Friday, March 25, 2011

Boracay on a Budget

It was like a dream... only I'm awake. I am walking along an expanse of pearly white sands... my feet caressed by gentle waves of the cool azure waters... every step mold footprints in a fine powdery sand. That's how Boracay is :)

I didn't plan on going to Boracay last year, thinking the place wouldn't fit a backpacker's budget but thanks to Cebu Pacific's Piso fare promo and to Ate Lan who booked us, I got to experience this island paradise unplanned.

We left Aklan early that morning. Upon arriving in one of Aklan's port, we hopped into a small ferry that would cross the waters separating Aklan mainland from Boracay Island. The ferry didn't dock in Station 2 where budget accommodations are so we had to take either a multicab or a tricycle to take us to station 2, choosing tricycle because its much cheaper. The ride ended in a road with rows of stalls and few drugstores. On the right is a nice lake with a view of native building on the far end, which I learned is a restaurant that also turns into a sing-along bar at night.

We had to walk along D' Mall which is a shopping and dining area in Station 2. Stalls are selling various things, from souvenirs, swimming essentials to desserts, even a Discraft Ultrastar disc (for frisbee) which is doubled the price compared to Manila.

Upon reaching the end, with the shore already visible, we turned left until we saw E.S. Store. Beside the store is a narrow pathway that leads to various accommodations like Villa Simprosa and Jerome's at the end. Checking the rates, we found Tan's Guesthouse's rate the cheapest and booked a room. Initially, we we're quoted Php2200 but with a little bit of haggling, they took the Php200 off as a discount. The room looked new and pretty neat. It is spacious enough with a queen sized bed, a bunk bed and a cot provided. There's fridge, cable TV and the bathroom is roomy with hot and cold shower. I think that we got more of our moneys worth.

After lunch in the nearby Andok's restaurant, we started exploring the area. Hearing so many stories about the sands of Boracay, I removed my slippers and walked barefooted. True enough, Boracay has soft powdery sand that felt good in my feet and it looked sparkling from afar, it's really white. I couldn't wait to swim and bask in it's clear greenish water especially it was a cloudy day but we decided to walk towards station 1 where the shore is wider so we can play beach Ultimate first.

On our way, we passed by 2 boatmen having a fight. I am hesitant to include this in my blog thinking it might give a negative image of the place, but this is a diary of my travels, and that is one of the things I witnessed. It turned out they were fighting over who have the right to offer island hopping tour in that part of the beach. Maybe, the local government can create a regulation to organize the local boatmen, just to make sure it does't happen again. :(

Walking I also saw numerous sand sculptures, really beautiful making me admire the locals who created it. There are also local kids strolling and playing in the beach and I can't help but think they are so lucky to have this paradise as their playground.

Late afternoon, I got to enjoy the clear and cold waters of Boracay and I almost didn't want to stop if it hadn't started to turn dark and the wind turned colder and stronger. That night, I had fever and colds, maybe because of staying too long in the water but I took my dose of paracetamol and decongestant, hoping I'd feel better soon because I just know that even if I'm sick, I'd keep coming back to the beach. :D

We were allowed to use the guesthouse's kitchen so the following morning, my travel buddies went to the market. I wished to join them so I can take some pictures of the market but still wasn't feeling well so I spent the morning sleeping. When they arrived, I was already feeling better and helped them in the kitchen. Kitchen staff in the guesthouse are friendly cracking jokes with us. Food prices in Boracay are really expensive so if you can find an accommodation where you can cook, you'll save a lot. Lunch time came and we had a feast of grilled fish with mango-tomato Salsa, clam soup, Crabs in coconut milk and baked oyster. Maybe, I just needed good food because I totally felt fine after lunch, hahaha! Time to hit the beach again.

The second day gave us a brighter sunshine compared the previous day. That turned the water from greenish to azure blue. It's so inviting that we started frolicking in the waters again, caring not if we get a sunburn. We also planned to go island hopping, there are boatmen offering tours right in the beach but didn't push through since it was already late. It really pays to have an itinerary and stick to it.

That night, Nikko's (my boyfriend) sister treated us to dinner in Yellowcab located in Station 3. Walking there, I noticed that there are lesser establishments compared to Stations 1 and 2, it's less crowded as well but it felt unsafe, I'm not sure why.

Boracay is serenely beautiful at daytime and becomes livelier at night. Beach front hotels and restaurants set up drinking and dining areas near the shore, where there are bands or solo singers serenading the audience. Some boasts of other shows like fire dancing.

I slept late that night but still earlier compared to my companions who seized Boracay's nightlife. The following morning, I woke up early, savored the sea for the last time and prepared leaving for Bacolod City.

It is with sadness that I have to leave but realizing that I just spent around Php1000 for those two nights, excluding transportation, I'm certain that I can always go back to Boracay, hopefully with my whole family next time. :)

1 comment :

  1. Wow, great photos here. Having Php2000 worth of Boracay accommodations is cheap. Unfortunately, I have spent a lot for my trip last year.


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