Finally, I can update my blog after an unforgettable backpacker's trip with my office friends. Last April 18 to 21, we experienced our much awaited trip to Boracay. Originally, we were only aiming to set foot at Boracay but, our beloved Accountant volunteered to tour us around her hometown since she will be going on vacation on the same dates. So, our Boracay escapade was upgraded into Antique-Boracay route. Here are the details of our tour. . .
Day 00 - April 18 (Friday)
At 5pm right on the dot, we all stepped out of our offices and headed to Batangas port to make it on time for the 9pm departure. However, due to the large volume of 2go passengers, our ETD was delayed and we were able to leave the port at around past 10pm (I cannot remember exactly). It was my second time to ride 2go but I was shocked that couples, families, group of students and all sorts or people filled up the waiting area at Batangas port. The good thing about sailing during summer is that, the sea was more calm so, it was generally a smooth-sailing ride as compared to my November 2012 Boracay Trip with college friends. Our tickets were priced at Php 2000, round trip Batangas-Caticlan-Batangas with tourist accommodation plus 1 complementary meal. Linens/beddings at the vessel were also free provided that you have a valid ID otherwise, you'll have to deposit Php 100.
Day 01 - April 19 (Friday)
Between 7am to 8am, we finally arrived at Caticlan port. We were supposed to take the CERES Bus Liner going to Pandan, Antique but we opted to rent out a van since we were a group of 10. So, the van rental from Caticlan port to Pandan Antique cost us Php 100 per person. Unfortunately, the van didn't have a functional aircon so, we got a bit frustrated because the temperature this summer season seems to be the hottest, ever! But, the nice view, serene surroundings and fresh air compensated for our disappointment. After 30-45 minutes, we finally arrived at Ms. Marnie's (our host) place in Pandan, Antique.
After eating breakfast, we geared up for our first stop which is the Malumpati Spring (check out another blog entry here). Known for its very cool flowing waters, it may be considered a haven for tourists who are looking for a different Visayan escapade. We rented out a cottage which was less than a Php 100 and paid for the entrance fee which was Php 10 per person. After the sumptuous lunch prepared by Ms. Marnie's caretakers, everybody dipped into the cold refreshing water of Malumpati Spring Resort. We were able to try out the balsa for Php 50/hour rental fee. According to Ms. Marnie, the Malumpati Spring has been featured in several local travel shows. We were lucky to have witnessed its beauty before everybody else flocks there once the place become very popular and commercialized.
Next stop is at Phaidon Beach Resort. It took us about 30 minutes travel time from Malumpati Spring to the beach resort. Since we only visited the resort for swimming at the beach and cottage rental, we paid Php 60 per person for the entrance fee. They say that it was the other side of Boracay because the place is quite exclusive and no stressful crowd. We had the beautiful beach all to ourselves.
Day 02 - April 20 (Saturday)
We got up early in the morning to finally visit the ever famous tourist attraction, Boracay. Ms. Marnie referred us to her friend who had two available rooms in his house that can accommodate all ten of us. It was not a beach front property but it was nearby the church and plaza and 2-minute walking distance to the beach at Station 1. It cost us Php 4000 for the two rooms, overnight stay. Very cheap, but it was literally a room --- with beds that can fit in 5 people for each room, aircondition and that's it. :)
It was my 3rd time to visit Boracay but I consider every experience unique because it was with different groups/friends. So, we took the usual routine of lounging on the beach, visited D' Talipapa for cheap souvenir finds, seafood shopping and "paluto". Food was cheaper this way than eat at fancy restaurants by the beach, considering that we have a limited budget. So meal allotment per person did not exceeded Php 300 (paluto plus the seafoods that we bought).
At night, we witnessed a beach party courtesy of the Nestea Beach Volley Tournament. People flocked in the area near Station 1 but, after some time we finally doze off in our little room to recharge for our 6am departure at Caticlan port.
Day 03 - April 21 (Sunday)
Our ETD from Caticlan port was 6am but, again it was delayed and we left between 9am to 10am. We arrived at Batangas port around 8pm and off we went to our respective homes.
More details of our Antique and Boracay escapade in additional blog entries....