It is so nice to be writing this blog from Boracay and being able to announce to my readership that I am now enjoying the good life in this little piece of island paradise south of the Philippines.
And so….the definitive statement is: am a Bora virgin… no more! Though I have seen the nudist beaches of Europe and grew up in a house by the sea in my hometown which is now also known as a sought-after diving destination in the Philippines, Boracay is still a dream come true for me. Heaven is when the blue sky meets the green sea amid a fascinating backdrop of sailboats and the powdery white sand hugging my feet. For this harassed cityphile, Bora – for the two days I’ve been here – has been the perfect place to unwind and throw my troubles away.
I would say that September is the best time to go here with Asian Spirit offering their promo plane fares and hotel rates slashed in half for the lean season. Moreover, the wide expanse of beach is not too crowded and the weather remains perfect; in fact, so perfect that you can see the contented smiles on the faces of those pale, winter-suffering Caucasians.
Issa and I checked in at Red Coconut Beach Hotel which is right smack in Station 2 and is beside the D’Mall and those assortment of bars and restos. It also had a nice swimming pool and relaxing gardenview/seaview rooms ( but then again…what do u need the pool for when the beach is just a few steps away? You can also pay an arm and a leg for the room but the truth is, Bora throbs with so much action that you go to the room late at night only when you’re ready to sleep…though this may not be the case when you’re honeymooning!)
Here are snippets of Bora island life I would like to share:
1. Boracay is dominated by Korean tourists that it might as well be called Bulgogi Island. This is not to disparage the Bulgogis who are contributing a lot in boosting local tourism. We agree that these Korean tourists must have a lot of disposable income because they’re everywhere – in Palawan, Cebu and even in Pagsanjan.
2. Bora is the ultimate place for people-watching. It must be that good in summer with the “eye candies” everywhere. People do here come in all shapes and sizes that it would be a useless exercise in vanity to feel conscious about your body. I couldn’t care less about wearing my two-piece bikini despite the fact that I absolutely feel like a hyena these days. Who cares..those Bora boatmen must have seen everything! And besides, the Caucasian jogger who walked past me did exclaim “Wow! Sex kitten…” I gloated even though he might be lying through his teeth (har!har!har!)
3. Bora is for food-tripping.Most of the restos are owned by foreigners and offer all sorts of cuisine – Greek, French,Indian, Italian, Korean etc. For the past few days,Issa and I have been spending our lunch and dinner at the Prince Hendrik Cafe of Boracay Regency, one of the big resorts on the island, courtesy of affable owner Henry Chusuey. The hotel coffeeshop offers an array of international dishes and a reasonably priced dinner buffet of fresh seafoods. We also tried Jammers for the Burgers and Jonah’s for their banana chocolate peanut shake which was heavenly! Just a caution: be ready to reconcile your big appetite with your desire to fit into that skimpy swimsuit.
4. There are a thousand other things to do in Bora other than stay on the main beach. Go ahead,make friends (such as what we’ve done with Gene and Jackie,an engaged couple who treated us to drinks last night; and Rad, a lovely French-Laotian woman who works in Disneyland Paris). Get a massage and temporary henna tattoo. Talk to the islanders and be fascinated with their natural warmth and friendliness. Be active – kiteboard,windsurf, snorkel,and take the banana boat ride. Wander around D’Mall and the Talipapa Market with their shops full of native souvenirs, fruits, and even books.
Most of all,maybe next time I’ll try the Boracay most people don’t know about … the Puka Beach with its in-demand puka shells, the Crystal Cave, Bat Cave and the View Deck.
So much to do in so little time and we are leaving tomorrow!