By Anna Lynn Sibal
The island of Boracay, an island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines, was virtually unknown to the rest of the world before the 1970s. It was one of the Philippines’ national secrets and, as the story goes, it was not until it was accidentally discovered by a handful of tourists during the 1970s that the secret got out to the rest of the world.
Since then, Boracay became known as one of the best beaches on the planet.
What is it about Boracay that made it famous among the beach lovers of the world? There are many reasons why Boracay enjoys the fame it has today. Foremost of these reasons is the white sand on its beaches. The sand is so fine and powdery, it is almost like sugar. It is very pleasant to touch; it is warm, soothing and very relaxing.
And then beyond are the blue waters surrounding the island. The crystal clarity is magnificent. There are seasons when the water is so calm and still it is almost like a mirror. The reefs surrounding the island are also a treasure trove for divers.
Last, but certainly not the least, is the world-renown hospitality of the Filipinos. It is in the Filipino nature to be warm and caring towards other people, even those whom they do not know. Hospitality is a trait that many foreigners enjoy of the Filipino people.
Getting to Boracay
There are two ways of getting to Boracay. One way is to fly from the domestic terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila to the Kalibo Airport. From the Kalibo Airport, one can take the bus to Caticlan. At the Caticlan Harbor are ferry services that take visitors to Boracay Island.
The other way of getting there is much shorter. One can fly directly from NAIA to the Caticlan Airport, and then take the ferry to the island.
A word of caution: make sure you are wearing waterproof sandals and shorts when on your way to Boracay. The ferry trip would require you to embark directly on the water, so there will be some wading to do to get to the island itself.
What to Do in Boracay
There are a myriad of things that one can do in Boracay. If you are the type to relax in solitude at the beach, you can spend the whole day swinging on a hammock with a book and just enjoy the fresh sea breeze. You can enjoy the water and swim to your heart’s content. The waters of Boracay are excellent for kite-surfing and windsurfing. The reefs, as mentioned above, are a joy for divers.
For land-based activities, Boracay has a world-class golf course on the northern side, near Puka Beach. The island is also very much alive at night, with various clubs and bars catering to the needs of the night owls among the island’s visitors. Those who love to go on food trips will not find the cuisine on the island disappointing. Aside from local dishes, there is a wide variety of international restaurants operating in Boracay.
Boracay is beautiful. It is truly a paradise where one can relax and shrug away the stress of day-to-day living. Give it a try once; it will be an experience you would not forget.