Boracay, more known as Bora, is this lovely island where a lot of things happen. My trip to Bora was different from what I had anticipated as it definitely didn’t involve as much sun, water and booze than I expected. The typical trip to the beach would naturally consist of a new tan, a henna tattoo, water sports and early retirement to bed ’cause well, you’re in an island. Such wasn’t the case of my trip to Bora as I spent the days indoors trying to catch up on sleep I voluntarily missed to watch the sunrise on the beach. I barely got to dip in the water ’cause it was way too cold at four in the morning. The most water I got was during our ride on the Paraw ’cause I childishly let my feet dangle from the rigs and into the water.
Trips to Bora are known to be wild trips that involve getting drunk way beyond human limits that lead to even more stupid things but such wasn’t the case for us this year. None of us let our love for alcohol get the best of us (partly because alcohol was quite expensive). For me, at least, this trip allowed me to appreciate nature, friendship and romance more than partying.
Boracay really is such a beautiful island. The water was pristine, the sand was finer than powder and whiter than my skin. Aside from what it’s famous for, the island is good for both morning and evening people – I was able to appreciate it since I was awake only in the evenings until the early mornings. In the morning, the wind is cold and the sun was warm – perfect for morning jogs and a perfect scene to wake up to. Really early in the mornings, dogs are allowed swim in the beach as well. As I walked back to my hotel at around 6:30am, there were quite a number of water-loving Retrievers running along the shore and swimming in the water. I don’t think they’re allowed to swim after those early hours and it was such a pleasure to have witnessed this.
At night, the island transforms into a strip of relaxing bars and restaurants that catered to different diners. There were establishments that had fire ‘poi’ dancers to entice tourists with their fierce dancing and even light their cigarettes. There were others that featured acoustic bands and acts that played the best songs like Bombom Bar. Bombom has an array of acoustic singers that interacted well with their audience. There’s this singer that sang so soulfully that I practically fell in love with him when he sang songs by Maroon 5. He also has original songs made especially for Boracay and the Philippines. After our first night in Bombom, we knew we just had to come back for our last night.
A trip to Boracay wouldn’t be complete without going to Club Paraw, Guilly’s Island and if you’re daring enough, Cocomangas. Paraw and Guilly’s are situated next to each other which made it so convenient to party practically left and/or right. Cocomangas has this challenge called ‘Still Standing After 15 Shots’ or something. Personally, I didn’t even bother trying it ’cause everyone that got out of that were practically barely standing.
It would be a sin to forget to mention the legendary Longga and Chori Burgers of Bora. The Longga Burger is basically a burger stuffed with grilled longganisa (a native sausage) with some sort of sweet-spicy sauce to compliment it. These burgers are found in the local food carts around the island that serve isaw (chicken intestines), pig intestines, hotdogs, dried squid, etc. After three nights in Bora, I’ve come to a conclusion that Longga burgers are perfect for that after drinking 4am ‘midnight’ snack to last until the sun rises. The tinderos and tinderas of these native delicacies are also really friendly and accommodating that they actually became our friends and even treated me to a stick of pig intestines (which I couldn’t finish. stupid placebo).
Take the time to witness the sky at different times, as well. Make sure to witness all the sunsets during your stay and make sure that one of those sunsets are witnessed while riding a Paraw (sail boat). Riding a paraw is a different kind of chill experience, you’re practically riding on the winds with a Paraw. The breeze clears the mind and the sinus, a very healthy way to de-stress. Go at around 5pm, they might just offer you the paraw for only 500 pesos like they did to us. Being kids who live in the city, we don’t really get to see that many stars in one night sky too often. If I may, I admit that the best view of the night sky was seen when we were looking at the beach upside down from our couch in Bombom. Another nice way to watch the stars is to lay down on the wet sands with your head propped on someone’s arm but that’s optional. People always run to watch the sunset but I stay up for the sunrise. It’s definitely a new experience.
Taken by Bea Quintos
Just remember, ‘what happens in Bora, stays in Bora’.
Photo Credit: Nadine Narciso