I never wanted to go to Boracay. Growing up near the shores of Cebu, I had enough Vitamin Sea, white sands, alluring sunsets, and salty breeze experience all through my life. So why bother going there? Moreover, I have watched several documentaries about the island – including its history, issues, and conspiracies – so why bother?
Well, when you’ve got nothing to do on your extra day at Roxas – when you have done all sorts of island hopping, city venturing, and food tripping – going to Boracay can be an option. Most especially when you’re broke AF.
Yes, we all had that mindset that going and staying in Boracay would cost a lot. Well, when you are with a Master’s Degree holder in Mathematics, a Doctor’s Degree holder in Public Administration, and a Social Studies Coordinator, keeping a budget of one thousand would be possible. Probably, your next question would be… How?
Thursday night after our island hopping venture to Gigantes Island, we had a short debate on where would we spend our extra day (Friday) as our scheduled flight back to Cebu would still be on Saturday afternoon. I was so solid with the idea that we can just roam around the city and sleep on our accommodation for the rest of the day given that I have spent too much from my solo trip in Guimaras and Iloilo. But you see, when all four of you have fickle feet, it’s obviously difficult to stay in one place. So when the Doctor’s degree holder suggested that we go to Boracay, it immediately resulted to a debate. And to cut the story short, we haggled with the Mathematician of the group who also became the instant researcher and ended up with this astounding conclusion: WE WILL GO TO BORACAY.
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Believe me, I wanted to cry. I was already short with money. I was afraid I would be forever stuck in the island of Panay. What would happen to my family? What would happen to my job? How will I survive in the island with just a backpack? What if I die? Okay. Those were just unnecessary and exaggerated thoughts. HAHA.
So before we slept that night, we gave our one thousands to the Doctor’s Degree holder and gave to her the most difficult task: BUDGETING. Though the Mathematician assured that, according to her research, it would suffice the need of the group, we can’t do away with worrying.
We woke up four in the morning, packed our things and directly headed to the van terminal bound for Kalibo. The Doctor paid for the trip. From Kalibo, we rode another van bound for Caticlan. The Doctor again paid for the trip. It was totally a havoc in Caticlan Port. The mass of visitors seemed to compete with the huge number of passengers in Ninoy Aquino International Airport. I wanted to back out, but again the Doctor paid for the boat ride to the island of Boracay. No more time to back out. The Doctor also paid for the Terminal fee and Environmental Fee which was quite expensive. And you have to pay for it twice – back and forth. Broke AF. Upon reaching the island’s port, we rode a tricycle in going to Station One. The Doctor paid for the trip. Yes, Station One! We the booked a room accommodation for the four of us. The Doctor paid for it… When we were in the room, the four of us sat quietly and looked at each other – SO THIS IS BORACAY!!! *insert Dora’s “We did it!” song plus confetti and disco lights*
To be honest, it took a while before it sank in that I am actually in Boracay! White sands. Highly urbanized streets. Most chased sunset view. Stand-up paddle. Late night parties. *Cue: Baby, this is what you came for*
While my companions busied themselves from taking numerous photos and swimming back and forth, I sat under the shades of the coconut tree, played some OPM, and rested my eyes on the view set before me. I am in Boracay. I am in Boracay. I am in Boracay! I have to repeat it over and over again because I can’t still believe it. But it’s true, I am in Boracay. Though it didn’t change the fact that I’m still broke, the fact that I am in a place that most Filipinos wanted to visit is another story.
It dawned to me that everything was just part of the stereotypical notion that “traveling is for the rich”. It’s not. And I can prove you that because I won Sea to Summit’s contest because of that concept. Yes, Boracay has been known worldwide because of it fine, white sand. Yes, there are expensive Environmental fees that we have to pay. Yes, living in Bayview hotels can be very luxurious. Yes, a lot tourists – most from other countries – who are flocking the area. But no, it’s never for the rich. It’s never for the celebrities and those who are earning big time only. You can visit Boracay. You will survive Boracay like we did. Everything is just about labeling. Like those brands that you thought you can’t afford because “they seemed to be for the rich only” that’s why you don’t get inside the booth without you realizing that they go on sale or there are selected items which are of the same price like on regular shops.
I hope you get what I mean. And I do hope you’ll continue saving for that dream destination of yours. You can afford it. Wait for seat sales. Avoid impulsive buying. Try the five peso challenge. And all means possible. You can afford it. And you can go wherever your heart is calling you. Repeat those thoughts over and over again. No matter how difficult. Remember: the universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart.
Boracay Itinerary and Summary of Expenses
NOTE: This trip happened before the rehabilitation of this renowned beach paradise. There has been some changes and new policies applied in the New Boracay. Also remember that Boracay still upholds the NO BOOKING, NO ENTRY policy. You must show proof of your booking or reservation with any of the accredited hotels in the island.
4:30am – V-hire to Kalibo (P150.00)
5:00am – ETD
7:00am – ETA Kalibo – ride another v-hire bound to Caticlan (P100)
8:00am – ETA Caticlan Port (Environmental Fee – P100; Terminal Fee – P75; Boat – P25)
8:30am – Boracay Island (Tricycle to Station 1 – P25)
9:00am – breakfast/ island stroll (Accommodation – P1200/room)
10:00am onwards – swimming, standup paddle, chasing sunset, dinner
ESTIMATED EXPENSES: (fare bound for Roxas included) – P1,000.00
Well, of course, we didn’t get to experience some aqua sports that the island offers. We’ve tried most of it in some places that we have been to. Trip to Ariel’s Point and Puca Beach was optional. Again, we’re working on the P1,000 brokepacker budget. HAHAHA.
I hope you learned something from this rant. Feel free to comment below your own budget travel experience! And see more of my stories daily on Instagram and Facebook! See you!