Boracay seemed like a place I’d never visit ever since my son died in a beach resort seven and a half years ago. No, my son didn’t die in [tag]Boracay[/tag]. I am glad that I took this blogger excursion which I wrote in a brief entry, Boracay and the Dream . I did not write details of the most wonderful three day vacation I’ve had in a long time. So this time I will illustrate my three day vacation with my fellow Photo and Travel Bloggers in this photo essay.
Before I start off, I’d like to thank the sponsors Microtel Inns & Suites Boracay, in partnership with South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) and Zuzuni Boutique Hotel & Restaurant for this blogger excursion. I know it’s a first of its kind and I’m grateful for the “familiarization tour” for bloggers which used to be offered to traditional media and travel agents.
January 11, 2008 (Visit the Photos of Day 1 in Boracay)
It was 5:30 AM when I received a call from Abe asking where I was. I said I was still at home. “Our flight was moved to 7:00 AM. Hurry” It was a good thing I was already ready to go and arrived at the airport by 6:00 AM. Checkout counter closes 45 minutes before departure. Here, seven out of 13 bloggers board the first flight of SeAir (otherwise known as South East Asian Airlines) to Boracay via Caticlan.
We rode the 35 seater Dornier 328 plane where the cabin is pressurized. The flight attendant told us the flight to Caticlan will take only 35 minutes. Now that is fast. I always imagined it would take an hour. I never took SeAir before because it was an unfamiliar airline to me. When my husband told me to book for SeAir two years ago, I was really apprehensive. Small planes scare me. Second, I’ve never heard of SeAir. My husband reassured me that SeAir was reputable and safe because most travellers take SeAir. Here I am finally taking a SeAir flight. It was a smooth take-off. I pretty much distracted myself by talking with Karla.
While waiting for the other bloggers whose flight was at 8:30 AM, we chilled out at the SeAir lounge near the Caticlan airport. We discovered a butterfly farm owned by the airport manager located just behind the SeAir lounge. He charges $3.00 per person but gives discounts to SeAir passengers.
Boracay imposes a new single entry single exit policy enforced since last year. From the Caticlan port, we took a boat and docked in the Cagban port of Boracay Island. Upon arrival in Cagban, one can choose to ride a tri-cyle, multi-cab or air-conditioned vehicle going to our resort. In the past, one docked in the boat station 1, 2, or 3 along the main beach.
Microtel Inns & Suites Boracay is located in Diniwid Beach besides Nami resort – north of the main beach. by 11:00 AM, all 13 bloggers finally checked in. I was greeted with iced tea, a cold perfumed towel and a shell necklace from the receptionists by the entrance of the hotel door. What a warm welcome that was. Microtel Boracay is located far from the noise of the main beach, but close enough to visit the different restaurants just by walking along the beach or via riding a tricycle. It’s my type of hotel. I am the type of person who wants to have some peace and quiet when resting in my hotel room. Microtel Boracay is the perfect location for me. I know the neighboring hotels are just as good perhaps but yeah, I got to experience Microtel Boracay’s hospitality and service.
We were fed a sumptuous lunch by the Microtel staff followed by a warm welcome by the manager, Dean Y. Cid and Ted, Microtel’s Vice-President. We had a free afternoon but I took this opportunity to rest in preparation for saturday’s island our of Boracay. Seven other bloggers walked along the main Boracay beach. Microtel Hotels are known for their chiropractic beds and I swear by it. I slept for three hours in time for Lauren’s arrival from Manila. Feeling refreshed, I went to the lobby to await for the other bloggers to get up from their siesta or the long walk.
Here is our de luxe room I shared with Karla and Lauren. It has all the basic amenities and I was told that even if they offer the bare necessities , I can still request for toothpaste, shampoor or a blow dryer at the front desk. I did get to borrow the blow dryer for the rest of my stay. Their tagline, â€œThe same great hotel everywhere you go!â€ speaks for the other Microtel hotels around the world .The Microtels all look the same except for Microtel Boracay. Microtel Boracay design concept was envisioned to be a resort-hotel hence it uses the Mediterranean design.
