The Boracay 2014 Weekend Getaway

November 6-9, 2014

Getting There

I might have been away from the familiar smell of home and my fluffy pillows but this trip to Boracay was an adventure so NOT out of the comfort zone. In fact, this is the most laid back trip I’ve ever had. No definitive itineraries. Just plain lounging around and enjoying the beach. 006

The trip wasn’t planned. We just stumbled on an air travel promo from Cebu Pacific last August and took it. We went with two of Mom’s close friends. I was practically the tag-along in this trip since this was their ‘BFFs Getaway.’ Nevertheless, I took the chance to come along and relax as well. :)

We flew from Manila to Kalibo on the evening of November 6 after the Air Asia flight was delayed twice. The 2:30 pm flight became a 6:30 pm flight. Well, I think that’s what you get with promo flights but it didn’t matter. We were excited. We arrived at Kalibo quarter past 7, tired but all smiles.

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Inside the ferry, waiting to leave the port

The last time I went to Boracay was over 10 years ago. I was in grade school then. I was surprised how convenient it was to travel to Boracay now. During the plane trip, the flight attendants offered us round trip tickets for the final leg of travel to Boracay. Roundtrip tickets cost Php 1000 (Php 500 for one way). It includes the 2-hour bus ride going to Caticlan, the 30(?) minute boat ride going to Boracay, and the shuttle/tricycle/golf cart (it depends) ride to your hotel and vice versa. The payment also includes the environmental tax and whatnot that you need to pay in order to enter Boracay. Incredibly good deal offered by Southwest Tours Boracay, Inc. It made the last leg of travel to Boracay convenient and seamless.

Lodging

We arrived at the Hotel way past 11 o’clock in the evening. We stayed at the One Azul Boracay Resort at Station 1. It was a pretty cozy room with two single beds. We just had to arrange ourselves and add an extra matress to fit. The bathroom (which is makes-or-breaks my opinion of any service establishment) is pretty fancy for its size, rain shower and bidet.The room costs around Php 2000 a night give or take. They have cable TV and WiFi, btw. What I enjoyed the most was that the hotel was so near the beachfront and it was situated at the less busy side of the island. Definitely great if you really want to unwind from all the noise and chaos you’re used to when living in the city. We stayed here for the first 2 nights of our stay.

On the last night, we wanted to move somewhere that was near the road so it would be easier for Southwest to get us and

Bans Beach Resort. I don't have a photo of the rooms but this swan of a towel I just had to take!
Bans Beach Resort. I don’t have a photo of the rooms but this swan of a towel I just had to take!

so we don’t have to lug our things too much. We stayed at Bans Beach Resort Boracay. We got the room at the same rate as One Azul. It had one single bed and a double. The room was larger, it had a refrigerator, cable TV, Wifi. The bathroom was larger, less fancy. It had a water heater, detachable shower head, no bidet. The area was a little more populated than where One Azul was however, Bans had access to both the main road and the beach, which was what we wanted on the last night of our stay. It was also near D’Mall and D’Talipapa.

Food

Since Boracay is a well-known tourist spot, food is not cheap. The first meal we had there cost us roughly Php 200 each given that it was a restaurant at the beach front. If you want to save on food for other activities such as island hopping or parasailing (which cost more than Php 1000, give or take), you could go to D’Mall or D’Talipapa and order fast food at Andok’s which was what we did. Or you can eat at the newly opened McDonald’s there, which was also what we did.

Although, I strongly suggest that you, at least once, eat at the D’Talipapa at any of the paluto restaurants. Indulge in fresh seafood that you get to pick out and buy at the wet market in the middle of all these paluto restaurants. Like me who is allergic to shrimp and crab (though I couldn’t resist not eating shrimp), there’s an array of shellfish and fish to choose from in the market.

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Also, when you’re there, try Real Coffee & Tea Cafe’s Calamansi Muffin. They’re 65 pesos a piece and they’re really good. I’m not a fan of citrus-y desserts but the kick of Calamansi in those muffins definitely made my jaw lock which was worth the try.

