Walking in the White Sands of Boracay

Last July 15, 2016, Ting and I decided to have a vacation in the world famous Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan. We took the bus in Ceres Terminal, Tabuc Suba, Jaro, which is modern and clean, unlike the public terminals. Our ride took about 6-7 hours.

I’ll share first a little information about Boracay. It is a small island about 2 km off the northwest tip of Panay Island in Western Visayas. It is composed of Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak barangays. These barangays belong to the municipality of Malay, Aklan province. The island is administered both by the Philippine Tourism Authority and the provincial government.

The main attraction for tourists on Boracay is its beautiful beaches with powder-soft, white sand and cool, clear blue-green waters. It is well known as a destination for relaxation and vibrant nightlife. It has received numerous awards from travel publications and agencies. Travel + Leisure magazine named it best island in the world in 2012 . It topped the list of the Best Islands in the World by Conde Nast Traveler mag in 2014 and again in 2016.

Boracay’s two primary tourism beaches, White Beach and Bulabog Beach, are located on opposite sides of the island’s narrow central area. White Beach faces westward and Bulabog Beach faces eastward. The island also has several other beaches.

The island is separated across a small strait from Caticlan Port, and one reaches it via ferry. After we paid the terminal, environmental and boat fees, off we went. We landed in Cagban Beach Jetty Port which serves as the main entry and exit point. When wind and sea conditions dictate, east-facing Tambisaan Beach serves as an alternative.

White Beach, is about four kilometers long and is lined with resorts, hotels, lodging houses, restaurants, and other tourism-related businesses. In the central portion, for about two kilometers, there is a footpath known as the Beachfront Path separating the beach itself from the establishments located along it. North and south of the Beachfront Path, beachfront establishments do literally front along the beach itself. Several roads and paths connect the Beachfront Path with Boracay’s Main Road, a vehicular road which runs the length of the island. At the extreme northern end of White Beach, a footpath runs around the headland there and connects White Beach with Diniwid Beach.

Bulabog Beach, across the island from White Beach, is the second most popular tourism beach on the island and Boracay’s main windsurfing and kiteboarding area.

Boracay is divided for land use and conservation purposes into 400 hectares of preserved forestland and 628.96 hectares of agricultural land.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Boracay became popular among families from Panay. When a German writer published a book about the Philippines in 1978, describing Boracay history and the beautiful island in details, the island was introduced to the world. This mark the beginning of tourist “boom” with tourist.

Red Coco Inn lobby
Lobby of Red Coco Inn with a foreign guest.

We made a reservation in Red Coco Inn, located in Station 2, which comes with free breakfast. Since we arrived early, we left our baggage at the lobby and went for lunch at the Ole Spanish Tapas Bar & Restaurant. After we had our fill, we went around D’ Mall and D’ Talipapa, the main business centers where food stalls,  general merchandise shops and the crowd are found. We bought some souvenirs to bring back home.

Counter of Ole
The Ole Bar

For the night’s activity we felt a little adventurous and decided to have an Indian dinner at True Food. It is Ting’s first time to try the spicy food and since the servings are large, we couldn’t finish what we ordered, we have to pack it, haha.

True Food
Waiting for our order in True Food.

The next day, we availed of our free breakfast. Our excitement got to another level and took off to the beach. True to hype, the beach is beautiful and scenic. There’s this feeling of peacefulness just watching people strolling on the beach under the big blue sky. The water is so calm, small waves gently lapping at the beach’s edge.

Boracay Beach tourists
Tourists walking in the white sands along the beach.

After enjoying the scene, we went back to the hotel and started packing our things. And just like that, we are on our way back to Iloilo.

The second time we were on the island was Oct 26, 2017. Ting attended a seminar there, I thought it would a good time for bonding and I decided to catch up with her on the 27th.

I made a reservation at Boracay Holiday Resort also in Station 2, again it comes with free breakfast, haha. After checking in, this time, we went to Baharat Kabsa Steakhouse in D’ Mall. The resto has specialty in Arabic cuisine. We ordered the beef kabsa and bamia. Beef kabsa is like oversized rice topping with Arabic characteristics, haha. Bamia is a thick and flavorful tomato and okra soup. We explored every nook and cranny of D’ Talipapa and purchased mugs as memorabilia and shirts for everyone back home. Finally, ending up in Budget Mart, we are hungry with all the walking, so we bought water and fresh banana for snacks. After which we, went back to the hotel and rest.

The next day, we started packing our things and gorged on the free breakfast, after which we sprinted off to the beach. There, we just enjoyed the serene scene and discussed a lot of things like life, the future, etc. Despite the number of people, at that moment, it seems like there’s just the two us, enjoying and talking, in a nice shaded spot under a tree on the beach. Boracay has that effect on you, the place gets you to start thinking, haha.

Boracay Beach
Ting basking in the sun and sands of Boracay.

Afterwards, we had lunch in Thai Basil Restaurant.

Thai Basil lunch dinner
Ting’s lunch at Thai Basil Restaurant.

After eating, its time to go home. Our vacations in Boracay will always be on our minds. The place, views, food and of course the conversations are all memorable. No doubt, we will come back again, and again, haha.

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