The Travels of a Homebody: Trip #1 in Boracay Island [Part 2]

Hello everyone! How is it going?

Things have been going well in my daily challenge to keep up with the unending tasks, until suddenly I got sick. Unfortunately, things have been super delayed, which included this sequel blog on my trip to Boracay Island. My apologies!

As you can see in the title of this post, this is the second part of my Boracay Island trip under the blog series entitled The Travels of a Homebody. If you want to know how this blog subsection of mine came to be, you can read the first part of my post here.

Are you ready? Okay, so here I am, about to officially start my story-telling about my Boracay experience. I hope you will enjoy the read!

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The Puka Beach Island in Boracay.

Before the Flight

The night before my flight, I went to see my closest high school friends whom I haven’t seen in a while. It was sort of a special gathering because one of our comrades, Danielle, came back from the United States to spend a few weeks to visit several travel destinations in the Philippines, Boracay Island included (the first in her itinerary). As what I have mentioned in my first post, Danielle and I will be together on this trip. The night was filled with fun and alcoholic drinks.

The innocent me was enjoying the Long Island Iced Tea that my friends chose for me, drinking the cocktail as if it was the Nestea’s Iced Tea Lemon Flavor which has always been my favorite (the two drinks both have the same taste!). With just one tall glass of it, I felt the high dose of alcohol affecting my balance and consciousness. I was not really drunk, but what made it a bad timing was because of my 6 AM flight. I feared that I might not wake up early because of using up too much of my energy. We finished our reunion at around 1 AM. I rode a taxi to my house and arrived at exactly 2 AM.

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My high school friends and I having a decent pose despite the struggle to resist the dizzy feeling brought upon by those tasty drinks. Danielle, the gorgeous balikbayan, wore a baby blue dress.

Four hours left before my flight! Oh no. This was a big problem for me because (1) I sleep like the dead, which I anticipated as a double dead version because of the alcoholic influence and (2) I might not enjoy my first day in the island.

The solution? I just sat down in the living room, making sure that my body is in its most uncomfortable position, closed my eyes and turned on all the alarm clock apps of my three gadgets.

It was totally not effective!

I woke up at around 5 AM via the raging voice of my angry yet anxious mother (my most effective alarm so far in my twenty-three years of existence!). We all know that not being in the airport two or three hours before the flight is a big no-no for airplane passengers. Well, an hour before the flight, I was just about to take a bath like the grandson of The Flash. Haha! If there is one advantage that God gave me that I really did appreciate at that time, it is the fact that the airport is a ten-minute ride away from our house. I guess that advantage made me complacent about being punctual in the airport every time I have a flight.

Thank goodness, I’m not late! What a great way to start this trip. Hahaha.

Two Airplanes in One Day

A few days before our flight, the travel agency announced a major change in our flight schedule. Instead of traveling directly from Mactan Island to Aklan Island, we were rescheduled to two connecting flights: the first flight from Mactan Island to Metro Manila, followed by another plane that will send us to Kalibo, Aklan.

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Our first airplane ride to Ninoy Aquino International Airport. From left to right: Stafford, Danielle, me, Melanie and Leo.

This might consume the time that we were supposed to spend in Boracay Island, but the idea of riding two airplanes in one day is just fascinating for me. I honestly hate those moments when the airplane passes by a turbulent wind that makes me experience a weird churn in my stomach. Despite that, I still cling on the fact that I don’t ride airplanes that often, and that the same thing is true for my churning stomach. So yes, I was able to really savor the fun airplane rides.

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My favorite spot in NAIA ever since I’ve been here. It’s a good location for taking a nice picture.

Roadtrip in Aklan Island

The first thing that we saw when we reached Kalibo International Airport was an array of booths intended for both public and private transportation promotions that passengers could avail in going to Boracay Island. There was a surplus of them, to the point that the personnel themselves were competing at each other just to get the most number of passengers that would sign-up to their promos. We chose a private van. We were fortunate that the driver was entertaining and welcoming to us that he insisted we should have quick stops to some great spots in the Aklan province that are Instagram-worthy. So nice of you, sir! I bet he already accepted the fact that we, millennials, are fond of making ourselves look good in social media. Lol!

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Hello there, Vibrant Kalibo! I’m so excited to have a glance of your beauty.

Aklan province is a vibrant, peaceful place. The start of my road trip alone was a therapeutic one, as I got to see the green mountains and fields on the left while being in awe with the beauty of the beach on my right.

