Over a decade ago, I dated a young Japanese woman who was crazy about
place in the Philippines called Boracay. In fact, at the time, she'd
already been to Boracay 3 times & absolutely raved about it. Ever
since then, it's been on my bucket list and in February 2016 I finally
got my chance to visit.
Boracay is just one of the Philippines' remarkable 7,641 islands, but
the big attraction for me, as for most folks, is Boracay's White
Beach, which won Trip Advisor's 2015 Travelers' Choice award for
rated beach in all of Asia.
Boracay (pronounced boh-rah-kah-ee) is a 7-km long, dog bone-shaped
island, only 1 km wide at its
narrowest point, and White Beach takes up a remarkable 4 of those 7 km.
Boracay lived up to all the pre-trip hype I read online, even though
most of White Beach in
February should actually be renamed Green
Beach due to the seasonal
abundance of seaweed in the water. But that, along with all the hoardes
of Chinese tourists there for the Chinese New Year with their selfie
sticks, definitely didn't
distract me from enjoying such a beautiful tropical paradise.
White Beach, as seen from Station 2
On this page, I will share some of the more memorable highlights of my
7-day Boracay travel adventure, including my 1st-ever zipline
experience, my 1st parasailing experience in 2 decades, all the AMAZING
kitesurfers on Bulabog Beach, the White Beach Station 2 nightlife, and
my visits to Puka Shell Beach, Ilig-Iligan Beach, & Diniwid Beach.
Also, the incredible Crown Regency Oceanarium tunnel walk, wave pool,
& Wave Rider, my hike up to the beautiful cross atop Steve's Cliff
which has a stunning view of White Beach (the interesting time-lapse
sunset I filmed from there Feb. 12 can be viewed at the 26:49 mark in my
video below), my stay at the Seabird
International Resort, the "My
Boracay Guide" transport service, and some general comments on all the
shopping, restaurants, & stores.
Ziplining, parasailing, and a reverse bungee
Ziplining - By far
the most exciting thing I did during my entire week-long stay
was to go ziplining for the 1st time in my life. I guess I can honestly
say I was only moderately frightened flying thru the air head first
& stomach down just like Superman, and the views of the Fairways
Resort & golf course and Lapuz-Lapuz Beach down below were truly
Boracay's Lapuz-Lapuz Beach, as seen from the zipline
But what totally freaked me out is when I got to the other side, I was
expecting to begin gradually slowing down before reaching the landing
platform, but that was not the case.
In fact, I was surprised that there was no reduction in speed at all
until about only 10 m from the landing platform wall that was staring
me in the face,
and I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to stop when SUDDENLY
I was stopped by a very strong jerk just shy of the platform.
WOW, definitely scary stuff, but very enjoyable! You can check out my zipline adventure
along with its very EXCITING finish at the 16:19 mark in my video below.
Boracay zipline and cable car
The zipline adventure only set me back 900 Philippine pesos
$19, plus the 150 peso (~$3) trike ride to the zipline launch pad.
Parasailing - While
in Boracay, I also had a chance to go parasailing for the 1st
time in 20 years when I last did it in Phuket, Thailand. The view from
100 m up above the gorgeous blue Philippine sea was to die for. I
really wish I'd had some way of filming my parasailing experience,
but I just didn't want to risk taking my digicame or iPhone, even
inside one of those plastic, waterproof phone pouches with a neckstrap
which are widely sold by vendors in Boracay.
My wonderful buddy Joevani, the manager at the Seabird Resort where I
stayed, arranged for my parasailing adventure thru Diamond Water
Sports for around 2000 PHP (~$42), as I recall.
Reverse bungee -
And while I didn't try it myself... it seemed a bit too pricey to me...
but one evening I observed a thrilling reverse bungee. It was the 1st
first time for me to ever see this sort of thing. You're definitely
going to want to check out the G-MAX reverse bungee in action at the
9:38 mark in my video below. AMAZING!!
Boracay G-Max reverse bungee
Crown Regency Boracay Water Adventure
fun thing that I did in Boracay (which I found out about quite by
accident after I was already in Boracay for 3 days & which I don't
recall reading anything about on the internet prior to my trip) was the
Boracay Water Adventure at the Crown Regency Resort & Convention
Boracay Crown Regency Oceanarium tunnel walk
For only 900 PHP (~$19) I was able to enjoy a tour of their various
fish ponds, the Oceanarium tunnel walk, a drink & snacks in the
Ocean Bar, a mermaid show (the cute girl kept blowing us kisses!),
fish feeding, and an opportunity to swim in their wave pool.
