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Saturday, May 19, 2012

BORACAY not BORA (Part II)

Boracay is hailed as the 2nd Best Beach Destination in the World in the recently concluded 2011 Travelers' Choice® Beaches awards. Travelers all over the world, particularly the Europeans, Koreans, and the Filipinos, love to visit the beautiful island of Boracay. It is undoubtedly more fun in the Philippines! 





Given this prestige and hype, I was enticed to return once again to Boracay.  At the start of the year, my 1st priority was to book a flight to Kalibo, Aklan. Six years had passed since I stepped on the white sand beach of Boracay. It was the right moment to come back and assess the changes/developments - the “2006 (before)” and the “2012 (present)” scenery of this famous beach. Thanks to Air Philippines for making this 2nd trip possible.

Our flight arrival to Kalibo was at around 10:30 of Saturday morning. Inside the Kalibo terminal, local tourist guides offered van trips which were all bound for Caticlan. We chose the van service of Kalibo International Airport Transport Association (KIATA) since the fare included the ferry ticket to Boracay (Package is at PhP250). The price was higher compared to the standard fee of PhP200 since the tourists were transported into the island by a huge air-conditioned ferry named “Oyster”.

At the Caticlan terminal, we paid PhP90 for the environmental fee and PhP100 for the terminal fee. Then, we headed directly to the Oyster ferry. It was a smooth 10-minute cruise all the way to Boracay. Tricycle fare from the dock to Station 2 was at PhP100.

Fortunately, I was able to keep the calling card of Jerome’s Resort (my accommodation way back 2006) and we were able to book a room one-month in advance. It is convenient to stay at Jerome’s since the place is just a 3-minute walk to the beach front (near Sea Dive Resort). The room is air-conditioned with flat screen tv, wifi, and heater. Most of all, security guard is assigned at night in the compound. [Jeromes' contact no: 036-288-3270/edjellscp13@yahoo.com]









  





Boracay was lovelier the 2nd time around. More restaurant establishments were built all the way from Station 1 to 3. As observed, the coconut trees were taller (4x the human height compared to 2x in 2006) and more activities were available for tourists to enjoy.  Big white and multi-colored umbrellas were lined up along the beach front. The uniformed color of all bancas added to the charm of the sky blue sea.

We were fortunate enough to witness the Kapuso Mo Weekend at Boracay. The timing of our trip permitted us to see various GMA artists, such as Bella Padilla, Mark Herras, Dindong Dantes, Sam Pinto, Solenn Heusaff, among others.

However, I could no longer find the tall sand castles which were my favourite way back 2006. Thus, I asked the locals why the sand castles were gone, and they mentioned that it was no longer permitted since sand hauling destroys the natural beauty of the island. As I checked on the website while writing this blog, here is what I found:


“The municipality of Malay, where Boracay is located, is now implementing strictly a 2007 ordinance regulating sandcastle-making on the beaches around the famous island resort. A March 2011 VERA Files article by Ariel Sebellino stated: “One reason for the passage of the ordinance was that huge quantities of sand are needed to make big sandcastles that are used as photography backdrops for a fee. The once unregulated commercial activity affected the natural terrain of the beach.” tall sand castles are no longer permitted since it destroy the natural beauty of the island (http://blogs.gmanews.tv/ellen-tordesillas/archives/120-Where-have-all-the-Boracay-sandcastles-gone.html)”


“BORACAY please, not BORA” signages are also visible on the front beach. I first found out the purpose of this campaign while following my favourite travel blog “Soloflighted”. In Ed’s article about Boracay, he corrected all his Bora words to Boracay due to the comment of one of his readers. Bora is different from Boracay:. 
“Bora Bora is located northwest of Tahiti in the Leeward Society Islands. The warm shallow water of Bora Bora’s lagoon is world famous for its unspoilt beauty. And much like our very own Boracay, it also boasts of an unbroken expanse of warm, white sand surrounding the island.” (http://www.travelsmart.net/article/10000425). Thus, people may get confuse and may search about Boracay on the website using the word Bora instead of Boracay. 
Water adventure was at its best in Boracay. There were various water sports activities to choose from: parasailing, banana boating, kayaking, jet skiing, island hopping, to name a few. Tourists guide were all over the beach front offering these amenities.

Commercial establishments, such as Shakeys, Andoks, and other Manila-based restaurants are already available. I highly recommend 928 CafĂ© restaurant (located at Station 2) for breakfast; their brewed coffee really tastes good!. For merienda, you may try Jonas fruit shake at Station 1. For dinner, lots of restaurants offer buffet meals ranging from PhP300 – PhP500. In Boracay, you may always scout for the affordable yet delicious food.


At night, there’s a regular fire dancing show at Station 2. At 10:30 in the evening, tourists may proceed at Station 1 for the night party and drinking. Club Paraw is frequently visited by the foreigners and the locals since the disco is alive and the drinks are overflowing. A 3-day, 2-night stay in Boracay is enough for travellers with hectic schedule but a 5 day of vacation in the island will definitely relax your mind.  Boracay is indeed a paradise that the Philippines can be proud of. 


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading write-up. Hope i can discover a lot more articles like this one. Thanks for posting.

Kit Cruz | properties in boracay philippines said...

Boracay should be addressed according to its name and not Bora. I remember the posters in the island that says "Boracay please, not Bora!". :D