Breathless in Boracay

Suffice it to say that I was breathless in Boracay last week, quite literally, and it was caused by our endless strolling of the soft, white and powdery beaches, the drinking sessions cum partying that ends in the wee hours of the morning, and the blinding sight seeing of eye candies all day all night strutting from all over the place in their all-so-revealing skimpy bikinis.

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Boracay proved to be worthy of Yahoo! Travel’s 2009 Most Popular Beach Destinations in the world, the only Asian beach that made it to the discriminating top 10 list.  I was in Bali in 2007 but I was diappointed at what I’ve seen.  Except for the wild parties on a strip away from the beach, Hard Rock Cafe, outlet stores on every street corner and the mysticism that surrounds that Indonesian island, Bali (the beach) feels more like Ermita, Manila transported to a shoreline.      

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I was glad that Boracay surprised me with its unique charm and vibrance, making it a perfect place for families on vacation, couples in honeymoon, singles on a soulmate search and regular barkadas that opted for an extraordinary gimik.  Boracay, unlike Bali is teeming with both locals and foreigners.  You’ll never feel alienated in Bora the way I felt so brown amidst the ghostly white caucasians in Bali.

This time I’ll make the pictures do most of the talking so I’ll stop right here with my final thoughts:  I’m coming back to Boracay, meantime let me catch my breath.

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The Usual Suspects:

Dennis the Leader

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Sev the Jagermeister King

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Jun the one love-r boy

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Jeff the One-Man Production Crew

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And yours truly– writer, documentor, observer, traveler

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Together we are the AGA Boys

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Bora Bound

Summer is coming and I feel very excited than usual.  I am going to Bora.

Yes, and this will be my first Boracay adventure.  I am going with four of my officemates, 3 of us are Bora virgins.   This is quite a trip, coz everything is set to date:  flying in on April 8 (P2,736.00) and out on Aprill 11 (P2,343.52) both via Cebu Pacific; bed and toilets will be provided by Villa de Oro (P1,600.00/ head for a 4 days/3 nights accommodation).  That’s a good price already because we don’t plan to stay in our room for more than 5 hours everyday anyway.  Maybe 3 hours in the wee hours of the morning, and another 2 hours napping in the afternoon.  The rest of the day (and night) — beachcombing and happy hour bar hopping. Sweet!

Here’s my “secret” plan, in case I get extraordinary high energy.  I’m listing them down so I wouldn’t forget a thing.  I’m calling this list the No Boring Moment in Bora and it is secret because I’m not sharing this with my Bora mates, at least not very soon.

Here we go:

First, the must not miss foodies.  A Boracay Island Guide Book says that there are more than 200 restaurants and eateries in the 1,083- hectare island.  I got curious of the following from my quick search of travel blogs, and promised myself not to miss any of these:  German-Filipino Gasthof’s baby back ribs (P550) Jonah’s Choco Banana Vanilla Shake (P90), chori burger (P- no idea), Bite Club Burger and a dinner feast of fresh seafood at D’Talipapa.

Next, the must do:

Explore Boracay island by bike.  What’s a better way to see the ins and outs of an island resort than a dependable 2-wheel?  Downside:  it will take a lot of energy to do this but I’m hoping that the terrain is flat and manageable.  Upside:  fitness is built in already. Biking is a good cardiovascular and leg exercise, it is cheap and readily available. 

Ride a boat to island hop.  For those places that a bike can’t bring me to, a boat can surely take me there.  Boating is a blissful activity, notwithstanding the noise generated by the boat’s engine.  What is there to do in a boat while it cruises the pristine blue sea but to be quiet for a while and enjoy the changing (deepening) scenery?  Boat rides allows people to have that inner talk, to meditate if you call it that. 

Snorkel if I can’t Dive.  I did some snorkeling before- in Puerto Galera and in Bohol.  Both have very breathtaking underwater worlds.  In Galera, we have to walk from the beach towards the deep part of the sea. You’ll feel the earth world vanish every step of the way, until you feel you don’t have any other choice but to swim or float.  The vast sea world welcomes you with a variety of never-before-seen creatures.  The Bohol snorkel adventure on the other hand is a dive right into the deep blue sea.  We rented a boat that brought us to the middle of the sea and there, right there, is our snorkeling field.  Both adventures are awesome, although I didn’t get to experience everything in vivid details because my contact lenses usually get either very dry or wet down under. 

Climb The Wall at D’ Mall.  I haven’t really climbed a wall before but I guess I can make it to the top.  I’m a climbing freak when I was just a kid— guava and mango trees, aratiles, makopa, fences, roof tops and truck tops.  I climbed them all.  Vertical climbing, I know is an altogether different and difficult challenge, especially without practice.  Hopefully my biceps can pull me up and my legs will cooperate.  All it takes is a bad cramp to put this thing off.  I don’t want that to happen.

Caves at the cove.  There is something attractive in caves- the dark, eerie, humid but slimy surrounding, the scent of the underworld and the sound of angry waves against age-old rocks.  Feels like Batman

Happy Hour! Alcoholics, unite!  We have nothing to lose but our hard-earned pesos! Please tell me where to find the cheapest beer in Bora.

Still standing after 15.  My cousin wants me to immortalize my Bora adventure in Cocomangas like she did.  All I have to do is drink all 15 mixed shots (P900+) of curious names- Test Tube Baby, Mexican flag, SS Bankero, Have-a-go, to name a few.  What do I get? A Cocomangas souvenir shirt and a brass plate with my name nailed forever in the bar’s Wall of Fame. I’ll do this for my country. Hik!

Get laid.  What’s a paradise without romance?  What’s Eden without Eve?  What is Bora without having a secret, and keeping it there?  As the Boraphiles use to remind us, “What happens in Bora stays in Bora”. 

My office friends are planning to mount a very huge and ambitious project (by my standard) — a docu-movie of our Bora adventure.  As for me, I’ll try to remember every little detail so I can commit them to my failing memory and write them down later. 

Last on my list is about attitude.  Nothing in this list is cast in stone. But I will really try hard to do them all.  I’m giving space to chance encounters, serendipity and spur of the moment moments.

I’m bringing my bohemian spirit to Bora:  come what may, seize the day.