By Freida Dario-Santiago
WELCOME TO THE 1ST SUMMER SEASON OF THE DECADE IN BORACAY!
SUMMER SEASON is in full swing on BORACAY ISLAND – the Philippine’s beach capital, considered one of the best beaches in the world and one of the happiest places on earth! Our second summer season post-island closure and the first for the new decade promises sparkling water adventures and blinding “love at first sight” pristine beaches for sun-worshippers.
Last year, Boracay Island regained her title among Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Islands in the World. Despite her imperfections in light of the still ongoing rehabilitation, the “crown jewel of Philippine tourism” shines and reigns as the country’s model for sustainable tourism. The tiny island fringed by white sand beaches radiates in the beauty of her regained youth as she welcomes the “summer of her life” once again.
With hot glistening bods combing the island’s talcum-fine sand, and with no time to lose, we’ve got you covered with time-tested, most raved-about pursuits that can only be had in Boracay. Now all you need to do is tick-off this Boracay Bucket List for the taking!
With a plethora of indulgences to explore, we hope that this helps to point you in the right direction, if only to get your feet wet, your senses satisfied, and your soul quenched as you suck on the marrow of a place unlike any other and allow yourself to get blissfully lost in paradise!
1. Hit the beach and get a tan
Unplug and spend the day pleasurably lazing around while getting a fabulous sun-kissed tan. Spending time at the beach is not only scientifically proven to be healthy, but is proven to leave you feeling happy, relaxed and reenergized. That incredible feeling of peace and calmness that one experiences at the beach is now being referred to as “blue space” brought about by the soothing smell and sound of water.
Most of Boracay’s beaches are sandy and gradually sloped, and the waters are usually calm and flat for swimmers to enjoy. Lifeguards are posted throughout the stretch of White Beach but be sure to keep an eye out for each other and for your children at all times, to ensure safe fun under the sun. Wherever your journey takes you, Boracay’s beaches will offer you picture-perfect and ‘Grammable shots to brag about for a very long time!
· Tip: Bring a beach towel or blanket, a refillable bottle of water, sunscreen and dry bag for your cellphone and that book. Leave your valuables in your room. Littering, eating, drinking alcohol, and smoking are prohibited along the beaches.
2. Prep and pamper yourself silly
There’s nothing like treating yourself to some quality “me” time, and a great way to start or end a Boracay vacation is to enjoy a relaxing massage.
Before and after hitting the beach for some serious clambaking, allow your skin to be nourished with a luxuriating wrap. Mandala Spa & Resort Villas’ Cool Cucumber - Aloe Wrap offers a welcome relief for skin exposed to sun and sea while their Papaya - Pineapple Body Polish is perfect for those looking to restore youth and a natural glow to radiant skin. Both body treatments include the award-winning Mandala Signature Massage and sensual floral bath (2.5hrs, PhP7,080.00).
· Tip: Choose only accredited spas with licensed therapists that assure guests of professional spa services and offer quality ingredients.
Location: Main Road, Station 3 corner Angol Road
Facebook: Mandala Spa and Resort Villas is on Facebook
Mobile: (+63 917) 631 8102
Tel: (+63 36) 288 5857
3. Mermaid swimming with the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy
Fulfill your childhood fantasy with the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy (PMSA) and learn to swim (and look) like the mermaid you are! Mermaiding is both an artistic expression and a fun, whimsical way to keep fit (for kids and adults). If anything, this is will give you the ultimate bragging rights to make your Instagram stories light up with hearts (especially for the men hehe). Ask about their Introduction ToMermaid Swimming Lesson; Private classes; Mermaid Photo Op; and Scuba Mermaid (for licensed Scuba divers).
Locations: Fisheye Divers (Station 1 next to Starbucks) or at Victory Divers (Station 2, beside Nigi Nigi Resort, currently by appointment)
Facebook: Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy
Mobile: (+63 917) 324 3947
4. Fly high as a kite and learn from the pioneering kiteboarding school in the Philippines
Kiteboarding is a surface water sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, skateboarding and gymnastics into one extreme sport. A kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water on a kiteboard similar to a wakeboard or a small surfboard, with or without foot straps or bindings. (Source: Wikipedia)
GreenYard Kitesurfing was the pioneering windsurfing center owned by multi awarded international windsurfing champion Nenette Aguirre-Graf, and the very first kite boarding school in the Philippines and one of the first in Asia, that introduced the sport back in November 2001 in Bulabog Beach on the east side of the island (regarded as the Number One kite boarding beach in Asia).
