Boracay is, of course, one of the most popular swimming destinations in the Philippines, even in Asia! It is so because of its “beautiful white sand”. That’s all I know about it, I haven’t been there. We were taught in elementary about its white beaches and that it is one of the famous tourist spots in the Philippines. It is also portrayed in movies and in TV that Boracay is a very fun place, the go-to for people who wants to swim and party. It is definitely a mix of serenity and extravagance, something I thought I wouldn’t see. But just this week, I was able to visit and see the beauty that is Boracay.
Prior our flight, I was actually sick. I was experiencing fever and headache for 2 days, and I was really eager to make sure that I get well so I can join my family’s trip to Boracay. I rested really well and followed medication. And when it was morning before the flight, I was feeling all better. Aside from me and my mom, her 2 sisters joined us, I felt I was the bodyguard and I had to protect these “queens” ;). I woke up early, around 5am, since our flight is 9:45am, so I have a lot of time to prepare. When we were ready to go, we used GrabCar’s service and charged us P312 instead of normally around more than P400. GrabCar was truly our savior, the driver was really fast, courteous and very accommodating. Apparently he lives near us and one of my aunts know him. I felt safer. We arrived in NAIA in just one hour. My mom then reminded me about my ID for boarding, and stupid me, I didn’t bring any ID, even my school ID. I though I was gonna be left behind but the kind lady in AirAsia told us I can use a digital version of my ID or if I have a picture of it, I can use that. Good thing I have a picture of my school ID and they accepted that. I love how flexible AirAsia, they saved my arse hehe. After boarding, we had to go through tight security and x-ray. I didn’t know I had to remove all the metals I’m wearing, it’s a good to know now. Plus, they are just doing their job for everyone’s security.
After several years, IT FEELS AS IF IT WAS MY FIRST TIME AGAIN in riding an airplane. I’m not scared, I’m actually excited. We were already inside the plane around 9:40am. And yes, my wish is granted as I am sitting next to the window! Everyone’s dream come true, I must say. But all excitement went down as the captain announced the flight being delayed. It was just a small hump along the road, it was okay. And finally we flew around 10:50am. I was just amazed throughout the flight, taking pictures of the aerial view, yes I was like a kid again, just like when we went to Samar. Another thing that amazed me is the expensive food inside the plane. I told my mom to keep the water from the water bottle and use it up until the end of the year, as it feels as if it was golden. Kidding aside, the flight was so smooth I though it was cotton. We safely landed to Kalibo, Aklan.
Now reality has struck me, I am now in the Visayas region and everything seems different. The arrival area is not as grand as what we have in Manila, but hey, they have WiFi! Good job Kalibo International Airport, it made me really happy. The room was small, but the air-conditioning was enough to accommodate everyone. There were a lot of Filipino tourists, and of course there were foreign ones. I was getting mor excited as I feel the beach is near, yet I was wrong. My mom told me we have to ride a bus. And when we went outside, the heat of the sun almost grilled me. It was really hot, and I told her, it wasn’t this cold in Manila. Island Star Express accommodated us for our bus ride up to Caticlan Jetty Port Terminal for the boat ride. It was hell in the bus, seems like the air-conditioning was broken, I was really sweaty throughout the ride, very uncomfortable. When we went off the bus, I was really hot-headed and I wanted to get in the port terminal real quick to shade me from the sun. Thanks for Island Star Express for keeping us safe, though. It was a two-hour ride, but I wish they had better cooling options. Now this part in the Port Terminal started to be confusing as no one assisted us about the next steps to take. Of course we weren’t familiar about the process and they just kept on asking us to sit down, while some people who just came has been assisted to their boats. While waiting for our turn someone offered us free buffet in a specific hotel in Boracay, that’s something new, but we’ll see if it is true. When it was our turn, no one still assisted us and we almost mistakenly rode on the wrong boat. We just followed the people we were with in the bus and went to the right boat. It was a 5 minute ride to the island-proper of Boracay, and alas, we arrived.
