I was reading through some old posts earlier on this week, and I stumbled across a post from 2014 in which I listed the ‘Top 10 Places I’d Like to Visit‘. Whilst I’m far from completing even half of the list, I can proudly say that I have now visited Amsterdam and now, finally, after many years, I’ve visited Boracay. How do I even begin to explain Boracay? That magical little island famous for its white sand beaches and is honestly one of the most relaxing places on Earth. If you’re looking for paradise, well look no further…

Day 1

I realised that at this point I had been up early everyday since I arrived in the Philippines. I don’t ever remember actually having a lie-in. Nevertheless, it was probably a good thing because we managed to get more done during the day that way. Anyway, the morning we flew to Boracay my mother and I were up at 4AM. We were staying at my Tita’s in Manila, so we had to drop off my cousin and Tita to school before my Tito drove us to the airport. Traffic in Manila is something else, I tell ya. I remember when I was in the Philippines a few years back and the traffic then, but I swear it’s gotten worse. God forbid I ever use public transport there (I know I sound like a snob, heh). 

Our flight was at 10AM and we arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport with plenty of time to spare. We walked around a bit before deciding to head to Jollibee for breakfast because who denies fried chicken for breakfast? Not me, that’s for sure. I love how they have a special breakfast set, which is basically just Chickenjoy but with a fried egg and fried rice instead of normal rice. Ang sarap, though.

Because of course Filipinos are generally a late people (I try not to stereotype, but it’s true), our flight was delayed by an hour (or perhaps it was 2 hours) and it was ages before we arrived at Kalibo airport. Side note: We were standing near the conveyor belt waiting for our luggage when I overhead this guy mentioning that he’d been living in the Philippines for almost 5 years and that he had recently visited “Say-boo”. 5 years in the Philippines and you can’t even pronounce Cebu correctly? OKAY.

Heading to Kalibo was only the first part of our long journey to Boracay. My cousin had booked us transport to Caticlan Jetty Port, so it was a 2 hour bus journey to there in which I obviously fell asleep during the whole ride. Once we arrived at the port, it was a 15 minute boat ride to Boracay! We all got ferried onto this rickety little boat and I was holding on for dear life just trying to board. I genuinely thought I was gonna drop off the side, but thankfully I made it.

In the little rickety boat with our sexy life jackets on

Once we finally arrived on the island, it was another short journey to La Carmela de Boracay Resort Hotel. The hotel itself was lovely. Our package included breakfast, so that was a bonus and whilst you had to pay for wifi per day in your room there was free wifi in the lobby so it wasn’t too bad. Also, you get fresh juice drink upon arrival which was lovely.

Our first day was spent literally walking the most of the beach on the island. Like I mentioned previously Boracay is famous for its white sand beaches, and goddamn it is so fucking beautiful. No words to describe the sense of peace I felt whilst strolling alongside the ocean. I’ll mention briefly that before I went away, I wasn’t in a great place but that moment, on that beach, 1000 miles away from all my problems, I was at peace. It was what I needed to get myself out of my stupor.

So in love

It’s like a dream

We visited the activities area where we booked island hopping and scuba diving for the next day. The island hopping promised a delicious looking buffet, which I was looking forward to. We also witnessed a wedding, which made my icy heart melt โค๏ธ

We were meant to go out to dinner that evening after we got back to the hotel, but it had honestly been such a long day that we slept all the way until the next morning. ๐Ÿ˜†

Day 2

We had breakfast at the hotel, which consisted of the usual: fried rice, spam, scrambled and fried egg, corned beef. They also had toast with butter, pancakes, fruit, mango and pineapple juice, and coffee and tea. It was quite a selection. I had enough to feed a small army (you think I’m joking). After breakfast, we on a morning beach walk, which is something I could do everyday to start my day. I know for sure that my days would definitely be better starting that way.

Morning beach walks, FTW

We then headed to the meeting point for the boat for island hopping. You know I said previously Filipinos are generally a late people… yeah, it showed again that morning. The boat was meant to arrive at 9… it did not arrive until 10.30 ๐Ÿ˜’ We also basically had to swim in the ocean before we could even board the boat, so my playsuit was hella wet once I was seated. It was quite hot that day, anyway so I dried quickly. I was planning on wearing my swimsuit underneath but decided against it – had to wait until we got to Crystal Cove Island to change into it, so missed out on the snorkelling the first time around.

The boat was basically in the middle of the ocean ๐Ÿ˜†

Mummy’s bighead

Our first stop was Crystal Cove Island located about 10-15 minutes away from White Beach, Boracay. There are various pathways that will lead you all around the island – there is quite a lot to discover from museums to the sea coves. You have to climb down quite deep to get into the caves and I was the only one brave enough to do so, but it was so worth it. I didn’t want to risk my phone whilst down there because the waves were crashing pretty high, so I left it with my mum whilst I was exploring. It was spectacular, though! I did manage to get some other pictures, though, including one of me desperately looking for bae. ๐Ÿ˜†

Views from Crystal Cove

Living that mermaid life

After exploring Crystal Cove (which actually got pretty exhausting because there just SO much to explore. Great workout, though), we headed over to a different island for lunch. We had to wait fucking ages, though, because they only had one bus when we arrived so they took one batch over to the lunch area first and then we had to wait for it to come back and take us. The food wasn’t even anything to write home about, anyway, which sucked. We didn’t even get the prawns we wanted, which were advertised as part of the buffet ๐Ÿ˜’ Definitely wasn’t happy with that part of the island hopping.

โœŒ๐Ÿพ

Before heading to Puka Shell Beach, we stopped for some snorkelling. I had changed into my swimsuit at that point, so I happily donned a snorkelled and jumped into the clear blue sea. I’ve never snorkel before that, so it was an amazing experience and something I would not have passed up despite nearly ruining my wig ๐Ÿ˜† It was so worth seeing all the corals and fish in the sea – made me wish I had a GoPro so I could have documented it all. Thankfully, some hair oil I bought in 7/11 saved my wig and it actually put some bounce back in it! Thank God.

Our last stop was Puka Shell Beach, also known as Yapak. This is definitely one of the quieter islands, as there are no hotels or anything on the beach. It seems so untouched and is probably the best place to be alone with your thoughts. You can walk for miles and not encounter anybody. It is so peaceful. We stumbled across a man offering to take our photo in front of his Puka Beach sandcastle in exchange for a few pesos. It was for his family, so we couldn’t resist. Also, the sandcastle was hella awesome! I can barely make a normal sandcastle let alone that amazing sculpture.

I was also totally feeling myself in my new red swimsuit from Pretty Little Thing and made my mum do an impromptu photoshoot on a secluded part of the beach ๐Ÿ˜†

I’ve officially become that person who takes picture like this โ˜๐Ÿพ

Cheesing

Unfortunately, the island hopping literally took the whole day and so by the time we got back, it was too late to do the scuba diving. We got our money back, but my cousin and my mum let the lady who sold us the activity HAVE IT. Naturally, the island hopping was great but the service was abysmal. Will definitely not be using D’Chosen Fun Tours again.

After heading back to the hotel for a quick shower and rest, we headed out for dinner. We ended up in Victory Divers Resto-Bar where there was a buffet, which was much better than the one we had on the tour! We also had a jug of iced tea, so refreshing. Just outside the restaurant, there was a coconut water seller. There are quite a few of them on the strip, but this is only one I saw that sold fresh coconut water mixed with THREE shots of rum. Yeah, that’s right THREE. You can view this video and hear my mother voice her obvious disgust, lol.

I, for obvious reasons, was feeling like a hot mess after finishing my drink. The coconut itself is actually really heavy! Also, there was tons of water in there. The urge to go toilet was strong after a while. Nevertheless, I carried this heavy ass coconut whilst we went around D’Talipapa Market. I managed to get a shot glass for my collection and a personalised keyring. My mum bought a shit ton of dried mango to bring back home, haha.

After exploring, we wondered back onto the main strip. We managed to catch the fire dancers that were actually dancing outside the hotel we were staying at. There were a few others at another restaurant. It was so cool! I also got henna done; I let the guy freestyle his design and it turned out so pretty. It’s been ages since I’ve had henna done on my hand. My cousin also got me to try Isaw ng Manok (grilled chicken intestine) and Inihaw na Isaw ng Baboy (BBQ pork intestine), which was actually tastier than I thought it would be! I mean intestines, amirite? I was feeling pretty tired at this point (also slightly drunk) and so we decided to head back to the hotel.

