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).


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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/.

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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.

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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.

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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.