My First Boracay Experience & What Everyone Should Know

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I was born and raised in Cebu, Philippines and sadly, I haven’t been to Boracay in my entire life. I have worked in Singapore for five years as an IT and was often asked by my colleagues about Boracay. Buffered as to what facts should I be able to answer them. I was always like, hmm, urghhh. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

I knew it, none of us would want to be in such a super ironic situation. In 2017, I moved to Cebu for good and worked as a home-based IT. I thought I got the luxury of time to explore my own country yet I was wrong. I get lazy, hesitant and afraid to travel alone to Boracay. 

Not until last June 2019, who would’ve thought that I’ll be able to reach the place. I got an invitation to accompany a business trip to Caticlan last month. I do not want to miss out on the chance so I immediately booked a ticket online via Cebu Pacific. Boracay here we go!

NOTE: Philippine Immigration requires every tourist a booking confirmation of your hotel in Boracay. In short, no accommodation, no entry. This is after the recent six-month rehabilitation done by the current government on this island.

The flight was from Mactan-Cebu International Airport at 11:55 PM towards Kalibo International Airport. It is a quick 50-minute flight or even lesser. 

We reached Kalibo International Airport 10 minutes earlier than the scheduled arrival. Right in front of the airport exit, we took the van towards Caticlan Jetty Port. The fare was at PHP 200 per head all in. The transfer took us 1.5 hrs to reach the port (enough time to sleep).

Kalibo International Airport
Kalibo International Airport Access Road, Kalibo, Aklan

Upon registration, the receptionist also asked our hotel booking confirmation and have it stamped for verification.

Once we arrived at the jetty port, we paid the following:

  1. Terminal Fee: PHP 100 per person (free for kids 5 years old and below)
  2. Environmental Fee: PHP 75 per person (free for kids 12 years old and below)
  3. Boat Fare: PHP 25 per person from 6:00 AM to 05:45 PM, and PHP 30 per person on 05:45 PM and beyond (half fare for kids 6 years old and below)

Then we proceeded to the boat. We were amazed by the floating path made of plastic for the ease of boarding. Though it is wide enough, it still can’t reduce the shaking brought by the waves. They could have lit up the floating platform more (just a suggestion) to avoid accidents especially to some of us who were carrying pieces of luggage.

Feeling weary, we arrived on the island approximately a quarter before 3:00 AM. We were surprised that our hotel was fully-booked that we can’t check-in early as agreed over the phone. So, we rode a tricycle all the way to Station 3 and ended up renting another room for Php 1900 per night. Thus, we personally suggest not to take this flight unless you are surely allowed for early check-in with your hotel.

TIP: The normal tricycle costs Php 150 for special (rent privately). And Php 20 per head for normal rides (normally e-trikes). 

Our accommodation was in Feliness Resort. We would say it’s a great option if you don’t want the noise of the lively city of the island. Plus, it is a 2-minute walk to the Jetty port where you take the Boat bound to the airport. And it is just 8-10 minutes e-trike to the beaches.

Read our full Feliness Resort review here.

On our very first day, we were surprised by the sad news. There was low pressure in the Visayas and hit on the island. Upon learning the news, our ideas to go out for diving or island hopping was all abated. So we had our Plan B— to explore the whole stretch of Boracay beach.

Stroll Along the Beach

Indulge with the real white, powdery and soft sand that almost runs the entire length of Boracay Island. Surely you’ll never get tired strolling the four (4) kilometers long of Boracay White Beach while enjoying the view of the entire island and across the sea.

Palm Trees, Boracay
Palm Trees Along the Beach

Swimming

A Boracay experience wouldn’t be complete without this. Just be extra careful as the waves can get stronger when its windy especially on the rainy season. There are also water activities offered along the beach like paddleboarding, surfing lessons, and sunset sailing.

Rough Waters of Boracay
Rough Waters Can’t Stop the Tourists

Eat Sumptuous Treats

You’ll never get hungry in Boracay Island, that’s our promise. But be prepared, the prices are quite overwhelming. There are good restaurants on the island that you can choose from. When we say “good’, it is really GOOD! Just like the, I Love Backyard Barbecue located inside the D’Mall, the queue is real crazy long and you just got to be patient. I dined at 11:00 AM (they just opened for the day) and the shop is almost full. Most of the tables have been reserved the day before. Definitely worth a try!

Dishes from I Love Backyard Barbecue
Bulalo Steak and Steamed Seafood at I Love Backyard Barbecue

Grab Hotel Promotions

The time we were on the island, Astoria Current Hotel is offering free lunch & dinner buffets in exchange for one hour’s time for every invited group of guests. For our experience, we were offered a “Travel & Investment” kind of scheme. We won’t say it’s a scam because we haven’t signed up. But we bought a 3D2N Astoria Palawan package from them. (Wait until we availed the package before sharing our Astoria Hotel “Scheme” experience on a separate blog post.)

Take a Picture with Sand Castles

Though building SandCastles is already prohibited on the island, you can still randomly see some sandcastles along the shore. If you see one, take a picture before it gets destroyed. Police officers are roaming around the area and destroy these castles. And it’s not free, it will cost you Php 20 per person.

Boracay Sand Castle
Sand Castle for Php20 per Person/Picture

Go Shopping

There are various shops that one can choose from especially at the D’Mall. They have shops for branded beach wears, local souvenirs or even Apple products and accessories. 

Henna Tattoo & Hair Braids

Join the Boracay Feel vibes by having a Henna tattoo or get your hair braids. This is a great time to feel what it feels like to have a tattoo if you haven’t got one.

Bar Hopping at Night

Night in Boracay is so lively that you can’t say no to the party. There are various bars along the beach that you can try. From hotel bars, live music joints, sports bars, pubs or even plastic bars. For party-goers, Epic Boracay is a go-to place. For live music lovers, The Happy Bar is the most recommended.

Sunset in Boracay
Caught Up the Sunset

Chilling at Refreshments Shops

Most of the shops along the beach have a magnificent sea view. So if you have nothing to do and just want to chill with delicious drinks, you can have a drink at Starbucks and stay on their second floor. Or if you go fresh and healthy, try the HaloMango.

Starbucks Boracay
Starbucks Coffee at Station One

For the benefit of our readers, we inquired a lot of tour providers on the island and gathered their prices. As obviously, they’re almost everywhere, approaching the guests and offer their services. Check out their prices:

  1. Island Hopping (Joiner Tours): Php 1000– Php 1500 per head
  2. Helmet Diving: Php 800– Php 1500 per head
  3. Scuba Diving: Php 2500– Php 3000 per head
  4. Jetski: Php 2000– Php 2500 per head per 30 minutes (+ Php 500 additional rider)
  5. Banana Boat (Joiner): Php 400– Php 500 per head

TIP: These water activities are on the side of the island. You may need to ask your tour provider which is inclusive of your travel package. In any case, bargain as you can. 

Afterthoughts

Boracay Island Philippines Pinterest

It may not be the best Boracay experience. But, we had fun on this island despite the bad weather.

We will definitely come back this coming summer!

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