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I almost missed it with a sign that small! But when you go inside, there’s a really large REAL COFFEE sign that’s hard to miss.019

Leisure

Sadly, I wasn’t able to get a feel of Boracay’s night life unless you can count the evening strolls we took after dinner. Nah, that doesn’t count. I haven’t even tried parasailing, island hopping(last I did was the visit 10 years ago), or snorkeling. :( Alot of adult supervision haha. Next time, come with me and we’ll do all those together. The most leisurely activity that I was able to do there was sleep, eat and swim. Both of which I always am welcome to do. I think Mom had a full body massage for Php 150 and she got her hair braided for Php 200.

That’s basically it. Boracay now is totally different from the Boracay I once visited 10 years ago. From native nipa huts for lodging, there are now airconditioned hotels with WiFi. Ten years ago, we brought instant noodles and canned sardines for us to eat hahaha. Now there are so many restaurants and convenience stores! The only leisurely activities I remembered offered before were the Banana Boat and Island Hopping. Now there are countless that I haven’t even tried. Nevertheless, I was definitely recharged after that trip and very tan. I loved it. I want another getaway soon, after this Typhoon Ruby passes and during the Christmas break hopefully. Take a look at the gallery below, more photos!

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Jeepney Ride Musings

Lumagpas ako sa dapat kong puntahan today, kakatunganga sa loob ng jeep. Ang tagal talaga bago nagregister sa utak ko na nadaanan ko na ang Metrobank. Nasa ibang baranggay na ko nang napansin ko na sumobra na ako sa byahe.

Maybe I was thinking too deep. Or thinking too much. Ganito pala ‘pag wala ka ng pasok, kapag nagaantay ka na ng graduation day. It feels like you have so much time and space in your hands. Napapatulala ka na lang sa loob ng jeep kaiisip kung ano na balak mong gawin after grad, after review, at after kumuha ng board. Hindi rin maiwasan na magpakasenti dahil namimiss mo na pumasok, tumanggap ng allowance (at igastos!), makita ang crush mo at syempre yung mga kachismisan mo sa loob at labas ng classroom.

In a way, it feels really good to have this much space to think and be with myself. Para maalala ko naman kung sino na ba ako at kung ano na ang gusto ko maging. Yun lang, napagastos ako ng extra 8 pesos.

Pero, ano man lang ang 8 pesos kumpara sa magiging return once I finally figure out what I really want to do in life, aside from being awesome? I mean, being an engineer. ;) Naalala ko ang sabi sakin ng high school math teacher ko. Sabi niya, “Kung gusto mo maging maganda ang kalalabasan, humanda kang gumastos.” Ito na siguro simula nun.

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Is this becoming a series of sad dreams?

You are, by far, the only person to make me cry (more than once) who isn’t my relative and you don’t even know it. This is the second time that I woke up from a dream with you in it and I was crying.  And of all places to dream, it had to happen when I fell asleep in the bus on my way to school! It went like this.

The scene looked like it was in a hospital room but the bed was made up. No equipment, the curtains open. I was sitting, waiting. And then you came in with a young toddler boy. You led him to me. I introduced myself as his aunt as I bent down to lift the little boy to the bed and gave him a hug. It felt like the best and the worst feeling in the world and the word aunt left a bitter taste to the tongue – like it did not seem right. I hugged the little boy tighter like it was the last chance I got to hold him before letting him down and go back to you, his dad. You came closer and we sat on the bed. You held my hand. I asked you, “Is she treating him well?” You nod and say yes. I told you, “We can’t keep doing this.” You nod.

And that’s when I woke up with tears in my eyes and I had to discreetly pull out my hanky and pat my tears away like something just got in my eye. I told some girlfriends of mine about this because I could not get over that melancholic feeling after having the dream. They told me I wasn’t over you. Well, technically, there is nothing to get over with since there was never anything to begin with. I didn’t think so (the not over you part).

I already told myself that I would let you go just like the last puppy I had to give away and both made me cry. But unlike the real puppy I gave away who never came back (and doesn’t even know me anymore), you did. You find ways to. May it be in real life or in my dreams, you’re there even if I don’t want to know or feel you’re there. You manage to weasel your way into the conversations I have – even when you aren’t physically present. If you are, we talk about you most of the time and it’s always fine by me.

There were times when I should have been envious but I never was. I was genuinely happy when you were and I knew that was what I wanted for you. Whenever you were excited and told me about it, I would genuinely get excited, too. It felt weird but I did. Maybe that was the only way I could show how much I cared. That I could never give more than what a friend does. Because that’s what we are. That is what I have to convince myself that we will ever be. Maybe that is what hurts me the most, having to temper the way you feel. Having to know that there is a limit in giving. I’m waiting for that day when you find that person who can make you happy, more than how a friend should. Then, I would not blame circumstance anymore.

Maybe in an alternate universe, fate would be kinder to both of us. Either by not letting us ever cross paths or by allowing you the circumstance this world prohibits you – that way, you would never have gotten your heart broken nor will I.

A

Like a fog over my head

Seriously, the past couple of months seem to have just passed by. I haven’t even started on that post of my trip to Singapore (without parents ;>) nor have I done any serious reflecting.

Everybody’s asking me what I’m going to do with my life after graduation! And I honestly do not know where I will be working. Please don’t ask me anymore. Ask me when I do start sending out my resume. I’m not even sure if I’m graduating after this term! There is still that dreaded thesis that we have to defend and conquer. And I have to deal with so many technical standards with so much typographical errors and extremely outdated policies.

I’m not even in my best form. I’ve been visiting the doctors almost every month now and it is so not cheap. Everything seems to be happening with a fog over my head. Like a dream going back and forth from being bittersweet to being a downright nightmare. I’m surprised that I still manage to submit my other requirements on time.

So much for this mini-rant. I missed you dear blog.

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Summer Trip 2014: Guimaras, Philippines

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Probably my first trip to the beach in 3 years! It’s been a long while and I have been looking forward to this trip since the start of the year. Although I never liked walking with sand between my toes, the urge to take a dip in the water was way greater.

022So here was how we got there. We took the RoRo( Roll On Roll Off) at the Pulupandan Port, Bacolod so we could bring cars.
Guimaras isn’t big on road transporation so to get around, it was best you had your own car. Travel time to the Raymen Beach Resort was around 2 hours, excluding the waiting for the ship to leave ( loading and unloading.) After the 45-minute boat ride, it was one hot roadtrip with cousins on the back of my uncle’s truck but it was worth the laughs… and the tan, of course.

Well, when we arrived at Raymen Beach Resort, all my expectations got squashed haha. I was expecting something like The Marriot but then I remembered, we’re in a small town with a white sand beach. Raymen caters to both day trip vi
sitors and those who wish to spend the night, or two ( that’s us.) There are air conditioned rooms, a canteen, wifi, and polite staff.

035On the first day, while waiting to check-in to our rooms, we ventured out to the Trappist Monastery to pray…and look for souvenirs haha. I did get to see some monks and a few nuns and the good looking church.

It wasn’t until the second day that we got to see the island’s beauty. At 730 am, we went island hopping even stopping at one island to have a quick swim. It was way better than the beach by the hotel. The water was clearer, quiet. I think it was called the turtle island. Since there was a live turtle sheltered there. But I did not get to see it since I opted to go swimming! (#sorrynotsorry)
We passed by a few more private islands owned by foreigners but I wasn’t really paying attention to what the boatmen were saying since I was busy enjoying the view and the water. ;)

We ventured the town afterwards, to look for fresh fish and PORK since dinner the previous evening was all fish. Well, we managed2014-05-01 10.07.21 to buy so much fish and a pack of frozen pork. Meat, it turned out, was scarce in that area. They even have a scheduled day for butchering pork! On Sundays! Yes, I thought I was on abstinence once again. We had a nice lunch though. Spicy Pagi(stingray) cooked in coconut milk. It looked like curry but tasted way better. We had alot of grilled fish and of course we also had the pork grilled.

In the afternoon, we went trekking at the JB Lacson Nature Farm. And that was where I found the most serene side of the beach with the amazing sunset. It was also the side where the corals were still alive. Yes, during the island hopping and the afternoon stroll, so much dead corals were washed up on shore and I have stepped on really big and sharp ones at the beach by the hotel. We strolled a while, I broke a sweat of course. And I enjoyed how quiet it is in the province. It really was a get-away.

But it wasn’t a place to stay f092or long. Seeing how the disturbance affected the ecosystem, enjoying the quiet paradise Guimaras offered makes the experience quite bittersweet. Even more bitter for me since I did not get to try their mangoes (Guimaras is very well known for them) because I am allergic to it. How ironic.

Wading in the water and getting a tan made up for it, to say the least. And I’m not one to complain on the chance to get some R&R. So all in all, it was a really good trip.

Looking forward to the next beach adventure. View more of my trip at the Gallery below!

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