Feb 27, 2012

Boracay Now and Then

After a long pause when I drafted this post, its only now I found time to finish this entry. I'm trying to get my hands back in blogging .... I just needed some push and some inspiration back. I hope I'll regain my PR3 rating soon :)

Prior to this trip, my last visit in Boracay was in May of 2008 and even though there was a typhoon at that time, my friends and I still managed to have a great time. But the first time I set foot in Boracay  and was awed by its beauty was in April of '96 during the Holy Week and I must say much has changed since then.

The White Rock (Holy Week '96)
I can still wear a bathing suit then, LOL ........
Holy Week then was a time of peace and reflection...
you can't say the same now

This recent trip last Oct of 2011 was part of a promise I kept to myself to bring my family to the beautiful places I've been to. This is also partly my birthday treat so they can finally see the much talked about Boracay. Did they like it? Well, no doubt they find it beautiful but they kept on comparing it to our Bohol adventure last year and how much they enjoyed that trip more. They have their reasons and I must say that Boracay "now" (with emphasis on now) isn't really a place for our old folks who prefer peace and relaxation. Boracay is a happening place fit for "barkada" getaways and party peeps looking for fun.

More Bucks Needed Now 

Prepare these fees when you reach Caticlan port.
 PHP 50 for the terminal fee
 PHP 50 for the environmental tax
 PHP 25 for the boat trip
And exiting Boracay, you have to pay again:
 PHP 50 for the terminal fee
 PHP 25 for the boat trip

Hmmm, I kinda complained with the excessive fees but the terminal is new and more organized, back then was totally different. I remember during my last visit here and there was typhoon, I panicked when they made us transfer to a small boat since the regular boat wont be able to dock due to the weather condition. They overloaded the small boat with all the passengers of the regular boat, no cover on top and with heavy downpour making us all wet as well as our baggage, that was really very irresponsible of them! But now, although its just a 5 mins boat ride to Boracay, there's a calm feeling you'll reach the shore safely and conveniently.

The Caticlan Port terminal

Our Accommodation

My objective really is to get a budget friendly accommodation that will offer a great view of the beach upon waking up, somewhere between station 1 and 2, that is not so noisy and busy. When we got to Boracay, a friend reserved a place for us but I didn't like the location so right then on I went out and check the ones in my mind, hoping they are available. I was debating between La Fiesta and Casa Fiesta and both are available the next day and both meeting my requirement in terms of price and beach front location. Casa Fiesta is newer but La Fiesta offers a better and unobstructed view of the beach although their rooms are a little rundown needing some renovations. The better view ruled over me and was happy about it, La Fiesta it is for the succeeding days and for our first  night we managed to be contented at Eriko's. 

That's La Fiesta and that lady on the terrace was my auntie and that unobstructed view from our room was just lovely
Woke up really early after a good night sleep at La Fiesta. Meditated on the front porch while marveling at the beauty of Boracay then walked on the shore stepping firmly on the very powdery white sand  and inhaling and exhaling the healthy sea breeze. I felt then that I was in my happy place and when I went back to the porch, mamang taho suddenly passed by and that definitely completed my day. Taho for breakfast anyone? :-)

What else to do when you're in Boracay and the weather is great and the calm and clear turquoise blue water is very inviting but run to the waters and plunge and play until you finally noticed that your hands are all wrinkled and your tummy is already grumbling signalling you to stop. Its now time to take our lunch.

Where We Ate

There are lots of choices to choose from, to the budget friendly ones and the most expensive ones. Good budget resto choices are Mang Inasal, where it first became famous and Andoks. And there are Aria, Cyma and the likes if you are willing to shell out more bucks and lots of eat all you can al fresco dining along the shore with matching acoustic entertainers for easy listening.

In our case our choices are limited because my mom has difficulty walking and we can only go as far as 5 meters away from our accommodation. One of those that are near us is Gerry's Grill. I guess you'll never go wrong with Gerry's Grill, affordable and good food and nice view from the second floor as well. 

inside 2nd Flr of Gerry's Grill

If you love pasta and pizza, Aria is highly recommended but its on the expensive side. We had our dinner there on our first night and it was a treat from our Auntie Tering. If you love your food spicy, dont forget to try their chili oil, sprinkle some on your pasta and pizza, and you'll definitely crave for more.

Large Pizza at Aria

It used to be a favorite but Gasthof now is so lousy. I dont know what happened to them but their food now is blah and their price is so expensive. Just dont bother to try it.

It was the nearest al fresco buffet dinner from La Fiesta, so we had our dinner at MINT. Except for the unlimited consumption of Oyster, everything is blah. There are many other buffet choices, just skip this one.

I've seen this breakfast resto from the movie of Aga and Anne Curtis and have heard a lot about their specialty calamansi muffin so we tried out Real Coffee which is just a few meters away from La Fiesta. Well, you'll see a lot of photos of  well known personalities posted on their tables and walls, their calamansi muffin is something you'll bring home as pasalubong for its unique taste but the rest of their breakfast menus we tried were overpriced and yet plain tasting. So if you must try, just buy their calamansi muffin.

Calamansi Muffin @ 40 pesos a piece

Boracay now and then has changed greatly from then pure unspoilt beauty to now a thriving business enterprise with numerous developments ongoing and the influx of  more foreign tourists visiting the place. I know it just needs to go with the current times but I hope protecting this nature's wonder will be the utmost consideration of the local officials more than monetary reward. 

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