aria boracay

Life is Better in Boracay

Most people in Guam go to the Philippines for the shopping in Manila or to visit family and then head back home to Guam. Shopping in Manila is like a sport and it’s pretty awesome. The HUGE city of Manila is very hectic and we wanted some time to unwind and really feel like we were on vacation, so we decided to return to Boracay. We flew to Panay Island where we boarded a bus at the Kalibo airport and headed on our two hour journey to the port where we would catch a boat that would take us to Boracay island. When you’re going to Boracay, there are two airports that you can fly to, Kalibo and Caticlan. Kalibo is further from the port. After a quick boat ride to Boracay, we were ushered onto a VERY small vehicle where about seven people crammed into the back seat, our suitcases piled on top. We drove to our hotel, Nigi Nigi Nu Noos. Because there isn’t a road that stops directly in front of the hotel, we parked in an alley and walked along the beach, suitcases in hand, until we reached the hotel! After all that traveling, I was ready to relax.

Peter and I wanted to make the most of our second trip to Boracay. This time we had more funds to do more activities, so we made sure to book activities through our hotel for almost everyday. The first activity we chose was the glass bottom boat excursion. For about 500 pesos each, we got on a boat and road around looking through the bottom at all the sea creatures. For the most part we saw coral, starfish, sea anemone, schools of brightly colored fish and random things like chairs. I think the entire boat ride was about two hours. They gave us snacks and drinks and gave us a chance to snorkel. I put on my life vest and snorkel gear and began my adventure. The waves were very strong so it was easy to get swept away. While snorkeling in the Philippine waters for the first time, I spotted a long, skinny, silver and black striped creature. It was a snake. I freaked out but took a second look to be sure. Yup, I was right it was a snake! I told Peter, of course he didn’t believe me, and I got the heck out of the water! So as usual Peter thought I was being dramatic, when we got back home I searched for the creature that I saw and here it is banded sea snake…that is exactly what I saw! So now Peter believes me. When I got back on the boat Peter was still swimming around and even swam under the glass bottom of the boat! I’m glad he enjoyed his time, I on the other hand enjoyed the snacks and looking at the starfish they brought on the boat!

The next day we booked a land tour in an air conditioned van. We started early and headed to Mt. Luho. There is a small fee to get into this as well. We climbed up the steps, where there were many friendly dogs laying in the shade. Mt. Luho is primarily for tourists, as is most of Boracay. They have many caged animals throughout the walk up the mountain. We saw the Tazmanian Devil, bear cat, monkeys, reptiles, birds and owls. I think bear cats are cute and I wouldn’t mind having one as a pet. Apparently they can grow to be six feet long. We spent a lot of time around the monkeys because the older monkeys were chained to a tree. You could get as close as you wanted to them! I kept my distance, while Peter got close and even made them a little mad! For much of the walk up the mountain, the flooring is made from bamboo. It was a little scary, I couldn’t imagine how it was holding all of us up. At the very top was a beautiful view of the island! As we walked down Peter talked me into ziplining down the mountain. I was scared because I wasn’t really sure what ziplining was and I imagined that it was very fast. I was pleasantly surprised after we were pushed off the ledge to the other side, it was a swift and smooth ride. Now I want to zipline everywhere haha. Once we’d finished with Mt. Luho, we spent some time at Puka Beach. As soon as we sat down, people selling jewelry bombarded us, of course we gave in! After a nice time at the beach we went on to our next adventure, the animal expo center. Here, we were introduced to many Filipino animals like snakes, tarantulas, birds and Wally the CROCODILE! On the Philippine island Palawan, there are salt water crocodiles! This one was massive! It was definitely a fun-filled day!

Our final activity was what we thought would be a nice, smooth island hopping paraw sail. The first time Peter and I were in Boracay, we had a sunset cruise on a paraw. It was very smooth, and relaxing. So we assumed it would be the same kind of conditions. Right before our trip, I bought some french fries to eat along the way. Not soon after we left White Beach did I realize that I was in for something completely different than what I initially thought. The further away we got, the rougher the waves became. Soon we were going VERY fast and my french fries flew off the boat as we held on for dear life. What we thought was island hopping turned out to be a sail around the entire island with only one stop. Before we made it to that stop, I thought I was going to die! The waves were about seven feet high and splashed into my face. Before I could spit the salt water out and catch my breath, another came and slapped me again! After awhile I forgot about trying to keep my hat on and instead just held on as tight as I could. I thought I was going to cry, but couldn’t help laughing at the insanity of this ride. That was some EXTREME sailing! If I never do it again, I wouldn’t complain. My entire body was drenched, Peter looked worried and kept apologizing. I looked at the three men who were guiding us around the island and they seemed calm. It really felt like the sail boat was going to flip over. FINALLY, we stopped at Puka Beach. I got off, a little bit traumatized. Peter said if I needed to I could catch a trike back to the hotel. The sailboat crew assured me that we had passed the roughest side of the island and the rest of the way would be calm. So I gathered my thoughts, tried to calm down and agreed to carry on. As promised, the rest of the trip was exactly what I needed. It was so calm, smooth and slow. I loved it! Even though I felt like I had a near death experience, it was fun and now I have a good story to tell.

During our stay, we visited the D Mall to do some shopping and we also crossed the street and walked to the other side of the lake to do some shopping. The further away from White Beach the cheaper things get. We ate at Cyma, a greek restaurant, which is my favorite place to eat on Boracay. We also ate Italian food at Aria on the beach and had tapas and Sangria at Dos Mestizos. Those were my three favorite restaurants while on Boracay and I recommend them!  Oh and after seeing Wally the Crocodile, Peter was inspired to eat crocodile sisig at a restaurant on White Beach! We tried to catch every sunset and walk as much as possible. The only downside to our stay was that the usual crystal clear water of White Beach was full of seaweed and wasn’t very nice to swim in. Occasionally that happens on Guam too. I’m sure it is cleared up by now.  Our hotel was pretty old but very interesting. If you want a more authentic island stay, you’d probably like our hotel and staying in the cottages. Within the first five minutes of entering the room, I was bitten about 10 times by mosquitoes. We never figured out how to use the mosquito net. The hotel gardens were very nice and now I can say I slept in a hut.

Most of all, it was very nice getting to know Peter’s parents! Peter and I enjoyed our vacation and we are pleased with how everything worked out perfectly!