If you need help planning your trip to the Philippines, I will be happy to help you.
Boracay – a small island by our standards and very large by Philippine standards. The Philippine archipelago consists of more than seven thousand small islands washed by the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, only 460 of the islands have an area of \u200b\u200bmore than 2.5 km2 (near Boracay – 10 km2) and only 2,000 of these islands are inhabited.
There are 3 barangays on the island, or in other words, 3 villages. Barangay – is the smallest unit of the administrative division of the Philippines, ruled by captains. Manok-Manok in the south of the island, Balabag in the center and Yapak in the north. Most popular beaches – White Beach and Diniweed in the west, Bulabog and Ilig-Iligan in the east and Puka Beach in the north. In addition to the listed beaches, there are many, many small ones, but all of them are not so accessible or generally closed. Or there is absolutely nothing to do there.
The most popular beach is, of course, white beach.
It is thanks to him that Boracay became famous. 4 km wide beach with white fine sand. The entire White Beach is divided into 3 boat stations. Previously, at the end of the last century, when the island was not so popular, all boats moored on White Beach, the ports – passenger and cargo – that are now, did not exist then. Hence the division into 3 stations.
Since it was necessary to get off the boats directly into the water, Filipinos were always on duty at these stations, offering to transfer things from the boat to the shore for 5 pesos so that passengers would not get them wet. And in general, if we talk a little about the history of the island, then independent tourists discovered it as a tourist destination in the 80s of the last century.
My Filipino friend told me that he visited the island for the first time in 1989, and at that time there was no electricity or roads. And in 2013, after only 20 years, there is talk of banning construction on the island altogether, they say, as long as possible. Where the main attraction is, the life of the island is concentrated there, i.e. it focuses on White Beach. But here, too, everything is ambiguous.
Station 1 is considered the most prestigious. It is there that there is a very wide beach with fine, like flour, sand. But for me, the 1st station had significant disadvantage – it’s very shallow. To get to the depth at which you can swim, you need to go pretty far. But to each his own.
The very center is the second station with adjacent Di*Mollom – a walking street overlooking Main Road – the main road that runs through the entire island.
I lived at the 3rd station and loved this place very much. I even jokingly called him “sleeping area” Boracay. Quiet, calm, there is no this eternal crowd of tourists, because they are all in the area of the 2nd station.
And yet, despite all its beauty, White Beach was not my favorite beach. For me, the most amazing beach on the island is Puka Beach. As I already wrote, this beach is located in the north of the island, or rather, goes around its entire northern part. Thus, this beach is also not small. The sand there, unlike the coral sand on White Beach, is shelly, that is, large and yellow.
by the way
Previously, almost the entire population of the barangay Yapak beach located near this beach was engaged in fishing, but at one fine moment people discovered that there were a lot of beautiful shells on the beach and decided that it would be better for them to collect shells, make jewelry out of them, and then sell them to tourists than engage in fishing.
Large decorative shells and sand cannot be exported from the Philippines. Why are they selling them then? Firstly, a large number of Filipinos visit Boracay, and they do not need to cross the border, and secondly, what difference does it make to them that they will seize it from you later? The important thing is that you bought it from them. As the saying goes, if you want to live, know how to spin. All shell products that are sold on the island are brought from Puka Beach, respectively, everything is cheaper to buy there.
Enough about seashells. Sea. The sea there is simply amazing, with a great variety of colors. Very beautiful. Nearby you can see carabao island.
Depending on the season, the sea can be calm or, conversely, stormy with waves. In winter, the sea comes in, the beach gets a little narrower, and there are a lot of waves – not everyone wants to swim. But anyway, it looks very nice. In summer, the sea recedes a little and calms down. Depth begins immediately, so you don’t need to go far to get there.
Wind, wind, you are mighty
By the way, in Boracay it all depends on the wind: in winter the wind blows from the east, respectively, on Bulabog the wind, which makes it a great place for kite surfing, and everything is calm on White Beach. When the seasons change, so does the wind: Bulabog is calm, and waves appear on White Beach. On Puka Beach, as you can see, everything is also ambiguous. Another interesting point of this beach is that nearby is a cave with flying foxes. In the evening, around 5 o’clock, the foxes fly out of the cave in search of food. These animals are herbivores, so tourists should not be afraid of them. But watching this black cloud is interesting.
What I also love Puka Beach for is that it practically deserted. Once, my friends and I went there for a picnic and stayed there until dark. At seven o’clock in the evening (it gets dark early on Boracay, approximately at half past seven in the evening) we were completely alone on the beach and the stars illuminated the road for us, because there was nothing else to illuminate.
A few more words about infrastructure. There are no hotels on the beach, only the Alta Vista hotel has access to Puka Beach. There are only two places to eat. At least that’s how it was when I was there. The food there is delicious and relatively inexpensive in White Beach. And, of course, on this beach there are a number of shops with souvenirs from shells and more. You can easily get to Puka Beach by tricycle. Drive from D * Mall for about 15 minutes.
Bulabog – Mecca for kiters
My second favorite beach was Bulabog.
