Stickman Readers' Submissions November 1st, 2011

Aklan & Boracay Trip (Philippines)

I decided to have a weekend getaway with my officemate recently to Aklan and Boracay. I have a friend who is staying there and working as a school principal and he’s been inviting me for so long to visit their place. Though I have been to Boracay
in 2009, I haven’t been to Aklan.

Aklan is a province in the Philippines located in Western Visayas. It is famous for Boracay, a prominent tourist destination because of its white sandy beach and clear water.

We left Saturday morning. It was an hour trip by plane from Manila. Friend’s place is a ten minute drive from the airport. We arrived before noon and they brought us to this beautiful place. It’s a park and a bird sanctuary
as well. We brought food for lunch and had a picnic.

Before you could get into the picnic place you have to walk for fifteen minutes on a long stretch of bridge made of bamboo.


Over looking from the bridge is a river surrounded by mangrove trees. According to my friend three years ago, the local government decided to plant these trees after a strong typhoon hit which flooded the area. To avoid flooding in the town and in case of tsunami, these mangroves will serve as a shield to protect the area.


It was a sunny afternoon but we didn’t mind the weather at all. Since I and my friend live in the city, we wanted to really enjoy every moment seeing these scenic spots. It’s not everyday that we get the chance to be in a lovely place like this. It’s peaceful, calm and all we could hear was the sound of the bamboos we’re walking on and the birds.

We reached the picnic hut and had a sumptuous lunch which included vegetable salad, pork curry, grilled fish and chicken and fruits. The vegetables and fish were all fresh, it tasted a lot different. When I’m in Manila, I don’t usually eat fish but here the food served to us has a distinct flavor and taste…so dig in!

While having lunch in that place there’s a different ambience to it. The feel of calmness around, the light breeze, the fresh air touching your face and you’re surrounded by nature…made me happy. This is what I like about provincial life… simplicity. Makes you realize that you’re lucky to be alive and appreciate nature all the more.


We stayed at the picnic area for more than two hours talking about the place and our respective jobs. After that we decided to go back and it was a fifteen minute walk again, but we didn’t mind, being new to the place I and my friend just enjoyed the sceneries.

Before dinner, my friend brought us to Sampaguita Gardens Resort. That night there was a high school ball being held at one of the function halls of the resort. So the girls were in their gowns and the boys in their suits. Their formal attire was so colorful that we stopped by and look through the glass walls while they’re having their cotillion.

Our first stop was this three storey house, decorated with Christmas lights outside, 4 feet tall figurines of Precious Moments characters and other cute decorations.

The first floor is decorated with Precious Moments dolls wearing different costumes and other cute items you could buy for gifts or mementos. I and my friend felt like we’re kids again and we are in a wonderland full of dolls.


The second and third floor were decorated with Christmas trees of different sizes, poinsettias, gifts, around 8 feet tall Santa Claus, Santa’s sleigh and reindeers, Precious Moments characters dressed in angels. There’s a wall decorated with lots of frames. In the frames were Merry Christmas greetings written in different languages. It’s practically Christmas all year round on those two floors since they don’t remove the decorations.


Our next stop was this Thai inspired spa, where you can meditate or have a massage. The staff were so friendly and smiling when we entered and when we asked them if we could take pictures they gladly allowed us.


The resort has room accommodations, swimming pool, gym, coffee shop, Chinese restaurant, function rooms for special occasions and it’s near the beach.

After going around the resort we went to another place fronting the beach for dinner. My friend treated us to another sumptuous meal consisting of grilled chicken and squid and seafood. After that we went home because early in the morning we are going to Boracay.

The next day we’re up by 5 a.m., we have to attend the Sunday mass before heading to Boracay. After mass we had breakfast and by 8:30 we’re on our road trip. It takes two hours from Aklan to get to Boracay. My friend drove the car and along the way we would stop to take pictures of the scenery.


We can’t help but admire the things we’re seeing. We opened the car windows and once again I felt and smelled the fresh air on my face…so calming and great to be away from the city even for couple of days.


After the long drive, we reached the port going to Boracay Island. My friend left his car in a paid parking lot. We’re going on a boat ride for 15 minutes and a 10 minute ride via tricycle (Philippines version of the tuktuk).

We went around Boracay for a few minutes and decided to go to this Indian Restaurant to have coffee and juice. I and my friend had a long chat while the other friend immediately changed to her bathing suit and head off the beach to enjoy the clear water.

Boracay is favorite destination among tourists who visit the Philippines. Numerous hotels to choose around the area. There are also backpackers who may stay in the island for a month. You can go snorkeling, parasailing, jet skiing, ride a banana boat, scuba diving, island hopping, lay around the sand, read a book and a lot more. There were also shops for local products, restaurants, tattoo shop, Starbucks etc.


It was my second time going to Boracay. I was there in 2009 for my birthday. And I always wanted to come back and stay longer. If I have my way and if it's possible I wanted to stay there for a month! This place for me is paradise. The best time to come in my experience is the beginning of November when it's drizzling a bit (which I really like). The weather is cool especially around 7 a.m. and it's nice to walk around the beach. During the summer starting middle of March to May the island is really crowded especially during the Holy Week. The peak season starts by the end of November till May.


We had lunch at the Boracay Regency Hotel restaurant. The food was really great (buffet style). After lunch, we stayed on the beach front and had a massage. It was a very relaxing afternoon. But we have to leave at 5 p.m. coz the boat ride going back to the port will close at 6:00 p.m.


Very serene and nice view after sunset while on a boat ride…


In two days, we were able to see lots of beautiful places. By Monday, we’re heading home and back to reality…work and a stressful life in the city. But will definitely come back…Boracay I love!

Stickman's thoughts:

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Nice photos. You might be the first Filipino to submit something to this site, well done!

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