Boracay Crown Regency mermaid show
The wave pool was especially enjoyable since there was no swimming pool
at the Seabird Resort where I stayed, and our young Filipina tour
guide was VERY cute & cordial, and spoke great English.
Although I didn't try it out, as a former surfer myself, I must say I
found VERY interesting the Crown Regency's Wave Rider, which you can
try surfing on at additional cost.
Boracay Crown Regency Wave Rider (Hang 10!)
If you visit Boracay & you're a water sports person, you'll
definitely want to head over to the Crown Regency. You can view both
the wave pool & Wave Rider at the 38:27 & 39:16 marks,
respectively, in my action-packed video below.
Kitesurfers on Bulabog Beach
From the summit of Mt. Luho, the highest point in Boracay, when I first
caught glimpse of all the kite surfers on Bulabog Beach, I couldn't
believe my eyes that there were SO many! To be honest, I don't recall
ever seeing kitesurfing before, so this was a real treat, but what
really surprised me is how many kitesurfers there actually were.
Boracay kitesurfing on Bulabog Beach
And then after walking down to Bulabog Beach from Mt. Luho to where I
had a chance to see all the action up close and personal, I was
astounded even more at how many of the colorful kites you could see up
in the air. It truly amazed me how all those kitesurfers could do their
thing out there without colliding into each other.
I'm guesstimating from Google Maps that Bulabog Beach can't be much
longer than about 1 km, & I believe I saw at least 100 kitesurfers
out there all at the same time, and maybe more. Well, I suppose I
shouldn't be all that surprised, because during my pre-trip research, I
read on the internet that Bulalog Beach is regarded by many as the #1
beach in all of Asia for kitesurfing!
Boracay kitesurfers on Bulabog Beach
I must say that those folks looked like they were having a LOT of fun,
but even though I used to do some surfing in my high school and college
days (Mom still keeps my 7'2" Gordon & Smith board in her home,
believe it or not!), I decided that kitesurfing might be just a tad bit
for me, so I decided to just casually observe rather than actually
Be sure to check out all the BUSY, BUSY kitesurfing action on Bulabog
Beach at the 22:32 mark in my video below.
Puka Shell Beach, Ilig-Iligan Beach, & Diniwid
Besides Boracay's 2 main beaches, White Beach and Bulabog Beach, there
are a number of other stunning public beaches to check out during your
visit, which are not privately-owned by the luxury resorts &
Puka Shell Beach -
One of the most popular public beaches is at the far north end of
Boracay Island, known as Puka Shell Beach. Although there aren't that
many puka shells around these days, Puka Shell Beach got its name from
the abundance of the shells that used to be found along the beautiful
white sandy shores there.
Boracay's Puka Shell Beach
(Carabao Island in background)
Back in the early 50s, Hollywood stars like Sophia Loren and Charlton
Heston made famous the puka necklaces that were made from these
Before I left Tokyo, one of my wonderful Filipino friends highly
recommended that I visit Puka Shell Beach and his advice turned out to
be spot on. What a beautiful place!
Ilig-Iligan Beach -
The day I chose to visit Puka Shell Beach, I wound up walking most of
the way, but somewhere pretty far along the Main Road I caught a trike
ride that I THOUGHT was going to take me to Puka Shell Beach, but
I wound up at nearby Ilig-Iligan Beach, which was so gorgeous that I
just couldn't resist taking a dip as soon as I arrived.
Boracay's Ilig-Iligan Beach
On my way walking over to Puka Shell Beach, I stopped off at the Mango
Tree restaurant at the Oasis Resort Boracay. Great place and I can
highly recommend the garlic shrimp which I had for lunch.
Diniwid Beach -
Another place I really enjoyed was the tiny Diniwid Beach, which is in
a quiet, secluded cove just around the bend from the far north part of
Boracay's Diniwid Beach
Actually, I walked over there twice, the 2nd time to film a sunset from
the Spider House restaurant and bar, which is a popular spot for
celebrating sunsets. If you get a chance, please check out the 4
sunsets in my video below, 2 of them filmed with
the time-lapse feature on my iPhone.
Steve's Cliff Boracay
Clearly visible from virtually anywhere on White Beach is a cross on
top of the cliff at the far north end of the beach. This is known as
Steve's Cross, dedicated to the memory of Steve Tajanlangit, Jr.
