Boracay Trip: My First Time Ever!
Last September 2 to 4, I was able to set foot in Asia's most popular island beach resort, Boracay! I wouldn't have afforded going there if not for the AirPhil Express' promo fare. I remember making an online booking last July 2011 for this September Boracay trip (Talk about advance booking, huh?). Compared to the usual rate of more than Php 3500 round trip Caticlan-Manila-Caticlan air fare, I got my tickets for only Php 2700+. It included air fare for 2 pax, roundtrip Manila-Caticlan-Manila with free check-in baggage. So, I was really delighted with the very cheap air fare deal. I guess the schedule of the trip is also a factor because normally, rates are very high if you travel Friday to Sunday as compared to my itinerary which is from Sunday to Tuesday.
Accommodation: Of course, after booking your plane ticket the next task in line is to find a good package deal for a hotel. Boracay hotels can be quite expensive but there are a lot of informative travel blogs which can help as you go through your search for the best hotel deal. In my case, I was able to find a reasonable hotel accommodation package from MetroDeal which included 3days/2nights stay at Patio Pacific Boracay for 2 pax; daily buffet breakfast; 1 set dinner and 1 set lunch; Resort - Caticlan Airport transfer. All of which cost Php 8000. The digits may look expensive but EVERY penny was all worth it. I'll tell you more about it in the next few sections of my blog.
Patio Pacific Boracay may not be a beachfront hotel but, they have a private passage way going to the beach. Perhaps, it will take you a 2 to 3-minute walk from the hotel to the beach. The hotel has a pool, restaurant, very neat room with well-maintained comfort rooms and cheerful staff. I just find it awkward that you have to cross the main road to get to the front desk of the hotel. This is so because there are two buildings of Patio Pacific. We were lucky enough to be assigned in the section leading to the access road going to the beach. But, we had to cross the street if we want to leave the keys in the front desk. One good thing about crossing the street is that Patio Pacific has their own security personnel who will assist you in getting to the other side of the road. If I were to rate the hotel, it would be a 4 out of 5 (5 as the highest and 1 as the lowest). And yes, I would recommend Patio Pacific if its not much of a hassle for you to do some walking as you hit the beach.
Food: Daily buffet breakfast at Patio Pacific was more than the average meal. They may not have a wide variety of cuisine, but they have the traditional selection of soup, pastries, pancakes, make your own omelet, fried bangus, pancit, tocino, garlic rice, yang chow rice, ham, sausage, fruits and free flowing coffee and juice. These are the sort of dishes they serve in the buffet table. Our set dinner and lunch were equally tasteful. I actually thought we will only be served with a plated dish just like the meals you order in fast food chains. But, I was totally wrong. Our set dinner/lunch was composed of vegetables in oyster sauce, pancit, grilled squid, special chicken (I could not remember the name but it was good!), soup, rice and iced tea shake/water. The desserts they served are my favorite --- turon with butterscotch dip and the mango crepe. I am simply biased with desserts but Patio Pacific food were generally delicious and you'll feel that the Php 8000 worth of package was indeed worth it.
Activities: There were a lot of activities to do in Boracay. If I could stay there for 1 week, I would. With our quite limited schedule, afternoon of Day 1 was spent lounging on the beach and taking pictures. It felt like everything was perfect. The fine, milky sand and romantic sunset was just amazing. While we were strolling on the beach, we met a tourist guide who offered us a 1-hour ATV ride to Mt. Luho Viewpoint where you can have a 360 degree view of Boracay Island for only Php 350 per person. This is a bit lower price as compared to what I've read in other blogs where ATV-ride was priced at Php 500 per hour. Another activity we tried out was the 30-minute Helmet Diving. It was offered to us for Php 250 per person only. Apparently, foreigner rate was different from Pinoy rate in Boracay. This was one reason why we had the cheap rate for helmet diving as we were enjoined with 4 other foreigners in the boat. Lastly, we toured around D'Mall. It was like a commercial complex with souvenir shops and restaurants. There were a lot of good stuff and it was very tempting to buy but items at D'Mall but it can be a bit expensive. The rest of our time was spent swimming and hanging out on the beach.
I must say that it was "love at first sight" as I witnessed how beautiful Boracay was. Boracay is truly captivating no wonder it's one of the most popular beaches in Asia and all over the world. When we were home bound, I realized that I want to go back again and I swear, I'll be back before the year ends.