Manila Citizen’s Guide to Boracay Universe
“Why are you sleeping at 7 AM?” I asked my friend on my last morning in Boracay (that month).
“Because I am in Boracay Universe.”
If you wish to settle in Boracay for good, just like my friend and the rest of the people whom I know are now living in nice affordable apartments in the island, you must be ready to forget your normal Manila time zone.
The parties in Boracay are insanely designed to make a zombie out of you.
I know of a particular guy who goes out to party there every single night, he wakes up everyday saying “Good Morning” at 1PM.
If you’re going there for a typical 3D-2N period – hello to the working class who files leave from office a month before any trip – make sure you have your itinerary ready. Create a checklist in your head as to what you’d love to achieve in such a short period of stay in the island.
- Do I want to sit around all day, probably reading a book or just looking at hot bodies sprawled around the beach getting tanned?
- Do I want to experience activities with friends?
- Do I want to go there to buy beer for x-mazing amount of pesos, get drunk, meet strangers and eventually never sleep until my next morning comes to welcome brand new activities ahead? (The Coke sakto for five pesos in Boracay Universe cost us P50 last December!)
- Do I want to stay in my hotel the entire day, get pleasures from the 24/7 air-conditioned room, eat the hotel buffet, watch cable television, and read travel magazines about Boracay?
- Do I want to eat at every possible restaurants by the beach?
As my newfound philosopher friend asked me in our last dinner (that month), “Why go to Boracay for days?”
If you have no idea what you want to do, then there is nothing I can help you out with. Better make sure you know what you want before stepping on the pure, white sand of Boracay. Otherwise, it’s a simple waste of time.
Eating around Boracay is relatively easy. If you’re on a budget, skip the ‘overlooking the beach’ motif and walk around the ‘highway’ for more hardcore Pinoy cuisines.
If you’re in an ‘OK’ budget, there are a lot of so-so restaurants there for P100-P200 per meal.
If you’re in the higher end of the social class, I suggest you skip this article because I have nothing to share to you except my childhood experiences.
I don’t believe in spending a lot on activities that I can easily enjoy anywhere else in a cheaper mode than Boracay. But if I need to do it because of peer pressure, I sometimes give in.
I sailed once because my mom’s Swedish friend knew how to sail, so we tried it. I sailed for the second time because I was only staying in Boracay for 23 hours that time so I might as well just join the group for that. You can rent a boat for P1,500.
I tried jet ski because my friend wanted someone to split the expenses with him. With that experience, I grew fond of driving a water vehicle in open waters without fear of traffic. The normal rate is around P1,500-P2,000.
I island-hopped because Boracay is all about sight-seeing. I cannot simply miss that. I had my first island hop experience with my family and our Swedish guest, and my second was last December with my officemates. The normal rate is P1,000-P1,500 per boat. Haggling is a gift.
Snorkelling is like there in every single activity you enlist yourself in.
And when I went there this February, I tried the cliff jump, which I don’t normally get the chance to have in any other island here.
I don’t mind sleeping on the beach. There are plenty of areas where I can use the toilet for free. I have tried sleeping in all three stations – including (Station 5?) in Tambisaan Beach.
Station 1 has the connotation of class. Station 2 is where the heart of the activities are. It has more affordable hotels and D’Mall is there too. Station 3 is where the cheapest hotels are. You can stay in one cottage all by yourself for P900 per night.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be ‘rich’ to enjoy Boracay. It actually is one of the cheapest places to go to when you’re on a budget. I had friends who went there via Ro-Ro (Roll on, Roll off). It’s water transportation. Cheaper, but it takes more time.
You can get the cheapest flights to Boracay via Zest Air, AirPhil Express, and Cebu Pacific. More expensive ones can be bought at PAL and SeaAir. But sometimes, they have promos so better watch out for those.
All in all, I think Boracay is nice if you like people, beach and scantily-clad strangers for a couple of days’s worth of friendship. If you’re the silent and quiet type but still want the cheapo mode, try wexploring the islands (Puka Beach, etc) for more unpopulated spots.
Personally, Boracay is close to my heart because of so many reasons, one of which is that my dad was the blasting contractor of the road development in the whole island and the highway from Kalibo to Caticlan. Now you know why I always take the Kalibo flight.
There. This sums up my simple guide.
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