BORACAY’S ISLAND CHARM

Puca Beach

The Famous Willy's Rock

Features an unadulterated (?) island living in the Philippines, all in a seven kilometer, palm fringed, white powdery sand beach.

Its main allure, one that sets it apart from the best beaches in the world, is its fine sand as soft as talc. It is cool to the feet, even under the scorching midday sun.

The west side beach offers the best sunset view in the country with the splashes of the colors orange, magenta, peach and gold giving you a sense of melancholy and serenity found nowhere else.

The waters’ depth level has along, even gradation where you can clearly see minute school of fishes darting between your legs. The very rare, luminous white “puca” shells, said to be the most premium in the world, can be found here.

Boracay is at its finest during the rainy season and a good “sight-seeing” ground during cold December. It’s a place where people from all generations and cultures converge and party. Perhaps it’s the diversity of nature that made me fall in love with the place.

Getting There

There are four ways to get to Boracay:
1. Direct flight from Manila to Caticlan in Panay (1 hour) via Asian Spirit and SeaAir then by a 30-minute motorized ferry ride
2. Direct flight from Manila to Aklan ( 1 hour ) then a two-hour overland trip to Caticlan and a 30-minute ferry ride
3. Via Our Lady of Lipa from North Pier to Dumaguit ( 18 hours ), then a two-hour land trip to Caticlan and a 30-minute ferry ride
4. Via Ro-Ro from Batangas Pier to Boracay

Take note: Allow a longer time when leaving the island because you have to travel by tricycle going to the new pier at the back of the Island to ride the ferry.

Where to Stay

There are two ways of getting accommodations. First by booking in advance via travel agencies or the internet but you have to pay more for this convenience .Club Panoly – serenity not found in white beach resorts, Fridays, Seawind, Regency-it’s like being billeted in Manila, Willy’s Rock, Boracay Terraces, Sand Castle and Pearl of the Pacific is more on the upscale living. Food is often served by the beach with the complete ambience of Island Paradise. Candles, light torches and acoustic music fill the romantic air.

The second one if you are on a budget, there are options available to you on the White Beach. Get off at Station 3. Walk along the beach and ask around. I can vouch for 2 economical places: Cliffhanger (Station 2) and St. Vincent’s Cottage (Station 3). Both are economical and the owner/staff are hospitable and nice. You can have your meals cooked for a very minimal cost.

Places to Visit

Jonah’s has the tastiest banana peanut shake on Boracay. Great Sunset view. It has improved dramatically from a humble restaurant to a hang-out place cum sunset. It is now equipped with big white tents set-up in a bigger space and a lighted signage that you can see from a kilometer.

Cocomangas is home of the Moondogs Shooters Club, people who drink 15 kinds of alcoholic beverages under time pressure. You’ll get an engraved dog tag displayed on the restaurant wall. An evidence of great valor and spirited bravery … in drinking. Now, Shooters is available in a water jug w/ disposable cups to share it with friends. It is the home of special events and parties. Recently, the “Teaze” – from the makers of C2 Iced Tea- Launch was held there. Incidentally, my husband, Oliver, made the photographs of the award winning label.

Pier 1 – a party place just like Cocomangas.

Boom Boom Bar – a place to hear tribal music.

Mandalay Spa is a high-end relaxation for the upper echelon of the society. An alternative is lying on the beach and calling “manang” to do the Php 200 massage using coconut oil.

D Mall is a shop-a-holics haven. It is now a combination of shops and restaurants with an additional Ferris wheel for the kids. Mongkok and Dimsum, Ice Monsters, Hobbit House, Bacolod Inasal, Andok’s, etc. are the new chow places to go.

D Talipapa is also available for the bargain hunters. Blue Jade Restaurant is a good place to eat. There are also restaurants that you can have your meal cooked after buying them at the Talipapa. Tribal music can be bought for 200 in one of the stores. Available in this place is a special edition Coke with Boracay label … a part of my prized collection of Coke. The collection is now almost a hundred because of the big contribution of my mamu, Dr. Editha Dalisay – renowned endocrinologist at St. Luke’s Hospital and UERMMC – and other good friends who travel the world over.

Aria is a party place for the celebs and celeb-hunters. Serves Italian Food.

Hey Jude – great pizza hang-out. Try Pizza Margherita

True Food – Indian restaurant where you will dine literally in Indian seat.

Zorba – Greek Restaurant. Haven’t tasted their food.

There are lots of things to do in Boracay – relax, shop, man/babe-hunt, island hop to Puca Beach and Crystal Cave (Php 1,500.00), snorkel, dive, banana boat ride, parasail, wall climb and Party! It’s a kind of place that you will come back to even if you’ve been there a lot of times. It offers variety of activities both for the adventurous and the laid-back.

There are two ways to enjoy Boracay: Be with good friends and enjoy the parties and the various aqua rides. Laughs are heartier and nights are longer. It will be more economical when traveling with friends because you can split the bill for food, island hopping and night outs.

Another way is to have a great romantic companion which is a one essential part of this whole package. The sunset is more colorful, dinners are more delightful, and activities are more fun. It makes the getaway more meaningful and worth remembering. It has been said that love is the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life and to be needed. It needs your significant other to feel this. Happiness is a way of travel – not a destination. This I didn’t edit because I still have my hubby walking by the beach beside me. 

Published: Pro Philippines and Diabetes Watch

Stock photos available.

Written: 2005

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