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Escape to Boracay Islands

  
It's my 2nd time in Boracay.  The first time was back in 2005 when my camera still use film and I have to have the photos printed before seeing the good from the bad shots. This time I already have my reliable 10.1mp Sony Cybershot where deleting bad shots are easier and no more printing cost :)  The journey started by taking a boat (Superferry) from Zamboanga to Iloilo.  It was an overnight trip and we reach Ilo-ilo early in the morning, took the bus to Caticlan and reached Boracay early in the evening.  We were not accustomed in booking online yet, so when we arrived in Boracay there's still a need to go and ask around for a place to stay.




Sunset at Boracay
This time traveling became easy by using online booking and getting low fare & promos are just a click away. We were just waiting for Cebu Pacific to offer low fares and when it happened last April 2009 we immediately booked our tickets.  I wanted so much to go back to Boracay and I don't want to loose this chance.  We set the date to May because I had an approved vacation leave schedule for that month.  I then made reservations for our accommodation via hotelclub.com.  Finally everything was set.

Our flight to Ilo-ilo was scheduled at 6:30 am.  As soon as we reached the arrival area we asked around how to get to the bus terminal for Caticlan.  Ilongos are known to be friendly and always willing to help, the lady I was talking with gave us directions on how to get to the bus terminal.  It was still early and we decided to take a breakfast.  Since Ilo-ilo is popular for batchoy we again ask where can we taste an authentic batchoy.  They told us to go to Ted's since they open early.  Batchoy is basically a sweet meat broth with fresh miki noodles topped with slices of pork meat and innards, fried garlic, spring onion and crush chicharon (pork craklings).  They suggested that we take a van from the airport to downtown since it's cheaper than taking taxi and the van will drop us at Ted's.  Van fare cost us P50/pax only.

We arrived at Ted's and immediately ordered 2 batchoy and nothing else.  We wanted to taste it in its purity and no other flavor to affect our tastebuds.  Batchoy is known to be the soup of the Ilonggos, that's why it is everywhere. But Ted's is more famous because it had a headstart in marketing it upstream.  And I remember they have an outlet at SM Davao City but I haven't got a chance to try it.
Ted's Batchoy

Waiting for a jeepney to take us to Tagbak Bus Terminal
After breakfast, we went to Tagbak Terminal to catch a Ceres Bus to Caticlan.  The good thing was we just have to cross the street from Ted's and take jeepney to the terminal fare cost P7/pax.  Caticlan is approximately 5 hours bus trip from Iloilo and the fare was P350/pax for the airconditioned bus.  The bus last stop is at Caticlan Jetty Port which serves as the main jumping (on & off) point when traveling to Boracay.
Ceres Bus - our ride to Caticlan

Caticlan Jetty Port improved a lot since 2005.  They now have a building that serves as office and pre-departure check point before boarding.  Tourist and non-residents are required to pay a terminal fee of P50 & environmental fee of P50.  There's a counter outside the port building where you can make payments.  Getting to Boracay you may take a banca (motorized boat) for P25 which will take you to Boracay Island for 20 min or via fast craft for a 5 min trip for P30.  Fast craft is more comfortable, it is airconditioned and plays dvd movies.  Sadly the trip takes only 5 minutes and you'll never get to know the ending of the story. We alighted at Cagban Port and took a tricycle for P25/pax to take us at D'Mall where our hotel's location is near.
Cagban Port Boracay Island


You can have your photo taken with the sand castle for a small donation



Accomodation

There's lots of choices for a place to stay.  It all depends on your budget and taste.  I chose Isla Gecko Resort because I read good reviews about the place.  It is located at Station 2, although it is non beach front it still perfect because the beach, shopping mall, restaurants are just a minute away.  Breakfast is included, though not many choices still it was acceptable for the cheap rate you paid.  The owner and even the staff are very accommodating and assist us immediately with our concerns.  It also has free wifi, the signal in our room was not good so we just stay at the bar where the signal is really good.


Just a few of other accommodations to choose from  :)







Dining

Again it all depends on your taste and budget.  At the beach front of Station 2 are a long line of restaurants & resorts.  They offer a wide variety of menus.  D'mall (the shopping arcade) also has many restaurants & fastfood outlets.  This place was one of our favorite because food price are cheaper.  Another favorite was the D'Talipapa.  It is a wet market where you can buy a wide variety of fresh seafood, meat, vegetable & fruits and have it prepared and cooked to your desire.  At night beachfront resorts & restaurants set up tables & chairs along the side walk, some serves buffet dinner while others are ala carte.


You can have your lunch cook here  at your own desire






Shopping

D'Mall is the place for shopping.  In D'Talipapa there are also lots of souvenir shops around and the price are cheaper and you can haggle for lower price if you buy in bulk.  You can find souvenir vendors along the sidewalk too.




Activities

Are you here just to have fun?  Are you thrill seeker or just into safe adventure?  An array of choices are many, some of which are:
1. Island Hopping
2. Snorkeling
3. Banana Boat
4. Sailing
5. Wind Surfing
6. Glass Bottom Boat
7. ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) Riding
8. Kayaking
9. Partying
10. Massage along the beach.

Since our budget was tight, we only tried 1 & 2.  Well at least we have many reasons to come back :)












Cave 1 Entrance at Crystal Cove

Crystal Cove Cave 1


Cave 2 Entrance  Crystal Cove
Cave 2 Crystal Cove


Other Activities while in Boracay












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