This is our Boracay “pahabol” sa summer getaway!
Clark Airport Lounge
Going to Boracay Island, our main gateway was Clark International Airport (NAIA can always be an option) via Kalibo International Airport. You can try Caticlan Airport which is actually nearer to Boracay, but I think this airport cannot accommodate airbus or bigger planes. From Manila, depending on your flight schedule, there’s an available shuttle bus for only Php200.00 one way. The bus will depart from Clark Airport Lounge at the side of Trinoma Mall in North Avenue and will arrive at the airport after an hour and a half travel time. For various trip schedules, see picture below. Caveat: from the airport, it will not always follow the time schedule going back to Manila. The bus may leave earlier than expected. If you were not able to catch the bus, you can ride a jeepney or a taxi/van going to Dau Terminal and then take a bus from there going back to Manila.
Clark International Airport
Currently, the airport terminal is a small building that can become easily crowded. Domestic travellers can experience a bit inconvenience because you have to go inside the terminal to check-in then go out again then enter in another gate in the same building for you to be able to reach the domestic flight waiting area. Though I think this can be solve sooner or later, since there’s a construction in progress just beside the existing terminal.
Terminal Fee (during departure) Php 150.00
Kalibo International Airport
This airport is even smaller than that of Clark, hope someday, even if it’s small, the facilities will be raised in a higher level. What’s the use of our airport usage/terminal fee after all? From this airport, you will travel another hour by land. If you have booked in advance of your land transfer, then you just have to look for your driver just outside the terminal. Tiger Airways is offering a land transfer service for Php500.00 one way inclusive of van, environmental fee, boat ride, and terminal fee at the Caticalan/Cagban Jetty Port and Passenger Terminal. That’s actually pricey, considering we were able to get and hire a van at Php650 each of us two way and inclusive of all fees. We were seven in the group.
Terminal Fee Kalibo International airport (during departure) Php100.00
Caticlan(going in)/Cagban(going out) Jetty Port and Passenger Terminal
After the land transfer, tourists need to ride on a passenger boat to finally reach Boracay. The ride is just about three to five minutes.
Jetty Port Terminal Fee (pay twice upon going in and out of Boracay Island) Php100.00
Environmental and Admission Fee (one time) Php75.00
Boat Ride (pay twice upon going in and out of Boracay Island) Php25.00
After the passenger boat, you will take another ride going to your hotel. Travel time depends on where you are billed. From the port, you will reach Station 3 first, then Station 2 and lastly Station 1. You can ride a tricycle (tuk-tuk in other parts of Asia) for a special trip of Php100.00 maximum of 4 people one way. If your hotel includes a free transfer, then well and good.
Royal Park Hotel (Station 1)
We stayed at Royal Park Hotel for three days and two nights. It’s a beach front hotel and we were able to get two suite rooms good for four actually even six people each. How’s the price? It’s ridiculously low considering its location. We went there during off-peak season so imagine how satisfied we are on what we paid. Each of us paid Php1,900. That’s Php13,300 for two suites for three days and two nights inclusive of free breakfast, AC and cable TV. The normal rate of one suite in Royal Park is Php7,000.00 per night. Free Wi-Fi is available at the lobby only.
Basking in White Sand
After putting our things in our hotel room, we immediately went out of the beach and started walking along the shore of Station 1. We arrived just in time to witness the beautiful sunset. It’s awesome paired by the dazzling white sand. The sand is not your ordinary white sand. It’s too fine that you wouldn’t think this really exist unless you see it yourself. Station 1 takes pride of this. Station 2 is still white sand but a little bit rough due to presence of pebbles the same with Station 3 and the rest of the island.
Stations 1 to 3 are very lively during the night under the appealing moonlight. They feature a lot of beach front hotels offering entertainments, bars, restaurants and other establishments. Singers and fire dancers abound. There are so many people strolling during this lean period. I just can’t imagine how it is during peak season.
Boracay offers a lot of buffet and regular meal restaurants. For us, we opted for the dinner buffet, and we only frequent Deparis Dinner Buffet at Deparis Beach Resort. We fondly call it “4-1-8” because you just need to pay Php418.00 and you’re off to an eat all you can palatable dinner. They offer crabs, shrimp, tuna, oysters etc. We really enjoyed their buffet. In other words, “sulit”.
Boracay offers a lot of adventure activities for all. You can do parasailing, reef walking/helmet diving, jet ski, banana boat riding, zip lining, zorb balling, etc. All these can become too expensive if you will deal with touts scattered around. To get a descent price, transact directly on the establishments offering the services or talk to your friendly hotel crew to channel you to the right contact. Our group chose to have an island hopping experience with snorkelling. We only paid Php220 each inclusive of boat ride, island hopping and snorkelling. Majority of all the activities will happen on the other side of the island called Bolabog Beach. While doing snorkelling and you feel thirsty and was not able to bring water, you can buy a fresh coconut and drink its juice from a vendor sailing around the area. It’s refreshing to drink “buko juice” while in the sea.
There’s also one destination during the trip where you can dine for lunch or snack. For us, we tried “PAJACK KAMAYAN”. For Php250.00 each, the food was good! We enjoyed our lunch.
Aside from the island hopping with snorkelling, we also tried our spider tendencies at the “D’Wall” at the “D’Mall” Avenue. This costs Php50.00 per climb.
After that, we went back to our hotel, rest for a while then off to the beach again. Relaxing in the white sand and swimming in the crystal clear water of the sea.
As beautiful as Boracay sunset, the sunrise should never be missed. Only few people are at the beach and you can just sit along the shore and gazed upon the tranquility emanating from the gentle roars of the sea. Yes, there is calmness in the waves. Just feel it, keep calm and don’t think of anything. Feel at peace with God’s perfect creation. Giving glory and thanks for the opportunity you are given to explore this gift of nature.