Six years away from the sea, it nearly drove me crazy. Swimming in the ocean has always been therapeutic for me. When I was still single and working in the city whenever I felt the urban landscape suffocating me, I would escape to the nearest sandy shore hoping to retrieve my sanity.
Of all my hideaways, my constant favourite was Boracay. A beautiful island in the province of Aklan in the Philippines where you can find the most pristine of white sandy beaches. Sands so fine like powdered milk.
Of course, the rugged beauty of Coron, Palawan is more exotic than Boracay, but for more extended visits, I have always chosen this island. On several occasions, I had stayed here for several days by myself and even roamed the whole island alone in a bicycle without fearing for my safety.
The locals are so used to various kinds of nationalities visiting the place that they have adopted a very westernised attitude towards different types of tourists. They do not gawk at girls, even the one in bikinis or the topless sunbathing ones. It is a ubiquitous sight for them. A solitary woman can relax and enjoy the beach without being harassed or bothered by anybody. Unlike other tourist destinations in the country, the local vendors are not desperate to sell you things. Except for occasional offers of leisure beach activities, like island hopping or jet skiing, etc. they leave you alone to enjoy your beach holiday.
The natural confidence of the locals came from the excellent economy vibrant tourism had generated for the island. During peak seasons, foreigners outnumber the local tourists and going there often felt like you stepped out of the country altogether. Holidayers keep to themselves. One can roam around freely and could get lost in the crowd easily if one wishes anonymity.
During our visit to my parents’ house this summer we could not resist including a side trip to Boracay before returning home. I kind of build up the place for my husband, but at the back of my mind, I was hoping nothing much has changed.
The nightlife, livelier than ever.
My husband and I had a lovely time over there. It was the cherry on top of our fun-filled visit to my country. I was happy and proud that Boracay delivered all that I promised to my husband. He is eager to go back.
If you have not been to Boracay, I would just like to give you a few helpful tips about going around the island. The whole beachfront is about 4 kilometres long and divided by 3 stations. Station 1 has wider beachfront with less crowd since it is considered the poshest place to stay at and where the most expensive hotels facing the sea can be found. Station 2 is the busiest area, where most of the restaurants, bars, market places like D’Mall and D’ Talipapa can be found. You will discover reasonably priced lodgings in this section of the beach. Station 3 being far from the main activity area is generally quieter and had very few hotels last time I was there. But this time more hotels are available. If you want to stay away from the crowd you can choose to stay in this station and rooms would be cheaper. Although it’s a long walk if you’re going to go to the primary market. Tricycles are available inside the main town at the back of the beach area so that usually solves the issue. Cheaper lodgings and fast foods restaurants are also available there.
You can reach Boracay via air from Manila. There are plenty of local flights that go there. Some of the airlines include PAL, Cebu Pacific, Zea Air, Air Philippines among others. The fare generally costs around 4000 pesos round trip per person. Going by sea is a little bit more complicated though not less enjoyable since one of the most famous ferries that sail there departs from Batangas City Pier. Formerly known as Superferry, 2go Travel leaves Batangas in the evening at around 9 pm and reaches Caticlan port in the morning at about 7 am. From Caticlan to Batangas, the ferry leaves at 9 am in the morning and arrives at Batangas at 6 pm. A suite would cost around 4000 pesos round trip for two persons.
copyright 2013 JMKhapra