When my friend (from Indonesia) flew into the Philippines for a quick visit and asked me which Philippines beach he could visit, Boracay is on top of my mind.
I was surprised when we got to White Beach and saw a lot of people waiting for that famous Boracay Sunset. No, actually I should not be surprised about the crowd situation. We are all experiencing a rise in temperature and summer is here. There were families (with babies!), friends and couples. Most of them probably booked their summer vacation way ahead before the Coronavirus outbreak. We were probably the only travelers on the island who booked their flights two days before. But glad we made it.
Side story: my friend Kama first appeared in this blog on my #TripofWonders series. He was one of the facilitators and consultants for the Ministry of Tourism in Indonesia. It is a successful tourism initiative by Indonesia wherein they invited bloggers / influencers around the world to visit and explore Indonesia and its islands. I am thankful to be part of the trip in 2016. I hope we have a project such as this in the Philippines.
Related Read: Trip of Wonders Wonderful Indonesia
More than the cost of the airfare, I am more worried about the sanitation situation in the airport and aircraft. They checked our temperature in the Domestic Airport before our entry and before boarding the aircraft. Make it a habit to always bring alcohol and sanitizer when you travel. Wipe those arm rest and foldable desk. Make sure that you wash your hands as soon as you landed.
There was a mix of travelers during our flight coming from different countries and local tourists.
When we landed in Caticlan, we booked a tricycle ride going to the port area. They offered us a packaged ticket of Php 350 which includes (1) tricycle ride to port, (2) environmental fees, (3) ferry fare, (4) terminal fee.
We had arranged ground transportation with our hotel, so we declined the package that has (5) tricycle ride to hotel.
I was actually a bit worried if this was a scam, but I think these are legit operations and somehow made it easier for tourists (or even local tourists) to travel to the island.
When traveling to Boracay, make sure that you book only an accredited hotel.
You have to fill out the form in the port area for them to verify your hotel.
Ferra Hotel and Garden Suites has a roof-top bar with pool. We spent our evenings here just hanging out and enjoying drinks.
I used to be all game and down to trying all water activities. For this trip, I didn’t even want to stretch a muscle to pose for a photo for the ‘gram.
But if it is your first time in Boracay, you can try:
Water Activities and Island Hopping
(there are so many local business offering packages)
Ariel’s Point Cliff Diving
Paluto at Talipapa
Sadly, it was cloudy during our last day and my friend didn’t get to experience the famous golden sunset in Boracay. He did get to try Jollibee though (yes, there is now Jollibee in Boracay). It was his first time eating chicken after so many years. He was that curious.
I noticed a lot has changed since Boracay’s closure. There are new hotels and establishments. The locals said that Chinese businesses and establishments have closed after the Corona Virus outbreak.
Despite the cloudy weather, broken phone, and a little too crowded beach, I still had a great time catching up with a friend I haven’t seen in 4 years! And Boracay will always be a nice destination.
Traveling During Coronavirus Pandemic?
So if you would ask me if it is still safe to travel during the Coronavirus Pandemic (it is now declared Pandemic) as the experts say, there is no formula to this. You have to consider different factors like your own health and fitness, companions, destination and activities.
I cancelled my travel plans to Osaka, Japan because the main destination (Universal Studios) has temporarily closed down. I flew in Boracay because I know it was going to be a really relaxing vacation (we didn’t plan any activities that might lower my resistance and immune system).
This is the best time to show responsible citizenship, comply with countries’ health and travel advisories, the same way we comply with immigration requirements.
Keep yourself updated on travel advisories and check restrictions set by destination countries to help you make a sound decision. You know yourself well, if you are feeling unwell and sick, be responsible and do self-quarantine.
I personally would postpone future travel plans and focus on being productive at home. Even if I would like to think that I am healthy and fit, we have seniors and baby at home. I don’t want to bring the virus with me. Add that I don’t want to stress myself over canceled flights, travel bans, and attraction closures.
(Do you want to read about one of my travel nightmares?
Check out how I survived 4 days in Athens without luggage)
Thank you for indulging me on this blog. It has been a while since the last time I wrote about a personal trip. I hope you find this article helpful, too.
Take your vitamins, get enough sleep and drink lots of water.
Always wash your hands and sanitize your gadgets.
Stay healthy for your parents and family.
Help stop the spread of the virus – and fake news.
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