(1954-2011), a prominent businessman and owner of the Boracay Terraces
Resort there down below the cliff, which is called Steve's Cliff
Steve's Cross in Boracay
It's a very impressive memorial and the cross is even lit up at night,
so it's hard to miss. Being the big mountain climber that I am, I
decided I would hike up to the top of it on my 3rd day in Boracay.
View of White Beach from Steve's Cliff
The view from the top is quite stunning... you can see all of White
Beach to the south, and just a short ways around the trail to the west,
you can catch the sunset. If you have time, you can view the time-lapse
sunset I filmed from up there at the 26:49 mark in my video
below (the actual 8 min. sunset lasts only 31 sec. in the video).
The trail is fairly short & easy, and along the way you'll find 13
small pieces of artwork depicting Jesus Christ's crucifixion. At the
top just below the cross is an altar & headstone dedicated to
Steve. You can see more pics of Steve's Cross in my Flickr photo album below.
Jesus Christ crucifixion artwork on Steve's Cliff hiking trail
The trail entrance is via the stairs at the back of the restaurant in
the Boracay Terraces Resort, and it costs just 50 PHP (~$1) to enter.
Seabird International Resort
I was very pleased with my 7-night stay at the Seabird
International Resort, which I reserved online at Expedia Japan. The
Seabird is located in Station 2 less than 100 m from White Beach, and
my room package included free wifi & free breakfast at their very
There's no pool there, but the rooms are reasonably priced and
comfortable. One thing that really impressed me was the 80 cable TV
channels in the rooms. One small glitch, though, is that Expedia Japan
claimed on their Seabird webpage that the rooms have safes, but in
fact they do not. However, you can always keep your valuables in the
desk safe-deposit box.
My single deluxe room in the Seabird International Resort, Boracay
Finally, I'd like to take just a moment to thank from the bottom of my
heart Seabird's amazing manager Joevani, who was not only very cordial
every day, but who also graciously assisted with advising about &
even reserving some of my sightseeing activities. Definitely a great
Boracay nightlife, restaurants, & shopping
Boracay, which has been voted as 1 of the world's top party beaches,
has also been referred to as the Las Vegas of the Philippines. While
some might discount this talk as just hype, I found it to be true,
especially in White Beach's Station 2, not far from my hotel.
There is actually one stretch of White Beach which is virtually
and restaurants, many of them with live music. Some shops are so close
together that while you're sitting in 1 club, you can actually hear the
live music from the adjacent club.
With the exception of just a couple of musicians which you might have
expected to hear on open mic night at a coffee house, I found almost all
of the live music very good. The best part is you can listen to the
music for free by just walking along the White Beach footpath.
Boracay beachside restaurant & bar
One of the most amazing things was that many of these bars and
restaurants are open-air & literally set up right on the sand, some
with beanbag chairs not
far from the water's edge. In many respects, it reminded me of what I
observed on Chaweng Beach in Koh
Samui, Thailand a number of years ago.
Only, in Boracay the amazing nightlife is celebrated on a much grander
scale. The nightspots that seemed to be getting the most action, that
anyone can clearly see by just walking down the White Beach footpath,
include the Epic Club (part of D'Mall), the Boracay Regency's Wave Club
disco, the Exit
Bar, the Red Coconut Hotel's Coco Bar, and the Summer Place.
And even though not all clubs have live music, several of them seemed
to at least have DJs who were busy pumping out the hits.
Happy hour specials are fairly common, and 4 nights a week, they even
have a 3-hour pub crawl, whose participants you can't miss as they are
all given yellow pub crawl t-shirts as part of the package.
Boracay PubCrawl yellow-shirt participants
And if you have chance to ever experience the Boracay nightife, by all
means don't miss the incredible fire dancers which you can catch a
glipse of beginning at the 7:47 mark in my Boracay video
In my video, you can also see some of the other White Beach nightlife I
was able to
capture at the 6:46 mark, some of the White Beach live music at the 11:44
mark, and a quick glimpse of some of the early night action at the
Boracay Regency Wave disco at the 14:07 mark.
Restaurants - As
for Boracay restaurants, tourists are treated to various cuisines from
around the world. I was surprised to see a number of Thai, Spanish,
Mexican, Moroccan, Japanese, Greek, Chinese, & Korean restaurants,
even saw a Texas steakhouse, believe it or not. Yee hah!
