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ruthdelacruz | Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Ruth dela Cruz is a travel and lifestyle blogger in the Philippines. She loves writing about her travels. Drop her a note at admin@ruthdelacruz.com. The internet knew her as @ruthilicious.

Snaps @ruthilicious

March 12, 2020

Back in Boracay + Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak

Back in Boracay: Traveling During Coronvirus Outbreak


Back in Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak


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.

We first thought of doing a road trip to nearby beaches in Manila but I just knew he needs to experience Boracay. So I cleared my schedule that week, and we booked a flight from Manila to Caticlan. We welcomed summer early in the first week of March.



I really didn't plan any travel this year; except for (last minute) plans of joining my friends to Osaka (to visit the Harry Potter Studio which is temporarily closed because of the Coronavirus pandemic) and visiting Korea (before my visa expires).

Related Read: we flew to Taiwan instead.

The Coronavirus  (COVID-19) got everyone canceling their travel plans and staying at home. I am actually fine to just stay home and enjoy a good Netflix documentary (hey, I finally gave in and watched Crash Landing On You - finished it in 2 days! ).  When you age, your idea of fun is all about comfort and chill.  

But to tell you honestly, as soon as my feet felt the fine white sand, and I saw the sunset and glistening water of Boracay, I told myself  I love the beach. I still love quick escapes. I love travels. 

ruth dela Cruz


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.

Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Hello Kama, welcome to Boracay!

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

Flight from Manila to Caticlan

Searching for the best deals in airlines, I asked Kama to check out www.skyscanner.com.ph. He saw a good deal - Php 7,000 + for a round-trip ticket for both of us. The rates surprisingly changed in a matter of seconds (!!!) After a few message exchanges, we were able to book flights for Php 4,491 each (round-trip). Fairly reasonable for our last-minute plans. En route to Boracay, we flew in via Air Asia, on our way back, Cebu Pacific. I usually go for budget airlines for short-haul flights especially for Boracay flight that takes only about an hour.

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.

Boracay Hotel

It seems that hotels are really dropping their prices during the Coronavirus outbreak. We stayed in a one-bedroom suite in Ferra Hotel and Garden Suites.  The hotel is just a quick walk from the D'Mall,  centrally located near Bulabog Beach and White Beach. It is near downtown where things are still happening.  The people in the "neighborhood" are friendly, and there are nearby stores where you can buy "essentials".

Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak

The most important thing, Ferra Hotel and Garden Suites is well-maintained and clean - from the lobby to staircases and room. Cleanliness is my biggest consideration when booking a hotel.

Ferra Hotel and Garden Suites has a roof-top bar with pool. We spent our evenings here just hanging out and enjoying drinks.

Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Cliche photo for the IG stories 



We basically just enjoyed the sun, sand, and sea. I love staying on the beachside, just enjoy the view and wait for the sun to go down. I am starting to think I am becoming a "boring" person and just wanting to sit still. I guess, I just love the quiet and peace. Good thing that my friend also enjoys doing nothing.

Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak

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:

Helmet Dive
ATV Ride
Skim Boarding
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.

Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus 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.

Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak
Boracay Travel During Corona Virus Pandemic
Boracay: Traveling During Coronavirus Outbreak


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.

ruth dela cruz
Follow me @ruthilicious




If you love this blog and want to read more of my stories, check out:

my first cruise experience
my first hot air balloon experience
my sky diving experience