GOD is truly THE GREATEST! We’ve been praying for a good weather for our Boracay trip since we reserved tickets and room accommodation a month ago and He didn’t only give us a good one but the best :D
For the blessing of having an opportunity to enjoy one of the world’s best beaches safely with whole lot of family fun, we just cannot thank Him enough.
I’ll be sharing with you our family’s first adventure trip to Island Paradise in divided doses posts :
1. Our TRIP from Manila – Kalibo – Boracay.
2. Our HOTEL and room accommodation.
3. Our days at THE BEACH!
4. Our Boracay-FOOD TRIP!
5. Our FUN ACTIVITIES at Boracay.
6. Our trip BACK TO MANILA.
My wife, Tina, our 5-year-old son, Gabby and I were up and about early last Sunday, 18 October 2009 and left the house at around 5:30 in the morning, to catch a plane ride to Kalibo at 9:05AM.
It was too careless of me not to read (NOTE to SELF : Yes, it pays to read instructions always!) the note at the e-ticket from Cebu Pacific that we have to go directly to the new NAIA terminal 3. So I asked the cab driver to take us to the old(est) domestic airport and surprisingly, the guards directed us to the proper departure area. Unknowingly, NAIA 3 has been Cebu Pacific’s terminal for more than a year now. I was really clueless for my last domestic flight was 2006 when I went to Roxas City, Capiz for work-related travel.
Man, we were soooo impressed! OK, so it isn’t as huge as Hong Kong’s or Bangkok’s but it’s comparable in terms of space and facilities. I guess with all of those brouhaha about its construction and what have you, at least proper credits should be given to the efforts of putting it all up. It’s always refreshing to see changes (tons of it, hopefully) and improvement in a third world country such as ours, isn’t it?
After paying the PhP 200 per pax terminal fees and while we’re still amazed with NAIA 3, we found ourselves munching these airport foods at 6AM.
We spent PhP 500 in all of these including 2 orders of drinks; although the price was affordable, sadly there was nothing special about it, sorry. At least, we’re happy to soothe our hungry tummies with bola-bola siopao, pork asado rice, siomai, and wanton soup.
Our boarding passes stated that the gates of 116 would open for Cebu Pacific bound to Kalibo 30 minutes before 9:05AM but it didn’t happen. Expectedly, there was inevitable delay in flight and unluckily, it affected ours. With only verbal apologies, they announced that our trip will be at around 10:20AM, more than an hour later than its prior schedule.
We can’t do anyting but wait and amuse ourselves; Tina and Gabby did some yoga for my cam :)
And after several trips to the toilet to pee, finally we boarded an air bus to Kalibo.
I don’t know about you but I love plane rides. I’m no like my wife who’s so terrified during take-offs and descent; I even have no worries about air pockets; not that I enjoy them, LOL, but I simply trust my faith. Weird as it gets, I also love foods served on planes! Whether they’re only cold cuts from Lufthansa on way to Bangkok before, or the unforgettable too-much-food-to-handle frequent servings from Royal Brunei Airlines when we’re en route Manila-Brunei-Brisbane-Auckland, NZ and those of PAL and China airlines food choices to name a few.
But since our recent trip was only 45 minute-domestic ride, nothing was served despite the late pick up.
It wasn’t the first time for our son to ride an air craft but he was still in a bassinet during his first and it has been 3 years since his second. Last Sunday’s trip was his first local flight and at 5 years of age, he already appreciated the clouds better and had vivid recall of them after.
Apparently, Mr. Sun was up and shining his brightest during our flight. It felt like summer in October! Wind wasn’t that strong. It was smoothest flight from Manila to Kalibo. It even became almost perfect had it not for the delay.
So Gabby and Mr. Spongebob Squarepants reached Kalibo airport for the first time. As we were excited after being allowed to disembark, an imbecile who came from the rear end of the plane lighted a cigarette! Didn’t he know that vehicles at the runway and the plane itself are flammable? Was it his first time to be at the tarmac? Or some people are just plain stupid to be inconsiderate?
From the airport, we were fetched by the hotel staff and via a 15-seater air conditioned van, we were transported to a jetty port in Caticlan from Kalibo exactly an hour and a half land trip. The trip was that long, owing to the suspension to use Caticlan airport after repeated runway accidents that happened few months ago.
According to our guide, the sea breeze and the waters were quite rough so we used TABON JETTY PORT in CATICLAN instead of the CAGBAN.
We were asked to sign two manifestos – one for Boracay Tourism Authority and the other one was for Marina’s. We availed of the hotel’s RTT/ round trip transfers so everything was paid for us by our guide. The fees didn’t only include land transport but also environmental fees and the boat ride.
Gabby took a step after another so carefully as we get in one of these motor boats at Tabon Jetty Port, Caticlan. Each motor boats has a maximum capacity of 3o. Marina mandates all sea aircraft passengers on open house decks to wear life vest jackets that are provided per boat so my family was more than happy to oblidged.
As local tourists and shutter bugs, I asked my family to smile before the boat sailed to the waters…
The fifteen-minute boat ride from Caticlan to Boracay was nearly seamless until Raffy, our boat, caught up with Girly, the other boat.
The mini-traffic lasted less than a minute.
For people who can afford to spend several figures per night, one of the high-end upscale hotels in Boracay is Discovery Shores. Look how enticing it is to be with them from boat transfers to whatnot… It really proves that you get your money’s worth but I’m not sure if it’s as exciting as the boats we rode
We reached the first of the three barangays comprising Boracay in Malay, Aklan and this is Manoc-Manoc (the other 2 are Balabag and Yapak).
As others were fetched by golf carts and some small hotel vans, our guide ushered us to a tricycle which was a lot bigger than what we have in Manila. It can accommodate 9 to 10 people including the driver. However, at that time, the yellow tricycle was exclusively intended for the three of us Isn’t that great?
Not too long, we were warmly received by the the resort staff who offered glasses of welcome drinks.