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Uncovering the best family holidays

Boracay, Philippines

Our New Absolute Favourite Destination - Boracay

What an adventure!

Taxi to Manila airport $3.50

Plane to Kalibo $0.02

Bus to Caticlan $14.72 (incl boat)

Boat to Boracay $7 (environmental fees)

Tricycle to True Home Hotel in Station 1 on the White Beach $2.30

3:30pm until 10:30pm, total $27.54

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The only challenge was carrying sleeping children and 3 suitcases. A backpack probably would have been much more handy. Or if we had small change we could have grabbed a porter, will make sure we have that for the journey back. Now we are explorers! This must have been the first trip where we haven’t just arrived. And doing it an evening I felt very brave and adventurous. Caius was awake for every in-between, but asleep for most rides. Mia fell asleep on the bus, almost on the boat and then at 10 o clock at night she was grinning and saying “I like this bike, Mum.” That was the tricycle. In Manila it’s a motorbike with a sidecar that costs just a few pesos. In Boracay it’s a motorbike with a little 4-seater sidecart.

Surprisingly the airplane ride was bumpy through rain and lightening. There was no rain on the ground, although the bus driver was manic and took corners with squealing tires. The boat was packed, but took only a few minutes to cross the surprisingly calm waters that were pitch dark with the occasional lightning opening up the whole sky. The tricycle ride was fun and exciting. 

I was slightly disappointed by our place when first arrived. It was dark and only a security guard there to let us in. We paid no money, saw nobody else and decided just to go to bed. The bed was a Super King and so comfortable, I had a great night’s sleep. On waking the room was much more appealing. The Presidential Suite is up the stairs and at the front of the property with the most amazing views outside the windows and from the super long balcony.

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There are 2 bathrooms and 2 rooms. The first is a kitchen, dining and living area with 2 sofa beds for the kids to sleep on, plus cable TV. The second room is a Master room with cable TV also. Both have aircon. Wifi and prepared to order breakfast is included. Approx. $450 for 3 nights. It’s more a bed and breakfast then a hotel with minimal other rooms.

There is a slight thumping from nearby clubs, but the ocean and aircon drown out that sound. The rooms are slightly run down, but the view is worth millions. You literally walk onto the beach. Well in low tide you do, at the moment as I sit here typing this it is high tide and the ocean is lapping the steps and floor of the downstairs restaurant. Let’s hope it doesn’t get any higher or it will be in our room haha.

Late night last night so the kid’s are spending most the day sleeping, which sux. I had a little walk around. The weather is still warm, but it is dark, windy and rainy. It’s actually quite pleasant, because it’s not overbearingly hot. It doesn’t look appealing, but it’s still super warm and I can’t wait to get down to the beach.

The streets are dirty and most of the restaurants and shops are little shack huts. This is in striking contrast to the mansion’s I spotted on the hills.

Can’t wait till the kid’s are up so we can take another tricycle ride or a walk on the beach and discover this beautiful scenic island. Check out our accomodation photos here.

So what did we do for 3 days on Boracay?

Words can not explain the peace and serenity we felt here. It was like being at home. We realised there was plenty to do on Boracay - Bat Caves, Island Hopping, etc. But we knew after just being on Kota Kinabulu doing stuff we wanted to actually do nothing and just enjoy living on the beach.

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Boracay has been voted on TripAdvisor the best beach in Asia, above Thailand and the 2nd best beach in the world! And we fell in love with it as much as every other voter. 

Most mornings Josh & I would do a couple of hours work from 7am - 10am while the kids ate breakfast, read books and watched TV. Then we took a few steps to the beach, had a swim, built sandcastles and laughed and played. The water was so clear and aqua, the sand was white and so fine it was easy to work with. The days were warm despite the dark clouds and one time it actually rained while we were in the sea, which was loads of fun. 

Josh & I then walked along the beach carrying the kids and they usually fell asleep before we got back to our room. While they slept for a few hours we did some more work. The internet was good and we got lots done. One day I decided to go get a massage and enjoyed walking the streets by myself and people watching.

When the kids woke we either walked to the D'Mall or caught a tricycle ride (20c each). This was Mia's favourite, so we often took the bike just for her. The D'Mall is a large open air shopping centre mainly filled with restaurants and a few shops. It goes all the way to the beach and then the restaurants continue along the beach for miles. It was a great walk. 

Cross-dressing fire dancers

Our first night we had a buffet dinner on the beach. Looks like we just beat the crowd cause it quite quickly filled up. It was some of the best food I've had on our trip so far and we had a great night which was topped with cross-dressing fire dancers. Mia was a bit unsure, Caius was totally not into it and I got jealous when they started flirting with my husband!

The place is packed with tourists, so these things are all up the beach. It was pretty busy for the low season, can not imagine what it woud be like in high season. The weather was still pleasant and we were stoked it wasn't super hot. Food is cheap, there are mangoes every few yards and also Fruit Shake stores that sell delicious combinations of fruits for about $2. Transport is super cheap and so are the massages. 

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What about the nightlife?

Hubby made best use of the evenings. I went home, put the kids to bed and relaxed with a good book or movie. Josh went out, had a massage and then got 'pressured' into a basketball game with some Japanese tourists. The whole place was pumping into the wee morning hours. 

Confusing decision on whether to go home or not

While we were in Boracay, Manila was hit with flooding. Over 50% of Manila was flooded and over 15 people had died. We could not believe how blessed we were to be in Boracay at such a time. The weather in Boracay occasionally rained, but most days were dry and pleasurable. 

Anyway there was fear of looting, water contamination, disease, etc. and we had to decide whether to lose the money on our flight and stay in Boracay or just head back. 

If we had bought all of our stuff with us I don't think we would have gone back. We fell in love with Boracay and could have stayed for much much longer. However on discussions with our lovely apartment owner who told us our area was not flooded we decided to head back.

We arrived in Manila and it was raining. It was hard to get a taxi and the roads were quiet. It was actually quite lovely. We saw no flooding and our home was intact and the same. Since then we have ventured out several times as the rain seems to have slowed down and yesterday we even had blue skies and hot sun. 

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But our prayers still go out to those affected by the disaster and I think we found a source for all our items we want to give away. Our apartment owner has mentioned a Flood Appeal and so it is time to tackle my "things"...

For all our photos on the beautiful Boracay, please visit our photo journal.

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Here's what you have to say...

"I respond to every comment by private email. So please leave me comments, I love chatting to you" -
Posted by [email protected] R We There Yet Mom on
It looks like an incredible trip even if the arrival hadn't have been eventful. I had to look up exactly where you were though as i had never heard of such a lovely place. ;)

Thanks as well for linking up - I hope you can each week!!!
Posted by Lisa from Gone With The Family on
Boracay does sound like a lovely place. There are so many Asian destinations that have never been on my radar - now that I'm reading so much about them, I would love to visit! Happy New Year!!
Posted by Michelle Dela Cerna on
Hi, Thank you for sharing your beautiful story in the Philippines, very detailed and well written! I would like to commend you as the Author of this Blog for sharing us an interesting idea. Keep it up a good job!!
Hope you will make more Blog and include the DUBAI EVENING SAFARI: http://www.dubaieveningsafari.com/
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