A Philippine Paradise

A Philippine Paradise – Boracay Island’s Beaches, Hotels and Food

Traveling to the Philippines? Boracay Island is a must-see for tourists. It offers white sandy beaches, clear water, a great atmosphere, and amazing memories.

I’d heard about it many times before – the amazing beaches of Boracay, Philippines. Its white sands, crystal clear blue waters, and extremely happy holidayers dawdling around filled TV screens every summer. I always wondered – yes, it looks nice, but what’s the big deal?

Fast forward to 2011, 12 years after my family and I left the Philippines to live in Australia, and our third time back for a vacation. On the itinerary was a three-day, two-night trip to the island of Boracay. I was ready to experience this. Bring it on!

Speechless. That’s what I was.

Getting to Boracay

A one-hour plane ride from the capital city, Manila, is the first mode of transport in making your way to Boracay. Cebu Pacific Air is a great airline to travel with purely because it’s smooth sailing with friendly flight attendants who take the time to play games and give out prizes on board. How can anyone say no to some fun and prizes on board?! And yes, it was only a one-hour flight, so short that when I asked for some water, willing to pay, they advised me that water was unavailable on the plane due to the short travel time. Fair enough.

The next step is a boat ride. Not some fancy, high-class boat, but the real deal. You know, the local boats. Very low seats and huge open windows offer the passenger amazing sights, fresh air, and an idea of what will come. It’s only a 10-15 minute boat ride, which is perfect. It’s enough time to enjoy the ride and the surroundings without getting to the point of feeling extreme sea sickness.

Once ashore, passengers can catch the local tricycle (a very common mode of transportation in the Philippines) or head to their hotels in an organized van if pick up and drop off are included with the accommodation booking. From experience, organizing all modes of transportation with the hotel is highly recommended.


There are three stations in Boracay.

Station 1 is the place to be if you’re looking for a high level of service from your hotel. We stayed at Willy’s Beach Resort and received exceptional service from all the staff. They were friendly and reliable from the very beginning and never once failed to smile at us.

Station 2 is where all the shops are. It’s where the markets are if you need to score some amazing souvenirs through haggling. Station 2 also offers a fun atmosphere at night – live bands, dancing, cocktails, amazing food, and a great time with friends and family.

Station 3 is a more low-key area. It doesn’t have the craziness that comes with Station 2, nor does it have the 5-star treatment that Station 1 has to offer, but being away from the main scene, it would be the place to stay if what you’re after is affordable and some quiet time.

Food on Boracay

Just like with any vacation spot, there are the usual restaurants, cafes, and fast food stalls. What a vacationer needs to do, though, when in Boracay is to head to d’talipapa Boracay. It’s a market that sells many fresh seafood that are to die for. These fresh seafood is bought, usually in bulk, and brought to the small restaurants nearby or to the hotels to be cooked however you’d like. The result? A big feast with family and friends.

Activities – Lots to Do for Everyone

Apart from the usual lying on the sand and/or relaxing in the water, activities are a must in Boracay.

The Banana Boat is a classic and needs to be tried by those who have never tried it. It’s a fun way to be out in the water without swimming or riding in an enclosed boat.

Parasailing is also a classic that gives you an adrenalin rush…just for the sake of it. It provides a great view of the heaven that you’re in, and the moment can be shared with one or two people or, if you want, all by yourself.

Helmet Diving. One word. AMAZING. Despite having to wear a 25 helmet (which admittedly becomes two once underwater) and being 40 feet below the surface, the experience is unlike anything. 30 minutes of walking on the ocean floor with only a helmet and an oxygen tube connected to the boat above to keep you from drowning is enough to scare the living daylights out of a person, but don’t let it.

Once underwater, the experience of having all different types of fish swimming around you and willingly towards you for a piece of bread is unbelievable. We were lucky enough to see one Nemo and one Dory swimming with each other the whole time. It was like we were in the actual movie! If you’re afraid of water and claustrophobic, listen to the instructors and follow them well. This is one activity worth taking!

I may be biased when talking about the Philippines, seeing as it is my homeland, but traveling to Boracay, I was a complete foreigner. I saw it from a foreigner’s point of view, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.