First Stop: Boracay – Good times, Great Weng Wengs

What can I say? Boracay.

It wasn’t my first time. It won’t be my last.

When I got to the Philippines, I initially landed in Manila with a Boracay bound flight the next day – I had a feed, a couple of (chilled) red wines. Yep, red wine is most often served cold here. I digress. I got a relatively early night so I could make it on time for my flight to Boracay.

Flying Cebu Pacific Air domestically, the departure times are more like a rough guideline. You can usually expect the flight to be delayed a couple of hours so my flight’s timeliness exceeded my expectations.

To get to Boracay you need to fly into either Caticlan or Kalibo airports – from Kalibo you will need to take a 2 hour bus ride to Caticlan. I landed in Caticlan.

From there you need to take a 50 peso tricycle to Caticlan Port (or walk) where you pay an Environmental Fee, a Terminal Fee and get a ticket for a boat. The boat will take you to the island of Boracay where you can board another tricycle to take you to wherever you’re staying on the island. All in all this exercise costs less than 500 pesos.

The tricycle ride from Caticlan airport the port.
It was still Xmas in Caticlan.
This is a typical boat which gets you from Caticlan Port to Boracay!

In Boracay, I was spending my first few nights in Frendz Resort. It’s a really cool resort with a chilled out atmosphere and a good central location. It’s less than a minute walk to the beachfront and more affordable than the beachfront options. I got the tricycle to Frendz, and to put down my luggage and was welcomed with a Red Horse on arrival. My kind of place.

Free drink on arrival at Frendz resort!

A group of my friends from Sydney were actually already on the island for a week or so and it just so happened that my itinerary intersected with theirs so I headed straight out to meet them for drinks at one of the beach front bars. It is a great feeling arriving in Boracay. The first hour or so of chilling on the beach you feel all of your stresses leave you and island life take over. Gets me every time.

We found these Marlboro advertisements pretty hilarious.
Don’t be a MAYBE. Be Marlboro.
The most talented bass player on the island. Ciggie in his mouth, beer bottle on the fretboard. Multi-tasking at its finest.

….So, I have been holding off on writing about my trip to Boracay, because if I was to write about all of the experiences, it would be a very long blog post. I met some great people, reunited with others, had some really fun days/nights – all of them memorable in their own uniquely Boracay way. I’ll pick 3 things and write about those… That will work. 🙂

Sunsets at Spider House. If there is one place I could recommend to anyone wanting a nice view of the sunset while enjoying some cocktails and good grub it would be Spider House. It’s off the beaten track, has cool music and good western-style food (actually good). To get there you can either take a nice (but long) walk along the beach from wherever you’re staying toward the Station 1 end of white beach. Eventually at the end of the beach you will need to keep walking around the face of the rock you will get to Diniwid Beach. Spider house is on the far end of Diniwid Beach. Alternatively, you can just jump on a tricycle and ask them to take you to Diniwid Beach and it will just a 5 minute walk from there. Whatever way you get there – you’re pretty much guaranteed an awesome time and beautiful views.

Spider House: My favourite spot to chill on the island.
The sunsets are an amazing mix with Mojitos and strangely good music…
…And they never get old

Boracay Pub Crawl. I’d done the pub crawl once before on New Years Eve last year. It was a totally different experience this time, and I’m guessing it almost always is with the constantly changing faces of Boracay meeting up to party and ‘turn strangers into friends’. If someone is in Boracay and wants to meet some new people to hang out with, this is a great way to do it.

Basically, we visited a few bars and the staff do their best to make sure everyone is mingling with each other and add some fun to it by playing games on the beach. It’s always a good time. What made it especially fun when we went on the crawl this time around is that one of my friends from Cebu was landing in Boracay on the same night. I had told my friends from Sydney he was coming and everyone was excited for him to show up. My friends bought him his pub crawl ticket and T-shirt (1000 php) and I kept him updated with which pub we were at via text so he could get his tricycle to drop him there. He joined us at the 2nd bar and started to catch up to our level of sobriety (not very sober).

This is us, turning strangers into friends.
Our Friend from Cebu finally arrived and came straight from the tricycle to the crawl. Legend.
Pub Crawlers commuting to different bars on tricycles.

We had a great time partying, no doubt. But it was at the time that our friend from Cebu had one too many Weng-Wengs (Weng-Wengs are a great cocktail – google it) that the night became interesting. He lost functionality of his legs completely at the final bar of the crawl, which was Club Paraw, located quite a way from where we were staying at Station 2. Getting him home involved lifting him onto a tricycle, carrying him through D’Mall (the main shopping mall in Boracay), then down the beach to the hotel. I think it took about 2 hours, followed by spending the rest of the night nursing the poor guy while watching filipino infomercials in my new “hotel” with the 2 beds. (Which I will not recommend. To anyone. Ever.) Anyway, I guess I can’t really explain why this night was so good. It was the people that were there and the vibe in the air. Best Night.

One Weng-Weng too many!
The mission to get him back to the hotel… LOL.. I’m sorry for posting this. But not.

Puka Beach. So occasionally, when in Boracay, you might wake up feeling slightly under the weather. Or just full-blown hungover feeling like ratshit. You still want to go outside, but not deal wit the people traffic on white beach. Puka beach is located on a quieter part of the island so you’ll have to jump on a tricycle to get there or rent a motorbike like we did (pricey though). It is a beautiful beach where you can just chill out, sip coconuts (with or without rum) and not be disturbed by vendors or anybody else. The beach is lined with beach beds which are free to use as long as you order something from the bars behind it. This was my go to spot when I needed a break from the action. Headphones. Coconut. Beach bed. Yes!

Even dogs come to Puka to chill..
Puka!

Ok I’ve written enough.

I’m out and headed back to Manila!

Peace.

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