Hey there travelmaniacs and Steemitians! I’m back once again for another travel story of mine. This time, I’m going to share about my solo getaway to the most beautiful island of the Philippines, the Boracay Island.
When I was at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last December 2018, I was thinking about something to treat myself before my 32nd birthday (I'm now 33 by the way). Since I am into cryptocurrency industry, there's a Boracay Blockchain Conference for two days held at the Savoy Hotel. I reserved a slot for the event, which cost me P4,000 or $80 as a VIP attendee.
At the same time, I decided to book a budget hostel from January 13 to 16 2019. The funny thing is that I need to book a couple of hostels because there are some dates that aren't available in each of them.
By the way, I currently live in Bacolod City, also known as the City of Smiles. My father used to work as a Chief Finance Officer for many years in BREDCO until his retirement. At the same time, my younger sister's Potato Corner kiosk is also there, selling french fries to passengers and employees.
Day One: From Bacolod City, I took a fastcraft ride from the BREDCO port to the Iloilo port for more than an hour. I paid around P280 or $5.50 for a one-way ride. After docking to the Iloilo port, I'm riding a taxi to the Ceres bus terminal. I remember that it cost me more than P200 or $4.00 to get there (depends on traffic).
From Ceres Bus Terminal Iloilo to Caticlan, it'll take me approximately 6 hours to get there. For bus fare, it cost me around P391 or $7.70 for one-way trip (unless you have extra big baggage that may cost you a little extra).
I would prefer bus over van because I can stretch a bit and with stopover for lunch or dinner. The stopover lunch or dinner will be in the Kalibo Ceres Bus terminal.
I departed around 8 A.M. and arrived at the Caticlan port around 4 P.M. During that time, Boracay Island has implemented some restrictions on tourists after the island's successful rehabilitation. They are double checking the hostels that I've booked if they're accredited or not.
The hostels I've booked are My Hostel Boracay for P558/night or $11.01 and Hostel Avenue for P699/night or $13.79 x 3 nights = P2,097 or $41.37. Thank God, both of them are accredited and they let me proceed to buy ticket for riding pump boat to Boracay Island.
There are fees you need to pay before proceeding to the pump boat, and here are as follows:
Terminal fee: P100 ($2.00)
Environmental fee: P75 ($1.48)
Pump boat fee: P25 ($0.49) before 5:45 PM/P30 ($0.59) after 5:45 PM
Kids who are 5 years old and below are exempted from terminal fees, and those who are 12 years old and below are free from environmental fees.
Riding a pump boat from the Caticlan port to the Boracay Island port only takes approximately between 10 to 15 minutes.
After arriving at the Boracay Island port, there are some transportation options you can choose from. The E-Trike (electric mini-jeepney) and habal-habal motorcycle. Unfortunately, I am not going to recommend habal-habal, especially if you're a first timer.
They're going to charge you a high amount for you to go to your hostel or a specific tourist spot. It was my mistake back then, but I charge it to experience. If I had gone through an e-trike, it's way much cheaper (and I did when I returned to this island several months later).
When I ride on a habal-habal motorcycle to Station 2 Boracay Island, he charged me around P200 ($4.00) and quite expensive. I was not in my hostel yet, because I took time to look at the beach.
After spending several minutes at the beach front, I checked in to My Hostel Boracay. I've got to be honest with you, it needs me to ride a tricycle or e-trike to go to the hostel as it's not in the beachfront. The room I booked was a 6-bed dormitory.
The space isn't wide enough though, but I'm quite fine with that. It's airconditioned as well. After checking in, I strolled a bit to the beach and D'Mall. I went back to the hostel to rest after my dinner at the Andok's Restaurant in the beachfront.
Day Two: As part of the hostel package, the breakfast is free. I went up there and pick some food to eat. As you can see in the picture above, I have a bun, scrambled egg, a couple of toasted bread, two bananas, an orange juice and a cup of instant coffee.
While eating my breakfast, I met a beautiful young lady from Germany and I mingled with her a bit. Her name's Franzi, and we became friends on Instagram. You can follow her travel stories on Instagram here.
She's beautiful and amazing to be honest, and loves traveling around the world. When I mingled with her, she told me that she was into scuba diving lessons. She was reviewing her notes because she's gonna take the scuba diving exam. We took a picture of ourselves before I checked out in the hostel.
I ride on an e-trike going to D'Mall, where Hostel Avenue is just nearby. Before checking in, I ate lunch once again at Andok's Restaurant. I loved their roasted chicken meal by the way, because it's quite affordable for just over P100 or $2.00. I checked in around 2 P.M and I loved it. It's a big hostel room that can accommodate around 20 people with a terrace, a couple of shower rooms and toilets. It's not a perfect hostel, but it's reliable for budget travelers like me.
It's Monday that day. I was blessed to be in the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. It's because I can do something to enjoy even during weekdays.