I was not expecting to see the colors of the sunset. The weather was overcast and gloomy but God must have been good to me. Behold the wonderful colors of the sunset against the Palm trees. The Microtel staff had some fun and games in mind. I was lucky to be in Abe’s sand relay team. We won.
Instead of being party animals, most of the bloggers chose to rest on that first night. We stayed at the lobby to enjoy the free wi-fi and the company of fellow bloggers. What a night!
Day 2- January 12, 2008 (Visit photos of Day 2 in Boracay)
(Photo by Byahilo.com)
I woke up to dark and gloomy skies. Our island hopping tour for the morning was cancelled due to rough waters. There was nothing else to do but check our emails, blog or babble away with bloggers. Here Gail, Abe, Anton and I shared a table for our laptops as we blogged away to crashing sound of waves in the background. How soothing. I hoped that the weather would improve so we could at least have something to do.
The lunch near Puka beach pushed through. We had such a feast. Ivan had to leave that afternoon so it was good he was able to join us for a few hours that day.
On our way to Puka beach, Abe teased me that I had a restaurant. There it was “Noime Restaurant” but it was spelled the Visayan way, “Noime” instead of “Noemi”.
The clouds are still dark and gloomy but at least there was no rain anymore. For a brief moment in time, we were able to frolic along the rough waters of Puka Beach. Just see the waves in this video I took of Lauren and Gail.
The snorkel activity near Crocodile island materialized after our return to Microtel Hotel at around 3:30 PM. It was quite rainy and cold as we ventured beyond the main beach of Boracay. Despite the weather, Lauren and Marc managed to view the colorful fishes swimming around the corals.
The best part of our dinner that night was the dessert, the sinful Chocolate Sin at Zuzuni. Eating Chocolate Sin is an experience onto itself. At first glance, it looks like an ordinary chocolate crinkle cookie, but cut it with a fork and dark chocolate starts oozing out. Add a bit of ice cream on top of the cookie piece and the rich chocolate flavor makes a delicious explosion on your mouth.
Feeling full from our dinner, we strolled by the main beach till we passed this sand castle. We had a group photo but I think Anton is the only one who captured the shot. Boracay night life partying is not my kind of thing. After the stroll, we headed back to our hotel to rest. It was 11:00 PM.
The next morning, a few of us went to the Balabag plaza. Spot Anton from the Awesome Planet.
The Ati atihan festival spilled over to the main beach but it’s not as festive as I imagined it to be. First of all, the merry makers did not have a unified shuffle unlike the Sinulog shuffle. Take a look.
Suddenly, I lost track of the time and the rest of the bloggers. When I saw the sandcastles, I knew I wasn’t far from D Mall, the waiting place for the hotel’s shuttle service. I had a photo of me taken by the sand castle and donated 20 pesos to the sand castle maker. All I did was call their cellphone number for the pick up and waited by the Budget Mart in D Mall.
By 2:30 PM, it was time to head off to the Caticlan airport.
(Photo by Byahilo.com)
We arrived at a very crowded airport. The good news was all 12 bloggers were able to fly in one plane this time around.
The flight was super fast and by the time I wanted to nap, our plane arrived in Manila.
Safe and sound.
I had a great time in Boracay and if it were not for the generosity of Microtel, SeaAir and Zuzuni Boracay, I might not have placed a closure to my past. The Travel bloggers’ energy is just so contagious. I feel so young just being with them.
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Lauren on The Allure of Boracay
My post on Boracay and the Dream
Anton on Boracay Escape with Pinoy Travel Bloggers
Gail on A long Boracay weekend with bloggers
Eric on Pinoy Photo and Travel Bloggers goes to Boracay!
Ivan on Microtel Boracay in Diniwid Beach
Ferdz on Bloggers Boracay Bound
Boracay Excursion with Pinoy Travel Bloggers
Day 1 – Boracay Excursion with Pinoy Travel Bloggers
Day 2 – Boracay Excursion with Pinoy Travel Bloggers
Day 3- Boracay Excursion with Pinoy Travel Bloggers
Ati Atihan in Balabag, Boracay
Diniwid Beach and Puka Beach in Boracay, Aklan