Day 3

My cousin had arranged for a bus to pick us up from our hotel to take us back to the port at 1PM, so we had some time to kill. After breakfast and check out, we decided to head back to D’Talipapa Market to pick a few more gifts for family and friends. We actually spent quite a bit of time there, so by the time we got back to the hotel we were hungry. We ended up at the Hangover Kitchen, which was located quite near the hotel, and I had some delicious chicken inasal. We also had sizzling pork sisig, which was equally delicious. I love Filipino food ๐Ÿ˜ I also spotted this awesome sign which resonates so much with me. Tell ’em!

After eating we chilled out in the hotel lobby whilst we waited for our bus to come pick us up and to start the loooooong journey back to Manila. Once we arrived in Manila, we stayed at my cousins house and in the morning we took the coach back to Tarlac ๐Ÿ˜Š

Overall, Boracay was an amazing experience and I am just dying to go back and experience it all over again. Everything from the beaches, sunshine, to the food and stunning views, everything about that island is freaking perfect. Boracay is breathtaking and I know I will be back. Fo’sho.

bye, boracay. you’ve been breathtaking; i’ll be back ๐Ÿ’•

I really tried to jump on the Blogmas band wagon, but I fell off way back when and it’s probably not going to happen. Now I’m just behind in my blog posts.. lol, such a failure.

This wonโ€™t be like my usual travel posts where I detail what I did on each day because honestly most of the days I spent sleeping and eating. It was much needed.

As yโ€™all know, unless you donโ€™t follow me on Instagram, I was recently in the Philippines for just under two weeks. It was mainly for family and for my Lolaโ€™s memorial as it has been a year since she passed away, but I did manage to squeeze some fun in. I honestly miss it so much, and I wish I was back there!

I got to spend some time in Tarlac, Manila and Boracay. If I had more time, I would have got to the other islands like Cebu or Palawan but thereโ€™s always next time! Iโ€™ll be doing a separate post for Boracay, which will be like my usual travel posts.

Every time we go to the Philippines we stay in Tarlac, which is a province in Central Luzon. My Lolaโ€™s house is right opposite the rice fields, so if you wake up super early you get to see the sun rise over them. Itโ€™s really pretty.

I spent the majority of the time eating myself into a food coma, so much so that I started to resemble Buddha’s twin sister. You could probably see my food baby from space. Honestly, I ate so much rice. I mean more so than usual. I’m paying for it now because when I got back my other Lola said that she could see the whole of the Philippines in my thighs. Yeah, love you too.

There was one morning where my mother woke up just so we could go to Tarlac Recreational Park in San Jose. I hadn’t showered, I still had my hair wrap on and I was still in my pyjamas. That sunrise was worth it (sort of). 

I guess the sunrise was worth it…

We also spent time in Manila and I got to meet up with Tiff. We had lunch at Victorino’s where they specialise in Ilocano food. The food was amazinggggg and it was so lovely to be able to meet up with Tiff whilst I was out there. I had to lay down in the back seat on the way home, haha. I will be writing a Food Diary post about Victorino’s for sure.

Was so lovely seeing Tiff again!

(Mang Bok’s pork liempo is what dreams are made of.)

After Manila, we headed back to Tarlac where we had Lola’s memorial. It was really nice and whilst the mass was in Tagalog and I didn’t understand, I got the gist. We had so many family and friends over for food afterwards; it was overflowing. I ended up getting overheated so I had to go and lie down for a bit after eating my weight in food. It was honestly such a lovely memorial. I always find it better to be happy when remembering someone – surrounding yourself with friends and family always helps.

Chef Baboy ๐Ÿท

Keeping Up With the (insert all the different surnames for my family here)

My last few days were spent chilling. I actually got to Almah Rousa Beauty Spa and had the best full body massage + ventosa cupping therapy. One of the most relaxing experiences in my life, ughhhh.

“Ventosa cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese alternative treatment that uses local  suctions on the skin to eliminate stagnation of the blood flow and promote healing for a variety of  health conditions such as colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, body pain, swelling and gastrointestinal disorders. It is also used to balance the qi and maintain a healthy physical well being.” – Cebu Spa & Wellness Guide

I ended up with circular bruises on my back, which lasted a couple of days but they didn’t hurt ๐Ÿ™‚

Honestly, since coming back I’ve missed the Philippines so much. Mostly because of my family but the country itself it just goddamn amazing. The food, the atmosphere, the people, the beaches – what more could you really ask for?