmer ambiance, it’s the perfect place for you.

We were supposed to try the famous calamansi cupcakes in Boracay but for some reason we were too distracted, we don’t want to miss our flight. Maybe next time. Besides, Boracay is not that far.

There’s still a lot to explore in Boracay, a weekend is not bad as long as you have your ducks in order. My impression of Boracay is it’s like a combination of Phuket and Bali on steroids. Great sunsets and powdery white sands. Despite of how commercialized it is now, it’s still beautiful.

 

 

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