BORACAY TRAVEL INFORMATION
The code in Boracay is strictly informal.
There is an undeniable easy atmosphere in Boracay where walking barefoot than shod is the rule rather than the exception. White Beach is so, soooo fine, it feels like treading on miles of baby powder! No wonder, even swinging discos have the beach for a floor, giving dance a new twist. There are no hang-ups either in this island. At daytime, tourists having a soothing massage under the shade of a coconut tree beside the shoreline is a common sight. And from dusk to dawn, Boracay turns into one big party place where everyone is welcome to join in...But first, let's toast that sunset cocktail!
Diversions are certainly no problem in this tropical eden with leisure activities calendared throughout the year and amenities offered by some 350 tourist establishments.
For the adventure-driven, "Mambo Number 5" is a little bit of boating and wind surfing, a little bit of scuba diving, a little bit of trekking, a little bit of mountain biking, and a little bit of golf. There's plenty to do in Boracay other than beachbumming and partyhopping.
On the eastern side of the island is Bulabog Beach, a boardsailor's mecca that draws enthusiasts from all over the world, especially during the peak season of November to March. In January, it is the site of an International Funboard Cup.
Sailboating and kayaking are popular sporting activities, with Boracay playing host to the annual Paraw Regatta, an international sailboat race that makes use of the native outrigger. Dive sites surround the island and are learning venues to both novice and professional divers, guided by competent instructors of the many dive shops that operate in the area.
Trekking or mountain biking can also bring the intrepid to the island's quaint interior villages and to the edges' scenic rocky cliffs, discovering along the way many hidden coves with isolated beaches far from the tourist crowd. And for golf bugs, Fairways and Bluewater Resort Golf and Countryclub has an 18-hole championship course.
January is the time to hang loose in the "Land of the Atis." Kalibo, the capital town of Aklan, is the gateway to Boracay. Every second weekend of January, it celebrates the Ati-Atihan Festival where frenzied streetdancing is performed by costumed and black-sooted "tribes" as they wend through the main streets from dawn till the witching hours.
The Ati-Atihan is celebrated for three days and commemorates the 13th-century land deal between 10 migrating Bornean chieftains and the aboriginal Ati King Marikudo. It also honors the town patron, the infant Santo Niño.
To the accompaniment of hundreds of lyres and drums, merrymakers throw all inhibitions to the wind as they join the tribes in a mad jig punctuated by rhythmic shouts of: "Hala bira! Puera pasma! Hala bira! Viva Santo Niño!" (Loosely translated, means: "Let go! Don't get sick! Let go! Hail the Holy Child!") Kalibo is also famous for its handloom weaving industry where fine silken fabrics are produced from the fibers of the piña (pineapple) and abaca plants.
The taste of the region is simple with charbroiled chicken as common fare. Another favorite dish is raw fish marinated in spicy vinegar.
Dining, however, is no problem in Boracay with most resorts having their own restaurants that serve both Filipino and international cuisines. Small snack bars and fastfood outlets line the island.
Filipinos do not simply provide the guest with a place to rest or park their luggage, they also share the best of what they have. This warm, effusive brand of hospitality is what distinguishes Philippine hotels from the others. Resorts in Boracay range from the posh "AAA" to the more tailored "SIR" (special interest resort).
source: Department of Tourism
1. Wear SHORTS !!! Don't be like those corporate geeks who needs to be carried by the boatmen coz their office pants will get wet. You will be walking on waist-to knee deep of water when you get to Boracay Island.
2. Bring Slippers. Tho you can buy them anytime at the market, it still pays to bring those sturdy off-road strap ons. Your plush basketball shoes wont feel and smell right with all those sand in them. Don't think it's not fashionable at the airport either, co'z it is, and security inspectors will love you for not giving them a hard time to look for things in your shoe.
3. Travel Light. Its best if you can have all your things fit in a backpack. Don't bring your leather luggage, they will get powdery white with sea salt and ruin the leather. Most of the things you need are available at the island store.
4. Bring your medicines. Common sense huh? It will be tragic if your asthma inhaler will not be available on the island drug store.
5. Wear light cotton clothes.
6. Use Credit Cards. At the island, visa and mastercard is widely accepted, and there is even a center where you can get "cash advances in peso". If you're using an international $ card, you will be amazed at how far your dollar can go. (cause you will normally be billed in Philippine Peso)
7. Be friendly. There is no place for grouchy people in Boracay. The locals, even a 5 year old kid will smilingly greet you "Good morning", when you pass by, it wouldn't hurt to exchange hi's and hello's...it's simply one of the friendliest place in the world.
8. Buy Souvenirs. Nothing is more annoying than friends arriving from Boracay without even a single "pasalubong" for you. The market is a sure hit for bargain hunters, small intricately carved and hand painted fishes and dolphins are amongst the favorite.
9. Get a good package and competent travel agency. I highly recommend www.balikbayantrip.com. Bargain and unbeatable packages all the time!
10. Bring a loved One. Every moment will be best enjoyed if you share it with someone...
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