Texas Steakhouse in Boracay
If that weren't enough, you'll find a lot of other western-style
restaurants & shops like Shakey's Pizza, Subway, McDonald's, Johnny
Rockets hamburgers, TGI Fridays, Pizza
Hut, Starbucks, etc. Needless to say, there are lots of choices, not to
mention a number of
wonderful Filipino restaurants as well.
Yakitori-style grilled meat is very popluar along the beachside, and
some hotels have outdoor dinner buffets. And if you're a BBQ lover,
your mouth will surely water if you check out the 30:50 mark in my video below!
One of my favorite spots was the Hobbit Tavern, whose staff are,
appropriately, all charming little short people, and who were all kind
enough to pose for a group shot.
Friendly staff in the Hobbit Tavern Boracay
Shopping - Without
question, Boracay is a true shopper's paradise. There is literally
shopping everywhere!! You can't even walk anywhere down White Beach
without being pestered by vendors of some kind. And yes, since last
year they now even have a 7-11!
Boracay White Beach vendors of hats, shades, & selfie sticks
One of the most interesting shopping malls I believe I've ever seen is
the open-air D'Mall, which is basically 2 roughly parallel shopping
streets that extend all the way from White Beach to the Main road, with
a few interconnected side streets.
D'Mall consists of I'm guessing at least 100 various shops...
restaurants, bars, massage spas, a hotel, a small children's ferris
wheel, boutiques, souvenir shops, a rock climbing tower, a flower shop,
currency exchange shops, a basketball free throw shooting game, diving
& kiteboarding shops, eyewear stores, and most notably, the famous
Budget Mart, a kind of small, discount supermarket.
Boracay D'Mall shopping stall
I absolutely LOVED D'Mall & went there several times (my hotel was
very nearby), and I'm definitely NOT the shopping type. Trust me on
Another interesting shopping experience is seeing the D'Talipapa fish
market, where you can see fresh live catch and even have fresh seafood
of your choosing cooked right there on the spot. You can check out the
exciting D'Talipapa live catch at the 28:52 mark in my video
Although there may be cheaper, do-it-yourself options available, I can
highly recommend the MyBoracayGuide transport service from Caticlan
Airport to your hotel. The services are all-inclusive with their
cordial and friendly staff meeting you at the airport, transporting you
by van to the Caticlan Jetty Port, escorting you thru the terminal
& to the traditional Bangka ferry boat, and then picking you up at
the Cagban Port Jetty (on Boracay Island) & transporting you by
multi-cab to your hotel.
And of course, the return trip back to the airport as well. The
all-inclusive round-trip service runs 1200 PHP (~$25) and includes
environmental taxes, terminal fees, shuttle vans, and boat tickets.
MyBoracayGuide also provides comprehensive travel services including
hotel and sightseeing bookings on their website, but by far one of the
best things they do is publish the My
Boracay Guide Book, a free, comprehensive sightseeing guide
which you can pick up in the Caticlan ferry terminal.
The current issue I used on my trip is #26, dated February 2016 - April
2016. You can also download their free app from the iTunes store,
although that issue is already a year old (Issue #22). I also found the
iPhone app a bit unwieldy to use, & because Boracay's wifi was a
bit spotty, I recommend the actual paper version, conveniently
small-sized so you can easily carry it around the island in your pack
My Boracay Guide Book
Issue #26, Feb.-April 2016
My Boracay, Philippines Travel Photos
images in the collage below are just a small sampling of the 229 pics
in my Boracay,
hosted at Flickr. Clicking on the collage will open up the
Flickr album on a separate page. I hope you enjoy them!
was a magnificent trip and I was blessed to have sampled so much of the
amazing Boracay, Philippines culture & beauty....especially the
wonderful people. I hope the video
below helps you
catch a quick glimpse of this spectacular tropical Pacific paradise.
Don't miss out on action-packed stunning time-lapse sunsets, my
adventure, a reverse bungee, a wave pool, guys surfing on the "Wave
Rider," White Beach nightlife including live music, the Oceanarium
tunnel walk, kitesurfers on Bulabog Beach, and YES...believe it or
not.... even a wedding celebration ON THE BEACH!
