By Mary Angela S. Barlongay
With mercury rising to the high 30s, threatening to reach 40, you know what that means: Summer is here! Get your swimsuits ready! Where else do you want to spend summer this hot other than Boracay, named Best Island at Conde Nast Traveler’s 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards, whose stretch of white sand is no less than legendary? The island maintains its luminous beauty, making it one of the most beloved islands in the world.
Boracay accommodates over 344,026 tourists from all over. It has everything from luxurious hotels to a variety of restaurants and fun island activities. For an easier trip to Boracay, choose a flight via Godofredo P. Ramos Airport Caticlan airport as it cuts down travel time for more than two hours against flights going to Kalibo airport.
We recently went on a trip to Boracay and took flights with AirAsia. It was AirAsia’s first flight to Caticlan and we were among the first passengers to experience the flight. What I liked most about AirAsia is it isn’t as notorious as the other airlines for its flight delays and cancellations. Plus, the airfare is much cheaper.
Cliff diving at Aron Magic Island
Take the plunge and dive from five to 10 meters at the Aron Magic Island
Riding ATVs to the top of Ocean tower
Azalea hotel entrance
Living area with cable TV
A look inside the two bedroom apartment suite
Living area and dining area in all its apartment suites
Our first day in Boracay was spent wisely, with good food and great company. We had dinner at Azalea’s Kuya J restaurant and we ordered the specialties, which were mostly traditional Filipino dishes given a surprising twist. Think grilled scallops with a cheesy butter sauce or crunchy lechon kawali or crisp kare-kare. Dessert was ube halo-halo. We stayed at Azalea Hotel and Residences, in a 60-square-meter two-bedroom suite, which can accommodate up to six adults. Very spacious, the suite has a kitchen complete with a refrigerator, rice cooker, and silverware. You can buy food from the market and cook it in the comfort of your own hotel suite, if you wish to save your money for something much grander like a sunset cruise.
Adventure awaited us on our second day. We first went snorkeling. I was initially doubtful if we could really see schools of fish in Boracay waters since snorkeling isn’t that popular on the island. To my surprise, there were a lot of fish beneath the turquoise surface even in the shallows. It was like swimming in a huge aquarium, both exciting and mesmerizing.
We then went to Aron Magic Island for a little action. Aron Magic Island is famous for cliff diving. You can jump from as high as 10 meters or from as low as five. I don’t know how to swim and I’m scared of heights, but jumping from a cliff five meters high wasn’t as bad as I feared. Most of the tourists who craved an adrenaline fix loved the experience. You can jump as many times as you want. If you are not into jumping off cliffs, you can just lounge around or take pictures of the island. Lunch is also possible if you’re in the mood. They have nipa huts available for groups who prefer lazy afternoons by the sea.
For lunch, we went to Crystal Cove, a nearby island with lots of attractions. It has two coves for you to check out. We went to cove two and it was quite a thrill. The waves are often so huge one has to grab on the rope tightly to get to the cove and bend really low to go through an arch into the beach, where from a certain vantage point you can spend a lot of time just watching giant waves crashing onto the shore. You can also go trekking, snorkeling, pigeon feeding, or you can visit the mini museum.
We had a seafood platter for lunch. I must say that my favorite was the sizeable crab—I had three helpings, six claws packed with crabmeat. There was also grilled shrimp, as well as liempo or pork belly and squid. It was a feast!
Our next stop was at Happy Dreamland where we rode ATVs to the top of Ocean Tower where we were greeted by a stunning view of Boracay Island. We ended our day with some baby back ribs at Gasthof Boracay Restaurant and went to Tom N Toms Coffee for late-night chitchat and a red velvet cheesecake to go with our coffee.
No one runs out of things to do in Boracay. It seems to have everything, from the relaxing views and beautiful sunsets to the pulsating nightlife and extreme sports activities. Our trip was not long enough to allow us to enjoy everything, but that’s true of every place of wonder. You just can’t enough.