Sunday, 24 February 2013
BORACAY, is NOTHING like I've ever experienced. The combination of the friendly locals, the white sandy beaches, the awesome local food, and the vibe on the island, along with many other things make it one unforgettable destination. We flew from Kuala Lumpur to Clark, then Clark to Kalibo, and then from there, we arranged for Southwest to pick us up for an hour and 45 minute ride to the Caticlan jetty. Alternatively, you can just fly to Manila, then fly to Caticlan. From there, it is just a 20-minute boat ride to the magical island. I admit, it is not the most isolated, secluded island. But being there in February is the perfect time of the year as the weather is great and it is right before the peak summer season, when it can get too crowded. We stayed at Frendz Resort for about 600 pesos a night for a dorm room. Our stay there couldn't have been better. There wasn't airconditioning, but the cool breeze at night and a fan were enough for a good night sleep. The bathroom was shared but it was clean and the water pressure was great, which compensated the fact that there was no hot water. There was a mosquito problem, literally everywhere on the island. Just ask the friendly staff for a mosquito coil before you go to bed. Ariel's point You have to make a trip to Ariel's point. With 1,500 pesos, you get a buffet lunch (not exactly the grandest but fills you up) and bottomless alcohol. On top of that, you get to jump off a 15-metre cliff (which you HAVE to try at least once), an 8-metre cliff and a 5-metre one. The strategy to avoid blue balls, a bruised bum or arms, is to keep your body really tall and thin and point your toes. Like a ballerina or a gymnast. Walk to the end of the diving board, and just enjoy the fall. Watersports We only did jetskiing, which costs about 3,000 pesos for 30 minutes and Flying fish costs about 1,500 per person. We didn't get to dive but I would imagine they have great dive spots. Pub Crawl It's not the most unique thing to do here but it's a great way to check out the bars and meet other travelers. For about 700 pesos, you get 5 shots from 5 different bars, a cool shot glass that hangs around your neck and the pub crawl t-shirt of course. On top of that, you'll get shots poured by the organisers in between bars. Look out for them and try to get as many shots as you can. Local delicacies you HAVE to try. BALUT A balut is a fertilized duck embryo that is boiled and eaten in the shell. It costs about 20 pesos each and sold by men walking along the beach starting from about 4pm till late. There's an art to eating a balut. First, crack open a hole at the narrow end of the egg. Suck the juices out of the egg. Then, peel away the rest of the shell. Sprinkle some salt on it and dump the whole thing in your mouth. Bulalo (FILIPINO BEEF MARROW STEW) Bulalo is a light colored soup that’s made rich by cooking beef shanks and beef marrow bones for hours, until much of the collagen and fat has melted into the clear broth. The seasonings vary from chef to chef with some using only salt and black pepper while other variations call for patis, bay leaves or even garlic. D'Talipapa market This is a local market in Station 3. You pick your own seafood, ranging from all kinds of fish, to clams, oysters, octopus, you name it. Then you bring it to one of the restaurants surrounding the market, and have them cook your meal. Other notable bars and restaurants are: Restaurants: Big momma's (local cuisine) station 2 Obama's grill (grilled seafood and local dishes) station 1 Bars: Mint bar (station 2) Cocomangas Shooter Bar (Station 1) Epic Bar (station 2) Club Paraw (Station 1) Locals have convinced us to come back for Puerto Princessa and Bohol. Hopefully we'll get to make a trip back soon... ;) Some important information if you do make a trip out there. The Philtranco bus (by AirAsia) from Clark to Manila is about two and a half hours and costs about 450 pesos. At the Caticlan Jetty, you will have to pay 175 pesos for the terminal and environmental fee. You have to pay an exit tax of 500 peso when you leave the country, so make sure you have that much cash on you when you leave.