Our first stop was Jawili Falls, located in Tangalan. It was actually my first time to see a waterfall that big up close, so I was really amazed by its beauty. The flowing water rushed across the zig-zag channels of three big rock sections that seemed to look like a ladder. The circular rock basin served as the sink where most people enjoy themselves bathing. When I got there, I saw some people walking across the big rocks, enjoying the scenery. If only I wore a swimwear at that moment, I would really take a dip even just for a while.

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The Jawili Falls.

We passed by an area where the land of Aklan province met the sea. The vastness of the sea made it difficult to see the nearby islands of Luzon. We took the risk of doing some funny poses on top of a big rock that was situated a few inches away from the cliff. Despite the driver’s warning, we still insisted on doing a quick photo shoot near the side of a mountain that is at risk for falling rocks. The rock formation really did give a color combo that we totally consider an Instagram-worthy background.

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Humbled by how little I am in this vast ocean.

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At any time, chunks of rock may hit anyone that stays long enough in this side of the road.

After two hours of travel, we arrived at the Malaya port, where we transferred to a small boat that would lead us to the island. It was my first time to pay for an environmental fee as part of the standard transportation charges in going to the island.

Finally, Boracay Island!

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One of the ports of Boracay Island. Finally, we are here!

I’m excited and tired. My body was confused as to what feeling I should prioritize. Unfortunately, the latter won. The sudden shutdown was a great thing as I was able to recharge myself for our evening itinerary, The Pub Crawl.

The Pub Crawl

It was I who insisted in trying the popular partying scheme here in Boracay Island. According to my research, the term pub crawl is a drinking activity done in multiple pubs or clubs in a single night. Depending on the location, you can use a public transportation or travel by foot to reach the different destinations of the clubs that you want to party at.

My close friend Cede, who had her experience in Boracay Pub Crawl, encouraged me to do the same, since she was able to meet new people from different places and have fun in a way that was so new to her. As a person who has been inside a circle of friends who least prefer partying, I realized its high time that I explore how it feels like to be carefree and “wild”, even just for a night.

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The calm before the storm.

The assembly started at around 9 in the evening. Every participant was given a yellow shirt with a design signifying that the person wearing it is part of the Pub Crawl event for that night. The first challenge that we must do was to meet at least five new people, get to know their names, the place where they came from, and a special thing about them. I really find it too hard at first, even though I’m a talkative person. I was able to establish my comfort around people when I started making friends with those who came from Cebu Island. More and more people came in and fortunately I was able to handle the extrovert energy that I must emit to entertain the people whom I will be with for the rest of the night.

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We are the Pub Crawl participants from Cebu! We just knew each other here. It’s a good thing that we don’t have to escalate our extrovert self quickly since we were comfortable talking in Cebuano language.

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GTKY with the Pub Crawl participants from different parts of the globe.

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I forgot what activity was this, but I’m really sure, by this picture alone, that we were having this wild kind of fun! Haha.

It was a night filled with alcohol and laughter. The blinding flashes of lights coming from different directions made me a little dizzy, but the jam of the party music around the walls of the dark club gave me an ecstatic feeling. It’s as if the night wasn’t going to end. I don’t want it to end, not just yet.

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What happens in Boracay, stays in Boracay.

It was a night that I won’t ever forget.

Boracay Island Water Activities

The Pub Crawl made us joyfully exhausted. We dozed off quickly without being mindful of the tight schedule that we should follow for the next day.

So yes, we woke up late and weren’t able to catch up with the schedule for our Flying Fish ride. Argh!

Trying our best to get over the bad start of our morning, we continued with the island hopping. I was shocked to witness the dazzling beauty of the white-sand beach in this island. Before I went here, most of my friends told me that the island has a lot of green algae that downgraded the view. Probably October is not the algae’s season to grow, so here I am, lucky enough to see a cleaner version of what Boracay is.

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The Long White Beach greeted me with its clean stretch of sand and a peaceful swoosh of the waves brought by its clear waters.

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No more Flying Fish ride for us, but still we are happy to start our island hopping activity.

We first visited the Puka Beach. What made this place extremely good is that the scorching heat of the sun blended well with the friendly waves of the blue green sea. My girl friends got to have their hair braided, while I got a drink of the Smirnoff Mule beer-vodka for the first time. I fell in love with it! It was also my first photo op with a sand castle having an intricate design. Doing this thing is kind of “obligatory” if you are here in Boracay.

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I manage to do a pose in the Puka Beach signage.

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Group picture beside a sand castle here in Puka Beach.

What made my Puka Beach experience weird was that the saltiness of the sea made my eyes hurt so much. As a Cebu Island resident, the sea was not as salty as compared to that one in Puka Beach.

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Look at that! It’s so wonderful. Good bye, Puka Island! I will go back soon.

