Islands and Beaches
Island Paradise Called Boracay
Belle Piccio | Apr 05, 2013
When we think of summer, the first thing that comes to our mind is to hit the beach.
Philippines got numerous beautiful beaches around the country. One of which is the famous, Boracay Island.
The Boracay Island and its beaches have received numerous awards already. To name a few, Boracay was awarded in the "Traveler's Choice 2011" as the second best beach in the world out of 25. In 2012, its ranking slipped to sixth. Another one is, it made a debut appearance on the "Top 10 Islands" list in the Travel+Leisure travel magazine.
I've been to Boracay several times but it was my first time to visit the paradise on a Holy Week. Observing what's new, I saw growing buildings/resorts in the island. The beach is still as pristine as ever. The white sand is as smooth as powder. And, more tourists may it be local or foreign. Just one thing that turns me off is the green seaweed on the shore.
Lucky for me, I was able to talk to Boracay's DOT OIC, Ms. Judith. She answered my questions with no sugarcoating. Here's some information that I got from her:
We can no longer base the number of visitors on the seasons (talking about High Season, Peak Season, Low Season and etc.) So we still expect a lot of Boracay vacationers any time, any day, any week, any month of the year.
The number of foreign tourists that goes to Boracay grows every year. Which I was able to prove myself because I was able to talk to tourists that came from Denmark, London, Canada, Switzerland and etc. that I felt like that I have traveled around the world.
Rules are already strictly implemented. One of which is the "No Smoking Policy" in the beach, so smokers beware! There are designated places for those who want to smoke.
The green, gooey stuff in the beach or the so-called green seaweed is only seasonal. It only appears when the weather changes like from cold to hot (rainy season to summer).
We should call the island BORACAY not Bora. Bora is not the slang name of Boracay but there's another place called by that name.
Here's my fare (in PhP) going to Boracay:
520 - Ferry Ticket (Roundtrip Bacolod-Iloilo-Bacolod)
140 - Taxi fare from Iloilo port going to the bus terminal
346 - Bus* Fare from Iloilo going to Caticlan; be ready of a 6-hour trip }
145 - Total Caticlan-Boracay Fees (PhP75 for Environmental, PhP50 for Terminal, PhP20 for Pumpboat)
From the Caticlan port, we rode a tricycle going to our hotel at Station 2. We paid a total of PhP100. The fare depends on what Station.
Since it was Holy Week, you'll find activities and product gimmicks in every corner. That's one thing nice when you go there at that time of the year since you'll get some freebies like drinks, floaters and etc.
Lots of watersports and leisure activities are available in Boracay. You can go helmet diving, jet ski, snorkeling, scuba diving, island hopping, henna tattoos, the nightlife, food and more.
You'll never get bored in Boracay.
Here's my fare (in PhP) from Boracay going back to Iloilo port:
70 - Total Boracay-Caticlan Fees (PhP50 for Terminal, PhP20 for Pumpboat)
350 - Van* Fare from Caticlan going to Iloilo (SM City); be ready for a 4.5-5-hour trip
100 - Taxi fare from Iloilo SM City Iloilo going to the Iloilo Port
13 - Terminal Fee of the taxi at the Iloilo Port
000 - Ferry Ticket (Roundtrip Bacolod-Iloilo-Bacolod, see above fare)
Grand total of Transportation Fare: PhP1,784.00
1. the bus going to Boracay at the Iloilo Bus Station leaves every 30 minutes
2. the van at Caticlan is base on its availability and leaves going to Iloilo when its already full, there's another route going to Aklan so be careful on what van you're riding since there's no label (don't be shy to ask the driver)
The bus trip is longer because of the stopovers while the van is faster because it depends on the passengers if they agree to stopover for meal time or pee breaks.
How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to Caticlan Airport (estimated cost of PhP9,200++, round trip, 45-50 minutes). From the Caticlan Airport, a van ride will only take you 5 minutes going to the Caticlan Jetty Port. A pumpboat ride from the Caticlan port to Boracay port will take at about 15 minutes.
(Thank you to Ms. Judith of DOT-Boracay)