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‘The best part of Boracay is the white beach’ (1 of 2 parts)
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: None
Date: 2003-02-02
Think powder-fine white sand. Think turquoise gentle ocean waves. Think splendid dive sites. Think golden sunsets. Think of kind-hearted people. Think Boracay.

I’ve always wanted to go to Boracay. I’ve always longed to see its fabulous beach, which seasoned travelers here and abroad have raved and written about. Ever since I was a child, I have always loved the sea, whether I’m taking a dip in its cool water or simply lounging by the shore, drinking in the sun’s warmth and watching a beautiful sunset. Surely Boracay would be the perfect destination fo


A Department of Tourism travel guide says Boracay Island is located at the northwestern tip of Panay island, and it has become the country’s No. 1 tourist destination. The island belongs to the municipality of Malay and has three barangays, Yapak in the north, Balabag in the center and Manoc-Manoc in the south. It has around 13,000 residents.

Boracay island is shaped like a dumbbell.

It is seven kilometers long and, at its narrowest spot, it is only one kilometer wide. The north and the south of the island are hilly with areas rising up to 100 meters above sea level. These areas are suitable for hikers. There are numerous intertwining paths and trails, some leading through tropical jungles, and linking the three different barangays.

The best part of the island is White Bea

ch, which stretches for four kilometers; the locals call it Long Beach. It is on the western side of the island, facing the Sulu Sea. Experienced travelers say it is the finest beach in the world. The water is shallow making it perfect for swimmers. There are about 220 beach resorts that offer accommodations of different types and prices. White Beach is also lined with a variety of restaurants to suit everyone’s taste.

Those seeking quiet beaches far from the crowd may hike through northern trails to reach Diniwid or Balinghai beaches. Beach bums will enjoy Puka Shell Beach, a stretch of white sand that is famous for its shiny white puka shells. The puka shells were dug up from the sand many years ago and made into fashion accessories.

The DoT guide also mentions caves and coves in the Ilig-Iligan area, while at the eastern side of the island, the strong ocean waves offer professional windsurfers good sport.

My trip from Manila to Kalibo, Aklan took around 90 minutes. From Kalibo, my nephew Ronnie and I took the bus to Caticlan harbor, adding another more than an hour to our travel time.

A few minutes later, we were already in our hotel room, relaxing from the rigors of travel, famished and ready for lunch.

The Boracay Regency Beach Resort is just a stone’s throw from Boat Station No. 2. It is at the center of Boracay’s White Beach, making it the perfect hideaway on a trip to this island paradise. The resort is Mediterranean-inspired, and it is the only Triple-A resort located on White Beach.

The Boracay Regency Beach Resort has 85 well-appointed air-conditioned rooms, all with lanais facing Boracay’s famous coastline. When you wake up in the morning, a cool ocean breeze and a spectacular view of the Sulu Sea greet you. It is truly a home away from home.

Believe me, you will be spoiled by accommodations at this resort. All rooms are fitted with furniture made from native bamboo and rattan, adding a rustic touch. Rooms also have cable TV, a mini bar, hot and cold shower and telephone facilities with bathroom extensions. And if you should feel the urge to dip into fresh spring water, a change from a salty dip in the sea, the resort also has a swimming pool and even a kiddie-sized one for the young ones.

The Boracay Regency also operates the Regency Food Plaza, a complex of dining establishments. Here you will find the Korean restaurant Bulgogi House; Tapas-Tapas that serves Spanish food; Tribu that serves Filipino food; a Chinese restaurant called Mey Lin; and a Japanese restaurant called Shogun. It also operates Wave Disco that is open daily from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. It has three private KTV rooms that will surely delight the singer in you. And a plus for health buffs, the resort also has fitness center that is complete with the newest exercise equipment.

After settling down, we walked from the hotel to the nearby talipapa at Brgy. Manoc-Manoc. There were a lot of souvenir stores selling T-shirts, shell and bead accessories, trinkets and hand-crafted furniture. The souvenir area connects with the local market. Here we found a supermarket that has an attached restaurant. For lunch that afternoon, I had sweet and sour blue marlin, while Ronnie had bangus with tausi. After the long trip, the meal restored us.

You will be spoiled for gimmick places here in Boracay. From the talipapa, we had a grand time reading the names of the different bars and restaurants along White Beach. In the evening, we would stroll pass this way again and we would have a look-see at all these places. There’s Dalisay, Alice in Wonderland, Barracuda Café and Mongolian Grill at Villa de Oro.

We walked on past our hotel to Boat Station No. 3 at Brgy. Balabag. There were more places to see. There’s Bazzura, Subway, Red Coconut, Café Breizh with its French crepes, La Reserve with its gelatin, Mango Ray, Caribo, a Mexican-themed coffee shop, and the Boracay Royal Crowne Resort. We thought the strip ended there, but when we moved on from the road to the shore, we were surprised to see there was more.

For the next three days, we walked White Beach, looking at the different restaurants and trying out their offerings. We would look into different curio shops marveling at the creativity of the residents of Boracay.

Breakfast was always at the Boracay Regency’s Prince Hendrick Café. I would be here at 6 a.m. and partake of the buffet breakfast by 6:30 a.m. The buffet is plenty and hearty. There was always scrambled eggs, arroz caldo, daing na bangus, sinangag, lumpiang shanghai, longganiza and more. But I find myself always have bowls of fresh mixed fruit. In such a tropical setting, it would be a sin not to indulge in fruits. And fruits are something the market has plenty off.

At D’Mall, Boracay’s upscale shopping arcade, I found the furniture store Lonely Planet that sells antique and modern furniture. The local DoT office is here, too, as well as a branch of Bank of Philippine Islands, a convenience for all travelers like me.

There are a number of stalls around the beach that offer made-to-order shell and bead accessories. There is one boutique past D’Mall that does these little trinkets and accessories with your choice of shells, beads, string and feather. Unfortunately, the shop has no name, but you won’t miss it because it also offers tattoos.

At the end of each day, you would surely find us at the viewing deck of the Boracay Regency, admiring the sunset. Ronnie fashioned me some temporary weights made of plastic and sand that I used for therapy. While I soaked under the sun, I would stretch my arms and legs. I had left my equipment in Manila and I could feel fatigue in my limbs without my daily exercise.


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