Friday, August 3, 2012

Boracay Island

I Love Boracay
By Heinz Lopez Alvarez

To set foot in Boracay for a vacation or whatnot did not excite me at all. That was before and the reason was I  had experienced living a life near the beach ( beaches, actually) and mountains in my younger years. Our families in both sides, Lopez and Alvarez, came from Bicol. My parents were both born and raised in Caramoan, which is now a famous destination for both local and foreign tourists coming from different parts of the globe. But after spending four fun-tastic days in that Visayan jewel, I uttered "I love Boracay!"

I, together with my IBM workmates, explored Boracay in August 2011. Allow me to virtually share the fun and the experience through this feature.

DAY ONE (August 4) 

Our original flight was 7:30 AM but we were offered with an earlier flight when we were checking-in. We accepted the 7:00 AM Flight (Manila to Caticlan). It was a good flight but it could have been better if no single thing was missed to be loaded onto the plane before the take-off.

We arrived at Caticlan Airport 6 minutes ahead of schedule and we immediately went to claiming our baggage only to find out that my office mate's backpack and my tripod (which i borrowed from my best friend) were left behind in Manila. Well, unwanted things happen sometimes. Anyway, the airline promised that the next plane would carry our stuff and they would send somebody to our resort in Boracay to personally hand them to us. They did.

From Caticlan Airport, we took a tricycle and then rode a motor boat going to the Boracay Port. Then from there was another tricycle ride going to Frendz Resort. We checked-in and after a short rest did the following activities:

We raided the busy shopping center and checked out beachfront restaurants, cafe, and bars. Gerry's Grill, Starbucks, Yellow Cab, Pancake Haus, Andoks, and a lot more are there!

Ate brunch at a very affordable restaurant. A vacation in Boracay can either be expensive or affordable depending on your "spending skills".

I and Steve enjoyed playing with the waves of Boracay. Boracay's beach is indeed beautiful. Fine white sand, coconut trees, clear sea water, bamboo benches along the beach, para-sailing sights, tourists of different races. My ONLY worry was maintaining its cleanliness. I saw an empty soy sauce plastic container floating and it was not a good sign. :(

I had a good, short but very deep sleep. It's quiet in Boracay. I did not even noticed that my roommates had arrived until Steve woke me up.

We dined at the Big Mouth for supper. Rice and toppings in bowls were great! We devoured Bang-bang chicken, Pepperoni steak and Beef gyudon.

Boracay's beach line becomes splendid at night because of the lights in various colors coming from establishments particularly bars and the like. Disco lights add some accents too! We enjoyed walking along the beach and we had a taste of watching three ladies doing the fire dance. Too bad, Rachel Lobangco did not appear to perform on that night.

DAY TWO (August 5) 

Day two brought so much fun! We went island hopping, helmet diving, snorkeling and we played with the big waves once again. We also strolled along the beach, had dinner buffet, watched fire dance for the second time around, and danced and got drunk a bit.

Island hopping. Our guide came just in time after our breakfast in Andoks, perhaps the cheapest fast food restaurant in the island. He picked us up and assisted us with our island hopping itinerary. Sandwiching this activity were: helmet diving and snorkeling.

* Helmet diving. A speed boat transported us from the Island to a floating platform where we had an orientation on Helmet driving. It uses a helmet that weighs 25 kilograms and becomes 2-3 kilograms once already submerged in the water. When everybody was ready, the exploration of the underwater world began.

* Snorkeling. Steve's' favorite activity. Having an actual and a close up look at the fish and corals was definitely amazing!

We enjoyed a lunch by the beach on day two. M and E Ihaw-ihaw Restaurant served their specialties: fresh prawn sinigang and grilled squids.

One of the simplest yet nicest way to spend time in Boracay beach is by sitting on on its white and powdery sand while the waves reach and hit your feet intermittently. It is certainly a perfect place to relax and unwind, far from the hustle and bustle of life in the metro.

One of the things that we did not want to miss while in  Boracay was dinner buffets. For our group, it was time to fiesta with seafood on our plates!

When the clock hits eight in the evening, restaurants along the beach offer wide range of cuisines for tourists to choose from.

Night beach stroll in Boracay is also extra special. We had the chance of watching one of Boracay's attraction: fire dance. Twas awesome!

Sabi nila, hindi mo raw na-enjoy ang nightlife sa Bora kung hindi ka nakapag-party sa EPIC. We did!

DAY THREE (August 6) 

Morning of day three was intended for relaxation. Some went out to have massage. Others just went for a morning walk along the beach.

We had a sumptuous lunch at Astoria Boracay. It was a lunch buffet so everybody tasted everything.

Afternoon of day three was the most exciting part of this vacation for me because of ATV (all-terrain vehicle). It was my most awaited activity in Boracay. Because of over excitement, I did not mind what I was eating in Astoria. I absent-mindedly ate "leche flan" (if you are a close friend, you know I would eat anything other than "leche flan").

Once in the ATV Station, we attended the briefing, paid and mounted our ATV motors. Brrrooommm- brrrooommm!

We reached the highest point in Boracay, Mt. Luho, driving our ATV's! Then, we climbed a tower that gave us a 360-degree view of the Boracay Island.

Sand castle experience is best after an ATV adventure. For a small donation, we were able to have our pictures taken with the sand castles. :)

DAY FOUR (August 7) 

The last day definitely brought early nostalgia. As far as I can remember, I was too quite while packing up my things and even during breakfast. Pero masarap pala ang siopao at mainit na kape sa umaga. I had my last morning leisure walk along the beach, last swim and last play with the fine white sand.

We traveled Boracay to Caticlan and Caticlan to Kalibo Airport via van. At 5:45 PM we Landed in NAIA Domestic Airport. Given the time and the chance (?), I will definitely revisit Boracay.
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