Sunday, March 24, 2013


According to Augustine of Hippo, "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." I agree to this and I would like to add that if you claim to have traveled a lot, you should have seen BORACAY at least once.

BORACAY ISLAND is one of the 7,107 islands of the Philippines located approximately 315 km (196 mi) south of Manila and 2 km off the northwest tip of Panay Island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. I grew up seeing Boracay from being one of the virgin islands until it had reached its commercial and most renowned upgrade today. My dad was born in Romblon, and it is approximately just 69 km away from Boracay. Since I was young, every summer, we head to Romblon because the FIESTA there starts Apr. 2-5. After that, we head to Boracay for a 3 day weekend getaway so I have visited this paradise a lot of times and I have known it as a rejuvenating place. This year, Hogan and I have gone with good friends and the experience had been once again, breathtaking, as always.

I have booked Microtel Hotel and Resorts located at Diniwid thru for accommodations. It was safe, quiet and homey. A lot of tourists prefer staying in Station 1 as it is the best location for the 2 great P's: PLAY and PARTY. Hogan liked the private beach Microtel has and had the most reliable photos to show about how their rooms looked like. From flying in to Caticlan from Hong Kong (1am-4am: HK to Cebu then 6am-7am: Cebu to Caticlan c/o Cebu Pacific) an hour after midnight until such time that we reached the hotel, we were pretty exhausted  considering that we flew in after a day's work the previous day. As promised, we were picked up from the airport, aided passing thru the jetty ports, and were brought to the hotel smoothly. Besides the VAT (tax) and extra bed fees, I requested for transportation services, which had included terminal and insurance fees together with the fare itself, to be arranged and so, all that we had to do was just be there. We were welcomed with necklaces, refreshing towels and cold glasses of lemon iced tea. The staff were very welcome, accommodating and helpful.

Microtel, Boracay
Our room wasn't going to be available until 10am despite my request for earlier check in time. (Standard check-in time:2pm ) But they were actually nice already to consider us as early as 10am. So, I didn't try to complain but we all had just made good use of our time.) We were booked to stay 5 days and 4 nights. As the woman handed me the breakfast stubs, I counted just 4 for each of us and just to share a little bit of understanding, I asked why just 4. They explained that when you check in on your first day, it was supposed to be at 2pm. Naturally, that should not have breakfast. Point taken. So, as we waited for the room, we used our breakfast stubs for the 1st day. There were assigned breakfast set for each day. Continental for Mondays and Thursdays, Filipino for Tuesdays and Fridays, and English Breakfast for the rest. It took us just 30 minutes to eat our breakfast as we didn't realize how hungry we were not until we smelled the coffee and the syrup of our pancakes. Hogan had to eat 2 sets. Hahahaha!!! The remaining hour and a half were spent indulging on none other than Red Horse Beer. (No judgements please!!!!) With respect to the word V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, we just went to the flow about everything else. It didn't go on for so long that we just had 2 but the kick of the horse was so great, I hailed the bed upon entering our room. I loved the fabulous view, I loved how accessible it was to the nearby swimming pool, I loved the shower, I loved how huge the room was for the 3 of us, I loved how they cleaned it and changed the towels everyday, I loved the free shuttle service to D'Mall, I loved how there was available coffee and microwave that later on, we were able to bring home food. The ref was pretty much handy too and the wifi is fast enough.

                              The flaws we've encountered were just about 3 things:
                                               1.    toilet clog
                                               2.    sliding doors damaged - because of the sand, 
                                                      it doesn't close smoothly
                                               3.    a little movement on the pull-out bed makes 
                                                      a LOT of noise





Shanay and I were able to take some rest after taking a bath but Hogan kept on chatting and drinking. Mid-afternoon, he was DONE. LOL!!! Later that day, our friends had come and we went straight to Nigi Nigi (Station 1) for some cocktails. No need to explain this picture as we continued into having dinner that evening. Red horse = tsk tsk tsk!!!!

Activities that we've tried the days after:
1. ATV

I've already tried this before with Ria and Val but it's fun to do it again, most especially when the course that you'll pass thru had been enhanced. Longer, more challenging and full of adventure I must say. It was our foreign friends' first time to do this.

ATV Rentals cost Php300/person. This should include drive-your-own vehicle and an entrance ticket to where the highest peak of the island is. You'd be given quite some time to capture memories and have a grand view of the island.

Overlooking Boracay Island


If the hotel offers you massage service, naturally, it would cost you Php 800 up. This is because it is considered "home" service. But there's a cheaper way of availing this. As you take a walk along the beach strip starting from Station 1, there are little covered sheds where a lot of licensed and professional masseuse (women who practices massage). Their services usually range from as low as Php150 up depending on your preference if you wanted you whole body to be massaged or either just the upper or lower back.

