I just came back from the Phillipines, Boracay Island to be exact. And I LOOOOVE IT!
I wouldn’t waste time by talking why did I visit Boracay at the first place, how much money I spent, and all the itinerary because that would be boring. I will just pin-point why Boracay is soooo AWESOME!
TEN Reasons Why I love Boracay (and you will too)
1. FOOD FOOD FOOD
Yeah you guess. For Bandi and me, food takes a very important role of whether we would love that place and would come back again. (That’s why we love Thailand so much!) Filipino food is so good! Mostly pork meat and BBQ. I only eat one dish of vegetable during my 5 days stay in the Phillipines and it’s not good at all. So the whole 5 days I was being a total carnivore. They also BBQ-ing Banana with caramel and it was so damn good too!
Aside the local food, the international food in Boracay island were also good. They have every kind of cuisine start from Thai, Indian, Western, Greek, Turkish, until Indonesian food. They even have their own Starbucks on that tiny island!!
I couldn’t try all the Restaurant (duh! of course) even though I ate like 5 times a day (and yes, I probably gained about 2 kilos back from the Phillipines.) But most of the food I ate was good! I loved the Blueberry Cheesecake and Rhumball from Lemon Cafe (located at D’mall) and the Pizza from ARIA, which was an authentic Italian Pizza with so much mozzarella (I even drool now typing this).
I hunt for local food more since it’s much cheaper and guaranteed good. Try the Pork Charap which is a deed fried pork belly! Gee, can you imagine how many fats on that dish? BUT IT WAS GOOD! The other food is all BBQ, started from Pork BBQ, Chicken BBQ, Beef BBQ, Fish BBQ, Banana BBQ, hey they basically BBQ everything. If they can BBQ shoe, they would probably do it too.
2. Cheap Booze and Cigarettes
This reason is specially for Bandi who came out from the mini-mart and told me, “GEE MAY, YOU HAVE TO LET ME SMOKE HERE! It’s freaking 40 pesos only!!!” (which means like S$1.20 while in Singapore that one pack of Marlboro costs $13) So yeah, after got fed up of him pleading “Come on, it’s only $1 and I swear I’ll brush my teeth before kissing you, and it’s beach, it would be nice smoking while staring at the beach” and blah blah blah, I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
And for me, I was so happy when I bought one bottle of rhum for only 240 pesos!!! (S$7) So yeah, I used full of my duty free allowances. Will be having Rhum Coke party on New Year’s eve! YAY!
3. Jonah’s Fruit Shake
This is not like any other fruit shake you ever tasted and this is not an advertisement. Jonah’s fruit shake is FREAKING AWESOME. I read someone’s review about this and he was exaggerating about the fruit shake that he can’t stop visiting Jonah’s. But once I tried it, I COULDN’T STOP EITHER! I kept coming back for more. OMG the shakes were so creamy and just the right amount of sweetness and just PERFECT.
First time, I drank in and gee, the mug was just so big! Look at Bandi’s face, drinking all the shake. He was KO’d. LOL
The second time, I ordered to go and turned out to be smaller portion, but hey, it wasn’t enough! The best flavor for me was Choco Banana Peanut. I HAVE TO HAVE THAT RECIPE OR I WON’T EVER DIE PEACEFULLY.
4. The shallow long beach
The white beach, the longest beach in Boracay has a very soft sands like baby’s powder and when you walk to the ocean for even 10 meters away from the beach, it’s still shallow, the water would be only until your waistline.
It is perfect for just playing with ocean wave and just enjoy the wind breeze. Floating on your back in the shallow ocean and just be alive. You’ll realize that all the problems in the office don’t mean anything in this big universe, and all the money in the banks won’t give you a happy feeling like what you have in the moment. You’ll realize what’s important in life.
5. Ariel’s Point
Everyone who said Boracay was awesome must have gone to this place!!! Because this place was the reason why I wanted to go there in the first place. Please visit Ariel’s Point Website to know more what it’s all about.
I jumped off a five meters cliff. And I survived. Please look at this video.
Let me explain to you why it is so hard for me to “just” jump off the cliff. BECAUSE I AM AFRAID OF HEIGHT. And I am afraid of drowning. I have this phobia of dying in the ocean or water in general. That is why I never do scuba diving. I want to so bad, but I haven’t got the guts.
I remember when I bungee-jumped with Bandi in Bali, I was so scared like hell I actually cried when we were about to jump, but no matter how afraid I was, I wasn’t the one who made the call to jump or not to jump. Bandi was the one who made the call and pushed our body to finally jumped. Yeah it was so damn scary.
Back in Boracay, this cliff diving was soooo scary to me because when I stood on that plank, I didn’t think I would actually jump. That video was not the first video taken because I cancelled to jump so many times. People said, “don’t think, just jump!” And yes, I finally JUST JUMPED and the feeling OH MY GOOD. in the video it looked like only 2 or 3 secs in the air, but it felt like forever!!! Nothing is attached to me! It was just me and the air!
And then SPLASH!!! BLUP BLUP!
