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Three long years have passed since I’ve trodden Boracay’s majestic shores.  No matter how “overrated” and “exploited” it may have become, the island never fails to draw this beach bum right into its waters.  Since this is just a laze-around trip, the itinerary I made was purely for budget purposes.  No island hopping, no helmet diving, no zorb balls and what have you.  Two full days are dedicated to the beach alone…and overeating (and people-watching) in between.

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White Beach, Boracay – gorgeous as always

Unlike my first trip which took place in the height of summer, this one is in the lows of off-peak season.  Great, we only have to share the beach with around ten thousand Koreans.  They really are everywhere.  The moment I set foot on White Beach, I instantly noticed the fugly nets separating the shore from the beachside establishments.  Only later did I realize that its purpose is to demarcate the smoking and no smoking areas.  At least, they implement rules to preserve the beach’s pristine appeal.

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Makeshift walls and ashtray in the designated smoking area.

After checking in, we head straight to D’Mall for lunch.  The old favorites are still there: Fishbar, Cyma, Jammers, Gasthof and ang chicken ng bayan – Andok’s.  Hey Jude is now known as Epic, and still caters to the expat crowd.  We grab Bite Club’s no-fail burgers and lurk in the stores for a while. 

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D’Mall devoid of people during lunch time. Everyone’s busy eating. 

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Bite Club, Boracay

Then we start the long, leisurely walk from Station 2 to Station 1.  Aside from a few (relatively new to me) commercial establishments like Gerry’s, Pancake House and Starbucks and one-year old hotels like Astoria, Boracay looks pretty much the same.  The buzzing vibe of the streets albeit low season and the gorgeous azure waters exhilarate my senses.  These give Boracay its distinct charm, a world-class beach and the comforts of urban living in one strip.

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One-year old Astoria Hotel, Boracay. Very modern and classy interiors.

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Throngs of people in Station 1.

Everyday, we wake up early, around 7 AM, eat our complimentary breakfast then stay at the beach as long as the sun is out.  When it gets too hot, there’s nothing a glass of Jonah’s shake and Real Coffee’s famous calamansi cupcake can’t relieve.

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Free breakfast at Eriko’s House, best value place in Station 2. Owner is related to Tan’s Guesthouse owner, another good budget accommodation.

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The beach, early morning, sans tourists.

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Early birds starting to arrive.

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Mid-morning, Station 3’s crowded shore.

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Real Coffee’s Calamansi Cupcake – so yummy I wanna die! Yep I’m a big fan of citrusy pastries =)

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Hot and cold coffee with Marc Nelson.

Come nighttime, we scout for the famous fire dancers in popup bars.

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Before sunset.

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Fire dancers in action.

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Acoustic/reggae nights at Pat’s Bar. The bassist kicks ass!

Of course, the whole shebang won’t be complete without chori burgers paired with cold beer.  And as easy as that, I gained four pounds in two days.  Haha.

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Food hunting at night.

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Why not? :p

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Chori burger!

Though it’s always sad to leave Boracay, I didn’t get too melodramatic on our last day since we’re headed to my dad’s birthplace, Iloilo (Woot!).  During the boat ride back to Caticlan, I observed the locals doing their day to day rites and think how lucky they are to be born in a place like Boracay – where the beach is just a stone’s throw away (and they have a steady stream of artistas all year round :P).  But then again, it wouldn’t hurt to always look forward to trips like this.  To feel all warm and fuzzy and giddy to reach that pocket of paradise, just a plane ride away.

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Bye Boracay! Until next time!

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