Wednesday 10th June:
A 12 hour day of traveling and sitting in airports; my biggest gripe when traveling.
9.30am – depart hotel in Cebu for the airport
10.15 – due to bad traffic, finally arrive at the airport
12.05 – depart for Manila (on time!), although they did call out our names at boarding time as I, as well as many others was watching the final moments of Game 3 in the NBA finals.
13.10 – Arrive in Manila
17.35 – Expected departure time to Kalibo
18.05 – After 30 minute delay, leave Manila
18.50 – Arrive in Kalibo (2 hours away from Borocay)
19.30 – The South Western bus leaves the airport bound for the ferry terminal (cost 520 peso on the plane for this, includes bus, ferry, terminal fee, environmental fee and jeepney to your hotel)
21.00 – Arrived at the ferry terminal
21.20 – Departed for the 8 minute ferry across
21.40 – We arrived at our hotel
Really annoying is that Cebu Pacific actually fly direct from Cebu to Borocay so we could have been in our hotel about 8 hours earlier!!
Thursday 11th June:
We woke up early, looked out of our first story balcony and there was Bulabog Beach, home of the world famous kite surfing. Our hotel was Aissatou Beach Resort and the room was pretty nice (especially compared to some on our travels). We chose to stay here rather than White Beach due to the peace and quiet, rather than the noise and chaos on offer the other side of the island. Now the other side of the island (White Beach) is 10 minutes walk away so not the other side of the world.
We spent the morning walking along our beach, and apart from a few locals and a couple of dogs, it seemed like the whole beach was ours. There was no wind at all, so no one was out kite surfing. The water this side isn’t the greatest, lots of seaweed but its nice enough. Peak season though Dec-April, this beach will not be so quiet.
Later in the afternoon we made our first visit to the infamous White Beach, renowned for being a party place (5km in length). It was very busy, many Korean and Japanese tourists but the locals say in peak season it is so packed that it’s hard to walk down the beachfront. In that respect, we are glad we came when we did. We spent the afternoon walking from station 1 to station 3, checking out what was on offer. Station 1 is where the more expensive hotels are but it is generally a little quieter than the rowdy station 2 where D’Mall is situated. There are bars and restaurants all the way along all 3 stations, so there is no lack of options. We sampled a few happy hour sales, a few apple and/or lime San Miguels were drank before watching sunset go down just before 7pm. We both bought some Havianas, 200 peso from a market rather than the actual shop where they were 1000+ peso, and to be honest, the ones we got had the original tags etc so fake or ‘off the back of a truck’ is anyone’s guess. The test will be in 6 months time, if they have fallem apart or still going strong (like the one’s I got from Brazil in 2009 which are still in great condition).
Friday 12th June:
We started the day with a stroll along Bulabog Beach heading for Ocean Tower on Mt.Luho. Entrance is 70 peso but you get a great birds eye view of Borocay and can see how narrow the main bit is from Bulabog to White Beach. We had a fruit juice on top (Aida Banana and a Mango for myself) and they were maybe the best juices I’ve had, very refreshing when its 34 degrees.
After freshening up we headed for White Beach and spent 3 hours there, reading our books, people watching and sunbathing. As per all holiday destinations these days, you will be mithered by vendors selling everyone from day trips, to fruit and on beach massages.
On the evening we started by watching the Wests Tigers demolish South Sydney in the NRL before we walked all the way to the end of Station 3 taking in all the sounds of the bars and restaurants, many having their own local singer.
There are less clubs than in say Phuket, and with the clientele being mostly Korean (many families), it is lively to say the least but not crazy like Thailand and Bali can be.
Saturday 13th June:
We contemplated taking one of the many Boat trips on our last full day in the Philippines however decided to have a peaceful day by the beach and catching some sun. It was great to just relax and contemplate what we had encountered the previous two weeks. On the evening we spotted the Bar Crawl crew, (they organise these every evening for the young backpackers but at 900peso p/p, not the cheapest, but a great way to meet new people), who seemed to be enjoying the nightlife. Each bar / restaurant has some form of entertainment on offer so you really are spoiled for choice.
We enjoyed Borocay, but was it a true reflection of the Philippines? We’d say not, to sample the real Philippines then Borocay is not the place to visit and its certainly a lot more expensive than anywhere else.
Sunday 14th June:
Everyone’s least favourite part of any holiday…the trip home. We travelled by Tricycle, Boat, Coach, Plane and Taxi to arrive back at our Condo in KL. The only minor concern is how small the airport in Kalibo is. You arrive and are queuing up outside as they have only a handful of check in counters. We had managed our money pretty perfectly so arrived at the airport with enough money for some lunch. However, from June 1st, all passengers need to pay 700 peso departure tax which is rather annoying, so I had to exchange Ringgett and as a result we had just enough for a snack each, very annoying. Not sure if this tax was just at Kalibo as we never made any other payment.
Overall Score: Chris 7.5/10 Aida 8/10