I had to admit that this isn't the first time I've been into this island. The first time I stepped foot here? I was still in high school back then, where my father was attending a Certified Public Accountant summit in Boracay. He took all of us as family for the Boracay treat for two days and one night.
Now fast forward to January 2019, I took time roaming the paradise for a few hours. After that, I went back to the hostel and taking a shower. I changed to proper outfit in preparation for the VIP welcome dinner of the Boracay Blockchain Summit at the Savoy Hotel.
For me to get there, I need to ride an e-trike and I tell the driver to drop me off to the Savoy Hotel entrance gate. Once I dropped off, I need to wait for the hotel shuttle to arrive. It's free to ride from the entrance to the Savoy Hotel.
I am absolutely stunned and amazed on what I've seen so far. It's pretty luxurious! I'm also the first VIP guy who arrived at the welcome dinner event near the swimming pool.
After filling up the registration form, I met cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts from various companies and network with them.
I have enjoyed the welcome dinner event myself. The buffet is great, the people in the crypto and blockchain space are great. I mean, everything's great! After that, I went back to the hostel and take a rest for the upcoming Boracay Blockchain Summit. I'm just lucky that their shuttle service offered a free ride from the Savoy Hotel to the D'Mall.
Day 3: I wore a decent attire going to the summit. However, my beautiful Indian friend from Singapore named Sonny, asked me to wait for her. Since I'm the only one she can trust that time, I don't mind waiting for her at the McDonald's. Even I told her that we're gonna be late, she said that it's fine.
After she arrived, the e-trike is already waiting for passengers to come on board. As we arrived to the Savoy Hotel, we were surprised that the event hasn't started yet.
In the picture above, Sonny is sitting in front of me. We listened to various speakers talking about their respective crypto and blockchain projects. After the first half of the program, we ate our late buffet lunch. Since I'm a VIP attendee, we are assigned to a special dining buffet section for our lunch.
We ate for at least 30 minutes before heading back to the function room. This is where the talks resumed, especially the paneling session about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. After the summit, we head back outside for the early VIP dinner near the swimming pool.
After the dinner with the VIPs, they went to the White House Boracay to party and drink! As for me, I choose to pass and went back to the hostel via free shuttle to get some well-deserved rest.
Day 4: I woke up late around 12 noon. and eating some brunch at the Andok's Restaurant near the D'Mall. After a few hours, it's time for me to hit the beach! Before swimming, I use sunblock in my face, hands and thighs and waited for 30 minutes. I wear rash guard suit, cycling shorts, goggles and Tropicfeel swimming shoes (just Google that) as well. I swim for at least an hour before heading back to the hostel and shower myself up.
I roamed around in Boracay and explored the other side of the island. There are various things you can do such as wakeboarding, jet skiing, kitesurfing, yachting and a lot more.
If only I could afford that day, I would definitely try one. Unfortunately, I also don't have an underwater cam or Go Pro that time.
I just walked a lot in the Boracay island just to familiarize a bit in case I'm coming back again (which I did a few months later).
When then sun's about to set, I decide to go for another swim. I went back to the hostel and wear my swimming attire again. I went crazy myself as you can see in my Instagram video above. It's all about time freedom!
After swimmin' in the sunset, I head back to the hostel once again to take a shower. I ate dinner once again in the Andok's Restaurant near D'Mall Boracay, and stayed at Tom N' Tom's Coffee until closing time. After that, I went back to the hostel to have an early rest because I'm leaving early on the following day.
Day 5: Before checking out on my hostel, I wake up early around 6 A.M and wandered around the beach for the last time. During that time, I was feeling of not coming home because of this incredible paradise. However, I don't want to miss celebrating my birthday with the family that time.
After wandering around the most beautiful island in the Philippines, I bought some pasalubong for the family and ate a quick breakfast at the Jollibee Boracay. I ride on a tricycle going to the port where I'll be riding a pump boat to Caticlan. I left Caticlan port around 9 A.M. and arrived exactly 3 P.M. at the Ceres bus terminal. I took a taxi going to the Iloilo port, booked a ticket to ride an OceanJet fastcraft back to Bacolod City.
All I can say is that this is such a wonderful experience for me as a solo traveler in the most beautiful island of the Philippine archipelago. It was truly worth the experience, both leisure and attending the Boracay Blockchain Summit! I did came back here a few months later (which I'll publish a separate travel story about my Boracay comeback).
Thank you so much for your time in reading my travel story for today. I hope you've enjoyed it very much. And hopefully, my travel blog of mine is convincing enough for you to book your flight to the Boracay Island (whether if it's first time or many times) within this year. If you are planning to fly to the Philippines, the Boracay Island is a must-visit.
Did you loved my travel story about Boracay today? I would greatly appreciate if you could leave an upvote on my blog post! Stay tuned for my next travel story!
Check out my previous travel stories here: