So the next post is about the hackneyed, over-sensationalized, most talked-about beach of Boracay which I visited this year, May to be month-exact. I was never really a fan of this destination as I am not the type of traveler who fancies luxurious conveniences. Why? Because first, of course these conveniences come with a hefty price tag. 5000 pesos for an overnight stay in a semi-flush boutique hotel? No way. An "American-style breakfast" consisting of a pair of sad-looking pancakes and sunny-side up eggs, plus a cup of brewed joe for almost 200 pesos? Bitch please. Starbucks Coffee, McDonalds, Yellow Cab and even ATM machines lined up along the shores? Are you kidding me???? This is a beach, not downtown, why hello???
Second, I hate crowds. Most especially when I'm on vacation. I love to have the whole stretch of the beach all for myself. I am selfish that way haha. Kidding. Well different strokes for different folks right? I am the "vacationer" who prefers to lounge on a hammock underneath the palm tree, just the sound of the waves and chirping birds on the background. Or maybe some ukulele music too. I shun the blaring sound of techno and house music emanating from the bars and clubs. It takes away my peace and quiet. Or maybe I am just too old for parties, I don't know.
A few months before the trip, I received a phone call from Andre that went something like this:
"Hello, may seat sale ang Air Asia, na-book ko na kayo ha, for Boracay, sa May yan. Bayaran nyo na lang agad kasi credit card ng officemate namin ni Melvin ang ginamit namin sa pagbu-book."
Honestly, Boracay was never on my travel bucket list. I have thought of visiting the world-renowned beach maybe sometime in the undefined future, but since someone already booked me a ticket, turning it down would be senseless. We've been planning this getaway for so long now too. Well at least I can finally see what all the people are raving about. Prior to Boracay, I've been to quite a number of stunning, off-the-beaten-track beaches that offers the same powdery-white sand and crystal-clear waters sans the crowd, so I mentally prepared myself and lowered my expectations.
But I almost had a heart attack when I saw what Andre booked us. A roundtrip ticket to KALIBO, FLYING FROM CLARK???!!! OH MY GOD, was he kind of drugged when he booked the ticket??? Kalibo is 2 hours away from Caticlan, for crying out loud! And we had to fly from Clark, which is also 2 friggin' hours from Manila?! This is seat sale, you're saying-- 3000 pesos?! Oh come on. All these things at the back of my mind when I saw the itinerary in my email. I couldn't help but just smirk now whenever I remember.
Going back. Leo & I found ourselves at the Caticlan port just an hour past midnight. I was surprised with how expensive a trip to Boracay could be, most especially when you are coming all the way from Kalibo: the van ride to Caticlan, all the fees you had to pay at the port (if I remember it correctly, there are three types that you need to pay for) and the tricycle ride to the hotel. Not to mention that we had to pay double for the boat, as there were less passengers during off-peak hours!
Andre and Melvin were not in the hotel when we arrived. They booked a quad-sharing room at Blue Lilly, which is, hallelujah, in Station 1. The guy from front desk told us that he was not advised about our arrival, so we had to look for the bastards who were clubbing at what they call Boracay's version of Republiq, Epic. Duh. While waiting for them, Leo and I opted to eat at Jammers, a burger joint just beside Epic. Price was a bit steep, but what the hell, we're starving.
While the two guys were piss drunk and went to sleep right away, Leo and I decided to stay up and wait for the morning. "Sulitin na natin, tutal overnight lang naman tayo dito." I told Leo. We grabbed our cameras and snapped away with Willy's Rock on the background. It is arguably the most iconic feature of Boracay, which is thankfully just a few meters away from the hotel. As the sun rises from the horizon, the beauty that was once unknown to me unfolded right before our eyes.
(to be continued...)