Beachin it in Boracay!
For Filipinos, Boracay is one of their biggest national prides. It’s their version of Hawaii but to get to this famed island was quite a journey.
I booked a direct flight on SeAir out of Cebu. When I arrived at the check-in counter no one was there. Next door at Zest Airlines the attendant told me the plane had already left! I looked at my watch and said, “how could that be, it’s only 9:55 AM and the flight is scheduled to leave at 10:30AM?” I was fuming mad and determined to get on that plane. I quickly headed towards the departure gate and got in line for security screening. The guard barked, “ticket and passport.” I showed her my passport and lied to her, “My ticket’s with my wife at the gate”. She reluctantly waved me through and I hustled downstairs with my luggage violently dragging behind me. At the gate there was once again no one from SeAir to be found and then I snuck through the “restricted” door and made my way out to the jetway! Looking around I saw the SeAir plane but it was already taxiing out to the runway. Damn. The good fight was over, there was no way I was getting on that plane. I looked at my watch and the time read 10:15AM. I thought to myself, this is a first, I’ve never seen an airplane leave early and it’s certainly the first time anything has ever happened early in the Philippines. Oh well, I was only out $28 USD for my 10:30AM schedule flight.
Back I went to the ticketing counters upstairs. One hour later I boarded a small Air Philippines turbo-prop plane and another 45 minutes later I was landing in Caticlan. During the flight, the view out the window was surreal!
After a short walk to the pier I boarded a 28 passenger pumpboat that took me to Boracay. On the trip I started to realize how influential the Koreans are getting in this region of Asia. The boat was filled with 80% Koreans and ironically their skin tones were far whiter than mine! My only “beef” with them is that they seem to be as dumb as most Japanese and American travelers that throw ridiculous amounts of money around and in turn drive up prices for everyone. I saw one guy pay 400 pesos for the same trike ride I paid 30 Pesos for…
Last up I took a 20 minute trike ride to my hotel. I booked at the massive and luxurious Alta Vista condo-hotel. It is a beautiful property set in the hills with a spectacular negative edge swimming pool and 360 degree view of the island. The room was large and very nice for $50 USD a night. Nevertheless, I only stayed one night and moved to a beachside hotel the very next night. If you’re going to visit Boracay then I’d recommend you do the same and choose a waterfront hotel so that you’ll be at the heart of the reason you’re there.
Walking from hotel to hotel, I found Boracay Dream. Their “rack” rate is 4,500 pesos but with just a little negotiation I got them to 2,000. After just a little more negotiation and a promise to stay two nights the price got to a sweet spot of 1,500 Pesos ($30 USD) a night. I had my own “house” complete with a comfy king bed, air conditioning and hot water. It’s directly beachfront and the staff went out of their way one night when they brought me some fresh popcorn that was not on their menu. Highly recommended.
The next morning I had a breakfast of Filipino beef tapas while watching the beautiful waves crash on the beach of the white sand beach in Boracay. After my meal I decided to go swimming in my underwear. I stripped off my clothes and pretended that my bright orange briefs were a bathing suit and no-one seemed to mind.