 Henna (Lawsonia inermis, also called henna tree[1]) or Hina is a flowering plant, the sole species in the genus Lawsonia in the family Lythraceae. The English name "henna" comes from the Arabic حِنَّاء (ALA-LC: ḥinnāʾ / pronounced [ħɪnˈnæːʔ]) or colloquially حنا, loosely pronounced /ħinna/.
The name is also used for dye preparations derived from the plant, and for the art of temporary tattooing based on those dyes. Henna has been used since antiquity to dye skin, hair, and fingernails, as well as fabrics including Silk and wool as well as for leather. Additionally, the name is misused for other skin and hair dyes, such as black henna or neutral henna, which are not derived from the plant.



My friends have had their henna tattoos done on our 2nd night as much precautions were needed to be considered. First, you have to let it dry up then you can wash it an hour after to avoid staining bed sheets upon sleeping. (Hotels are strict to warn you that you'll be charged in staining their sheets because of the henna ink used.) Prices of the henna tattooing service depends on the size you wanted and how complicated the design is. It starts from Php150 up.


If you want to submerge to the "ISLAND" vibe, having your hair braided would be worth a try. I suggested to Hogan to try this service because he is always charged so expensively when he does it here in Hong Kong or in Shen Zhen. In Boracay, the cost depends if you want your entire do to be done or just a portion of it. Hogan had his done completely, Randy had from just the frontal part braided while Shanay did the side, enough to get her hair pimped.



It comes in handy when you have somebody in your group whose fluent in Bisaya, Ilonggo or Cebuano. In this trip, AJ was the most fluent to be able to bargain charges in doing the island hopping. Each of us paid Php300 to go around Boracay, seeing the nicest hotels and resorts, being able to really admire Station 1 with its finest white sand above the rest and knowing the controversy behind why Pacquiao's rest house/resort wasn't able to get finished up. Included in the Island Hopping was SNORKELING. And Hogan enjoyed this very much. (Snorkel appartaus rental fee = Php20/each for the entire snorkeling period.) Along with Hogan, Earl and Randy showed skills in swimming as they really went far away. For those who don't know how to swim, keep your life jackets on as the wave currents are pretty strong. To appreciate what sea world could offer you, the fishermen would take you to a nearly open sea part. Hence, the strong currents. It's good if you have little bread to feed the fish. They are more likely to go near you if you have some at hand.

This experience was incomparable to anything. Bobby and I really went for it as we claim the label, "ADVENTUROUS". The rest of our friends were hungry, became sea sick and had to do some errands that there were just the two of us who indulged on the luxury of riding the speed boat to be brought to where it's deep enough for the helmet diving stations to be as efficient. The pressurized helmet had kept us breathing even though we were submerged into the sea. I have reflected on it afterwards. And maybe the feeling is the same with the divers in the movie, "Men of Honor" because the helmet surely was so heavy. And that's just the helmet alone. Here are some shots underwater.

 This was my first and it was an amazing experience.
Quite scary at first but Bobby was with me, Thank God.
And he's more than on the go with outdoor activities.
More so, into underwater activities. Thanks Bob!!!

In between the never-ending food trip, we have played beach volleyball with a lot of locals and some foreigners and this heightened up the fun Boracay brings.

Make sure to be a good sport and that your bikini is tight enough as you dig, jump and spike.

This is a good way also to meet other people who are also on vacation, get nice photos and get that energetic rush flowing. 


My friend here, Earl, tried a good 15-minute bungee jumping amounting to Php200. You would think that it's not worth it of the money as it is too fast. But you're the one who's going to give up because you'd get tired doing stunts. Good work out for the abs as the secret is the core strength you have.

There you have it folks! 

Now, for those who would be wanting a getaway, 3 days is all good to spend here. Once you're abreast with how it is in Boracay, feel free to add more days on that usual 3 because I'm sure, there were more daring experiences like ZORB, ZIP LINE, horse back riding, scuba diving and parasailing. Hogan did mention that he would want to come back to shop. The board shorts had fitted him right and he finds that amazing. Because in Hong Kong, he always find them small.

Some things that you need to be aware of in going to Boracay is the common delays with flights. Allow ample time if you are in a connecting flight. Change your money from where you're coming from. Exchange rate is lower as this is a very popular tourist spot. They tend to make business out of it just like every tourist spot does.

In addition to the activities, do have a taste of D'Talipapa, Jonah's Fruit Shakes' CHORI Burger, ARMY NAVY's pizza delights and Nigi Nigi's Weng Weng. Drink as much Fresh Mango Shakes and do bring home BORACAY RUM because it's all so good.

 Gear up, buy that water protector for your digital camera, bring shades that'll match every 2-piece swimsuit and make memories. Hope you enjoyed my weekend getaway post! Thanks for reading!

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