Sunday, June 19, 2011

My BORACAY Getaway 2011

Boracay is an awesome tropical island about 55 minutes flight from Manila. Its long white sand beaches rival the best beaches of more popular destinations such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

There are two main modes of transport around Boracay via tricycles along the main road or by walking along the beaches.

For those wanting just to lounge around and take in some rays, there are beach-front hotels which has  lounge chairs set up just a few steps from the hotel entrances.

Facilities for the usual water sports activities such as wind-surfing, snorkeling, kayaking,  diving and jet-skiing are available for those in search of more active pursuits. The latest water sport in Boracay is stand up paddle-surfing.

Boracay has two main beaches, White Beach and Bulabog Beach which are located on opposite sides of the island. If you are into photography -- Bulabog Beach is the best place to catch the perfect sunrise,

and for sunset  -- you need to be at White Beach.

Weather in Boracay is generally divided into two seasonal weather patterns known locally as the Amihan and the Habagat seasons. According to the locals whom I talked with -- the Amihan season is characterized by moderate temperatures, with very little rain or no rainfall at all, and there is a prevailing wind from the east. As a rule of thumb, the Amihan season starts September to the end of May and the Habagat season is from June to August.  The Habagat season is characterized by the hot and humid weather, with frequent heavy rainfall and a prevailing wind from the west. Tropical storms are most likely seen during the Habagat season.

During the dry season which is from November thru April-- the White Beach is calm and suitable for swimming and doing all the watersports.. During the rainy season June to October --- you have the risks of typhoons hitting the island. White Beach during these rainy seasons gets large  waves which makes it unsuitable for swimming. There are no  lifeguards on the beach front so it would be good to go swimming with a companion at all times.

I was in Boracay last year and when I came back to the island a few weeks ago-- I noticed so many changes in the island.. I have made a list on the changes I noticed .. There were some hits and a few misses.... let me enumerate them and you decide whether they are HITS or MISSES....

** NO SMOKING on the beachfront. An ordinance was passed late last year prohibiting people from smoking on the beach. The reason for this was -- these people would just throw their butts on the sand. In case one has to smoke on the beach -- they should bring a container which they can dispose of the butts after.

**  NO LITTERING on the beach front. Yes, you read it correctly... Boracay is now litter free on the beach front--- you will never see empty soda cans littered on the shore early the next morning, no plastic bottles half-buried in the sand, no empty bags of chips thrown all over the place. If you are caught littering on the beach--- you are fined 500 pesos for the first offense and it goes up to 1000 pesos for repetitive offense. Hotels and restaurants on the beach front are tasked to keep their part of the beach front free from litter. If you are an early riser, you will see an army of leaf- pickers at 5:30 am on the beach front picking up leaves on the shore line. They do this all day long.

** What I missed this year in Boracay were the sand castles, those works of art by Boracay's beach children that used to be one of the resort's night attractions. I found out that there is an ordinance that prohibits making of sand sculptures except for promotional or special events with ..... a mayor's permit.. When I was in Boracay last May, instead of magnificent sand castles with intricate towers, I saw some children making " sand lanterns" instead. These are ground level lanterns lighted underground.

** Last year when I went to Boracay around May--- there was floating green seaweed outlining the would make one think twice if you still want to go into the water and swim..... today--- the green seaweed is gone!!! Boracay MUST have done something about it... For me, this was the best thing they have done to the island.... getting rid of the unsightly seaweed that sticks to your feet when you wade into the ocean for a swim.

** There are no more stray dogs wandering along the coastline. Now you can jog freely or stroll on the beach front without a stray dog following you. It can be a hassle at times. According to the locals whom I have talked to --- they have banned the dogs from the beach. Violators were impounded.

** The cost of food ( whether you are buying it at the market, ordering in the restaurants or even in the grocery stores ) have gone up. The locals of the island are now complaining of the rising costs.

** Some of the hotels on the beach fronts --  will charge you for sitting on their lounge chairs. I  heard a certain hotel in Station 1 charges 600 pesos/day for lounging around their hotel beach front area.

TRAVEL TIPS when you go to Boracay ---

** The first on my list would be..... Research, research and more research!!! Consult Mr. Google and Yahoo to know more about the places where you can go!!!

** Ask questions and talk to the locals. They are your best guides. YOU might be able to save more when traveling local style. Sometimes it is just more fun when you discover unique things about a place.

** Travel light when you go to the beach..... Bring only what is essential not everything from your closet!!-- All you will need when going to Boracay are your swimwear, sun glasses, flip flops, a camera with enough SD/CF cards to document your stay, batteries and charger for your camera and your valuable things.

** A good sunscreen lotion for your skin.... Boracay can get really HOT during the summer months. Sun worshippers should be armed with the necessary lotions for their skin or your delicate skin  might end up looking like barbecued skin.

** Try to be a little bit flexible when going to Boracay, so that if things don't go the way it's planned, you don't end up frowning.

** and lastly--- Get out of your comfort zone!!! Be adventurous and try new things.

I think Boracay is STILL THE PLACE TO GO!!! Boracay will always be one of my major destinations here in the Philippines!! What about you??

1 comment:

  1. Great travel tips you have here! And you are definitely right, Boracay is still the best place to go... and will always be! :)