The palm-studded island of Boracay - with its white,
talcum-fine beach, balmy weather and warm, crystalline waters -
is like a hypnotic magnet that lures many to a lotus existence.
In this tiny, butterfly-shaped island at the northwestern tip of
Pana in Western Visayas, days can be spent by simply lazing on the
beach and nights are for indulging in the tropical party lifestyle.
Boracay is an anchor tourist destination and one of the 7,000 times
more islands that make up the Philippine archipelago.
BAREFOOT IN THE BEACH
The code in Boracay is strictly informal.
There is an undeniable easy atmosphere in Boracay where walking
barefoot than shod is the rule rather than the exception. White
Beach is so, soooo fine, it feels like treading on miles of baby
powder! No wonder, even swinging discos have the beach for a floor,
giving dance a new twist. There are no hang-ups either in this island.
It is a place where everybody feels welcome. It is place where you can happily live on a small budget, or you can really max out your credit cards (http://www.lovemoney.com/creditcards/) at a luxury resort. You can relax and simply do as you feel. At daytime, tourists having a soothing massage under the shade of
a coconut tree beside the shoreline is a common sight. And from
dusk to dawn, Boracay turns into one big party place where everyone
is welcome to join in...But first, let's toast that sunset cocktail!
Diversions are certainly no problem in this tropical eden with
leisure activities calendared throughout the year and amenities
offered by some 350 tourist establishments.
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A LITTLE BIT OF DARING
For the adventure-driven, "Mambo Number 5" is a little
bit of boating and wind surfing, a little bit of scuba diving, a
little bit of trekking, a little bit of mountain biking, and a little
bit of golf. There's plenty to do in Boracay other than beachbumming
On the eastern side of the island is Bulabog Beach, a boardsailor's
mecca that draws enthusiasts from all over the world, especially
during the peak season of November to March. In January, it is the
site of an International Funboard Cup.
Sailboating and kayaking are popular sporting activities, with
Boracay playing host to the annual Paraw Regatta, an international
sailboat race that makes use of the native outrigger. Dive sites
surround the island and are learning venues to both novice and professional
divers, guided by competent instructors of the many dive shops that
operate in the area.
Trekking or mountain biking can also bring the intrepid to the
island's quaint interior villages and to the edges' scenic rocky
cliffs, discovering along the way many hidden coves with isolated
beaches far from the tourist crowd. And for golf bugs, Fairways
and Bluewater Resort Golf and Countryclub has an 18-hole championship
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HALA BIRA! LET'S GO
January is the time to hang loose in the "Land of the Atis."
Kalibo, the capital town of Aklan, is the gateway to Boracay. Every
second weekend of January, it celebrates the Ati-Atihan Festival
where frenzied streetdancing is performed by costumed and black-sooted
"tribes" as they wend through the main streets from dawn
till the witching hours.
The Ati-Atihan is celebrated for three days and commemorates the
13th-century land deal between 10 migrating Bornean chieftains and
the aboriginal Ati King Marikudo. It also honors the town patron,
the infant Santo Niño.
To the accompaniment of hundreds of lyres and drums, merrymakers
throw all inhibitions to the wind as they join the tribes in a mad
jig punctuated by rhythmic shouts of: "Hala bira! Puera pasma!
Hala bira! Viva Santo Niño!" (Loosely translated, means:
"Let go! Don't get sick! Let go! Hail the Holy Child!")
Kalibo is also famous for its handloom weaving industry where fine
silken fabrics are produced from the fibers of the piña (pineapple)
and abaca plants.
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The taste of the region is simple with charbroiled chicken as common
fare. Another favorite dish is raw fish marinated in spicy vinegar.
Dining, however, is no problem in Boracay with most resorts having
their own restaurants that serve both Filipino and international
cuisines. Small snack bars and fastfood outlets line the island.
Filipinos do not simply provide the guest with a place to rest
or park their luggage, they also share the best of what they have.
This warm, effusive brand of hospitality is what distinguishes Philippine
hotels from the others. Resorts in Boracay range from the posh "AAA"
to the more tailored "SIR" (special interest resort).
source: Department of Tourism
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BORACAY TRAVEL TIPS
1. Wear SHORTS !!! Don't
be like those corporate geeks who needs to be carried by the boatmen
coz their office pants will get wet. You will be walking on waist-to
knee deep of water when you get to Boracay Island.
2. Bring Slippers. Tho you
can buy them anytime at the market, it still pays to bring those
sturdy off-road strap ons. Your plush basketball shoes wont feel
and smell right with all those sand in them. Don't think it's not
fashionable at the airport either, co'z it is, and security inspectors
will love you for not giving them a hard time to look for things
in your shoe.
3. Travel Light. Its best
if you can have all your things fit in a backpack. Don't bring your
leather luggage, they will get powdery white with sea salt and ruin
the leather. Most of the things you need are available at the island
4. Bring your medicines.
Common sense huh? It will be tragic if your asthma inhaler will
not be available on the island drug store.
5. Wear light cotton clothes.
6. Use Credit Cards. At the
island, visa and mastercard is widely accepted, and there is even
a center where you can get "cash advances in peso". If
you're using an international $ card, you will be amazed at how
far your dollar can go. (cause you will normally be billed in Philippine
7. Be friendly. There is
no place for grouchy people in Boracay. The locals, even a 5 year
old kid will smilingly greet you "Good morning", when
you pass by, it wouldn't hurt to exchange hi's and hello's...it's
simply one of the friendliest place in the world.
8. Buy Souvenirs. Nothing
is more annoying than friends arriving from Boracay without even
a single "pasalubong" for you. The market is a sure hit
for bargain hunters, small intricately carved and hand painted fishes
and dolphins are amongst the favorite.
9. Get a good package and competent
travel agency. I highly recommend http://www.boracay-philippines-hotels.com.
Bargain and unbeatable packages all the time!
10. Bring a loved One. Every
moment will be best enjoyed if you share it with someone...
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