The Visayas are a group of islands located in the central Philippines, the major islands being Leyte, Bohol, Cebu, Negros, Panay. The Visayas is also home to the hugely popular party island – Boracay Island.
The most famous beach in all of the Philippines is White Beach on Boracay. With it’s soft and unbelievably white powdery sand, White Beach has often been described as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. (So Starbucks reckoned when they plunked down their branded tables and umbrellas on the beach!)
We arrived early evening to the highly touted vacation island of Boracay. Let’s just say it’s a monumental difference from the Myanmar lifestyle we had grown accustomed to over the past month. The high octane, heart pumping and mind blowing nightlife lining the sandy shores of White Beach in Boracay is quite a scene. The Filipinos have got the party atmosphere down pat and this island lures in flocks of tourists from all over the world, especially the Chinese & Koreans, who are anxiously ready to join in on the big party scene.
Upon arrival on Boracay at dinner time, we ran into a packed beach buffet and the first thing I saw on display was the most juicy, crispy whole suckling pig that was being carved for all to feast on. (Just check out the video of this bad boy below). One look at the juices flowing from this golden brown crispy pig enticed us to pull the trigger on this all you can eat beach buffet. As previously discussed on this blog, every country has its signature dishes. Lechon is one of them in the Philippines. I have a feeling I will become a Lechon connoisseur during my next month here. It was just that good. To hell with watching my cholesterol intake here in the Philippines, where Barbie and I termed the country as, “the soul food of Asia”.
If you do visit Boracay, you must come with the right state of mind and expectations. You will either love it or hate it. One does not come here in search of a quiet authentic secluded tropical island. If this is your expectation, you will be disappointed. If it’s a lively atmosphere you are looking for and you are willing to throw yourself into the thick of the crazy nonstop action, Boracay is a good place to park yourself. The island is divided into 3 stations. The key is picking the right station area and resort to stay in. We opted to base ourselves at a new, smaller boutique resort called Villa Caemilla on the quieter Station 3 beach. And, boy am I glad we were positioned away from the absolutely crazy, over the top Disneyland type action in the Station 2 area. This strategic positioning enabled us to achieve the peace and serenity we were looking for. We cooled out all day in this more sedate area and ventured into the tsunami of action and chaos when and if we desired.
We are here during peak season, right smack between Chinese New Year and Easter (which is a huge holiday in the Philippines with many locals heading to the islands). I would assume the shoulder season might be a better option if you want a slightly less chaotic scene. Nonetheless, being the adaptable chill monster Flashpackers that we are, we held our noses, took a deep breath and got right into the thick of the mind blowing nonstop action. It’s really all about the “Ing’s in Boracay…..eating, partying, sunbathing, snorkeling, paddle boarding, swimming, kiteboarding, diving, island hopping, chilling and simply observing the entire far out scene. Did I already mention eating and partying? Just needed to repeat those two “ING’s”.
On Boracay, we enjoyed White Beach and it’s spectacular sunsets. We never quite made it to the popular Puka Shell Beach as rallying was just too difficult on this lazy-man island. Every day, if we were not already on the beach at sunset time, we would stop whatever we were doing to watch the sunset. Sunset was the time both the locals and tourists of all ages, from young to old, would converge onto the beach with their selfie sticks in hand and inevitably revert back to their childhood days of fun and play in the sand. Yes, Barbie pulled the trigger on her 3rd selfie stick on this trip. Hopefully, this selfie sticks’ shelf life lasts a bit longer than the 48 hours than her previous two selfie sticks she purchased in Bali and Thailand. She splurged and spent $4 bucks on this stick which is about 50 cents more than her previous sticks. Hopefully this extra 50 cents will yield better results.
The big negative of Boracay is it’s a tiny island totally over developed and bursting at the seams. Kinda like the other top SE Asian resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui. I just hope the municipal government can deal with the pressing environmental issues. Especially, after seeing even more resorts and other stuff currently in construction being squeezed into any tiny available space. I ask, when will these Asian countries learn that less is more?
Sadly, I’ll never be able to see the original beauty of Boracay it once probably possessed years ago, but on a more positive side, I’m glad I was able to see it as it is now, because I know for sure it will be much different years from now. Do not get me wrong, both Barbie and I really loved our stay in Boracay and would happily return for its vibrant atmosphere. The other islands that we plan to visit here in the Philippines will be nothing like Boracay. I am really looking forward to checking them out.
Now it’s off to visit Barbie’s brother and his family who live in Manila. Then it’s onto the more quiet remote islands in this archipelago.
Restaurants – Paradise Garden Buffet, Cowboy Cocina, Villa Caemilla, Smoke Resto, Sunnyside Cafe, Boracay Regency Buffet, CYMA.
LOOSE STOOLS INDEX – 5
Every time we move countries, the style of food changes and the bowels need to readjust. The food in Boracay is like the soul food of Asia. Everything is very well seasoned, full of calories and high in cholesterol. Especially, the ‘must eat’ Lechon suckling pig which remarkably has only taken down the index two (2) notches.
THRU THE BINOCS –
We watched a clip of the USA primaries here on TV, one of the rare times since dropping out of society. Let’s just say it’s nice to be very far away, on the other side of the world and completely oblivious to this circus back home. In fact, watching and listening to all this verbal diarrhea single-handedly gave me diarrhea and lowered my loose stools index without a single bite of tasty Asian street food even entering my mouth.