Escape to Boracay Island

Departure: September 11, 2017 @ Clark International Airport
Destination: Godofredo P. Ramos Airport, Caticlan, Aklan

First and foremost, I’d like to extend my greetings to all my lovelies! It’s been a minute, you guys. I could talk about how crappy I feel about not updating as much as I would have liked to, but I won’t. I’d like to share with you guys this unforgettable trip my family and I had in the Philippines– Boracay, specifically for this post. It was our first time to visit Boracay– and first time for my brother and I to actually go to a real beach; since all we have are lakes and man made beaches out here in the prairies…HAH.

 

***ALL PRESETS USED TO EDIT THESE PHOTOS ARE MADE BY YOURS TRULY ♥ I HOPE YOU ENJOY THEM! Most of the photos were taken with my iPhone 6s***

Getting to + leaving Boracay
(Travel experience)

Travelling to the island itself was quite exhausting– well, for me personally. I remember being all tuckered out with travelling alone. We boarded at 1:30 PM, if I’m remembering right. We left from the closest airport we have in Pampanga, Clark International Airport. Checking in was pretty chill. However, since we flew out in a smaller aircraft, we had to take a bus service out to the taxiing area to actually board the plane. It was chill at first, but definitely was not impressed with the amount of moving from vehicle to vehicle on our way back home. When we arrived at the Caticlan airport– we disembarked the plane and boarded another bus service to take us to the arrival area of the airport. Picked up our luggage and then asked around for directions. We were then pointed to the Jetty Port; where boats and ferries transport you to the Boracay Island.

To get to the Jetty Port, we took a tricycle. (Are you keeping track of how many vehicles we got in so far?) It was fairly close and once we got there, the clueless tourists we were purchased ferry boat tickets… which cost us almost 1000 Pesos for us four; parents, my brother and I. We actually just wanted to do the boat ride for the experience and it was way cheaper. But it was too late at this point. Ya live and ya learn, right? The thing about the ferry boats are they are obviously larger, so the waiting interval for each ferry to leave is longer. I believe a ferry leaves every 30 minutes, whereas regular boats leave almost instantaneously. So you guessed it, we waited a little longer in the ferry– which at this point, it was already almost 5 PM and our day was practically gone.  Once we arrived in Boracay Island, we had to take ANOTHER tricycle to our hotel. Okay, you do the math. But I hadn’t expected the journey to this famous island to be so. damn. tiring.

While waiting at the Jetty Port, some dude approached my dad giving us a voucher for a free dinner at their hotel– since they are new and are trying to promote the place. We almost immediately went straight to their hotel after we checked in at our hotel because we were starving at this point. But there was a catch to it, you had to stay for a 90 min tour and presentation which my dad was NOT down for. So we dipped the place and they didn’t look too happy haha. We checked in at the Hennan Lagoon– all thanks to our Aklanon family friends here in Canada. They paid for our hotel and it was such a beautiful place! We originally only planned to stay 2 nights, but since we predicted that our day would be pretty much gone the day we arrive, we decided to stay another night and pay for a cheaper hotel to stay the night. Anyway, back to travelling… our way back from Boracay to Pampanga felt like hell… why? Keep on reading and we’ll get there.

 

Puka Beach

Puka Beach is located on the on the other side of the island, I think? When we moved in to our other hotel, Puka Beach was only about a 5 min ride away. We were quite far from all the Stations. There weren’t any hotels by the shore, or any restaurants. There were a few stands selling souvenirs and just locals walking around– it really just felt like a private beach and you’ve been casted away! 😉

Accommodations

Hennan Lagoon

As I have mentioned above, our very kind Aklanon family friends here in Winnipeg took care of our 2 nights in Boracay. They sent us to a beautiful, clean and relaxing hotel. It was everything we could have asked for! An employee told us Hennan Lagoon had, if not the best pool in Boracay, one of the best ones for sure. Sure enough, we truly enjoyed the clean, humongous pool! I’m so upset that I don’t have the greatest pics of the place. When we arrived in Boracay, it was raining and the weather was not really on our side. So we did a lot of night swimming in the rain, with no photos. POO. Nevertheless, service and the food at Hennan was outstanding. The free breakfast includes both local eats and your classic American breakfast. They had it all. Including a pool bar. Funny story, I ordered a Sangria which was not on their menu, but they still made it for me. It took them a few minutes to put something together for me. Almost had a feeling they didn’t quite know how to make it, but it turned out okay– super sweet, but it was the effort that counts! I have nothing but good things to say about this place. Our room was perfect; fell in love with our bathroom, and the balcony overlooking the pool. I would definitely recommend this hotel. Hennan Lagoon is only one out of the *insert number here* Hennan hotels in Boracay. I’m sure there’s about five and counting. We just saw Hennan everywhere, built or still building, and they’re doing the damn thing right! So Kudos to the owners!

