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 ❤️

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. 😆

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 😒 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 😆

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. 😆

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 😒 Definitely wasn’t happy with that part of the island hopping.

✌🏾

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 😆 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 😆

I’ve officially become that person who takes picture like this ☝🏾

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 😍 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 😊

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 💕

I actually don’t know how to be one, but I felt like that title would grab people’s attention. Perhaps you have to go around drinking coffee that isn’t from Starbucks and not be bothered about the rain, because it rains all the time. In that case… I’ve got it down to a T because I do that in London, anyway.

News that Taylor Swift had gotten together with Tom Hiddleston exploded all over the Internet, whilst I was in the US, and I can’t lie… it infuriated me. So, I drowned my sorrows in food and decided to not let the likes of a blonde bimbo get to me.

Ahem.

DAY 11

This was a really chill day spent exploring more of West Seattle. It’s a bit of the way out from where my cousin lives, but it’s definitely worth a visit. 

West Seattle is home to spectacular views of Puget Sound, quirky and chic shops and Alki’s Beach Park. It’s a nice neighbourhood, especially if you’re just looking for some downtime on your trip.

My first stop was Easy Street Records, which has an impressive array of vinyls and CDs. There are also a handful of second hand bookshops, where you can buy books for $1. Honestly, I felt like I was in heaven as I walked around. I then took a bus to Westwood Village, mainly because I needed to go to Target to pick up some things that my dad requested, and also ended up in Barnes & Noble. I bought ‘303 Writing Prompts: Ideas to Get You Started‘, which has actually been extremely helpful in getting my creative writing juices flowing!

After, that I took another bus to Alki Beach and literally just stayed there until I needed to meet Doreen. The weather was really good, so I plonked myself on the sand, put my sunglasses on and chilled with my book. Note: Once on Alki, there are two free buses which operate in the local neighbourhoods. Route 775 travels along Alki Beach, Route 773 services the West Seattle “Junction”.

basic beaches.

basic beaches.

Before heading back to Downtown, I picked up some vanilla bubble tea from Saigon Boat Cafe. Delicioso.

After relaxing for a while, myself, Doreen, Chris and Tonette headed out to go on a little food trip, which according to Doreen was just a normal weekly thing. Oh, to eat like a king.

  • First stop was Soi, located in Capitol Hill. It is a Thai restaurant, with a focus on the food of the raised plateau of the North Eastern region of Thailand called Issan. My favourite dish had to be Nang Gai Tod, which is crispy fried chicken skin – I could eat that every day for the rest of life, ngl. I would also recommend Phad Kana Moo Krob, which is found at many roadside stalls through Thailand and comprises of crispy, tender pieces of pork belly stir-fried with garlic, Chinese kale, soy sauce, and fresh Thai chilies. Their drinks menu is also really good!
  • Next stop was Big Mario’s Pizza, which is only around the corner from Soi. An absolute dive of a place, a place you probably wouldn’t be caught dead in unless you’re a biker or a druggie, but the sort of place that you still want to be in because they serve the: Best. Pizza. Ever. New York-style slices with combinations you didn’t think would work, but actually do, for example pear and gorgonzola. So, so good.
  • Last stop was Kurt Farm Shop, also in Capitol Hill tucked away into the Chophouse Row building. All you really need to know about this place is cheese ice cream. CHEESE. ICE. CREAM.
Nang Gai Tod หนังไก่ทอด

Nang Gai Tod หนังไก่ทอด

Everyday, I eat

Everyday, I eat

Hearts satisfied, and bellies full, we headed back home.

Day 12

I just had to brave the queue at the Original Starbucks! After picking up a yummy corndog from one of the stands in Pike Place Market, I joined the queue and whilst the wait was hella long, it was definitely worth it!

Located near the waterfront of Pike Place Market, everything in the entire store is original: the floors, the fixtures, the counters. It’s pretty magical. They even have the Starbucks’ original mermaid, baring her breasts and spreading her tails.

Also, an amazing thing happened where I ordered my iced frappé and whilst I was waiting the barista gave me an extra refresher because they just had one spare. Love, love, love!

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The weather wasn’t that great, so after popping into Target and raiding the stationery section (I bought a new calendar and planner), I headed back home. Later on that evening, we went to see Central Intelligence. I would definitely recommend this film if you love comedies. Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson are epic together, and the sight of the Rock in a My Little Pony t-shirt is sure to set you off.

Day 13

What do you do on your last day in Seattle? Why, you head out to Tukwila and chow down on some Jollibee, of course! Tukwila is a suburban city in King County and the northern edge of Tukwila borders Seattle. Doreen and I ended up in Westfield Southcenter, where we obviously had to go to Jollibee because when will I ever eat Jollibee besides going to the Philippines? I had to go for the Chicken Joy because that crispy skin, tho… *drools. I can’t believe how much rice I ate on this trip, hahahaha. The queue for Jollibee at 10 in the morning was already hella long!

I could fried chicken every day. Every cot damn day.

I could eat fried chicken every day. Every cot damn day.

We also went to Seafood City, which is basically the second home for Filipinos.

We walked around a little bit and I bought some last minute gifts for family and friends. It’s a generic mall, and we have Westfield here in London, so it was nothing new.

Go Seahawks!

Go Seahawks!

By this point, I had already seen most of the touristy things in Seattle and then some, so there wasn’t much left for me to do. We ended up back home to relax before heading out for a late lunch with Tonette and Chris.

Westward is located on the north shores of Lake Union, and if you sit outside you get some great views of Seattle’s skyline. The weather wasn’t great, so we decided to sit inside, however if you want to brave the cold weather they also provide blankets and there is outdoor heating 🙂

It was definitely one of the fancier restaurants I visited whilst in Seattle – Tonette and Doreen ordered a buttload of oysters, but as I am allergic to seafood I settled for chips & dip and crudités. For my main, I ordered Confit Chicken Hash: pearl barley, green garlic, broccoli raab, poached farm egg, lemon yogurt. It was absolutely delicious. To be honest, when it arrived it didn’t really look appetising. I mean the presentation was good, but the colours were so bland. Nevertheless, it was really, really tasty!

I then had a latte and beignets for dessert. Beignets are absolutely gorgeous! I’d never had them before I went to Westward, but when Tonette told me what they were I just had to order a plate 🙂

chips and dip/crudités (raw, pickled & cured things)

chips and dip/crudités (raw, pickled & cured things)

Honestly, tasted better than it looks!

Honestly, tasted better than it looks!

Required to touch the soul to wake it up

Required to touch the soul to wake it up

Beignet, synonymous with the English "fritter", is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux pastry.

Beignet, synonymous with the English “fritter”, is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux pastry.

I was utterly distraught to be leaving Seattle. The fact that it was raining as well, was surely a sign that the sky was crying because I was leaving. Alas, I’m a hopeless romantic like that. Just like that 2 weeks were over in the blink of an eye. My flight home was uneventful; as my flight was in the evening, it meant that I arrived afternoon time the next day. Didn’t really have jet lag, to be fair, and I kept myself awake until it was time for bed. I had to do that because I had work the next day, otherwise my body would have been messed up, ha.

Back to reality.

Back to reality.

I had the most amazing time discovering new cities whilst in the US, and I know for sure that I will definitely be back. From visiting the Space Needle to going to Disney to crossing a death-defying bridge, and of course, eating all the food along the way – I would do it all over again… right now

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

For now, it’s back to reality and dreams of going to Barcelona next August. Until the next travel post ?