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traveling

Boracay April 1-4, 2006 Saturday - Tuesday

Boracay

Boracay conjures imagery of polvoron-fine white sand, vibrant night life, bars, and an upscale crowd dining in beach-front restaurants. Well, that hasn't changed. It's Makati on the beach. It was even more so this time with the airline, Sea Air, hosting a party and flying in some of Manila's top models to walk the runway...by the beach - no bad seat on this one. Manila's best and finest were visible in the skimpiest of swimwear.

Explosive Growth
It's has been only a year since I'd been to Bora and the changes are already apparent. D' Mall now extends to the other side of the street. D' Palengke has been moved to a new location. It's orderly, clean, with prices to rival Manila. D' Talipapa is likewise at par with the rest with manicured stores and get this: clean washrooms that better some washrooms of Manila's trendy shops. Construction for more beach resorts is in full swing. More upscale restaurants line up the sandy 'boardwalk'. It would seem Bora is bursting at the seams.

Parao Ride
One of the few highlights was the parao (sailboat) ride. With no engine to shatter the tranquility of the calm sea, it was similar to gliding on ice with a skate...except it was hot and sunny. There is a netted area to lounge on while watching the sunset...just like in the movies.

Overheard
The night party was in full swing at the Parao Bar and everyone was loose and hammered. A few good fellas had more than they could hold...and laid across the sand barfing. It's all good. The beach cops were there but were cool about it. One guy who came alone now had his tongue stuck in some girl's mouth...no biggie here either. However, 2 girls were walking down the beach, apparently very hammered from the club and the conversation went like this: "Well, I told this guy I love him...and he smiled and said 'Thank you'. Why are guys like that?". Ha-ha. That's one for the books.

Nigi-Nigi Bar
Competition is stiff for tourism-money. Resort/bar owners know this and they put in the little extras to gain that competitive edge...good for us. One such bar is Nigi-Nigi. I like these guys. Happy hour is buy 1 - take 1, and a server was just walking around giving away free canapés. In Bora, everything costs an arm and a leg but this place is a class act. I didn't expect that. The operative word here is: unexpected. I left the place feeling good. Certainly, I'd go back there the next time. The cost of the little perks is a small step back, but my coming back to the place with my friends (and the fact I'm writing about it here) is leaps and bounds forward. And that's what it's all about. Very few business owners seem to realize that.

Provincial Shakedown
You know the place is racking up some serious money when a bigger cheese muscles-in on the action. Before, tourists take the boat ride back to Caticlan from any of the 3 boat piers conveniently spaced along the beach where most cottages are. It was a town thing. With Bora's explosive growth, the province did a shake-down so that all boat passengers leaving Bora will now have to spend additionally on a long tricycle ride to a port in Cagban for the ferry. Of course, this diverts the money along the many hands it passes through. What's in it for the tourist? They now have to load all their luggage on a tricycle and take that land trip before they can board the ferry instead of boarding the ferry a few steps away from their cottages. The message that comes across is this: 'You'll come back anyway if we gouge you...so we'll gouge you'.

Ending Thoughts
I'm not sure if I can get enough of Bora. Increasingly, this town is becoming a working city. Read: I can work and live here. Bora in on the brink of crass commercialization...but so far, it still works. The town still has its act together and the good vibe is still there. Unfortunately, this growth is coupled with the inevitable increase in the cost of living. Next you head out, leave the attitude, put the party hat on...and bring your wallet.

