I came to Boracay without much expectation because of the many negative things I keep on hearing about it. Oftentimes, adjectives like commercialized, overcrowded and polluted seem to abound when people talk about Boracay.
But I had to go because I felt it was obligatory; everybody’s been there except me. I wouldn’t want to be left out during conversations about this famed island. Weeks before we went there, I was pondering why I haven’t been to Boracay. I could think of several reasons – lack of time and budget, too lazy to plan my trip or just disinterested. However, I really could not pinpoint a good explanation why.
The idea of visiting Boracay popped up when my wife and I were planning our first anniversary celebration. It was actually the only destination that came to my mind. I was not really excited, only incredibly curious to see and feel the powdery white sand on my feet.
We arrived in Kalibo International Airport a little past seven in the evening last April 05. When we got our luggage, my wife told me that we may either take a shuttle van or a bus to go to Caticlan. We chose the former. After a few minutes of waiting, our vehicle was bound for Caticlan. It was a two hour journey through a meandering highway. Thankfully, it was a smooth and comfortable ride.
When we got to Caticlan, we had to pay for our ferry ride as well as environmental fee. From Caticlan jetty port, it was a short 15 minute journey to Boracay jetty port. Upon disembarking, we hailed a tricycle and asked to be dropped off to D’ Mall at station 2. After around 10 minutes on the road, we were already inside D’ Mall looking for Alamo Bay Inn, our accommodation that evening. Admittedly, I was quite taken aback by the thick crowd inside D’ Mall. Not being used to large crowds, I initially felt suffocated but I soon warmed up. After all, it was the beach crowd. The type that had nary a care in the world; just like us, they were there to relax and have fun.
After a fair amount of asking for directions, were finally able to find Alamo Bay Inn. It was a small accommodation with all the basic necessities – a bed, an air-conditioning unit, a small table, a television, and bathroom ad toilet. It was perfect for anybody on a budget or overnighters. We were hungry because of our long journey so we immediately changed clothes and headed out to get dinner. A few minutes of weaving through D’ Mall, we finally settled for Big Mouth, a restaurant offering sizzling dishes. I ordered T-Bone steak and my wife got Salisbury steak. Food was actually good and very affordable at P250 and P180, respectively.
Energized from and satisfied with dinner, we decided to take a stroll around. We went out to the beach front. There was music coming from every direction – reggae songs, pop songs, techno songs – with the people soaking themselves in every beat and note. It was a happy crowd, not the rowdy kind that one would normally expect in such a setting. On the contrary, a generally cheerful vibe was very palpable. It was then that I knew we made a good decision to go to Boracay.
I knew as well that our succeeding days in this island will surely be enjoyable and memorable. We went to bed early, excited for what’s in store for us the next day.
Up next,Part 2: Boracay through the eyes of a first-timer