Many tourists vacationing on White Beach do not even suspect that a completely different life flows literally a kilometer away from them. If White Beach is a tourist beach, more suitable for a relaxing holiday, then Bulabog is a sports beach, which is one of the most popular places for kite surfing.. In the autumn-winter season, when the wind blows from the east, Bulabog turns into a mecca for kiters. A reef running close to the shore stops the waves, but the wind remains. Shallow water without waves and a strong wind – that’s what all kiters need, and that’s why they come to Boracay at this time from all over the world. Here you will not see tourists lying on a sun lounger and sipping a cocktail, but you will see a lot of colorful kites – on the shore and in the air.
Bulabog not suitable for swimming – this is where the sewerage merges, there are a lot of algae, jellyfish and hedgehogs in the water. But all this does not stop fans of kite surfing. There are many kite surf schools, cafes and hotels on the beach. At night, the beach is practically unlit. In general, there is no street lighting in Boracay.. The light comes only from working hotels, shops, restaurants, etc.
Since there are mainly kite surf schools on Bulabog, which are closed at night, there is practically no lighting on Bulabog. That’s why we jokingly call Bulabog The “dark side” of Boracay. This situation with lighting is connected with the cost of electricity – a kilowatt of electricity on the island costs about a dollar, which is very expensive. For example, I lived in a room alone, my light was on for a couple of hours in the evenings, the air conditioner also worked for a couple of hours a day, I turned on the TV very rarely, charged my laptop and phone, and paid about $ 30 a month. Here are the delights of island life.
Also located on Bulabog one of the most interesting clubs on the island – Area 51. Parties there are held only according to the lunar cycle (Black Moon, Full Moon) or on special occasions. The club is more popular among those living on the island than among tourists. DJs play mostly trance, underground, sometimes reggae. Every year on New Year’s Eve there are parties where everyone has fun until the morning, and at about 5 am everyone goes to the beach to meet the dawn. When we met the dawn on the first of January 2013, suddenly a kiter appeared on the horizon – the first kiter of 2013. Everyone was delighted and tried to determine by the kite who this crazy person was, who left to ride at 5.30 am on the first of January.
There are two more beaches worth visiting – these are the beaches Diniwid and Ilig-Iligan.
Diniweed is located across the cliff from the 1st station of White Beach.
This rock can be easily bypassed along the path. The main attraction of Dinivid, in my opinion, is Spider House – a house (although this may not be a completely correct name) in a rock, from which you can go down a ladder to the water. There are very originally made rooms, a bar with billiards, cool music plays. Very often we would gather there to watch the sunset. But again, it all depends on the season: if in February the sun sets just opposite the Spider House, then in April it is already a little to the north, so you need to sail to see the sunset. This also has its advantages.
My friend and I, for example, swam to a nearby sailboat, climbed onto its stabilizers and watched the sunset from there. Unforgettably! In addition to Spider House, there are other hotels where you can stay and cafes where you can have a bite to eat. Before Diniwid, as I already wrote, you can walk along White Beach or take a tricycle or motorbike.
Ilig-Iligan Beach is located between Bulabog and Puka Beach. Small secluded beach. It has no special attractions, but for a change you can go there.
Deserves special attention Shangri-la Hotel – the most expensive 5-star hotel on the island, owned by a well-known hotel chain.
The hotel has a huge area located between Bailinghai and Puka Beach. I will not talk about the characteristics of the hotel, because this information can be found on the official website of Shangri-la. I can only say that the hotel is fully consistent with the declared category and will appeal to lovers of expensive and quality rest. The cheapest room costs about $500 per night. But, I want to note, paying for a trip to this hotel is half the trouble, you also need to live there. Due to the location and specifics of the hotel, Shangri-la guests generally rarely leave the hotel premises – they simply do not need it. Therefore, they eat at the hotel. And the food there is not cheap, but very good. level. The same applies to other hotel services – SPA center, diving center, etc.
Depending on what kind of lifestyle you lead and what kind of vacation you prefer, you need to choose a place to stay. Both on White Beach and Bulabog you can find accommodation for 10 thousand pesos per month, and for 30-40 thousand. It all depends on your preferences. Sometimes the cost of utilities (water, electricity, somewhere else and garbage collection) is included in the price of living, and sometimes not. When renting a home for a long period, you can almost always count on a significant discount.
For example, renting my room with my own shower (hot and cold water), TV, air conditioning and fan in a house at the 3rd station 2 minutes walk to the beach cost 8000 pesos per month, since I signed a contract for six months. If I rented this room for a month, it would cost me 15,000 pesos. But, according to the contract, I had to pay a deposit of 16,000 pesos, and if I decided to move out before the contract expired, I would lose this deposit. In some cases there are no contracts and deposits. See what you find and how you negotiate.
It is also necessary to take into account such a moment as the season, including the Philippine one. For example, for us April is not the season at all, but in the Philippines it is the opposite. The last week of March, Easter and the next 2 months are vacation time in the Philippines, respectively, the high season, when prices skyrocket and accommodation is very difficult to find. The three months of summer is low season, as the rainy season begins in this part of the Philippines, and Boracay is simply empty. Catholic Christmas, New Year holidays, Chinese New Year – also apply to the high season. Therefore, be sure to pay attention to this factor when planning a trip to the Philippines.
PS Many thanks to Vitya for some of the photos myevit.com