It’s official – it’s the start of the rainy season in the Philippines and guess what? We’re travelling to Boracay! The first thought that raced through my mind was “What a bummer!” then I started worrying about delayed flights, no summer pictures by the beach, no water sports activity. The list goes on… Nonetheless, no announcement could ever stop this R&R with my Bessie, Wilbeth.
We flew to Caticlan from Manila on the third week of June. We had our tour guide wait for us at the airport so he can take us to the island, hassle-free. This is why I like to plan everything ahead. I don’t want the hassle of looking for ways to go to our destination. If you want to travel and immerse with the people and learn to live like the locals, then don’t plan anything – do everything spontaneous. But if you want to unwind and just leave the stress in the city, hire a tour guide.We hired the service of Travel Online.
In the afternoon, we were already safely walking along the shimmering white sands. The beach looks marvelous with its shore stretching as far as my feasting eyes can wander. Unfortunately, the clouds were thick and it covers the famous Boracay sunset. It’s okay though as we still have 3 more days to catch that sunset. Strolling along the beach, we were pleased with the stunning view, the stillness of the water and the smiling faces greeting us.
Of course a trip to one of my favorite coffee house is a must. Starbucks is neatly located at Station 1 and staying at the shop’s 3rd floor gave us a good view of the beach and the peacefulness needed while planning the next few days in heaven. Yes, I am a sucker for planning so I guess I bugged Bessie with my ideal vacation. By night time, we already planned that our second day should include island hopping and helmet diving; third day will include ParaSailing. I don’t want any other water activity being the boring person as I am.
Dinner was at a local restaurant in Station 1, I forgot the name – darn, I should’ve written this entry right after the vacation. We were right on the budget on our first night. Meal was sumptuous but very cheap. On the way back to the hotel, we bought water and chips that we can store in our room. Oh, I also found the bistro that airs World Cup games live. I need to watch Spain vs. Chile.
After breakfast the next day, we looked for the cheapest Helmet Diving and ParaSailing package. We found Kuya Apol (0939-9625323) who helped us booked these activities. Planning on what to do versus deciding when is the right time proved to be a dilemma for Bessie and I. We couldn’t decide whether it is better to do the helmet diving or parasailing on the second day. We were told that the wind was a bit rough for a small parasail so we ended booking with Diamond Watersports. For 1500 pesos each we had the best experience.
Diamond Watersports boasts of giving the best view of the whole Boracay Island up in the air for 15 minutes with their Parasailing service. Oh boy they were right. Bessie had fear of heights but I think she conquered it. Way to go, Beth! It was quiet and peaceful up there – we were 500 ft. up in the air, mind you. Yes, I say peaceful even though the wind was strong and there was an occasional rain shower. I didn’t mind the wind and the rain as it was majestic looking at how far we were up from our speedboat and that we were seeing the island from a different angle. Scary, yes, but the feeling of being above everything else was overwhelming. At one point, we were wishing that we had our coffee up there.
Afternoon means swimming time!
The evening ended with a good live entertainment at Villa De Oro located at Station 3. Our package includes dinner at this place and it was okay, I guess. I wasn’t feeling the food but I liked the live band/karaoke. Dinner was heavy hence I stayed inside our hotel room to watch World Cup – it’s Spain vs. Chile. To my dismay, my favorite National Team lost in a little shameful manner. Good thing I didn’t go out to watch it in the bistro as beside my heart being broken, my wallet could’ve gotten kaput, too.
We planned on doing the island hopping the morning after. But we booked a little late and ended up late going to the port where the boat that’ll take us to the other small islands was docked and yes, you guessed it right, we didn’t make it on time.
We went helmet diving instead. Just when I thought our ParaSailing the other day was already splendid, this activity proved me wrong. I loved it! Swimming with the fish – I swear I must’ve met Nemo down there. Talk about conquering my fear of the underwater, I enjoyed helmet diving. No required swimming necessary, all you need is a good breathing exercise and the know-how when to blow your nose inwardly to balance the pressure. It was too short though versus what they had advertised. The experience was great but the service given was poor. I forgot the name of the company that took care of us, I’ll probably just edit it in once I remembered. The CD that they boast was not as what they advertised as well. They said it’ll include 30-minutes of video and some photos. But the CD only had photos which are poorly taken – see them below…
Since we are not able to view the famous Boracay sunset yet and that island hopping plan was an epic fail, we decided to enjoy it at Friday’s with some cocktails. First class service, oh this reminded me of the never-ending reasons why we should always choose 4-5 star hotel/restaurants over other cheap ones while you’re on vacation. It doesn’t hurt to indulge a bit and spend some cash; anyway you have an excuse: I was on vacation.
Mother Nature was not in sync with our plans or so it seemed. It rained that afternoon. While we were sipping our Mango Daiquiris and munching on some special menu platter at Friday’s waiting for the sun to set – it rained, and it rained hard. We got stranded. I can tell Bessie is getting a little too drunk when her color started to get quite red. LOL. Speaking of the first class service, we borrowed the hotel’s umbrellas and asked the concierge to hail a tricycle for us so we can go back to our cheap hotel. Despite the cheap hotel as a destination, Friday’s staff didn’t seem bothered and gave us what we wanted. Good job! I’d prolly save up for my next Bora trip and stay at this hotel. That’ll be lovely.
Before we checked out of the hotel, we had to go and enjoy a good dip one last time. This time I had my coffee with me while swimming. Really?! Yes! Two of my favourite things on earth – beach and coffee.
Coffee, beach and me
At exactly 2pm, we were bidding goodbye to Boracay. It was heartbreaking as we know it’ll be back to reality the day after. We travelled for about 2-3 hours in bus to Kalibo where we’ll catch our flight to Manila at 4am.
While waiting for the flight and to kill time, we checked in at Asia Novotel Hotel, left our bags and went on a side trip to Kalibo Cathedral and had dinner at Kitty’s Kitchen.
Some plans didn’t work out okay, some became epic fail but it didn’t dampen our mood. Heck, we don’t care if we didn’t see the sunset nor had the tan lines we were wishing for as it mostly rained. We had a great time in Boracay. A little peace and quiet is all we need to enjoy the much-needed R&R.