Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 March: Boracay Island, Philippines: Departure at Kalibo

Travel Date: March 18, 2011
Destination: Caticlan, Malay, Aklan

On our last day, we decided to have a massage. Then we had lunch at Traviesa Restaurant (this is the service restaurant of Asia Resort, Station 3). Normally, they require reservation, but good that we were able to walk-in. We had another round of seafood pasta and chicken lollipops.

From the hotel, we were guided by South West Transfer service going to Kalibo. It took us 2hours to reach the Kalibo Airport. Cebu Pacific was delayed for an hour, but good thing that I booked this time for a non-propeller jet.

For my loots, I bought a beach hat (in preparation for Nami Island), sand castle and sunset postcards and of course Starbucks City mug (for my collection!).

Thanks to my sister for planning this Bora Trip!

2011 March: Boracay Island, Philippines: ATV Adventure

Travel Date: March 18, 2011
Destination: Caticlan, Malay, Aklan
Even if it is raining, we decided to make this our beach day. Below is a shot of those boats used for parasailing and paraw sailing, many are still willing to try despite of the weather.

We had lunch at Aria (near D’ Mall) and ordered Marinara pasta plus a very delicious panna cotta.
After taking some rest at the beach front, we look for someone who will help us go to the ATV station, we paid for 500php, but they are charging foreigners at around 1500-2000php. It is almost less than 1 hour ride on a very clear uphill and downhill asphalted road. The stops we had are Mt. Luho (highest viewpoint) and mini zoo (butterfly garden – but more of a bat attraction). I’m unfortunate not to see those huge sand castles because the government does not allow kids anymore in doing this. Luckily, I was still able to watch fire dancing for few minutes. I think, Boracay is interesting place for night photography!

2011 March: Boracay Island, Philippines: Lucky Lunch

Travel Date: March 17, 2011
Destination: Caticlan, Malay, Aklan
We started the day by strolling from Station 2 to Station 1. We had photos with Willy’s Rock (image of Mama Mary at the sea) and Fridays. On our way home, I ordered Banana Choco Vanilla at Jonas Fruit Shake for 120php.
Not yet decided to take the offer of free lunch at Astoria Resort, but we met again Brian along the way – past 11am that we visited the place. Although, I was already warned by my sister that in exchange of the free lunch, we might need to spend some time listening to their offer – it is same as time sharing, but I would not talk about that! The place is really good, nice swimming pool with many traditional but classic swings. The choice of furniture pieces at the lobby, restaurant, and garden are very modern and beautiful.
After that, we walk a little further at the main street to visit a church – Holy Rosary Parish Church. Near the area is the Post Office as well.
We took a tricycle (7php) ride going to D’ Mall. Rows of restaurants, summer clothes, magnets and other market stuff to see. There is also D’ Palengke, where I bought my beach hat at 150php, but this cost 250php at the beach front.
We moved to D’ Talipapa at Zone 7, this is located at the next block of Boracay Holiday Resort. There is also a passage from Station 3 going to this market place. This place offers summer clothes, restaurant, local products – piyaya, butter scotch, peanuts, etc. We had our dinner at Dos Mestizos, located at a street after La Carmela, Station 3. It is a Spanish themed restaurant that offers a very cozy and intimate place at night. We had Chorizo Hecho (Homemade Spanish sausage) and Croquettas de Quezo Azul (Blue cheese and bechamel croquettes). The chorizo is toasted, a little hard and so dark colored. My sister does not like the cheese, but I liked it. I can say that the place is very good for night photography, as it is decorated with candles and low light.

Dos Mestizos Remedios street, Sitio Manggayad, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan http://www.dosmestizos.com/

Monday, March 21, 2011

2011 March: Boracay Island, Philippines: Arrival at Caticlan

Travel Date: March 16, 2011 Destination: Caticlan, Malay, Aklan October 2010, I bought my 750php worth of Manila-Caticlan-Kalibo-Manila round trip at Cebu Pacific. Upon the announcement of boarding time, we get in to a bus – hmm, that was unusual! We waited for around 30 mins in tarmac before getting into a propeller plane – I was thinking that if it is like only one bus getting into the plane, then it is like a bus added with wings. One foreigner said, “I though we are riding a plane going to Boracay, how come we are riding a bus”. Since, the plane already stayed in open air for a long time, it was too hot when we get in and until we get off. Since it was a propeller jet, they do limit the weight of check-in baggage to only 10 kilos. Also, each of the passengers is required to pass a weight check. Upon our landing, it was already windy – our plane bounced twice, had a very hard break that you really need to tighten your seat belt, to hold on to your arm rest and push the seat in front of you, and finally a strong right turn going to the parking area. Before getting out of the Airport Gate, you need to fill up an arrival form – name, flight details, and accommodation. The transfer guides are near the gate waiting for you and you just need to look for your name on which agency you booked. To be honest, I do not know the procedure when you prefer to commute. The South West Transport helped us carry our bags going to the boat and upon transfer to a multi-cab. We stayed at Boracay Holiday Resort.
Boracay Holiday Resort Station 2, Corner Main Rd. & Tirol Rd., Manggayad, Balabag, Boracay Island Malay, Aklan Philippines http://www.boracayholidayresort.com/

The standard room costs 3000php, and we also take the advantage of getting their Caticlan-Boracay-Kalibo transfer. The room is clean and neat, television are with good cable channels, refrigerator is available, there are hangers on the cabinet, towels and toiletries (shampoo, condition and soap) are provided. Your rooms will be cleaned upon request. Also, no slippers and hair dryer are provided. Wifi connection on your rooms are with corresponding fees.
Breakfast is free on our stay. A breakfast slip is required to be checked by the staff. Food ranges from bread, hot cakes, eggs, fish, pork, ham, cereals and plain rice. Available drinks are coffee, fresh milk, juice and water.
Wifi is available on the lobby and pool area. The pool is open from 8am-11pm. They do clean the pool everyday.
After we settled our things, we slept for a while and finally get out for our first night at Bora. We had dinner at Manana – a Mexican themed restaurant. Walls are painted in vibrant orange. Table napkins are in rainbow sheets, and service is fast and great. We ordered for a beef taco, with Mexican rice and few simple side dishes.
While walking, this corner caught my attention. Near the Lonely Planet store, there is a group of people painting shirts with your name. They were really artistic and talented – totally amazing!