--- TheLoneRider

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Google Map Boracay, Philippines

tourist attractions in Boracay tourist attractions
  • Ariel's Point in Boracay Ariel's Point - cliff jumping
  • Puka Beach in Boracay Puka Beach - next to White Beach, Puka is a popular beach with white sand and palm groves
  • Bat Cave in Boracay Bat Cave - on the west side of the island, visitors hike through the forest
hotels in Boracay hotel restaurant in Boracay restaurant

Boracay Cost Index

(US$1 = PHP 49.73 as of Nov 30, 2016)
  • PHP 4,800k Air Juan flight from Coron (Palawan) to Boracay
  • PHP 500/night cheap lodging
  • PHP /night luxury lodging at SandCastles The Apartments
  • PHP 10 regular tricycle fare
  • PHP 25 tricycle fare from pier to Boat Station 2
  • PHP 25 ferry from Caticlan to Boracay
  • PHP 75 environmental fee paid in Caticlan together with the ferry fee
  • PHP 50 cheap carinderia meal for travelers on a budget

How to Get to Boracay

There are numerous flights to Boracay from Manila and Cebu. Upon arrival by plane, you will be transferred by van to the Arrival Section of the old airport. You can walk it to the pier (very short walk) or take the tricycle if you have heavy/bulky luggage. At the boat terminal you pay:
  • PHP 25/pax for ferry
  • PHP 75/pax for environmental fee

PHP 25 tricycle fare from Boracay Pier to your hotel on Boat Stations 1, 2 and 3

Boracay Blogs by TheLoneRider

Suggested itinerary on the WEST coast of Panay Island from Boracay going south

  1. Boracay - most popular beach in the Philippines
  2. Malay - Nabaoy River, Pangihan Cave, Nagata Falls, Agnaga Falls, Naasug Point, Malay Ecological Park, Motag Living Museum
  3. Nabas - wind tubines, Hurom-Hurom Cold Springs
  4. Pandan - Malumpati Spring
  5. Libertad - Maanghit Cave, Ati Cave and Bungan-Bungan Spring
  6. Sebaste - Igpasungaw Waterfall
  7. Culasi - Malalison Island
  8. Tibiao - hot kawa-bath, white water river rafting, Bugtong Bato Waterfall, rice terraces, Tibiao Bakery, pottery, fish spa
  9. Anini-y - Nogas Island, scuba diving

Suggested itinerary on the EAST coast of Panay Island from Boracay going south

  1. Boracay - most popular beach in the Philippines
  2. Malay - Nabaoy River, Pangihan Cave, Nagata Falls, Agnaga Falls, Naasug Point, Malay Ecological Park, Motag Living Museum
  3. Nabas - wind tubines, Hurom-Hurom Cold Springs
  4. Kalibo - Bakhawan Eco-Park, Tigayon Hill
  5. Tambak - oysters
  6. Capiz - Roxas City
  7. Carles | Estancia - Gigantes Island Boat Tour, Lighthouse of Gigantes Island and Bakwitan Cave of Gigantes Island
  8. Iloilo - Batchoy Indulgence

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Boracay Beach Resort

SandCastles Boracay Beach Resort

Tribal Cafe




tribal adventures


Tibiao Essentials
Tribal Adventures Tours - river kayak, rice terraces tour, Tibiao Town tour, mountain biking, hiking
Kayak Inn - river kayak, native house, hot kawa bath





Boracay


SandCastles Boracay Beach Resort
SandCastles
The Apartments

beach-front luxury suites


Tribal Cafe
Tribal Cafe
beach bar | cafe
restaurant




Caticlan, Antique

Caticlan
S-E Hotel & Residence
beachfront
walk to airport
parking lot



Caticlan
El Cielo Hotel
near airport, walk to Jetty Port





Nabas, Aklan


Nabas Business Center INN
NBC Inn
central location
business center
travel agency
  


Kalibo, Aklan


Kalibo Hotel
Marzon Hotel
near airport
swimming pool
restaurant




Pandan, Antique


Pandan
Phaidon Beach Resort
white sand
beach house
scuba diving
resto and bar
house reef



Pandan
Pandan Beach Resort
packaged tour to Malalison Island
floating gazebo
beachfront resto
hammocks
souvenir shop





Culasi, Antique


LS Suites
LS Suites/Hotel
wifi hotel
bar & grill
cctv security




Tibiao, Antique


Kayak Inn
Kayak Inn
hot kawa bath
river kayaking
native lodging


Tribal Adventures Tribal Adventures
outdoor adventure tours






TheLoneRider