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"Discovering Boracay, Philippines"

"My first travel to Boracay, January 2008, Part 2"


Our friends – Ramil and Mary Ann Ng who are now based in Kalibo, Aklan met us at the Kalibo airport. We told them that we will go straight to Boracay first and be back in Kalibo on Friday, 18th January for the Ati-atihan. We took an aircon van from Kalibo airport which we shared with four Japanese couples and some local tourists. Before the van left Kalibo, our fares were already collected from us: 200.00 per person for the Kalibo to Caticlan ride which already includes the pump boat fare from Caticlan to Boracay. We learned later from a waitress in Boracay that we were overcharged by the van operator: as locals we were supposed to have been charged only 85 pesos!

The supposed to be one hour and thirty minute ride was delayed by almost 45 minutes because when the van reached the town of Makato, there was a parade for the celebration of their town fiesta! The traffic stood still while the parade passed on the national highway!

It was already 12:30 p.m. when we reached Caticlan Jetty port. Before we boarded the pump boat to Boracay we have to pay an ENVIRONMENTAL FEE of 20.00 per person and a TERMINAL FEE of 50.00 per person. We were made o fill up a Visitor’s Information Form (similar to the usual form filled up as part of immigration requirements in foreign flights). We boarded a pump boat that has a sitting capacity of 20 persons for a 10 minute ride to Boracay.

We boarded a motorcycle from Boracay Jetty Port to Residencia de Tirol which is located in the farthest portion of the island – Station 3. We were charged 150 pesos for the ride which was less than 5 kilometers!

After we checked-in and had secured our baggage in our room, a resort staff gave an orientation tour of the resort premises. Wow! We were staying in a resort that is located in Station 1 – classified as the exclusive row of resorts. We went to the beach where there were local tour guides. The Resort staff introduced us to one whom we closed a deal for an island hopping ride for P1,800.00 which we set for our second day.

The resort staff told us that the stretch of white beach is divided into three, the dividing category and label is based on the pump boat landing stations, thus, Station 1 is the farthest from the Jetty Port, Station 2 is in the middle and Station 3 is the nearest to the Jetty Port. Those that have visited the Island a year ago are familiar that in the past, from Caticlan pump boats may land on either of the three stations. However, today, the local authorities ordered that all boats from Caticlan will have to land only at the Boracay Jetty port.

After the short orientation, we took a motorcycle to “D Mall” which is located in Station 2. Yes, the island has a Mall! It is not your SM Mall kind of a shopping mall however. D Mall which I learned later is owned by the Elizaldes of the Manila Broadcasting Company – DZRH, is made up of clusters of one floor shops constructed using light and concrete materials.


Edgar Sandalo

Posted by E. Sandalo 20:44 Archived in Philippines Tagged tourist_sites

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