DAYS IN PARADISE – BORACAY

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Boracay’s a beautiful paradise.

By day and by night this paradise exudes a different vibe. Daylight sees the immaculate clarity of the waters which makes you feel like you could just soak yourself in there for hours – in amazing hues of blue in such a beautiful gradient. The clouds in the sky feel nearer than usual and the sand’s so soft you might be tempted to roll on it. As the sun sets, this picturesque island transforms and takes on a different personality. Think vibrant nightlife – bars, live bands, acoustic jams and fire performances.

Ages since I went on a beach vacation and I was all excited about coming home to do up my first ever travel post on this space but both my precious camera and phone suffered severe water corrosion on the second day #shithappens. So right now I gotta work around the very limited photos I have (some credits to my friends’ cameras). It took me quite a bit of time to accumulate adequate inspiration for this post and I hope it’s helpful to any Boracay-bound souls out there! 🙂

Disclaimer: This isn’t the typical what to eat/what to play post. You’ll see.

Here’re 10 tips for you to derive maximum pleasure and get the most out of your Pesos. 😉

#1. Bring almost nothing when you go out to play.

Lockers seem non-existent, or at least we didn’t see any within proximity, so unless you’re gonna trust the people there to hold your stuff for you, you’d end up having to carry with you all of them which is a HUGE HASSLE. Stand-up paddled with our supposedly waterproof bag of stuff, lost balance and there goes all our electronics. POINT: Just bring your money and GoPro (if you have) if you’re engaging in a day of water activities – it’ll make things SO MUCH EASIER. You can always bring your camera on dry days to capture all the gorgeous shots you want anyway. Remember: LIGHT is the way to go.

#2. Don’t settle for the first person that approaches you for water sports.

Walk through Stations 1, 2 and 3 and there’ll be TONS of people offering you water sports prices. Make friends, negotiate and get the best prices. The locals are generally very friendly and open to bargaining, so unleash your inner uncle/auntie! Go for packages (i.e. bundling a few activities together), it’ll save you a lot!

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Scuba diving!

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Sailing boat which brings you closer to the setting sun!

#3. Bring a local with you when you go to D’Talipapa Market.

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This is Boracay’s famous market where you can buy live seafood. You’ll probably get better prices with a local to help you. This is also a place where being an ultimate auntie helps. Ultimate = SHAMELESSLY SLASH PRICES and forget your image for once. Walk away if you think it’s not the best deal yet, they might just call you back to seal the deal. Do your research, know the market rates.

#4. Watch the planks when you do cliff diving at Magic Island.

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You can never rule out the possibility of slipping and falling off the plank in the most unglamourous fashion even if you take cautious steps. Speaking from experience HAHA. Fall the wrong way and suffer the pain. The above is an ultra glam shot which obviously can’t and wouldn’t be me.

#5. Tighten your pants when you do Fly Fish.

Just ’cause my FBT nearly flew off. Otherwise just wear swimsuits/tights. Side note: Getting flung off is the best part of Fly Fish I feel. Even if you have great arm strength, deliberately let go at least once to experience the thrill of flying off!

#6. On budget but want good food? Go MANG INASAL (@ D’ Mall, Boracay Station 2).

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Looks very ordinary right? Never judge a chicken by its cover. This grilled chicken here has incredible taste profile – thoroughly seasoned tender meat coated by slightly charred, fragrant skin. Double thumbs-up for how well-executed this was. You get rice + chicken + drink for under 4 SGD. Ultra value for money. You gotta try this.

#7 Try alfresco dining at least once.

After an entire day of water sports you’ll probably be famished. Nothing gets better than outdoor dining with cool night breeze brushing against your skin, soft white sand right beneath your toes and scrumptious food that warms the stomach. We gave Pamana (@ Boracay Station 1) a shot and we LOVED it!

Check out their extensive menu here. It’s a “fine dining filipino restaurant that serves heirloom recipes handed down from generation to generation” as claimed. Particular loved the Don Randy Go’s Aligue Rice that’s cooked in tons of garlic and aligue (= the crab’s hepatopancreas or more simply known as crab fat). The Three Way Adobo ni Lola comprising chicken, spare ribs and adobo (= pork) flakes all in one was delish too. ADOBO FLAKES IS SO GOOD.

#8 Don’t fancy live bands but want visual entertainment over food and drinks? Catch some fire acts.

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You’ll be impressed and amazed at how fast the performers can spin the charcoal balls of fire in tune with the music.

#9. Check the massage area before deciding to go for it if you value privacy and clean yourself.

Paid for massage, took the stairs up and that was when we realized it was SUPER OPEN CONCEPT. Imagine the absence of curtains/partitions between beds and the lack of separation by gender even for full body massage. Okay the lighting was dim but still, lack of privacy much. Also, it’s better to rid all the sand on you, otherwise you might end up wondering if they’re applying sand scrub on you when it’s actually just aromatic oil/lotion HAHA. Definitely not a good idea to have all the sand getting in the way of you relishing the massage fully.

#10. Take silhouette jump shots.

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Not everyday you get such a stunning backdrop for you to jump like this. Go ahead and activate your burst shots.

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Photos don’t do Boracay’s beauty justice. This is such an overused statement but it holds absolute truth. You have to be there to see it for yourself. I remember the feeling of awe the moment I stepped out onto the beach and caught sight of the blue waters for the very first time. Seeing the crystal clear blue waters felt immensely therapeutic and rejuvenating – I love such feelings :’) There’s this inexplicable appeal this island holds and something tells me I’ll be back again. Hopefully by then I’ve already gotten my advanced open dive cert (ANYONE INTERESTED PM ME OKAY!) 😛

In one line, here’s why you should visit Boracay at least once in your life: Truly relaxing place for a respite with its perfect beaches to frolic on, spectacular sunsets, lovely hospitality of the locals, great milkshakes and a diverse cuisine range.

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4th Dec – 9th Dec 2015; creating memories with awesome company.

Mahal Kita, Boracay. I’ll return for you. 🙂

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