Let’s do the Puka and a lot more!

1 09 2013

There is only one place in the world where you would want to do that Puka, and it is right on Boracay’s Puka Beach. Puka Beach, right at the northern tip of the island paradise is just so incredibly beautiful, that it would certainly have anyone doing what the three ladies, Valyn, Atsuko and Han Joo, are seen here doing – jumping for joy!

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Taking its name from the puka shells found there, the beach is in fact number 84 on CNN’s list of the 100 best beaches in the world. It is one of several parts of Travel + Leisure’s 2012 Best Island in the World I certainly did not get enough of during a magical trip to the island I made with nine other bloggers which came with the kind sponsorship of Tigerair Philippines and the Philippine Department of Tourism that was organised by omy.sg.

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There is more on Puka Beach on three previous posts: It’s more fun hopping, skipping and jumping to and in Boracay!Life’s a Boracay Beach; and The irresistible urge to get wet in Boracay . Yes, it did leave a deep impression on me – but it isn’t just doing the Puka, that does have me determined to find my way back to the island.

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Beyond doing the Puka and the incredible beaches (see: Life’s a Boracay Beach), well behind the screens (the beach sand screens that is) and certainly beyond what I did ramble on about in my series of posts, there are perhaps some of the best of and in Boracay that do also deserve a mention (it is a good enough excuse to use some previously un-posted photographs)! These include:


Best Selfie Spot

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Crystal Cove

(Fairways and Bluewater Resort)


Best Person to Pose with

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The Amazing Show


Best Spot to have that Ice Lolly

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Puka Beach


Best Practice on the Island

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The effort taken in keeping Boracay clean


Best Restaurant Decor

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The Indigo at Discovery Shores


Best Spot to get Fishy

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Possibly off Ariel’s Point


Best way to shelter from the rain

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Best Place to get caught in a Limbo

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The Amazing Show


Best Investment

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A waterproof bag or pouch

(Han Joo shows how not to use one)


Best Spot to Unleash that Caveperson in you

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Crystal Cove


Best In-Water Photo Spot

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Crystal Cove


Best Solo Jumpshot Spot

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Crystal Cove


Best Ways to get around

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On a tricycle taxi (or anything with a side car)


Best Places to Eat and Shop

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D’Mall


Best Way to get fruity

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On watermelons


It’s easy now to get to Boracay from Singapore with Tigerair Philippines flying direct and you can win a 5D/4N trip for two by voting either for me or if you see fit, the other nine bloggers at the Boracay Island Escapade Vote and Win Contest – do hurry as you have just 24 hours to do so – voting closes at 12 noon on 2 September 2013.

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My Posts on Boracay

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Hopping, skipping and jumping to Boracay Getting beach-y …
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That irresistible urge to get wet … More to Boracay than just getting wet …
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The Shangri-La – a slice of heaven … More heavenly places to stay at …

The trip to Boracay was made possible by Tigerair Philippines and the Philippine Depa

rtment of Tourism. Tigerair now flies direct to Kalibo Airport – for more information on flights to Kalibo, do visit http://www.Tigerair.com/ph/en/.

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Getting there:


Location information:


This is a repost of my post on Boracay Island Escapade. Do cast a vote for me and stand a chance to win a trip 5D4N trip for 2 to Boracay at Boracay Island Escapade on omy.sg (you may cast one vote a day and voting ends at 12 pm on  2 September 2013).






Win a trip to paradise

25 08 2013


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Boracay, undoubtedly one of the beautiful parts of the world, is surely a place that everyone has to make a visit to in their lifetime. It is now just a hop, skip and jump from Singapore, with Tigerair Philippines operating three weekly flights direct from Singapore to Kalibo Airport. I was there very recently with nine other bloggers on a trip that was made possible by Tigerair Philippines and the Philippine Department of Tourism. Read about my take on Travel + Leisure Magazine’s Best Island of 2012 at omy.sg‘s Boracay Island Escapade and stand a chance to make your own way to Boracay by voting for me (or any of the nine other bloggers, if you do see fit) at the contest tab (click on this link). Voting can be done once a day until 12 noon on 2 September 2013.

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Puka Beach

Puka Beach

The view of the waters around Crystal Cove Island.

The view of the waters around Crystal Cove Island.

Water activities off Bulabog Beach include Helmet Diving ...

Water activities off Bulabog Beach include Helmet Diving …

Breathtaking Boracay is seemingly on the edge between heaven and earth.

Breathtaking Boracay is seemingly on the edge between heaven and earth.

Paradise Cove.

Paradise Cove.

White Beach Boracay - where much of the action takes place.

White Beach Boracay – where mcuh of the action takes place.

Posts on Boracay

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Hopping, skipping and jumping to Boracay Getting beach-y …
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That irresistible urge to get wet … More to Boracay than just getting wet …
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The Shangri-La – a slice of heaven … More heavenly places to stay at …

Getting there:


Location information:


This is a repost of my post on Boracay Island Escapade. Do cast a vote for me and stand a chance to win a trip 5D4N trip for 2 to Boracay at Boracay Island Escapade on omy.sg (you may cast one vote a day and voting ends at 12 pm on  2 September 2013).





Highlights of the Singapore Night Festival

23 08 2013

To be held over two weekends, the Singapore Night Festival opens this evening with what promises to be some wonderful acts to literally illuminate the evening in the Bras Basah precinct – some of which I did get to have a sneak peek of. More on the festival and on one act which will certainly be a hit, Redux by Starlight Alchemy, can be found on my previous post on this years festival, Playing with Fire. Some of the other highlights for the first weekend which we did also get to see follow (descriptions provided by the festival guide):


Fly me from the moon

(Oomoonbeings by Singapierrot)

Friday 23 and Saturday 24 Aug 2013

7.30pm, 8.45 pm & 10pm

Armenian Street

Two ethereal jesters descend from a crescent moon and explore the land.  Dressed in plastics, these contemporary incarnations of Pierrot play in a series of teasing vignettes combining movement and installation. With a whimsical oldtime mood, this little reverie features gypsy-swing jazz duo So Ma Fan as live accompaniment.

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Shadow Play

(Vertical Extraction by Compagnie Retouramont)

Friday 23 and Saturday 24 Aug 2013

8.15 pm, 9.30 pm & 10.45 pm

Façade of the National Museum of Singapore

Dancers embark on a vertical journey up the façade of the National Museum and break into a rhythmic dance on bungee cords in this site-specific performance that explores the museum’s architecture and surrounding space. Light projections which amplify the dancers’ bodies, and a special video by acclaimed local artist and filmmaker Victric Thng, complement Vertical Extraction to offer new perspectives on movement and our environment.

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In Suspension

(Pyramid of Void by Compagnie Retouramont)

Friday 23 and Saturday 24 Aug 2013

8.30 pm, 9.45 pm & 11 pm

Façade of the National Museum of Singapore

In this aerial dance performance, a pyramid structure made of ropes is suspended in mid-air, outlining the contours of a void, an abstract space invisible to the eye. With the ropes as their only form of support, dancers demonstrate their acrobatic creativity and agility as they negotiate the minimalist set. Their movements form a dialogue with the pyramid, breathing life into the structure and giving shape to the spaces in-between.

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Playing with Water

(Water Light Graffiti by Antonin Fourneau)

Friday 23, Saturday 24, Friday 30, Saturday 31 Aug 2013

7.30 pm to 2 am

Outside Raffles City

Based on an idea as simple as illumination, Water Light Graffiti enables one to draw or write ephemeral messages which appear as light against the wall of LEDs. To use water, which has no shape and no colour, to draw light, is a magical experience for all. By mixing a natural element and technology, Water Light Graffiti’s users can even play with the weather or the evaporation speed for example. Water Light Graffiti also has a surprising role during rainy days and turn them into fireworks of damp LEDs.

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Music Made in  Singapore

(Homemade)

Friday 23 and Saturday 24 Aug 2013

7.30 pm to 12 am

Singapore Management University (SMU) Green

HOMEMADE 2013 is a celebration of originality, collaboration and Singapore-made music. This year, the music festival is presented over 2 weekends, 23 & 24 Aug and the intimate HOMEMADE 2013 (UNPLUGGED) sessions on 30 & 31 Aug. Some of the acts to look forward to are Pleasantry, The Obedient Wives Club, Inch Chua and The Bushmen. An exciting feature of the music festival has always been the never-before-seen (or heard) presentations and also, collaborations between musicians and genres. In the true spirit of bigger, better and louder, Homemade 2013 will debut a 20-piece band – The Electric Symphony Project.

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Caught in a Net

(Everlast by Sookoon Ang)

Friday 23, Saturday 24, Friday 30, Saturday 31 Aug 2013

7 pm to 2 am

National Museum of Singapore (Rotunda)

EVERLAST is an installation created with foil balloons. The work is a visual poem which the arrangement of text and the selected material for the visualization are important in conveying the intended effect of the work. The work takes poetry beyond the printed and causing it to manifest in both metaphysically as well as physically, blurring the distinction between art and text. This poem addresses life & death, light & lightness. It speaks about the exhilarating energy and dynamics of between 2 persons.

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Bottled Beauties

(Absolut Canvas)

Friday 23, Saturday 24, Friday 30, Saturday 31 Aug 2013

7 pm to 2 am

Sunday 25 to Monday 2 Sep 2013

10 am to 6 pm

National Museum of Singapore (Stamford Gallery)

With its iconic silhouette and its collaborations with some of the most recognisable artists and designers, ABSOLUT has cemented itself as the perfect canvas for creative ideas to flourish. ABSOLUT CANVAS showcases the ways in which artists and designers have used the ABSOLUT bottle as a channel for their creativity. The exhibition features beautifully designed bottles as well as an interactive area where visitors will get to unleash their own creativity. It also includes a pop-up bar serving ABSOLUT cocktails
that have been created specially for ABSOLUT CANVAS.

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And the best part about Absolut Canvas is that throughout the four nights of the festival, there would be a pop-up bar just outside the Stamford Gallery. The bar will serve Absolut Vodka and Absolut Elyx – with three different cocktails also served which were created specially for Absolut Canvas all of which is absolutely fabulous!

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The Singapore Night Festival runs on 23 and 24 August 2013 and on 30 and 31 August 2013. More information can be obtained at the following links:






Heaven isn’t just one place on Boracay

21 08 2013

Heavenly places to stay at to have that complete experience of Boracay

[Do also visit my post on omy.sg’s Boracay Island Escapade and also my set of posts at that same site.  Do also cast a vote for me and stand a chance to win a trip 5D4N trip for 2 to Boracay at Boracay Island Escapade on omy.sg (you may cast one vote a day and voting ends at 12 pm on  2 September 2013).]

Boracay has probably got everything for an island holiday. While its immense natural beauty alone will no doubt cast a spell on anyone who visits it, the island does boast of some truly wonderful places to stay at to provide a complete island holiday experience one from magical resorts which will take one’s breath away (such as the Shangri-La Boracay Spa and Resort which I last posted on) to places ideal for that beachfront party getaway.

Boracay has some accommodation which would make one want to run back from the beach to.

Boracay has some accommodation which would make one want to run back from the beach to.

Together with nine other bloggers on Tigerair Philippines inaugural flight from Singapore to Kalibo Airport in July, through the Philippine Department of Tourism, I got to have a look at some of them – all of which deserve consideration when planning a trip to the island paradise which was named as Travel + Leisure Magazine’s World’s Best Island in 2012. The ones I did get the opportunity to look at or have an experience of are:

Boracay's Puka Beach.

Boracay’s Puka Beach – the island was named by Travel + Leisure Magazine as the World’s Best Island in 2012. 


Fairways and Bluewater Resort

A super gorgeous view of the exclusive coves at Fairways and Bluewater.

A magical view at Fairways and Bluewater.

One property that does also offer some magnificent and equally magical views is the Fairways and Bluewater Resort, where one of my favourite scenic spots on the island is. Located on the island’s northeast, it is spread over a 150 hectare site and deserves mention for its three very exclusive coves and its golf course – an 18-hole course which is the island’s only one (it is also where guests at Shangri-La head to for a game of golf).

Fairways and Bluewater features an 18-hole golf course.

Fairways and Bluewater features an 18-hole golf course.

We experienced great hospitality at the resort - with yam ice cream served after coming down the zipline.

We experienced great hospitality at the resort – with yam ice cream served after coming down the zipline.

Perhaps why Paradise Cove did seem like paradise.

Finding out why Paradise Cove in Fairways and Bluewater is indeed paradise.

Paradise Cove.

Paradise Cove.

Beyond golf and the pretty views, there is lots more on offer at the resort, including accommodation and a wide range of activities for the entire family. The activities range from ones in and on the azure waters fronting the resort’s white sandy beaches, to kid friendly ones, as well as activities that would appeal to anyone with a sense of adventure. These include All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) rides, zipping high above the treeline on a zipline (the resort does have the longest and fastest zipline on the island) and ones that are less vigourous ones such as horse and segway rides on the beach. Water activities range from getting high or up to speed with jet-skis, speed boats, jet boats, banana boats and parasails as well as popular must-do activities such as island hopping, helmet diving, fly fishing and scuba diving.

There's a range of sea sports which will have a huge appeal to guests with a sense of adventure.

There’s a range of sea sports which will have a huge appeal to guests with a sense of adventure.

Bloggers who did have a very different sense of adventure.

Bloggers who did have a very different sense of adventure (not available of course to guests) on a tour of the resort’s facilities.

Christina with a new found friend.

Christina with a new found friend.

Atsuko horsing around.

Atsuko horsing around.

Valyn all geared up for the segway.

Valyn all geared up for the segway.

William on a horse.

William on a horse.

Lots also to do on and above the water.

Lots also to do on and above the water.

The Maris Spa at Fairways and Bluewater.

The Maris Spa at Fairways and Bluewater.

A look inside one of the spa's treatment rooms.

A look inside one of the spa’s treatment rooms.

A reflection of the beach on the windows of the spa's rooms.

A reflection of the beach on the windows of the spa’s rooms.

The resort’s accommodation ranges from comfortable family rooms to luxurious suites and villas – a total of 300 rooms are available. More information can be found at the resort’s website.

A bedroom in one of the resort's suites.

A bedroom in one of the resort’s suites.

Out on the terrace.

Out on the terrace.

Inside a suite.

Dining area inside a suite.

The Villa Catalina.

The Villa Catalina.

Another bedroom inside a suite.

Another bedroom inside a villa.

A lounge area inside a suite.

A lounge area inside the villa.


7Stones Boracay Suites

7Stones Suites at Bulabog Beach.

7Stones Suites at Bulabog Beach.

I have mentioned the 7Stones Boracay Suites previously as a choice of where I would stay on the island. While it does not come with the stand-out magical views of the Shangri-La and Fairways and Bluewater, its draw to me is its very convenient location. Located on a 4000 square metre plot at Bulabog Beach on the island’s east, the luxury boutique beachfront hotel, is sufficiently far enough from the hustle and bustle of White Beach where most of the action takes place, and yet close enough to it to quite easily get to its powdery white sands and the excitement it offers – being just a short tricycle taxi ride away. I also like the more personal feel it has on offer with only 28 rooms and suites, and its restaurant.

Bulabog Beach near 7Stones Suites.

Bulabog Beach near 7Stones Boracay Suites.

It was at the hotel’s restaurant, the 7th Note Café, where we did have lunch at on the second full day. The cut of premium Australian steak which was served with a huge prawn from the grill that we had was to me the stand-out culinary experience I had on the island! 7th Note Café is definitely a must eat at place if you do ever find yourself on Bulabog Beach.

Lunch at 7th Note Café.

Lunch at 7th Note Café.

Tropical fruit shake.

Tropical fruit shake.

Ice cream!

Ice cream!

Someone was naughty - fortunately Christina had already had lunch!

Someone was naughty – fortunately Christina had already had lunch!

Accommodation at 7Stones ranges from Superior Rooms to large suites with up to three bedrooms to accommodate a family of six. More information can be found at 7Stones’ website.

The children's swimming pool.

The children’s swimming pool.

A suite at 7Stones.

A suite at 7Stones.

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Boracay Regency Beach Resort and Spa

The resort we did put up at was the Boracay Regency Beach Resort and Spa, a beachfront property at White Beach’s Boat Station 2. It is perfectly placed, along with the next resort I will introduce, the Mandarin Boracay, to be close to where the bulk of the action in Boracay is as well as having the powdery white sands White Beach has a reputation for, right at its doorstep.

White Beach Boracay - where mcuh of the action takes place.

White Beach Boracay in front of the Boracay Regency.

The Boracay Regency is also one which is very well equipped, offering guests of its 285 rooms a range of facilities which include three very nice swimming pools – all conveniently located to serve each of its three wings. It does offer some wonderful places to dine at including a café right on the beach – the  Seabreeze Café which by night transforms itself into a spectacle with its live band and dancing cooks. Another place to have a meal at which has a very pleasant setting is Christina’s which offers a mix of Filipino and Italian cuisine – it was where we did enjoy our breakfasts at.

The Boracay Regency.

The Boracay Regency.

The stairway to heaven - from the beachside Boracay Regency to the beach at Boat Station 2.

The stairway to heaven – from the beachside Boracay Regency to the beach at Boat Station 2.

Christina's.

Christina’s.

Breakfast at Christina's.

Breakfast at Christina’s.

Accommodation at the Regency ranges from twin bedded Superior Rooms to larger suites and once again, more information can be obtained at the resort’s website.

The three bedded Deluxe Room at the Boracay Regency.

The three bedded Deluxe Room at the Boracay Regency.

Inside the Deluxe Room.

Inside the Deluxe Room.

The balcony of the Deluxe Room.

The balcony of the Deluxe Room.

The Boracay Regency.

The Boracay Regency.

One of the three swimming pools.

One of the three swimming pools.


Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel

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The Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel is another one which is very conveniently located at White Beach’s Boat Station 2, being just a stone’s throw from the Regency. Besides being close to the action, it is very close to D’Mall which is probably the best place to do a bit of shopping in Boracay. Being smaller than the Regency with 52 rooms, it does offer a more personal setting. There’s also a great place to dine at in Don Vito, the hotel’s highly rated Italian restaurant with its offerings of a fresh catch from the sea and the opportunity to also dine on the beach in the evenings.

The Boracay Mandarin's Swimming Pool.

The Boracay Mandarin’s Swimming Pool.

The Boracay Mandarin.

The Boracay Mandarin.

Accommodation ranges from Deluxe Rooms with beds for three to larger rooms and suites. We got to have a look at one of its very nice suites – the Penthouse Suite, perfect for a romantic getaway.

The suites are perfect for a romantic getaway.

The suites are perfect for a romantic getaway.

A King-sized canopy bed.

A King-sized canopy bed.

Inside the suite.

Inside the suite.

The separate bath area.

The separate bath area.

More information can also be found on the hotel’s website.

The entrance to Don Vito.

The entrance to Don Vito.


Discovery Shores Boracay

Discovery Shores.

Discovery Shores.

The last property we did visit, Discovery Shores Boracay Island, is also one which did leave a sizable impression on me. Our introduction to the resort, which is highly regarded being in Travel + Leisure Magazine’s list of World’s Best Hotels, was through dinner on our last evening. Also on the Small Luxury Hotels of the World Collection, its location is without a doubt one of the resort’s key selling points being on the beach right at the top end of White Beach’s Boat Station 1, where the beach is at its widest.

The Indigo at Discovery Shores.

The Indigo at Discovery Shores.

The swimming pool at Discovery Shores.

The swimming pool at Discovery Shores.

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The resort’s 88 rooms (all suites) are all ones to drool over and range from 40 to 45 square metre Junior Suites to Premier One and Two Bedroom Loft Suites of up to 120 square metres in area – some equipped with a Jacuzzi on the balcony. The balconies are ones which do offer wonderful views of the sea – even in the dark of night when we did get to see it. More information can be found on the resort’s website.

The nighttime view from Discovery Shores.

The nighttime view from Discovery Shores.

Through the bedroom window of one of the suites.

Through the window of one of the suites.

Inside the suite.

Inside the suite.

A bedroom inside a suite.

A bedroom inside a suite.

Inside a suite.

Inside a suite.

A bedroom in a loft suite.

A bedroom in a suite.

Inside one of the loft suites.

Inside one of the loft suites.

Another view inside a loft suite.

Another view inside a loft suite.

A view from the loft.

A view from the loft.

Another view from the loft.

Another view from the loft.

The balcony of one of the loft suites.

The balcony of one of the loft suites.


The trip to Boracay was made possible by Tigerair Philippines and the Philippine Department of Tourism. Tigerair now flies direct to Kalibo Airport – for more information on flights to Kalibo, do visit http://www.Tigerair.com/ph/en/.

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Getting there:


Location information:


Accommodation mentioned in this post:


This is a repost of my post on Boracay Island Escapade. Do cast a vote for me and stand a chance to win a trip 5D4N trip for 2 to Boracay at Boracay Island Escapade on omy.sg (you may cast one vote a day and voting ends at 12 pm on  2 September 2013).






High and mostly dry in Boracay

12 08 2013

Staying high and mostly dry in Boracay

[Boracay Island Escapade]

Having found my paradise on the first full day on the beaches and getting wet in blue waters of Boracay, I would probably have been quite happy just taking the sun, the sand and the sea in, over the two more full days we were to have on the island. After all, it isn’t often that I am lucky enough to find myself in heaven on earth. However, I must say that no trip to the island would be complete without an experience of some of what we did get to do over the two remaining days that did go beyond just satisfying that urge to get really wet in Boracay.

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At the top of the list of activities has to be the so called sunset cruise we took on the paraw in the late afternoon of the second day in the seas off White Beach’s boat station 3. Rocked by the gentle motions of the sail powered double outrigger Visayan boats, the cruise is a great way to spend half an hour relaxing over the waters, bathed in the late afternoon sunshine and fanned by the gentle breeze. The paraws do take up to six or seven passengers, who are provided with lifejackets.

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While from afar, the paraws do not look like something which passengers could be comfortable on, the experience certainly was very comfortable – netting secured between two beams attached to the outriggers on either side of the boat allow for comfortable seating – as well as a place where one could spread out horizontally.

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Next on my list is something for the pseudo thrill seeker I do admit to being to – cliff diving. This is done not exactly from the edge of a cliff, but from the end of a cantilevered plank extending well beyond the cliff face. It does give one the feeling of ‘walking the plank’ and while I do know some of my fellow bloggers on the trip did have some misgivings about the dive, it was something I was glad to have had the experience of and I did thoroughly have fun doing it.

Walking the plank at Ariel's Point.

Walking the plank at Ariel’s Point.

The location for this activity, Ariel’s Point, is actually not on Boracay itself but an hour’s boat ride south to the north-western Panay – the island Kalibo Airport is on. Getting from the boat to the dive location does make it a bit of a challenge – we did have to swim across in deep water and depending on the sea conditions, climb onto a suspended ladder or onto a rock ledge, I thought it was very much part of the adventure.

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Being something that is done from a height – it is probably not something that would appeal to everyone, but if you are game, I do recommend it – if you are willing to fork out the PHP 1600 it does cost to do it (which includes the boat ride over). The planks are arranged at several heights starting from 5 metres to as high as 15 metres. It is probably important to land as vertically as possible as landing incorrectly can be quite painful.

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Another thing that might be worth doing, taking some breathtaking views (whilst not screaming) of the hilly areas of northern Boracay and the seas below it, is the zipline. There are two to choose from, one from Mount Luho, the highest point on Boracay and the other from the Zipline Boracay at Fairways and Bluewater Resort – said to be the longest and fastest zipline on the island. It was the latter we did try – certainly much more thrilling than the flying foxes I attempted as a boy scout in my younger days.

Skipping down a zipline at Fairways and Bluewater.

Skipping down a zipline at Fairways and Bluewater.

Speaking of Mount Luho – it again is somewhere worth going up to, not least for the views you do get up there, especially of the Bulabog Beach area and beyond. A great way to go up is on an All-Terrain Vehicle, or ATV. Except for the initial stretch of dirt road, most of the ascent is on wide paved roads and from the parking area at the top, it is a short climb up to the summit where the zipline is,  and also where you will find several caged birds. A lookout point gives the wonderful views I mention.

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Another thing that can be done on Mount Luho, although I won’t recommend it is rolling down a slope in a Zorb, filled with a little bit of water, into a pool at the bottom. I didn’t attempt to do this as I didn’t really fancy rolling down a slope in an uncontrolled fashion – and with a few reporting bruised limbs, swallowed water and a wardrobe malfunction – it might be something to think twice about before doing.

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If you are looking for unusual evening entertainment – in the form of a cabaret type show, there is the Boracay edition of the Amazing Show. The show, at 7 pm and 9 pm each evening, features very pretty dancers performing entertaining dance sequences which range from traditional dances at the start to more contemporary routines – the pretty dancers all being men! The show does seem to be especially popular with the Korean and Japanese tourists and do beware – it does include some interaction with the audience.  You can also pose with the performers at the end of the one hour show – for which tipping is expected.

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With the entire cast of the Amazing Show.

With the entire cast of the Amazing Show.

Last but not least, Boracay does also feature some very nice spas – one that some of us did visit was the Mandala Spa (see website for price list) – reputedly one of the best in Boracay, and one which pledges to plant a tree for every spa treatment booked. The verdicts from the bulk of the bloggers who did have a massage were quite positive. It is perhaps the experience for which makes the spa well worth a visit to – it is set amid lush greenery and the treatments carried out in a villa-like setting to the sound of crickets and in our case, the soothing pitter-patter of rain falling on the thatched roofs of the villas – which certainly made the experience more special – an experience which does make Boracay a much more complete as a destination than it just being a beach.

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Information on activities mentioned in this post:

  • Paraw Sail : PHP 1500 per paraw (good for 6 – 7 persons)
  • Cliff Diving (with Boat Transfer) : PHP 1600 per head (minimum age 18 years)
  • Zorb: PHP 400 per person
  • ATV: PHP 800 per person
  • Zipline: PHP 700 per person (at Fairways and Bluewater Resort)

The above activities can be reserved through Marsman Travel email: reservations@marsmandrysdale.com, Telephone: +632 8880228.

(Prices are provided only as a guide and are subject to variations and change)


The trip to Boracay was made possible by Tigerair Philippines and the Philippine Department of Tourism. Tigerair now flies direct to Kalibo Airport – for more information on flights to Kalibo, do visit http://www.Tigerair.com/ph/en/.

277A8320

Getting there:

Location information:


This is a repost of my post on Boracay Island Escapade.






The irresistible urge to get wet

11 08 2013

How best to get wet in the inviting waters of Boracay

[Boracay Island Escapade]

One thing that is irresistible being in Boracay, is urge to get wet. And, the invitation from its enticing blue waters does make any resistance one intends to offer quite futile – there being so many ways there is to do so that go beyond just diving in.

Happiness is getting wet in Boracay!

Happiness is getting wet in Boracay!

The enticing waters of Boracay is an invitation for anyone to jump right in.

The enticing waters of Boracay is an invitation for anyone to jump right in.

Together with nine other bloggers sponsored by Tigerair Philippines and the Philippine Department of Tourism to mark the inaugural Tigerair Singapore to Kalibo flight, I did get to discover some of the wonderful ways to get acquainted with the emerald blue waters of Travel + Leisure Magazine’s Best Island destination of 2012, which include both in and on water activities.

Christina jumping into the inviting crystal clear blue waters.

Christina certainly did not need a second invitation.

Right at the top of the list of must-do in-water activities has to be helmet diving, the helmet being a heavy fibreglass shell with a clear visor – heavy to be able to rest on a person’s shoulders. A constant supply of pressurised air from the surface through a hose into the helmet allows the wearer to breath normally, also keeps the water out, exhausting through the opened bottom. While this does not allow the mobility that scuba diving or even snorkelling does, it does allow the wearer to walk on the sea bed under several metres of water – a wonderful way especially for those who have not had the opportunity to take up scuba diving, to get a view of Boracay’s underwater world.

The waters off Bulabog Beach where the helmet diving activity is carried out.

The waters off Bulabog Beach where the helmet diving activity is carried out.

Just before the descent. A helmet will be placed over the person diving with a certified scuba diver on hand to lend assistance.

Just before the descent. A helmet will be placed over the person diving with a certified scuba diver on hand to lend assistance.

What the fish!

What the fish!

Getting acquainted with the fishies during the helmet dive.

Getting acquainted with the fishies during the helmet dive.

Descending into the underwater world from the pontoon platform we were transported to was done via a ladder and once the heavy helmet is placed on top of your head (it weighs 30 kg in air and less in water because of its buoyancy), the descent is assisted by a certified scuba diver, the instructions of whom it is important to follow (it is also important to listen to the safety briefing prior to the dive which does provide necessary instructions as well as what hand signals do mean and when to use them). Dives are done in groups and once down, the 15 minute dive allows not just an opportunity to interact with those in your group, but also to take a few photographs and interact with the fish (a piece of bread would be given to each person to feed the fish).

Water activities off Bulabog Beach include Helmet Diving ...

Helmet Diving.

The view from the bottom.

The view from the bottom.

Melissa underwater.

Melissa underwater.

The helmet dive, which everyone certainly enjoyed, was part of the activities planned on our first morning in Boracay which also included the opportunity for us to snorkel in the beautifully clear waters and ride on a banana boat – all of which took place around the reef off Bulabog Beach (do refer to my previous post on Boracay’s beaches). This was followed by an island hopping adventure (which the snorkelling activity was actually a part of) and lunch at Tambisaan Beach – all which was an excellent way to get to know the island resort. While I did not particularly look forward to the banana boat, the ride was certainly something which did surprise me – not so much for the speed at which it was towed by the speed boat, but for the wonderful views we go from the boat of the rugged coastline along the northern eastern side of the island.

On the Banana Boat.

On the Banana Boat.

And riding on a Banana Boat.

Riding the Banana Boat.

Great views from the Banana Boat.

Great views from the Banana Boat.

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Snorkelling is something I will never pass up the opportunity to do. It does offer a great way of seeing the coral reef below. While it would probably have been nice to see the coral below close-up, the spot we found ourselves at was perhaps a little too deep to do that. Still it was an excellent way to say hello to (or maybe in my case, scare) the colourful little fishies in the water.

Valyn snorkelling.

Valyn snorkeling.

William and Melissa with snorkels.

William and Melissa with snorkels.

The view below.

The view below.

The highlight of the day’s activities for me was the island-hopping adventure which took us first southeast to Crystal Cove Island, a small two hectare island situated where the Tabon Strait between Boracay and Panay joins the Sibuyan Sea. The island is an adventure in itself on which one can walk along it rocky coastline, take in some really magnificent views of the shallow waters that surround it, as well as explore two caves, the westward facing one of which offers a very inviting place to have a dip in at its seaward end – which certainly was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for those of us who did want to squeeze through a tiny opening and venture in. The island does play host to both visitors as well as campers, and interestingly, can also be rented for private functions. More information on it is available at its website.

A Ninja Girl jump at Crystal Cove Island.

The Ninja Girl jump at Crystal Cove Island.

Crystal Cove Island.

Crystal Cove Island.

Cave exploring on Crystal Cove Island.

Cave exploring on Crystal Cove Island.

The first cave we explored.

The first cave we explored.

The view of the waters around Crystal Cove Island.

The view of the waters around Crystal Cove Island.

Another view.

Another view.

On Crystal Cove Island looking east towards the Sibuyan Sea.

On Crystal Cove Island looking east towards the Sibuyan Sea.

The view out from the seaward opening of the second cave.

The view out from the seaward opening of the second cave.

Going for a dip outside the opening of the second cave.

Going for a dip outside the opening of the second cave.

From Crystal Cove Island on which we spent about one and a half hours on, it was time to head over to Tambisaan Beach, on the south-eastern coast of Boracay, our seafood picnic lunch stop. On the table for lunch was a buffet, along with Chilli Crab and huge and succulent grilled prawns which was brought to the table – in a beach side cafe like setting.

Tambisaan Beach.

Tambisaan Beach.

Juicy prawns - part of a seafood picnic lunch at Tambisaan Beach.

Juicy prawns – part of a seafood picnic lunch at Tambisaan Beach.

And chilli crabs!

And chilli crabs!

The waters off Tambisaan Beach.

The waters off Tambisaan Beach.

Pushing off from Tambisaan Beach.

Pushing off from Tambisaan Beach.

Crocodile Island seen just after leaving Tambisaan - shaped like a crocodile.

Crocodile Island seen just after leaving Tambisaan – shaped like a crocodile.

The hour long lunch was followed by a long boat ride which took us along the eastern length of Boracay from south to north in about half an hour, a ride which did give us some remarkable view of the island. The view as we approached the next intended stop, Puka Beach, was certainly one that I took great delight in.

Bats seen perched on trees along the eastern coast of Boracay.

Bats seen perched on trees along the eastern coast of Boracay.

Rocky cliff face along the eastern coast.

Rocky cliff face along the eastern coast.

A beach on the north-eastern coast.

A beach on the north-eastern coast.

Puka Beach in my opinion has to be right at the top of anyone’s list of must-see sights on Boracay (see my previous post: It’s more fun hopping skipping and jumping to and in Boracay). Right at the top edge of the island, it does seem as if it is the ends of the earth one is at, and where heaven perhaps begins. The feeling one gets standing on its beach is a simply magical one, from which one gets some of the best picture perfect views there are seem too many of on Boracay. Its quiet and isolation does give one a sense of being lost in paradise, as one takes it all in standing on the unspoilt beach and gazing across the azure waters that lay just beyond it.

The approach to Puka Beach.

The approach to Puka Beach.

A view of Puka Beach from the sea.

A view of Puka Beach from the sea.

Paradise on earth - Puka Beach.

Paradise on earth – Puka Beach.

Puka Beach, Boracay.

Puka Beach, Boracay.

A huge jump for joy at Puka Beach.

Leaping for joy at Puka Beach.

On the beach, I did not need a second invitation to jump right into the seemingly magical waters, as did many of the bloggers. I would, if I could, have spent the whole day at Puka Beach, just for the magic spell it seemed to have weaved around me, and also to help me reconnect with youth that’s long been lost, when the beach like this might have been what I would have lived for.

No one really needed a second invitation to get really wet in the inviting waters of Puka Beach.

No one really needed a second invitation to get really wet in the inviting waters of Puka Beach.