Hangin Kiteboarding Center, an International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO) school with certified instructors that are a mix of locals and foreigners from all over the world, allowing them to teach in a wide range of languages. You could actually saunter down the beach and learn to kiteboard from scratch and end the course flying high confidently, safely, and independently as a full-fledged kiteboarder. They offer lessons for all levels, from beginner to advanced and also offer coaching for advanced riders and organize kite safaris to neighboring islands. Rentals are also available.
· Tip: Since it is weather dependent, it’s best to pre-book to make sure that your lesson is scheduled during low tide when the lagoon is nice and shallow.
Locations: GreenYard Kitesurfing – Boracay is on Bulabog Beach right in front of the famous “Boracay Rock”; Hangin Kite Center and Resort is on Bulabog Beach at the end of Bulabog Road 1A
GreenYard: (+63 929) 501 9169
Hangin: (+63 36) 288 2527
Facebook / Instagram: GreenYard Kitesurfing – Boracay; Hangin Kiteboarding Center
5. Paraw sailing – a legendary Boracay experience and a sure MUST!
There’s nothing more exhilarating than seeing Boracay from a distance powered by 100% pure vitamin sea on a paraw sailboat. Outfitted with large nets that serve as hammocks , it is also the most relaxing way to get a scenic view of Boracay’s spectacular sunsets, up-close and personal. Boracay sailors offer island-hopping tours and sunset sailing with half day, whole day, and sunset trips. As you slice through the waters in silence, the poetry of nature unfolds in dimensions beyond imagination.
· Tip: Book directly at the Boat Station (not with beach commissioners) and bring a dry bag
MASBOI Sailboat Service Cooperative
Tel: (+63 36) 272 4102 Email: email@example.com
6. Enjoy the island’s water activities
The clear and calm waters of Boracay make it a water wonderland with perfect conditions for a variety of fun activities suitable for all ages. Water sports activities are heavily regulated and assigned to designated areas with prescribed orderly routes to preserve marine biodiversity and the water’s pristine quality. You may visit the Boracay Water Sports Association (BWSA) tent at Boat Station 1 to find out more about the water activities you wish to try, and to book only with accredited operators.
· Tip: Wear the appropriate water sports gear for your safety and be sure you have snug swimwear
7. Dive & discover Boracay’s underwater beauty
Last November 2019 saw the Philippines win the WTA World’s Leading Dive Destination for the first time (www.scubadivermag/the-philippines-is-named-the-worlds-leading-dive-destination).
Boracay is a great diving destination for both inexperienced and seasoned divers with numerous dive sites all over the island, from walls and wrecks to natural coral reefs to explore. Most of the Pacific Ocean fish species are residents around Boracay, including manta rays and turtles. Some areas are protected to prevent damage caused by tourism-related activities, while some areas are also perfect for snorkeling (allowed but strictly regulated at designated areas only).
· Tip: Choose an accredited Scuba Diving shop or school for your safety and that of the environment. Contact the Boracay Business Administration of Scuba Shops Inc. (BBASS) for a list: firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. Catch Boracay’s breathtaking sunset for the ultimate POTD (photos of the day)
No matter what, don’t miss the greatest show on earth! On Boracay, no two sunsets are alike, and it never gets old. Known for its spectacular sunsets you can count on witnessing a once in a lifetime event each and every day. All you need to do is to show-up at White Beach for the golden hour to catch those few fleeting minutes of magic on the horizon.
9. Volunteer to help protect the Boracay we love
Volunteerism is alive and kicking in Boracay. Volunteering is one of the best ways for travelers with time to spare to feel connected to the wonderful Boracay community. Beach cleanups, mangrove and underwater cleanups, and even coral transplantation activities are organized regularly and these activities are open to volunteers. Call the BFI office at (+63 36) 288 3971 or 288 6299 to inquire and join ongoing environmental activities.
· Tip: A little effort goes a long way when eco-travelers pick-up pieces of trash on the beach and dispose of them properly, even when no one is watching.
10. Step out of your hotel or resort and explore Boracay’s foodscape
The Epic Boracay Burger hot off the grill station
When in Boracay, bring on the cheat days! Filipinos love to eat, and Boracay is certainly one of the best places in the Philippines for a food trip with an abundant array of cuisines. But one of the best ways to get to know a place is by sampling local fare. Avoid the temptation of grabbing a bite at a familiar fast food chain and instead, take your pick from a plethora of iconic and time-honored homegrown restaurants to savor the essence of an authentic Boracay culinary journey.
· Tip: Eat like a local and sample the local fare. It’s also a great way to meet the locals and to get more “hot tips” on where to go next on your Boracay summer adventure!