We had our lunch in the other side of the island. We were served with an eat-and-drink-all-you-can Filipino food that was well-fitted with the summer vibe of the island.

Our next stop was Crystal Cove Island. It is actually an island worth exploring, because there are a lot of stuff that you can see and try. It is tailored for everyone who wants to fill their day with adventure. Unfortunately, the rates that we need to pay to get inside were a little bit high, and we thought that spending our money for an hour of tour is not practical.

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Can you spot the ever confident fifth wheel? Hahaha.

The stay in the island is worth the penny if a whole day, or even just the whole morning, is spent inside. The facade of the island was indeed enough to quench our thirst for another dip in the rocky, clear seashore.

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Forgive me, just this once. Hahaha! #feelingsexy

Our last stop was the helmet diving. In this activity, we wore a heavy helmet made of metal, intended to supply us with oxygen for us to breathe under water while enjoying the colorful view of a school of fishes.

A lot of people at that time were lining up, because the sun was about to set and they are also in a rush to complete their itinerary. I was a little nervous while waiting for our turn because the floating hut that we were in was somewhat sinking as more and more people arrived. Luckily everything was managed well.

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I borrowed Stafford’s GoPro camera and did this selfie while waiting for our turn to do the helmet diving.

I do apologize if I can’t show you the pictures for this activity because there were issues on communicating with the photographer of the agency for the helmet diving. We weren’t able to get our copies of the pictures. If you want to go to Boracay and try helmet diving, you will find out that there are exclusive photographers that will take photos with you underwater.

The Last Evening Walk

Our last night here in the island was spent on walking along the three stations of the long white beach. What made me in love with this place was that everything was bright, colorful and attractive, both in places and the people around. The atmosphere wasn’t meant for people to be sad.

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The busy street of the long white beach at night.

The place was welcoming for people who want to brush off the things that made them feel down and allow the positive energy to pull up their spirit again.

We had a scrumptious dinner at a restaurant beside the beach. Our tummies were filled with yummy seafood while our ears had their own share of meal in the form of melodies from a handsome singer with a guitar.

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Remembering this dinner made me hungry. It was a memorable dining experience beside the beach.

I managed to have a quick tour around the long stretch of the shore and found another sand castle. I did a brief moment of being silent as I reflected on how fortunate I am in being able to spend a brief time in this beautiful paradise.

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Sandcastle with candles.

Lessons

Considering my trip as a learning experience, here are the three things that I learned about traveling to Boracay.

Do not limit yourself to the things that you thought you cannot be.

Partying to the fullest was something that I never thought I would do. I might be a talkative and engaging person but I still make sure that I maintain a “reserved” disposition. Before, I thought that if I embrace a reserved character, immersing myself to parties is something that I should not consider. From my experience alone, I learned that I don’t need to limit myself to the things that I thought I can only be. I realized I can still be the person that I am and express myself in other ways that I do not do often. Life is not always about “black or white”. I want to consider my identity as an evolving spectrum. I believe that as I engage more on the things that I wasn’t able to do before, I can discover more about myself, who I really am and who I want to be.

Having a high quality of life is still a priority over high quantity of savings.

I was hesitant at first to go to Boracay, mainly because I think it was a waste of money. As I went home bringing all the memories worth keeping, I realized that money should never be a hindrance to the quality of life that you deserve to have. Although careful analysis as to how a person’s money should be spent, it is worthwhile that each of us must allot a budget for a short vacation. Having trips like this can totally give us another perspective about how we should move forward with our journey, despite all the hustle. I came back home a little tired, but my heart was surely full.

Part of gaining new perspective in life is to connect with your new friends and reconnect with the old ones.

Danielle and Melanie were my high school friends, and ever since college happened we haven’t had an opportunity to update each other’s lives. I have known Stafford and Leo recently, and I was happy that our personalities clicked right from the very beginning. My experience with them was something great because I get to know how I behave with old and new friends. Throughout the trip, I was able to get a glimpse of how far my old friends have gone through with life, which really made me proud of them. Meeting new people gave me a new perspective as to what life is from another person’s point of view. Getting to know their story bit by bit is like listening to an interesting live audio book. It’s fulfilling to know that I gained both a wonderful experience and amazing friends that I will hopefully bond with again soon.

So yes! That’s it for my first ever travel blog post. Thank you so much for reading until this part! Haha. I do not know if many of you will reach this part of my blog because I believe this is too long that it might bore some of you. Hopefully I was able to share a worthwhile piece of how beautiful Boracay Island is. For those homebodies out there like me, I hope you will visit this place and enjoy the most out of your trip.

See you soon in my next adventure here in The Travels of a Homebody!

Jay

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