The hour on Puka Beach was certainly one I will not forget, not least for the leaping beauties I was in the company with. Back on the boat, it was now time to head back to White Beach, the boat taking a route around the northern tip and over to the western side of the island and passing some of the very exclusive cliff side hotel property found in the island’s northwest. This included a wondrous view of the Boracay Shangri-la with some of its very private loft villas, which do command some of the best views to wake up to on the island, perched high on the cliffs. Before we knew it we found ourselves back at White Beach. It was at Boat Station 3 we did find ourselves at, half an hour or so after leaving Puka Beach, greeted by the colourful sails the the many paraw double outrigger boats found at the station. It is from Station 1 where one boards the paraws for a sunset cruise – another must do activity. It wasn’t however for us to do that afternoon – we were to head back to the Regency to prepare for what turned out to be an amazing evening.

The along the northwestern coast of Boracay.

The along the northwestern coast of Boracay.

The beach at Shangri-la Boracay.

The beach at Shangri-la Boracay.

Paraws at White Beach's Boat Station 3.

Paraws at Boat Station 3 greeted our arrival back at White Beach.

Another view of the Boat Station 3.

Another view of the Boat Station 3.


Information on activities mentioned in this post:

  • Island hopping with lunch: PHP 1500 per head
  • Helmet dive: PHP 800 per person (minimum age 8 years – and must be able to bear weight of helmet in water)
  • Banana boat – 250 per person

The above activities can be reserved through Marsman Travel email: reservations@marsmandrysdale.com, Telephone: +632 8880228.

(Prices are provided only as a guide and are subject to variations and change)


The trip to Boracay was made possible by Tigerair Philippines and the Philippine Department of Tourism. Tigerair now flies direct to Kalibo Airport – for more information on flights to Kalibo, do visit http://www.Tigerair.com/ph/en/.

277A8320

Getting there:

Location information:


This is a repost of my post on Boracay Island Escapade.






Jumping off in paradise

15 07 2013

Believe me or not, jumping off a cliff from a height five storeys up, has been something I have always dreamt of doing – especially into the crystal clear waters of a far-off tropical island paradise. Doing what does seem like a crazy thing aside, there are many other reasons why, heading to Boracay might seem like waking up to a dream for me.

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While diving off a cliff may be an attempt to regain some of a long misplaced youth – the trip to Boracay, despite it being associated with a young crowd, does hold much for me. Who after all can resist relaxing by a sun drenched white sandy beach, bathing in its emerald tinged waters, and the promise of a golden sunset listening to the soothing song of the sea.

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Dreams do sometimes come true, even if it does involve jumping from five-storeys up. And thanks to the dream-makers in the form of Tigerair Philippines and the Philippine Department of Tourism as joint sponsors and omy.sg as organisers, I will find myself waking up to that dream on Thursday, when I join nine other bloggers on Tigerair’s inaugural flight to Kalibo Airport for a 5 day / 4 night trip.

Boracay

The maiden flight is one which does open up a new route from Singapore – making it a lot easier to get to that dream destination, which would previously have required passengers from Singapore to make a transfer to be made either in Manila or in Cebu. What it does take now is a 3 hour 40 minute flight to get to Kalibo, which is on the island of Panay, a transfer to Caticlan Port, and a boat ride over to Boracay which lies off the north-western tip of Panay in the Western Visayas.

What does make Boracay, which measures some 9 kilometres in length and 1 kilometre in width, especially attractive especially to beach lovers (and the beach bum I sometimes imagine myself to be), has to be its famous White Beach – a 4 kilometre stretch of pristine white sand running down its western side. This combined with the draw of its clear waters, sea activities and it numerous resorts and its famed nightlife, has earned the island the accolade of being Travel+Leisure Magazine’s World’s Best Island Destination in 2012.

Boracay-White-Beach_95

What I do have in store for me, besides the chance to lose my senses off a cliff (I might just be crazy enough to do the 15 metre dive), is a host of other activities to revisit my lost youth, both in or on the water, and on land. There is that opportunity to snorkel, ride a banana boat, and go on a helmet dive, hopping island to island. A cruise on a paraw, will hopefully be one which will be accompanied by a breathtaking sunset.

Boracay Sunset

On land, there will be lots of free time to have a feel of the place as well as to participate in planned activities which include a ATV tour to Mount Luho, horseback riding and a Zorb. There would also be dinner entertainment to look forward, including watching the Amazing Show and a chance to catch fire dancers by the beach.

Through the trip from 18 to 22 July 2013, the bloggers including myself will be providing updates through feeds on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. That will give all of you back home the chance to see not just what the ten of us would be up to, but also to find out who amongst us did take that 5 storey plunge from Ariel’s Point.


Getting to Boracay

Tigerair Philippines flies three times a week from 18 July 2013 on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays to Kalibo on Panay Island. The flight time for the route is 3 hours and 40 minutes. Getting across from Panay involves a 1.5 hour transfer to Caticlan Port and 15 minute boat ride.

More information on Boracay can be found at the Philippine Department of Tourism website.


All images: Philippine Department of Tourism Philippine Department of Tourism


This is a repost of my post on Boracay Island Escapade.