Sunday, September 23

Boracay Island September 2012

One week before my Boracay trip, there was an earthquake 31 Aug in the eastern coast of Philippines - 7.6 Magnitude and small tsunami alert was announced. Both my sis and I were unsure whether we shall go ahead with the trip after months of anticipating. I asked Martin, my Filipino colleague about my dilemma and he laughed and said, "go lahh, earthquake is norm in the Philippines and you'll be fine".

Beautiful view when nearing Luzon
With that assurance from the local, we left LCCT at 6.45am and safely arrived at Clark Pampanga (Luzon island) by noon along with 8 other ladies. In order to go to Cebu island where our final destination is, we have to take less than hour flight to Kalibo. Many thanks to AirAsia who has just launched the domestic flight from Pampanga - Kalibo earlier of the year, we can just wait for our departing from the same airport. Unlike previously, we need to head to Manila airport which is 2-hour bus journey away. My flight itinerary:  

08/09/12 (sat) : AK 1438 6:45am(KUL,LCCT) - 10:30am(Clark, Pampanga)
08/09/12 (Sat): 3:25pm(Clark, Pampanga) - 4:30pm(Kalibo)


NOTE: YOU WILL WASTE 2 WHOLE DAY TRAVELING TO AND FRO - ALLOCATE AT LEAST 6 DAYS OR MORE.

Since we have 3-4 hours to kill for our transit, we headed to SM mall for lunch which is 15 minutes away. Because there were 10 of us with our luggage, we booked a van by ourselves which cost us 2000 peso (i forgot it's one way or return >,<) otherwise you can take jeepney or bus or tricycle for more local feel. :)


A: Pampanga B: Kalibo C: Boracay
We touched down 15 minutes earlier than scheduled time at Kalibo International Airport. It is the smallest terminal I've ever seen so far but I think it is super efficient as there is less procedure. Anyway, we were done with air transportation, here comes the nightmare of land -water- land transportation.

NOTE: JUST CHANGE PESO ALTHOUGH US DOLLAR IS ACCEPTABLE AT CERTAIN PLACE
 
 Kalibo Airport - Caticlan boat port - boat - Cagban port - escort to hotel

According to my travel mate, you have 2 options here :-
 
1. About RM97 - Van from Kalibo airport to Caticlan boat port (1.5 to 2 hours)
- Bangka boat to Cagban port (20 minutes)
- Tricycles to resort
* This package considered customized as the logistic expert will waiting for us upon arriving, from boracay guide

2. About RM73 - Bus from Kalibo airport to Caticlan boat port (1.5 to 2 hours)
- boat to Cagban port (20 minutes)
- multicab to resort
*This package from southwest tour.

Both package coded based on one pax, round trip and included environmental taxes and terminal fees. Arange transportation upon arrive, the price will be cheaper aboout RM20 and save time. 
 
NOTE:: ONLY LET PEOPLE CARRY YOUR BAG IF YOU WILLING TO TIP THEM.



Around 8p.m, we reached the town. It was dark as there isn't many street lights and road is narrow and wet. I was so tired as I only had 2 hours of sleep the night before. I have been traveling for more than 14 hours and yet I am not there yet. Now, I started to question whether I made the right decision of coming here. Soon, the van came to a stop. "Go down, walk to your hotel", the bus driver instructed as the road became narrower the van couldn't go through. My hotel was around 50 meter away and I had to pull my luggage on the sand all the way to Victory Beach Resort. Each night costs us RM240 for twin sharing + breakfast. I really think it is rather expensive as we didn't book earlier but walk in. When I checked later, I found out it is only RM160+ per night. FML.

NOTE: BOOK YOUR HOTEL VIA AGODA OR OTHERS FOR DISCOUNT AND SAVE MONEY.
Dinner @ Boracay Mandarin, great food, great people, great performance, delicious margarita. ;)
Performance on that night: Live band and Fire dancing. Pretty stunning!

Generally, I think food is pretty reasonable priced and quite cheap for such a well-known island. For example, Italian dinner - green salad, seafood carbonara spaghetti and two glasses of margarita is less than RM40 or a plate of pork rice + fried egg + iced lemon tea is less than RM10, or international buffet dinner is less than RM40. If you love seafood, you can also head to their local market - pick & buy your fav seafood, vege, others and ask the local chef to cook for you at decent price too!

Buy fresh seafood from the market & pay restaurant to cook for you

Complimentary breakfast from the hotel 

If you drink, you will love this place... CHEAP and PURE. There's happy hour - happy 1 free 1. Some bar has it all day, all night, some just from 5-9pm. The last night, the eight of us went out drinking. Each of us has a cocktail and then 2-3 rounds of tequila shots, a AK47 and a jaggerbomb. The total bill is 6000 peso. Dirt cheap!

NOTE: DO NOT PARTY ON THE LAST NIGHT AS YOU MIGHT GET HANGOVER ON THE WAY BACK TO KL. IT'S SUFFERING

yummmm seng!
According to wiki, from July to October it is known as the wettest season and can get very sultry and humid, especially in August. It did rain the time I was there but it was not whole day type of rain like in Malaysia. The most was 45 minutes then good weather. Usually it rained during morning / night. So, i think it should be OK to go during that period based on my experience. However, I am not sure if the waves/current are strong for divers or not.
It's really a looooooong beach.

Every morning, we were greeted with blue sky, white clouds, bright sun, crystal clear water, white sandy beach, friendly people, great food and of course my sister all by my side.



There are many water sports activities that you can do in the beach such as islands hopping, Ariels Point, scuba diving, helmet dive, parasailing, jet ski, kiteboarding, ... read more from here. The only activity that both sis and I keen to do was Discover Scuba and nothing else.

Discover Dive @ RedCoral (2500 peso per person)
Most of the daytime, we would lay down on the beach, sipping coconut / beers and relaxing. At night, we drink cocktails & go massage. I even attempted to write...

Lying on the bench by the Boracay Island overlooking different shades of blue; ocean and sky. What differentiate both is the sky is in light blue whereas the sea is in darker shades. Strong wind blows but I am not afraid messy hair as they are neatly braided. Perfectly done by the beautiful local lady accompanied by her little sweet sister.

I was surrounded by loving couples, some genuine lovers and a few, part-timers who wants everything but commitment. Some look perfectly matching though.


There are two cute kids of 3-4 years old wearing life jackets running around with their sand castle kids. Their parents are hand-in-hand walking down the beach. They kids tailed from behind. Occasionally the adults bend down to hug and pat the their children. I could see the joy and happiness in them, full of love and care...and i wished he is right there beside me.

.... and lots of cam-whoring

         
Exploring beautiful town
Here are some of the activities that we did:

Hair braiding = 100 -200 peso

Gangster "henna" tattoo = 100-200 peso
Sunset Sailing 1000 peso per boat
This sunset sailing is epic! By the name of it, we thought it would be romantic activity hence we changed into such a diva - long dress, make up and all. Mana tau, you see the "boat" above. It's not even a boat, it's a hammock-kind of seating and when we returned we were drenched - top to toe! I even almost fall off from the boat as we hit and went against strong waves. I had a great time, I couldn't stop laughing thinking how silly we were. Love it!
We Love Boracay!
Looking back at these photos and writing down my experience, I have no regret (except for getting fking drunk the last night) and I am thankful for great weather, great company throughout the trip. I have never felt so relaxed and excited ever since I started working. A perfect getaway from work!

Boracay, I will be back with the the love of my life! :)

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