I just recently arrived home from Boracay after yet another successful “summit”. Can you imagine? It has been about three years since our last summit in Singapore. This is supposed to be a yearly affair but because of the pandemic, we had no choice but to go on a hiatus. I hope the world does not go on lockdown again. In case you are wondering what this “summit” is all about, you can read about it here.
Forward to this year, we decided to hold the summit in the country’s ultimate island destination. It’s funny that I have my roots in Aklan (the province in which Boracay is part of) on my mother’s side, but I never really got the chance to visit often. It’s been a long time since I was here last. I remember back in the day, before it was famous and before many of the establishments you see nowadays were non-existent, Boracay was practically virgin land. The sand was legit fine, powdery-white. There were only a few cottages compared to the multiple resorts, hotels and establishments that you see now. And I don’t know if it’s really a seasonal thing, but I didn’t see any green algae forming in its waters back then.
Nevertheless, as it stands now, it’s still a class of its own – above par most of the beaches in the Philippines. The tropical island vibe is palpable. It’s chill. It’s relaxed. I can almost hear reggae playing in my head. It’s no surprise many foreigners stay and take up residence here. They have established roots, created businesses, owned properties and contributed to the island’s economy.
It’s true that there are dark sides to progress, environmental degradation notwithstanding, but I am not going to delve too much into that here. I just wish that the stakeholders – the residents, the businesses and the authorities are up to the task of creating a sustainable future for the island. There should be a realization that this is for everybody’s benefit and survival in the long run.
We stayed at the Ocean Club which I learned was formerly the Pearl of the Pacific. There were a few kinks here and there in the service so I wouldn’t necessarily say we were floored. Otherwise, I can say that the property itself is okay for its price range, scoring points in the amenities and cleanliness department, for example. The thing that stuck with us though, was how the buffet was such a big blah. Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to book this hotel for the breakfast buffet.
Good thing there is Tita Magz nearby, just a few steps from the resort. We were served food that are tasty and with portions that are just right. I especially liked the fried chicken.
I learned that most of the night life and partying happen in Stations 2 and 3. The more high-end resorts are in the Station 1 area. The beaches in the northern end of the island, such as Puka Beach, are less crowded and makes for some of the more scenic views.
The other side of the island on the eastern section is where most of the sports activities are, such as kiteboarding (aka kitesurfing). I think because the wind in this part of the island is more conducive for such activities. Bulabog Beach (below) is on that part of the island.
You’ll never run out of food options here. You can even see familiar purveyors such as Gerry’s Grill at Station 2 where we actually had one of our meals. You can enjoy classic Filipino dishes like kare-kare, crispy pata, sizzling sisig, etc., which is what this place is famous for.
However, our idea of an island treat is seafood, enjoyed with bare hands to boot. The dampa-style paluto in Vhub did not disappoint. You can see how this is so in the photo below. The food was almost entirely wiped out (tip: slide the arrow alternately to the left and to the right to see the before and after).
Another place we went to was Real Coffee where you can buy their famous calamansi muffins. Some of their best-sellers are their sandwiches like Marc’s melt, and their shakes that are quite indulgent.
One of the things I was looking forward to do in Boracay was to have a good R&R, my idea for which was to go to the spa. We found one available at the D’Mall offering a full body massage. It felt good – painful in some areas especially in the lower extremities but relaxing afterwards.
Another activity we had was riding the paraw – an outrigger boat with an iconic blue sail. We timed the activity such that we would catch the sunset, which, by the way, Boracay is also famous for.
This was such a treat and a nice ending to a fun-filled day.
I wouldn’t say I am looking forward to our next summit because the last time I did, I seemed to have jinxed it when the pandemic happened. I guess I would have to keep the excitement to myself for now.