I though our suffering already ended. We arrived around 2:45pm. Apparently someone was supposed to pick us up after the boat ride, unfortunately the four of us are the only ones left in the port, waiting for Island Star Express’ van. We were obviously wasting time, instead of enjoying the beach by this time, we are still waiting in the port. When the van arrived they apologized and said the boat delivered us to the wrong port. As much as I w
anna get angry, I just wanted to get over it and relax in the hotel. Upon travelling, I was surprised at how much the suburbs of Boracay looked like. This isn’t the Boracay I’ve been seeing on TV. It looked like the streets of Metro Manila, crowded, narrow, messy and very disorganized. This isn’t the Boracay I had in mind. I was more disappointed when we reached our hotel. It was worth more than P6,000.00 for three days, and it looked like a boarding room in Metro Manila. I’m not trying to be all-perfect here, but of course, I’m in Boracay and I wanted to be in a luxurious hotel. The one we had is best and recommended if you have tight budget. They have the basic needs, bed for two, complementary water, cable TV, clean blankets and of course cozy restroom, but it wasn’t what we were looking for. Too bad we were already booked there but we had to find a different one.
We decided to eat our “lunch” first, since it’s already past 3pm, and we haven’t eaten anything yet. And upon going out to the beach front, the beautiful white sands of Boracay has gazed our sight. It was a glorious moment up until I noticed the place was, again, overcrowded. There were street vendors and the place was just all disorganized. I’m already disappointed in this trip. We decided to eat then in a nearby restaurant. After eating, we started looking for a better hotel nearby. There were a lot of options, there were modern themed ones and tropical themed ones. Some hotels were giving out promos, prices ranging from P9,000.00 now down to around P4,000.00 We were really surprised, there were a lot of better options. And my mom decided to go to the tropical themed one, The Nigi Nigi Hotel, I remember they offered the room around P3,000.00 per night for the 4 of us, I think it’s a good deal. The place was like a mini resort, and the rooms were Nipa Hut themed, so the huts are away from each other, we really had privacy there. The one that we have is good for 4 persons. The style was very Filipino, we had a second floor, one huge bed downstairs and 2 more beds upstairs. The restroom was beautiful and clean. This was SO MUCH BETTER than what we had earlier. We relaxed for a bit and decided to go to the free buffet that was offered to us earlier.
So we arrived at the place, around 7:30pm. It was the Astoria Hotel that hosted. And it was true, the buffet was free. The catch? They were offering us something that we had to listen to later, for about 90 minutes. As the youngest, I had no say on this but I told my mom to just follow since we are getting free dinner buffet. When the “talk” started, I was interested at first, but as when time went by, I got bored and uninterested with it. He was offering us a room, but we won’t know how much yet. There were a lot of benefits. What got me excited is when he toured us inside the rooms and the facilities. Indeed, it was world-class and something you can’t decline. The salesman was really kind but since he was already consuming 2 hours of our time, we really got a bit irritated and we just wanted it to finish, consequences of taking advantage of free stuff I suppose. We politely declined his offer in the end, and went back to our hotel. It was definitely a waste of time. Good thing WiFi was good in the hotel and I get to entertain myself before sleeping.
So yeah, basically we weren’t able to do anything in our first day and first night. Itwas a disaster, my first time in Boracay was a mess. It all started when I forgot my ID, then the mess in the bus and the boat, the unwanted hotel and the time we wasted in Astoria. Well, lesson learned, everything really has to be organized and well-planned before going to your destination, and check for best options, too! Also, don’t get attracted to free stuff, there’s always a catch, and most of the time, the “catch” is really burdensome. In this case, the consequences we had is we lost our time to enjoy and, of course, we weren’t able to save money as we didn’t get the value for what we purchased at first. Would day 2 be a better one? I hope so, and it better change my perspective with Boracay, because so far, I’m not impressed and would prefer Batangas or Palawan. We’ll see ;).