I was inside the water and I was relieved. It felt so awesome when I was finally inside the water. But do you know what was the first think on my mind? “Damn! my bum hurts!”
After seafood buffet lunch and unlimited BBQ banana, we were off back to Boracay. Anyway I met one lady who had been traveling since October last year!!! GEE! What an exciting life she has. =) It’s always fun to listen people’s life story.
So, Ariel’s Point, thank you for giving me a new experience, something I thought I will never do. And also, for giving me a new feeling in my life.
Bandi did ask me if he brought me to Santorini, would I jump off the cliff again? And I said, HELL YEAH OF COURSE! I would say YES to everything in Santorini!
When we went back to Boracay Island, everyone played “spin the bottle” and drank some rhum and there were two fun girls who did striptease on the boat pole. It was so fun!
6. The singing Filipinos
Boracay is very different from other touristy beaches when all the local seller would approach you and do hard-sell. I still have people offer me stuffs and para-sailing (which only cost 50 pesos!! or S$1.50) but once I said No Thanks, they will nicely leave you alone.
All the services from restaurant or even just street vendors are good. This review is probably bias since I live in Singapore, where the services suck big times. I don’t get used to being served well.
During my trip in the Phillipines, all my taxi driver or my shuttle bus drivers always turn on the radio and the songs are always good! They have excellent taste in music! All the drivers were also singing along with the radio. It’s like riding with free entertainment. Bandi said, “They even have good voice.”
Filipinos are friendly and festive! Most people will hum while serving your food, or counting your money in the cashier. One girl who brought us to Ariel’s point even sang Lady Gaga’s song out loud.
I love the fact that they are enjoying their lives. It’s very refreshing for me because if you do that in Singapore, people would think you’re crazy.
On the last day in Manila, I sang along with the Taxi drivers, singing “Call me maybe”. I wish I could do that in Singapore. :(
But Phillipines has the friendliest immigration officer ever! (with the rudest I ever encountered is Vietnam immigration. Arrgh!) The officer who stamped my passport said to me “Selamat Jalan!” means Bon Voyage in Bahasa Indonesia. While Bandi’s officer joked with him and asked how Boracay was, and Bandi answered very loudly, “AWESOME!”
This is a Filipino snack that’s made from Pig Fats and skin! Yeah, you heard it right, it’s FATS. And it is deep fried fats! Can you imagine how fattening it is? But it is so damn delicious! Chicharom is being eaten with apple vinegar as the dipping sauce.
I bought the vegetarian Chicharon from Oishii brand, and it’s as delicious as the real ones, and it’s more animal friendly and less sinful. Here’s a pic:
If you ever go to Phillipines, please try this! I bought a lot of packs of Chicharom and brought back to Singapore now the stock is almost running out, so please let me know if anyone’s going to Phillipines!
Not everyone loves spa. I am the one who loves it, and I must say, massage from Bella Isa Spa is the best I’ve ever got in my life! I only paid for 1000pesos (around S$30) and it is considered very expensive in Boracay! Massage by the beach is probably about half price and I bet just as good as other massage.
9. Puppies and Doggies are everywhere
This reason is very personal, I know. Bali also has a lot of dogs, but in Boracay the dogs are allowed to actually play at the beach and jump into the water. It was so much fun to see them having fun.
I met this cute little puppy just outside the Jonah’s Fruit Shake (for which times I forgot) and this cutie couldn’t stop licking my face, he was soooo cute!!! I couldn’t let him go either. =3
I also met a golden retriever who belonged to the hostel where I’ve stayed. He was asleep when I shook his body and kept sleeping still. Or he was just acting cool perhaps?
10. The breathtaking sunset
I stopped typing for a while. Because I don’t know how to explain the feeling. It was just so gorgeous, pretty and soothing.
I thought about mastercard advertisement when typing this now.
“Jumping off the cliff in Boracay, 1500 pesos. Buying the greatest fruitshake ever, 110pesos. Watching sunset with your loved ones: priceless.”
Now the mastercard advertisement finally makes sense. =)
There are other things that would probably make you love Boracay more such as the famous kite-boarding, diving sites and all cheap water sports that I didn’t do simply because I’m not a daredevil and all my guts have been drained at Ariel’s point. I hope people will have more fun in Boracay!
I understand the one’s mood during holiday and the outcome of the holiday based on the hotel that they stay, the food that they eat, the company who’s with them, and one’s physical fitness and personal mood. I got people telling me they don’t like Bali or Phuket while for me, I love them. And if your preferences are almost the same with mine, then I bet you’ll love Boracay too.
So, How to get there?
- Take flight to Manila (so many budget flight going there).
- From Manila take another flight to Caticlan (buy from Airphill Express, Zest Air or Cebu Pacific are the cheapest)
- From Caticlen Airport take a tricycles to Caticlan Jetty. Actually very near, like only 5 minutes. about 25 pesos.
- From Jetty take boat to Boracay! Yay! You arrive! The boat departs every minute, so more like bus for them. The going in to Boracay cost 125 pesos while going out from boracay cost 75 pesos.
It is easy to go there! No excuse! Happy adventuring!