My Boracay, Philippines travel adventure video
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)
0:00 White Beach pre-sunset 360-degree panorama
0:53 White Beach Feb. 10 sunset
4:18 White Beach palm trees blowing in the strong breeze
4:35 Rotisserie chicken
4:42 Wild Boracay turkeys
5:20 Puka Shell Beach
5:51 Riding on a trike back to Station 2
6:46 White Beach nightlife
7:47 Male fire dancers
8:47 Female fire dancer
9:38 G-Max reverse bungee
11:44 White Beach live music
13:13 Beer pong
14:07 Boracay Regency Wave disco
14:47 Riding on a trike to the zipline
16:02 Panorama from zipline launch platform
16:19 My AMAZING 1st-ever zipline adventure! (Is it ever going to
17:41 Return cable car ride back to zipline launch platform
21:07 Buggy cars near Mt. Luho
21:29 360-degree panorama from atop Mt. Luho, Boracay's highpoint
22:32 BUSY, BUSY kitesurfing on Bulabog Beach (the #1 beach in all of
Asia for kitesurfing!)
25:50 Busy Main Road traffic (no traffic signals on the entire island!)
26:17 Beach volleyball
26:49 Feb. 12 time-lapse sunset from Steve's Cliff (8 min. sunset in
only 31 sec.)
27:20 Showdown basketball free throw game in D'Mall
28:02 Young woman fails to reach top of rock climbing tower in D'Mall
28:52 Fresh live catch at the D'Talipapa fish market
29:45 Speed boat shuttle to the off-shore parasailing launch platform
30:50 BBQ meat grilling on White Beach footpath
31:16 Shoreline wedding celebration on White Beach
35:33 Feb. 13 time-lapse sunset from White Beach (5 min. sunset in only
35:53 Rotisserie pig (as in the WHOLE pig!)
36:21 Feb. 15 sunset from the Spider House Bar & Restaurant,
38:27 Crown Regency wave pool (Surf's up!)
39:16 Crown Regency Wave Rider (Hang 10!)
40:03 Overhead fish tank outside front entrance to Crown Regency
40:22 Crown Regency fish pond tour
(our tour guide was GORGEOUS!)
41:47 Crown Regency Oceanarium tunnel walk
44:17 World's largest pearl (Oops, don't blink or you'll miss this
44:19 Crown Regency Oceanarium mermaid show (pretty girl!)
48:42 Crown Regency Oceanarium fish feeding
50:05 Busy Main Road traffic
51:40 White Beach pre-sunset panorama
52:06 Feb. 16 sunset from White Beach
54:22 BUSY Philippine Airlines check-in counter at Boracay Airport
54:43 Sayonara Boracay! (takeoff
from Boracay Airport)
55:21 Landing at Manila Airport
56:16 Takeoff from Manila Airport, bound for Tokyo
Boracay, Philippines Google Map
If you've ever wondered exactly where in the Pacific Ocean that
Boracay, Philippines is located, it lies in the center of the ~1600-km
long Philippine archipelago, approximately 315 km (196 mi) south of
Manila and just off the northwest tip of Panay Island in the Western
Boracay is a tiny little island, taking up a whopping land area of only
10.32 sq km (3.98 sq mi), less than 10% the size of Walt Disney
World in Florida.
Boracay Island is located at approximately 12° N latitude and
122° E longitude, and is only 1 hour behind Japan (UTC +8 hrs).
To get a better feel for Boracay's location,
you can zoom out in the Google map below, or click open a larger Google
a separate page. Also, if you have Google Earth installed on your PC
& are skillful using GE's tilt, rotate, & zoom features, in the larger map you can check out the
& actually fly around Boracay as if you were in an airplane:
What a great, exotic place Boracay, Philippines is! I was very
with not only the gorgeous scenery, but the very cordial &
heartfelt Philippine people as well, who so graciously shared their own
slice of paradise with me.
There's a lot very special about Boracay, Philippines.... no traffic
lights, no tall buildings (of any kind), and as mentioned before,
Beach won Trip Advisor's 2015 Travelers' Choice award for
rated beach in all of Asia.
My 7 days in Boracay passed by TOO quickly, and I hope
I'm blessed with another opportunity to return someday.
I hope you found this page both informative & entertaining,
and that it will benefit future
this Pacific island
It is also my hope you will find time to check back again soon to my
Boracay, Philippines travel adventure
page as I
it in the future with even more details.
you have any questions or comments, or perhaps have already visited
Boracay, feel free to share your experience in the comment
Thanks so much for visiting and please come back again soon...
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Mississippi Roots and Bluesman Steve Gardner is without question Tokyo's most accomplished harmonica playin' & finger pickin', slide playin' blues guitarist. For more on Steve and his music, including…
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