Boracay Valentine’s Weekend

February 14-17, 2013

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Red for Valentine’s day. Blue for beach. White for sand. (Credits to Larry Bonto)

Almost all my Valentine’s day in the past decade were spent with my special someone. But since we parted ways this year, I decided to celebrate the hearts day with my officemates. No reason for me to be lonely and sad when I am in one of the best beaches in the Philippines – Boracay.

My officemates and I met at the Solid North bus station in Cubao. It is located at the southbound road of EDSA and is near Victory Liner. We only waited for a few minutes before the bus’ departure. Fare was Php 139. After 2 hrs of travel, we arrived at the Dau-Mabalacat bus terminal in Pampanga. We had lunch at Jollibee first before we proceeded to the DMIA shuttle terminal also located at Dau terminal. From there, we took the shuttle (Php100) to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA). The driver did not wait for more passengers. There were only 7 of us in the shuttle. (Another option going to DMIA is to take the Philtranco bus at the DMIA terminal in Trinoma Mall. Just make sure to call them for the schedule.)

Only few people were in the airport when we arrived and the checking area for our flight was still closed. We waited for a couple of minutes before we were allowed to enter. It was the hall beside the main hall of DMIA. The officers checked our bags, then we paid our terminal fee (Php150) and waited for our boarding time. There are also many stores inside the airport if you want to eat.

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DMIA’s Pre-departure Area

After an hour, we arrived at Kalibo International Airport. We looked for a van that will take us to Caticlan Jetty Port. We saw the KIATA (Kalibo International Airport Transport Association) signage and asked for their services. We got their package -van to Caticlan and ferry to Boracay for Php250 per person. The travel was 2 hrs from the airport to Caticlan. When we arrived, we were asked first to pay the terminal fee (Php100) and environmental fee (Php25) before we were allowed to enter the jetty port terminal. We waited for more passengers before we were called by one of Oyster Ferry’s staff for departure.

It was very relaxing inside the ferry. There were small screens where we watched a movie while waiting for the other passengers to settle in. Then after a couple of minutes, we arrived at Boracay Island. Another option of transfer from Caticlan to Boracay is via small boats. I think the fare was only Php25.

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Touchdown, Kalibo! (Credits to TJ Barroso)

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Signage at Caticlan Jetty Port

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Inside Oyster Ferry

We went to the tricycle terminal and asked the driver to take us to D’Mall. There were 6 of us inside the trike. Each of us paid Php20. From D’Mall, we had to walk for a couple of minutes towards Station 2 then we turned left where we found the signage to Tan’s guesthouse – our home for the weekend. We settled our things first and rested for an hour.

Finally! Hello vacation.

Finally! Hello vacation.

Tan’s guesthouse is located at the Station 2 of Boracay. They have two buildings and the one where we stayed was still being built during our stay. We paid Php3500/night for 6 pax. The room was actually more spacious than I imagined. The beds were large enough for 2 persons, the kitchen was well equipped and the bathroom was clean. We also had a terrace where we dried our clothes. They also offered room services like meals and massage. The only downside of the guesthouse during our stay was the construction. The third floor was still being built last Feb. I hope it is done now.

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3 Double Beds

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TV and terrace door.

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Dining Table for 6.

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Fully equipped kitchen.

After resting, we looked for a restaurant for dinner. There were many buffets at night that offer wide variety of dishes, especially seafood. It was also Valentine’s day that day so most of them were decorated with Valentine’s theme. There were also special dinners for couple. I was dying inside that time. I really wished I was with my SO on that romantic day and place. But oh well, I was with friends so no need to be lonely.

We looked from station 2 to station 3  for possible choices. Buffet prices range from Php300-1500, depending on the number of dishes they are serving. Entertainments were also provided like live bands and poi dancers. Audience participation was also very much welcomed. There were also dancing waiters and chefs. Soooo cute! In the end, we chose a buffet resto near our guesthouse. I paid Php418 for my dinner. Solb!

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Gluttony.

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Chilling near the beach (Credits to TJ Barroso)

After having dinner, we walked along the shore to station 1 to look for a nice place to chill and drink. We found Ti Braz where they had sofa beds and live bands. I ordered Tanduay ice and the specialty crepe all for Php143. It was just a relaxing time for me, enjoying the company of my friends, the good music and the sound of the waves. Still a happy valentine’s day for my lonely heart.

On our second day, we decided to try the helmet diving. I paid Php300 which included boat transfer to and from the diving spot, the diving gears and a cd of photos. I was very nervous at first. Though I really love to swim, I am not very fond of deep waters. But I mustered all my courage and went underwater. The gear was actually very heavy but the water made it light. At first, I felt the pressure in my ears. I had to follow the guide’s instructions on proper breathing and hand signals for me to be fine underwater. We stayed submerged for almost 30 minutes admiring the fishes, enjoying the view and taking pictures. Well, I was actually hoping for a more beautiful sight but the experience was still very exciting and memorable for me.

Under the sea... Under the sea...

Under the sea… Under the sea…

We went back to station 1 and had milk tea (Php90). Since we were so tired from diving we decided to go back to our room for some rest. By 12 pm we decided to have lunch at the nearby carinderia (Php60). Tipid meal of the day.😉

After lunch, we rode a trike to Puka Beach for Php20 per person. It was about 30 minutes away from the White beach. I really enjoyed the serenity of the place. The sand was white and the beach was breath-taking as the White beach, but it was more relaxing since there were fewer tourists. However, when we were there the tides were strong so I barely went near the water. Some tourists were also playing sports like volleyball and frisbee.

