I never really planned to go there for this summer season for the primary reason of it being too expensive. Not until I read an ad of Zest Air (formerly Air Philippines) in the newspaper and to my surprise, a one way ticket would only cost me P1700 from Manila to Caticlan.
I just wanted to try a one way ticket and try to go on ro-ro (roll in-roll out) on my way back just for the adventure. I didn’t book right away coz I wanted to invite a friend of mine so that I wouldn’t be alone in my trip. I was able to have him confirm in joining me after 7 hours.
By the time I got back on line…whoa!!! There’s no more available flight for that price!!! The cheapest rate I could find was P2,600 but this time with Cebu Pacific because prices would be as high as P4,000 since it’s the start of the peak season.I went to the new terminal 3 of NAIA which is just 30-45 minutes away from where I stay.
I was asked my confirmation ticket which I printed online and a valid Identification Card. After the entrance I had to go through a scanning machine so I had to take off stuff in my pocket as well as my belt and put it in a basket which will go through the scanner. After which, I went to this other line where in my ticket was processed and since I only had a hand carry, I was weighed together with it. I was surprised because this was the first time I stepped on a weighing scale in an airport. I found out that this was to make sure that the left and right side of the plane would be balanced in terms of weight. Wow!!!
Then I proceeded to another terminal and paid a terminal fee of P200. Manila to Caticlan is just almost an hour flight.
Before we went to main boracay…we had to take a ferry boat from Caticlan…I was surprised that we had to pay an environmental fee, a tricycle ride and a ferry ride all for P150. But for the tricycle ride if I may suggest.. you can just walk from the airport to the ferry station. It will only take you 5 minutes!!! But when you reach the terminal you still have to pay a P50 terminal fee.
The ferry ride is just 5-10 minutes. From the dock, we had to take a tricycle again for a 5-10 minute ride for P25 per person. The first fun part of our Boracay experience was that we didn’t have any place to stay. We wanted to just shop around and find the best deal…and lucky for us, while we were in the ferry we met this lady who is a “commissioner” and she recommended a place to stay for only P1000 that me and my friend can split.
So we checked out the place…Once we were there, we weren’t really satisfied so we decided to look around…we bumped into another local who led us into this place called Sheena’s which is located in station 2 by the beach front…We checked out the place and we decided this is the place to stay having a better location and our room has a veranda to boot. The price was only P1,700.
But another interesting part of the trip is we bumped into another person who was alone and looked safe enough and wanted to share the room with us which means we divided the P1,700 into 3!!!
We started our adventure on a Thursday…
We were so hungry from the trip that we decided to have a pizza in the old reliable Shakey’s.
I ordered a beer for P45, a pitcher of Iced tea at P160 for my 2 friends and a combo pizza for P660 plus service charge and government taxes for everybody. Well it wasn’t really the best deal in town but we just had to eat. Boracay island is divided into 3 sections called Station 1-2-3. But more or less the prices of food or meals would range from P60-P180 and above…There are also buffets from P250 and above.
Here in Bora there are a variety of restaurants: German, Italian, Mediterranean, Filipino, Japanese, etc. For the whole trip we ate in Real Maris which is a resort Hotel in Station 1,another old reliable Andok’s, had pizza at Aria which is beside Hey Jude, which is one of the hang out place for night owls, we had buffet in a restaurant by the beachfront which I forgot, breakfast at Paradiso Grill, O, and if you are on a tight budget, I was surprised to see a budget mart and a bakeshop just by the main road by the end of “d’mall” as well as some carinderia that have decent food as well.
There is this one resto called Smoke which serves the best deal in bulalo at P185.
There is this one bar though called “hobbit house” which amazed me coz it offers a lot of international beers that I know since I have an exposure for international brands working on a ship. Brands like Murphy’s, Dos xx, Kilkenny’s, etc… I recommend this for other nationalities who would miss there own beer brands while in bora…although it doesn’t come as cheap…it is priced the same as in other countries if you would convert it…so it’s still a decent deal.
Here’s a catch…some bars would offer a happy hour from 4pm – 9pm. This can either be a buy one take one, a beer by the bucket or a 30% off on cocktails!!! So you better check your watch.
What is the best bar to go to in Bora? I cannot really single out one since people hop from one bar to the other.
Well I may not yet be the authority but this is as far as I have seen during my stay…
If you just want a bar to chill and meet people, here are some suggested bars to check out: Hey Jude is one the first bars to check out since it is situated right in the heart of the Bora strip. Then there’s Juice bar, a corner bar with a nice R&B and house selection, then’ there’s Summer place in between station 2 and 3 and Cocomangas in station 1…both these bars are places that is mostly flocked by foreigners…I wonder why….
Then if you want to let loose and party you can go to station 1 and check out Guilly’s and Club Paraw. Another bar in station 1 that you can check out is Fridays’ (not related to the international brand), which is an institution in bora. If you want to listen to solo singers and jam as well, you may try Hobbit house, Charles’ bar, and Paradiso grill.
There are still a lot of bars in Bora..these are just some that made a difference in my stay.
Party in Bora starts from 5pm to 5am..but then again… who knows???
Okay, I almost forgot to include this but in this aspect of the trip you can book early online or do as we did and shop around. Prices may range from P500 to P5,000 per day. Some resort hotels that you can check are: Real Maris, Boracay Regency, Boracay Peninsula, Discovery, Mandarin, Patio Pacific, Red Coconut, etc, etc.
Just ask the services they offer.
Well aside from eating, drinking, and partying, one can still have options in Bora. In the day you can go diving, banana, boating, jet skiing, riding the ATV island hopping, skim boarding, hiking, snorkeling, swimming, sun bathing, having a henna tattoo, or simply just lay on the sand with a beer in hand while staring at that beautiful sunset.
I had to include this topic although I myself didn’t do any shopping myself for there might be interested people about this topic. There would be 4 places to shop for souvenirs, clothes, hats, trinkets, and other stuff that you might fancy: along the beach front, d’mall, talipapa and by the town area.
Bargaining is a gift so test it in bora. Almost everything is here including load for you prepaid sim and internet café in case you need to check your mail so do not worry about it. There are also airline offices here so if in case you plan to rebook never fear….
This is one that made my boracay experience all the more interesting. Once you are in bora, you would feel a mix that you are in the Philippines but you are not…do you get my drift?? Different nationalities flock bora and some have stayed and lived there. Boracaynon is what you would call a native or a local that was born there but other migrants have stayed and worked there as well. Regardless of which …people are friendly and down to earth. Some are hustlers, but that’s part of the business although they are tamer than those I have encountered in some Caribbean countries.
And once you made friends in your first trip, you would still keep in touch with them until your next trip, and so on and so on.
Actually, I forgot to tell that we started our trip on Thursday morning and planned to go back Sunday. But instead of taking the ro-ro we ended up taking the plane again going back to Manila but not until Tuesday for the price of P3,900++!!!
If you wish to go to Bora for this long have a budget of around P15000 and maybe a credit card or atm in your wallet and you will be fine. It’s really worth the trip and it’s very addictive that you just want to keep coming back.