Alta Vista de Boracay

The 3rd night we stayed in Boracay was not a part of the plan until we booked our flights. So we opted for a cheaper hotel to spend our last night in the island. We’ve been seeing Alta Vista every time we would look for accommodations, so we took the $87/night. This hotel was located a little further in the island and was not near the beach front. The 3 minute walk to the beach turned into a tricycle ride instead. When we got to this hotel, we didn’t even bother going to the beach anymore. We were just extremely tired from our day of island hopping and activities. My parents and brother did a quick swim right before we headed to bed in their small infinity pool. I passed up the swimming and waited for supper instead. Their hotel restaurant is trash. I was so disappointed with my food, I literally just picked out the good parts…which was barely any. I ordered some spam sandwich because that was the only thing that appealed to me on their menu. They were trying so hard to put “twists” into local food and international food and it was not working out. I spent 500 Pesos for a pointless meal that I didn’t even eat. My dad low-key told off the staff and gave his feedback on the food as well. Overall, disappointing. The hotel had an amazing view though, as it was actually located on top of a mountain. I just did not have the best time there. The employees don’t seem well trained, and it was just sad. I’m sorry, but truth be told! I guess you get what you pay for.

Island Activities

We did all of our island activities on our second full day. We rented a small boat for 2000 Pesos and was all ours for 4 hours. We island hopped, and it took us to all the activity areas that we couldn’t have gone to without a boat. Our very kind boat driver, Manong Jun was so nice to us and was a very honest man. I can tell that he was proud of his island and was good at what he does. It just made my heart melt when we would talk to him about his wage and what he earns for his family. These people work so hard and even when the going gets rough, they’ll still do the right thing and not take advantage of tourists. The locals in Boracay are amazing people– some of the nicest ones for damn sure!

Manong Jun

During this time, we only got to do 3 activities which where:

  • Snorkeling 40 Pesos/person
    • It was my first time to ever snorkel in the ocean, or just ever for that matter. I was so terrified to be the first one in the water, but I braved it out and could not pass up this opportunity. My gosh, it was stunning. I can’t even explain the feeling I had when I witnessed the life under the sea! I was a little scared, exhilarated and amazed simultaneously. The beauty and the life in the ocean is unbelievable. It truly puts me in awe how amazing our God is, for creating such masterpiece. A lot of us don’t get to see that beauty often and we forget how great our God is and how mind blowing our world is, but witnessing something like that has opened my eyes wider to look for other beauties in life. I’m so thankful to have experienced this simple thing, yet made such a big impact at the same time.
  • Visit Crystal Cove Island 200 Pesos/person
    • It’s probably quite obvious that Crystal Cove is an island. It basically has a lot of locations for photos. It was alright, the view was phenomenal when you’re on top of the hill, but we didn’t spend that long because the sun was getting way too hot.
  • Banana Boat 250 Pesos/person
    • Banana boating was one of the things I HAD to check off my Boracay bucket list. It just seemed like banana boating is a MUST thing to do in Boracay when you visit, and it’s almost a sin if you don’t do it. The banana boat we rented was good for a minimum of 5 people at a time. Since we had no companions there, and my dad didn’t want to go and have volunteered to take pics instead, it ended up to be just my mom, my brother and I. Ultimately, I still had to pay for 5 people so I guess it was kind of a waste. Long story short, the salty ocean water burned our eyes when the splashes got too big and so we had our eyes shut for most of that 15 min, lol.

One of the other lit things we did in Boracay was to get a full body massage by the beach. These ladies doing 350 Pesos / hour were so, so good. I was so relaxed it was bomb. Just thought I also had to share that with you all. 🙂

Food

Last but not the least! Food! I was super looking forward to fresh seafood and I was not disappointed…well…kinda. I’ll tell you why.

There’s a place called D’Talipapa near the beach and that’s where a wet market is located and is surrounded by restaurants. Copious amounts of fresh seafood, all of which are ginormous. Shell fishes, groupers, squids, etc. You name it, they had it all, fresh. Now, how it worked at D’Talipapa was that you purchased your fresh seafood at the wet market and then you choose a restaurant to cook your seafood for you. You can’t just go in in these restaurants and order food. You have to come in with fresh seafood in hand and give it to them to cook.

So my dad got a huge lapu-lapu (I think that’s what it is), it’s a Filipino grouper and we had it cooked Sweet & Sour style. We also got shrimp and squid, both grilled. And plainly steamed crabs. There was so much food for just four of us that we had so much left overs. Now this is the part where you should read carefully. Never take your seafood leftovers home and eat them for later. We ended up bringing it back to the hotel, into the fridge and microwaved it for dinner the second night and that was the worst thing we could have done. Why you ask? We got food poisoned. It didn’t smell bad, it was fine. But knowing the shrimp and squid were probably half cooked only (so they’re more tender), we should have thought about the bacteria that could grow in them, without them actually spoiling just yet. So yeah. The night before our flight back to Pampanga, we were rolling in bed with the WORST stomach ache ever, nausea and diarrhea. I’m not even sure how we made it back home. When we got back to my grandma’s house, we all caught a fever and were in bed resting for the rest of the week.

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