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Welcome to Puka beach. Donations are very much appreciated.🙂

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My officemates enjoying the sand, sun and beach.

See how strong the waves are?

See how strong the waves are?

I also bought souvenirs from the stores lined up at the side of the beach. I was able to buy one small bag, 2 anklets and 1 shell bracelet for Php190.

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Souvenirs.

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More shells to bring home.

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Hey Mr Abs guy. (Credits to TJ Barroso)

W rode a trike back to the White beach to visit Jonas. Jonas Fruitshake is very popular for its shakes and chori burger. The shake was big enough for 2 persons to share. I tried the banana and chocnut shake. The chori burger was also very delicious. All in all, I paid Php220.

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My biggie of a shake.

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Chori chori chori burger!

One of the things you should not miss in Boracay is its breath-taking sunset. We were very lucky because the weather had been good. Many people were taking photos or enjoying the Paraw sailing that afternoon.

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Oh how I love sunsets.

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Enjoying sunset in station 1.

Since we were still full from the sandwiches and shakes, we decided to go back to our room to have rest and to wash up. We were also waiting for 2 of our friends who will arrive from Caticlan. While waiting, we took time to watch tv, enjoy the wi-fi and rest. When our friends arrived, we had dinner at Andoks (Php77).

Before we started our second morning in Boracay, we had breakfast first at a small restaurant near our guesthouse. I ate tosilog for Php85. Then I also bought snacks for the island hopping just in case I get hungry.🙂. I paid Php250 for the Island Hopping which included environmental fee, coastguard fee and the boat.

We were first brought in the middle of the ocean for snorkeling and fish feeding. I tried it for a while however the current was strong so I decided to come back to the boat. Honestly, I enjoyed my Palawan fish feeding and snorkeling experience more; it has a richer marine life. After snorkeling, we went to the island right of station 1. We passed by Shangri-la Boracay and Pacman’s resort. We docked in a small shore at the end of the island. The water was very beautiful as well as the sand. We had our picture-taking portion there. Haha!

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Group Photo. (Credits to Larry Bonto)

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Before island hopping.

After the island hopping experience, we decided to have lunch at the Hobbit House. It was a nice place, adorned with The Hobbit theme. However, the service was so slow. We waited for almost an hour for our meals to be served considering we were the only ones present at the resto. I paid Php350 for a lunch I shared with my friend.

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The Hobbit House menu

We went back to our guesthouse to rest for a while. By mid-afternoon, we went to the beach to swim and bask under the sun. Many tourists, Filipinos and foreigners alike, flocked the white beach. I really had fun and I was able to practice my strokes. Then I decided to do souvenir shopping at D’Mall. I was able to buy 3 tshirts for Php360. I also bought 5 keychains and 1 magnet for Php100.

After buying my pasalubong, I met my officemates at Nigi Nigi Nu Noos to have some drinks while enjoying the sunset. I paid Php100 for the san mig light I ordered.

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Sailing away, alone.

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Nigi Nigi Nu Noos

I don’t know but my friends and I also took our vacation time to relax and sleep. So we went back to our room to rest for a while before dinner. My friends and I decided to have dinner at Seabreeze buffet. It has a huge variety of dishes. I really enjoyed the oyster and roast beef. I paid Seabreeze Php800. It was a super worth it dinner. We had fun with the live bands where they also invited some guests to sing. The chefs and waiters also danced. And of course, the highlight of the night, we met Mark. He was stationed at the roast beef that night. “Sa chef palang busog ka na!” Hahaha. We ended the night so full and so happy.

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Mark, Sato and I. (Credits to TJ Barroso)

On our final day, we had our breakfast in a nearby mami resto. My breakfast costed Php120 for one order of mami and juice. Then, we swam the whole morning. I really enjoyed the long shoreline and the white and fine sand. However, during our stay there were a lot of moss.

After swimming, we had lunch again at the nearby carinderia (Php68) then went to D’mall to buy more pasalubong. I was able to buy 3 Boracay delicacies for Php100.

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Fun under the sun. *Credits to TJ Barroso

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Pasalubong shopping at D’Mall.

After shopping we went back to Jonas to relax and drink shakes. There were many people in the restaurant that day and more were still coming. Then we rode a trike to the boat terminal. We paid Php50 for Oyster ferry going back to Caticlan Jetty Port. Then we rode the van we hired through one for our bellboys (Php200/person) to Kalibo International Airport.

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Waiting for Oyster Ferry.

It was full of people when we arrived. We had to go out again since there were no more seats even on the stairs. We decided to have dinner at the restaurant in front of the airport. I paid Php115 for bangusilog and juice.

After an hour, the airport was already less cramped with people. We decided to check in and pay terminal fee of Php40.

The flight was slightly delayed. We had to wait for almost an hour before our departure. We reached DMIA and took the shuttle going to Dau terminal for Php50. From Dau terminal, we rode one of the buses going  Cubao and paid Php116.

We had a very long day but I really enjoyed the beach, the sun, the food and the people I am with. I cannot wait for my next beach bumming adventure!

My little mermaid version.

My little mermaid version.

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