Last year, I had 38 flights around the world and my KLM app tells me that since I joined their programme in 2010, I’ve had 78 flights with them. Most of these flights were leisure flights. So, I always feel a little embarrassed when non-Filipinos ask me about Boray (and El Nido) – because despite of all these traveling around the world, I’ve never been to my own country’s pride beaches.
To celebrate our 2nd year anniversary, my husband and I decided we’ll go to Boracay. There are many direct flights every day from Manila to Boracay. It was a bit tricky for us because we were coming from Zamboanga, after attending a friend’s wedding.
Boracay was shut down by the government last year for almost a year to rehabilitate the island. A move that I support as no doubt, the global popularity of island had caused significant damage to it – over tourism, unmanageable trash, the corals were being destroyed, etc. Known as a party island, there were also issues in Boracay such as drugs, prostitution, alcohol, etc.
Boracay was newly reopened when we visited… and a big typhoon had just hit the island a week earlier too. Electricity wasn’t 100% fully restored in our first 2 days and some of the structural damages haven’t been fixed yet when we visited.
But that didn’t change the fact that Boracay was beautiful – it wasn’t the same pre-rehabilitation Boracay I saw in photos. These are the things I loved in our trip:
Our Hotel: Discovery Shores Boracay
Sure, Discovery Shores is one of the most expensive hotels in Boracay… but it’s worth every penny! The hotel is one of the few hotels that are at the beachfront and it is located at station 1.
The stations in Boracay were a big factor for us in choosing the hotel. Station 1, for example, is known to have the whitest sand in the island. It is also very quiet in this area. Station 1 is also known for its luxury hotels. Station 2, on the other hand, has different types of hotels for all types of hotels. It is known as the party part of the island and has a lot of restaurants, shops for water sports and activities, etc. There’s a mall in Boracay and it might even be in this area (or it might be in Station 3 – we didn’t bother going there). There’s also station 3. I didn’t really research these stations but I was told it was the most quiet part of the beach and closest to the port area.
Another thing we liked about Discovery Shores is their amenities. In our 4 days in Boracay, we only came to station 2 thrice – to have a fast-food burger when Aaron was craving for one and when we had to go to a diving shop and a snorkelling shop to arrange our activities. We basically have everything we need and want from our Hotel.
Having a taho by the beach every morning was one of my favorite things to do. I used to love taho growing up so, I make it a point to have one every time I go home.
Discovery Shores has at least 3 restaurants (as far as I can remember) and all of them have really good food. The restaurants serve different specialties – from Filipino food to Italian food.
Our favorite restaurant in Discovery Shores was Forno Osteria. As someone who has been living next door to Italy for 10 years, this place is not bad, considering it’s in an Island; therefore, the availability of fresh and authentic ingredients is limited. Nevertheless, our favourite was their steaks.
Another thing we love about Discovery Shores is the service (this is probably the best part of the hotel). From arriving in Caticlan airport to departing back to Manila, Discovery’s service was immeasurable. Despite being a relatively big resort, every staff in the Hotel made sure we are comfortable, relaxed and well-fed all the time. My favorite part too is the security. As a security professional, this is an important factor for me. They have a number of security guards around the hotel and beachfront who monitors their guests’ personal belongings so one can enjoy swimming without worrying that someone will still their stuff.
Boracay’s Picture Perfect Waters (Regardless of the Weather)
Boracay is known for its turquoise water and the amazing thing about it is that even with a cloudy weather, the Island could still showcase its beautiful water.
And Finally… the Sunset!
We missed the Boracay sunset on our 2 nights because of the weather. On our last night, we finally saw the famous Boracay sunset… and it really is beautiful! It was the perfect way to end our trip. It’s incredible to watch the sky changes its colour in the span of 45 minutes.
And of course, we did it with the Adkins’ way of watching the sunset… with a sundowner.
Next in our Philippines destination bucket list: El Nido!