Well, I thought it was overrated until I finally felt its sand between my toes. 🙂
Last September, my friend Angelica, who have been based in California for the past seven or eight years, messaged us online asking if we wanted to join her to visit Boracay Island for the first time.
It was one popular Philippine vacation spot that I wanted to cross off my list, so I booked my ticket to Aklan right away.
We went there on the first weekend of December. It was not even summer. But, I should have known to expect an endless summer from one of the Philippines’ favorite beaches.
We stayed at a boutique hotel on Station 1, an evidence of our being Boracay newbies. We later found out that accommodations and food at Station 1 were more expensive than those in Station 2.
But, we had the most amazing strip of beach outside our hotel anyway. I didn’t really care much that I had to walk a kilometer to eat and exercised off the buffet with the walk back.
I had to tend to a few work-related e-mails first, while my friends checked out White Beach of Boracay Island.
Our first night consisted of a seafood buffet, window shopping and beer guzzling, all on the beach. We were amused with the pricing though (of the services and the food) and the thick throng of people despite the month being December.
There were a lot of restaurants to choose from, but we agreed on three criteria: a) there should be firedancers, b) there should be beer, and c) it should be on the beach.
We almost kept on walking straight onto Station 3. We couldn’t find a place with beers, firedancers and a good-looking array of food. So, we ended up with walking back to have dinner at Station 1 and walking back to Station 2 for the relatively cheaper beers and the fire-dancing.
I guess it’s the allure of the seemingly silly and strange mixed with the scorching. But, seeing him play with fire while smoking a fire hazard was quite interesting.
The next day, we found ourselves almost missing our free breakfast due to waking up late.
What was on our agenda for that day? Why, the staple activity of island-hopping plus snorkeling, of course. We took pictures in the caves of Crystal Cove Island, saw fishes and a few colorful corals beside Station 3, and had a heavy brunch on the beach of Club Panoly.
We also wanted to do helmet diving and ride the Zorb, but we really didn’t have enough time.
Could you guess what we did right after we came back to our hotel?
Slept, of course. And oddly enough, I don’t feel wrong about sleeping beside a beach. I was feeling very relaxed that I didn’t really want to think about moving a muscle. 🙂
We woke up a few hours later to… find dinner, of course. I managed to try out Boracay’s pristine beach this time.
This was turning out to be another perfect beach vacation of just eating, swimming and sleeping.
But, we had to ignore them because of the hefty price tags they came with. We settled on having another buffet dinner, this time at Station 2. This was less expensive, but I liked the food selection more. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with crunchy, tasty lechon, several helpings of chili crab and three hungry Filipinos.
We tried looking for the usually ubiquitous Boracay sandcastle that night, but we later learned from the locals that the sandcastle wasn’t really a fixture on the beach. It would only be put up if we paid a thousand pesos for it.
Knowing that we were the kind of folks who didn’t pluck gold from trees, we stuck to taking pictures with the little sand formations a few local children have made near our hotel. We only paid a few hundred pesos.
We shopped a little before going to bed. Well, I had to finish doing a few reports and ended up going later than everyone else.
The next day, we had breakfast at the hotel again. It was our last day, and I wanted to try out something that I know I can always remember Boracay by. Because of the hotel wi-fi, I found out that there was a little cafe just behind our hotel room that served precious little lemon (kalamansi) muffins.
I bought my dose of morning coffee and a muffin from the Real Coffee Cafe. Their espresso wasn’t really anything extraordinary for me, but the muffin was just a golden piece of heavenly citrus delight. 🙂
We all snuck in a few minutes of swimming in Boracay’s beauty, but the time eventually came for us to say goodbye.
I must say that three days and two nights is hardly enough time to soak in all of what Boracay Island had to offer. I think a couple more days would have done the trick for me.
I no longer wonder why people keep coming back to that island. It was neither Palawan nor Bohol. But, Boracay Island can certainly boast of being the most commercially comfortable among all these beach beauties.
Even with the overpricing and the overcrowding (in some places), it can still weave a spell over its visitors and make them wish that they could call this place their home.