It's More Fun in the Philippines!- Boracay Travel Tips

What better way to open my series of posts about the Philippines than to do it with the quintessential tourist spot in the country, BORACAY!

Whenever a foreign friend asks me for advice on places to visit when on vacation in the Philippines, here are the first things that I say:

1. Make sure you visit an island. The Philippines can’t be represented by the city
2. Although we call our capital Manila, it is not necessarily just ‘Manila’ the old city. that’s just part of METRO MANILA.
3. Don’t confine yourself to hotels listed as being in ‘Manila’ Broaden your options since a lot of great hotels are located in other parts of Metro Manila such as Bonifacio Global City, Makati, Pasig, Mandaluyong, etc.
4. If it’s your first time in the Philippines or worse, first time in Asia, I highly recommend going to Boracay instead of trying to be adventurous and heading out to the more remote islands.

I’ll post more about my advice for coming to the Philippines but for now, I’ll tell you why I always recommend Boracay as the first island to try out. Here are a few reasons:

1. Unlike Thailand, The Philippines is not as saturated with foreign tourists. You will be more comfortable in a place like Boracay where the locals are used to foreigners and are ready to cater to your needs..

2. It is best to stay near other tourists Remember, there is safety in numbers. Don’t be scared, I didn’t say everywhere else is unsafe but venturing out to an isolated mountain or island might not be the best idea if you are coming to Asia for the first time. Sorry to say it, but some of you might think you know what you’re doing but you need to live in the third world for a while to know what I mean.

3. Because this is a well-established tourist area, you will easily find many of the conveniences you won’t find in other places such as tourist support offices, high police visibility and a wide array of tours and other touristy stuff to choose from.

4. There are many kinds of accommodations available depending on your preference or budget. Some people who may want to rough it out and really get the island vibe can stay in many native cottages available. Those who are in large groups can rent a beach house. Others who may want to spend their vacation in luxury also have a large selection of 5 star establishments to choose from.

5. Whatever first world conveniences you might miss are probably available here as opposed to many other island getaways in the Philippines. If you want your ESPN and CNN,all the places here have cable TV. There are ATM machines in the beachfront and you can also find internet cafes and other such places in case you need to get something done or find yourself in an emergency.

6. The place gives you a complete island experience but still offers the option of keeping all the conveniences you are used to close at hand.  There are also a lot of familiar restaurants in case you’re a choosy eater. You don’t have to eat local food if your tummy doesn’t agree with it. There are pizzerias, Japanese restaurants, Korean, Greek, Steakhouses, anything you can think of! But of course, I would recommend trying the local seafood.

7. You can choose a part of the island to have a quiet getaway with your partner or choose to stay in the thick of things for singles or groups of friends. The island is also quite family friendly. Drugs and prostitution are around but not as wild as some other popular island resort towns all over the world.

Boracay Wedding

8. You have the option of just chilling out by the beach or going island hopping, sailing, scuba-diving, snorkeling, hiking etc. There are a lot of activities available. you can explore caves, jump from cliffs, go on a zorb rid and rent ATVs. The options are endless!

9. Despite being popular, Boracay is almost never congested except for the holy week or labor day weekend. Even then, If you’re white and like sunbathing, you will still find the beachfront relatively empty during the day since Filipinos don’t like tanning. There won’t be any of those crazy over-crowded-wrestling-for-umbrella-space scenarios over here. 🙂

Quiet Beachfront
10. Being surrunded by other islands, Boracay is very safe. There are no strong currents, the waves are always mild, there are no sharks and it is protected against tsunamis by all the other islands surrounding it!
The famous Boracay sunset:

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to answer them. Here are a few links you may also want to visit: