Christmas in the Philippines
It was our first white Christmas, without any snow, but sand! We jetsetted to Boracay, Philippines for a week of relaxing, boozing, and fun. Boracay is the Koh Phangan (minus the buckets of liquor!) of the Philippines, where foreigner travelers come to party all night long.
Boracay’s claim to fame is it’s 4km stretch of white beach. It ranks in many top travel magazines as one of the best beaches in the world. The sand really is SO WHITE and the water is SO CLEAR. However, if you’re coming for beauty and calm, Boracay isn’t exactly the place you’re looking for. White Beach is LINED the entire way with resorts, seafood restaurants, and bars. You don’t really even know you’re in a foreigner country the whole time you’re there, comforts from home surround you. Christmas Day in Santa hats lying on the soft sand with a beer in hand was fine with us though!
Tourists can snorkel, cliff jump, and cruise around Boracay’s calm waters on a jet ski or on a banana boat. The reef we went to was mostly dead, but we did see lots of colorful fish and even a water snake! If you visit Boracay, you MUST do a paraw sailing trip at sunset. It’s incredible. We paid $40 to rent the small sail boat for an hour during sunset ($40 for 2 people, or in our case 6 people. Pay to rent the boat not per person). A paraw sail boat is the Philippines signature boat, it puts other sail boats to shame because you actually sit on netting just above the water. We let our legs dangle over, toes grazing the top of the sea as the winds took us out farther and farther towards the setting sun. One of those moments you want to put away in your pocket forever, so you can pull it out and smile on a rainy day!
It was definitely a different kind of Christmas, but great none-the-less. Next year when I’m home in Maryland shivering from the cold I’ll be dreaming of Boracay’s beautiful white beach and a San Miguel in my hand!
To get to Boracay we flew from Manila to Kalibo airport. You may fly into either Kalibo or Caticlan. Caticlan is much more expensive, most people fly in and out of Kalibo. From Kalibo you take roughly a 2 hour minivan ride to the ferry at Caticlan Port that takes you to Boracay. It is $40 for the minivan, split between all passengers. The ferry is really short and easy, 20 minute ride and costs 50 pesos (less than $2). Be careful, not many ferries run at night! They run regularly throughout the day.