This is a rough guide on how to enjoy a family vacation in Boracay – home to one of the world’s best beaches – without having to eat cup noodles and canned meat twice a day while on the island. And yes, there’s a trick to getting your own free beachfront chairs that doesn't involve checking-in at a fancy, beachfront hotel.
Day 4 in El Nido – after a ruckus between me and the tour guides who kept on insisting we join the bigger group in the combi tour (B and A), Toto and I plus another couple finally hopped on a smaller boat to start Tour B (Php1,300/pax). I was aware I made quite a few frenemies from that disagreement but I wasn't keen on going back to the sites we've already visited a couple of days before, albeit with a different group. I paid for Tour B and I wasn't going to let them squeeze 10 sites in just 8 hours, as if that was even possible! That would just mean limited time per site and hurried tours. Not gonna happen, babe.
Third day in El Nido: Tour C - dubbed as the best island hopping tour because it includes the most beautiful sites in this part of Palawan. It's also the farthest and the most dangerous because of unpredictable waves. So naturally, it's the most expensive (Php1,400/pax). Despite that and the gloomy morning, Toto and I had a good hunch about Tour C :)
Eto naaaa! Finally, after 3.5 months, naka-hugot na ng sapat na lakas para sa El Nido blog post! Hindi na kayang daanin sa quickie levels ang kagandahan ng El Nido. Hindi keri sa tatlo, limang photos lang. ♥
To be honest, Toto and I weren't planning to visit El Nido this soon. Because we've been to Coron twice, we thought we didn't need to see El Nido anymore. Countless of articles have compared the two Palawan tourist spots and it's always a super duper close call. That just means they're very similar to each other, right? However, we couldn't resist booking MNL-PPS-MNL tickets during one of AirAsia's seat sales last year!
If there's one thing that'll definitely test the patience of whiny tourists like moi, it has got to be an overnight camping trip in a place 4 hours away from Metro Manila and where there is no electricity, no cellphone signal, and no comfortable rooms to spend the night in (duh, it's camping! Silly me). Yiz, I'm talking about Nagsasa Cove (slash the alternative to the more popular Anawangin cove).
Okay - I know, I know. Gross title. But if there's anything more memorable about our trip to this famed resort other than the "overratedness" of it all, it has got to be me shitting loads of papaya down the drain (will probably edit this after getting my imaginary "virtual manners" back).
Being the stereotypical tourist that I am, I wanted - no, scratch that - I needed to visit Pearl Farm. It promised a taste of luxury for a day tour rate of P1,950/person on weekdays and P2,500/person on weekends *gulp* Of course I scheduled our day trip on a Thursday. Besides, if we pushed through with the original itinerary and visited on the next day, which was a holiday, I'm pretty sure we'd have no place to even have our asses seated judging by the number of people already waiting in the resort's, well, "waiting area" (sue me for my limited vocabulary ples).
To be quite honest there's nothing special about Puka Beach. It would have probably been a perfect spot to beach bum and get away from hordes of people in White Beach if not for its rocky-nakakasakit-ka-na-sa-paa shores. Guess there's a reason why White Beach is much more popular (tons of reasons, actually).
We spent P250 (100 to and 150 from) in transportation alone. And a thousand for eating at Puka Grande. A few hundred bucks for pasalubong. Thank goodness they have souvenir stalls in Puka where we bought cellphone charmers and other trinkets because we didn't have time to go to D'Mall anymore to shop for pasalubong.
Save for an hour of water activities and a few quick trips to D'Mall to grab some food, we practically glued ourselves to Sur Boracay's beach chairs and cabanas. Why wouldn't we? It was the best way to make the most out of the P14k we paid them! :))
It took me months of reading reviews and browsing travel sites to look for the best hotel in Boracay, and when I said best I meant value for money. I wouldn't mind paying a little more than the usual as long as the area is not too crowded. And I reckon Boracay and "not crowded" can't be used in one sentence so I really had a hard time choosing among the countless of hotels, inns, and guesthouses on the island. I guess it just all came down to personal preferences.
Okay, let's say it all together now..."Awful blog title!!" K, whatever. But I just wanted to write something other than "Boracay Day 2." Hihi.
So anyway, we didn't exactly find Nemo but we sure did get some water action during our second day in Boracay. We got Kuya Ron's number from PinoyExchange and an urban legend states that he gives the lowest rates for all types of activities in Boracay. Well, I kind of believed that until I heard my gay officemates' story about how they got to experience parasailing (with free helmet diving!!!) for only P700/person by just flirting with the Caticlan Jetty's police officer of the day, who's got some connections and stuff. In their own words, "Kinembutan lang ni (insert sexy gay friend's name here)." Well, I'm not gay (not that there's something wrong about it) and certainly not flirtatious and remotely congenial so we're good with Kuya Ron's rates. Besides, we definitely had a blast rolling off some speedboat-driven airbed, a.k.a the mighty Flying Fish! :D
We came to visit Boracay during lean season and I thought we'd have the island to ourselves because, well, it's lean season. This was my first time and I was stupid enough to think that the country's number 1 tourist spot would be crowd-less on the last week of September. But the scene in Caticlan airport showed otherwise. It didn't sink in to me that people from all over the world have heard about Boracay through various media until we reached the jetty port and boy was it pretty crowded. I checked my calendar after asking myself, is it summer yet?