Boracay Fun when there’s no Sun
Boracay is known as the number one summer destination in the Philippines replacing Baguio as the summer capital, but how about during the off peak season? Is it going to be the same Boracay as we know it?
Off peak season is from June to October, where rates are just half of its usual price. This season is perfect for backpackers and people with agoraphobia. It was raining non-stop, days before our scheduled trip. To some, it’s totally a bummer, for us it’s the perfect time to cover the trip:
A lot of blogs, travel magazines and photo enthusiasts featured this island paradise during the heat of summer, when beach-buffs and party animals flood the island to feed their hunger. But I’ve never seen an article that described, discussed, showcased Boracay when it’s damp and gloomy.
Our flight to Caticlan was rerouted to Kalibo, thus, we had an additional hour and a half van ride to Jetty port. We were transferred to the other boat terminal because route from Jetty is too wavy for small pump boats. We arrived in the island as we pictured it to be–Drizzled Damp. But we’re not going to waste this trip by staying inside the hotel playing PSP or watching Discovery Travel & Living. So we searched the island for alternative activities that doesn’t require sun, calm water and blue sky.
1. Water sports. With the season switching to Habagat (west or southwest wind; south-west monsoon), waves are created on the shallow shores of the white beach. This is the perfect time to put on your wet suit and do some kiteboarding maneuvers. A 6-hour crash course costs around PhP 10,000 (US$ 208). In our case, our short stay is not enough to enjoy this activity, so borrowing skim boards from local kids is enough to create the similar sporty feel. At least for some photo op.
2. ATV/buggy. ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle or quad-bike) recently became popular among Boracay visitors. The island’s rough terrain and abundance of gullible and willing consumers made this business thrive. I was excited to do this activity because it was raining that morning, perfect time to get all mud-dirty. But I was dismayed to find out that the trail is a concrete road to Mt. Luho. Yes, no off road action. You may probably ask a private guide to bring you to a more serious terrain but it would definitely cost you a swipe of a card and a fat tip. You can rent a an ATV for PhP350 (USD7.30)/hour or a buggy for PhP 700 (US$14.60)/hour for two pax.
3. Reef walking. I honestly felt the urge to stick a flag on the sand. I felt like I was Neil Armstrong cum Sandy (spongebob’s friend) for a couple of seconds there. I was really speechless when I landed (on the sea bed), it was something that I only see in National Geographic Channel. While I’m slowly bouncing, with a slow orchestra and a soprano singing in my head, I started sticking out a piece of bread and before I know it, I’m in the middle of the eye of a fish storm. That’s when my eyes got all teary and I drooled like Patrick Starfish. Reef Walking costs PhP400 (US$8.40)/30 mins. They can also take your photos and video for an additional PhP500 (US$10.40)/batch.
4. Zorb. I swear, when I first saw this on TV, I promised myself to do it once I visit New Zealand. Apparently, I don’t have to wait for another 2 years to ride this dare devil’s bouncing ball. Also known as sphereing or globe-riding in other parts of the world, imagine yourself strapped inside an inflatable plastic ball then pushed from the top of a 20 meter-high hill, free falling on a 130m ramp. NOW THAT’S EXTREME! I definitely felt my high school physics in action.
I will write a separate article on this soon.
5. Booze. Boracay will always be Boracay, regardless of the season, the what-happens-in-Bora-stays-in-Bora parties will always take place and there’s no degree of calamity that can change that. Choose your venue, you have the whole 4km stretch of gimmick places ranging from Hey Jude’s trans party, Club Paraw’s disco groove to Cocomangas’ “tilapia market”. We personally chose Pat’s Creek Bar in Station 2. The rustic and homey feel of low chairs under the umbrella, non-intimidating ambiance and accommodating staff made our bonding moments so comfortable. The acoustic music in the background is perfect, allowing you to still chat with your friends while unconsciously brushing your feet on the fine sand under your table.
There may be other fun things that you can do during the rainy season in Bora. It may be sipping hot chocolate from your five star penthouse veranda or a quiet walk along the windy shoreline. Bora is not just a summer destination, just be creative and you will enjoy your stay no matter how severe the weather condition is.