It’s not BORA. It’s Boracay!

[April 2008] I’m very particular when it comes to budgeting, especially if it's a long-term trip. That's why I always check if there would be enough time to save up for a potential outing. I would also make sure that everybody’s schedules were made as cohesive as possible. Of course, who wants last-minute problems when you're already booked and paid, right?

Boarding the Cebu Pacific plane

Finally on the shores of Boracay

As I write this piece, let me share with you my big family vacation last April 2008. My cousin Dada from Texas, flew back to her native country to attend my niece’s high school graduation. Since it became a reunion of sorts, my Kuya and everyone else in the family planned a very special trip that summer. And since it was also going to be my niece’s last few months in the Philippines (as she decided to pursue her college education in Texas) we all decided to fly to Boracay for one major getaway. 

Imagine having to book all 15 members for this trip! I was actually assigned to coordinate with all of the bookings (including planes and accommodations), so I was a bit pressured to find the best deals out there.

Everybody was grown-up and having lives of their own, so this was a special trip that was worth putting all our best efforts in. And since I’ve been very particular about travel itineraries and expenses, I would like to share the outcome of this particular trip.

Our Journey

My cousin Ching knew someone from a travel agency. And she usually books her clients through this agency whenever her shooting locations are out-of-town. So we booked our roundtrip flights through this agency, care of Ms. Ayi of Manly Tours. 

But before finalizing our booking from the agency, we called in a few other options. We inquired for ferry rates and schedules, as well as local plane companies that transported passengers to Kalibo, Aklan. But much to our efforts, we narrowed our options down to Cebu Pacific. Since taking the ferry was going to be long and difficult for the adults (and for the short attention-spanned young adults!), it was also going to take up too much time from our schedules. And since the rates weren’t that far from range, we opted to fly to save on time.

As for our travel expenses, you will see a rundown of what we spent below:

The Rate for one person (via Cebu Pacific – roundtrip) was PHP3495. Since we had a prior problem with one of our house help’s name misspelled (the fault was on our end), we had to pay an extra PHP448 to have her booked name changed to the correct one. 

NOTE: Remember to always double-check the necessary information on your booking before finalizing itineraries and/or payments. This will save you all the hassles.

Anyhow, for our 15th member Teyt,  who was less than two years old then, flew free-of-charge. Plane companies had this policy that didn’t charge infants under the age of 2. So that was a big saving for us. But we made sure that we supplied the agency (or in any case, the plane company) a copy of her birth certificate to show her real age.

Now, before getting all excited to finally board the Boracay-bound plane (and since most of them were riding one for the very first time), we still had to pay the local airport terminal fee that cost each of us PHP400 (PHP200 before and after leaving the Manila and Kalibo airport).

When we landed in Kalibo, I immediately looked for the L300 bus contact person that I booked prior to our trip. This bus service transported us to Caticlan, where we traveled for about two hours. When we finally reached the pier, we settled our dues with the bus service and then paid him PHP150 each (amounting to PHP300 for a round trip). 

Now, to be able to get to the island of Boracay, we all had to take one last ride. And this time via boat. But before setting foot on any of the boats, we still had to pay Caticlan’s Terminal and Environmental fee/s (costing PHP50 each one-way) and boat ticket fare (PHP20 one-way).

This breakdown was from 2008, so these prices might have been changed throughout the years (*updated rates can be checked from my March 2011 and May 2011 Boracay trips):

Kalibo-Caticlan-Kalibo per person
  1. Airport Terminal Fee
PHP 200*2 = PHP 400
1) L300 Bus fare per person PHP 150*2 = PHP 300
2) Caticlan Terminal fee PHP 50*2 = PHP 100
3) Caticlan Environmental fee PHP 50*2 = PHP 100
4) Boat trip (From Caticlan Jetty port, take boat to Boracay Cagban) PHP 20*2 = PHP 40
5) Two taxi vans that cost PHP500 (PHP250/van) PHP 36*2 = PHP 72 (total divided to 14pax)
6) Day Trips (tricycle/pedicab)   PHP15*10 = PHP150 (PHP60 X 10 = PHP 600 — Total of ten total trips riding 4 pax each trike/pedicab)

Looking for the best lodging deals wasn’t all that easy either. I always had to consult my Kuya for the prices, the amenities, and the whole package of what was being offered. I also had to email and text all of my prospects, until we were able to narrow it down to one place.

It took me a full month before sealing the deal with Ocean Breeze Inn by Station 3. Vacationing with a big family could be very expensive. But we helped minimize our expenses by renting a house with cooking facilities, which the Inn offered. So for a family of 15, Ocean Breeze Inn was able to accommodate all of our needs.

Moreover, here's our expense sheet from our lodging:

Ocean Breeze Inn Station 3
Check-in ( 2PM ):

April 5 – guesthouse 1st floor, ground floor, 2 cottages = PHP 5,620  
April 6- guesthouse 1st floor, ground floor, 2 cottages = PHP 5,620
April 7- ground floor, 2 cottages = PHP 3,530

PLUS: Internet = PHP 50
Cooking Facilities = PHP 200               
Juvy’s Services (resort keeper) = PHP 100

Check-in ( 11 AM ): (This was for the boys since they had to rent another room due to a booking mix-up. in O.B.I.!) 
Trafalgar Cottages, Station 3April 7 – 1 Family Room = PHP 1,500
Check out for EVERYBODY (11 AM ): April 8

Now, here's the hard part --- FOOD! Since we were all on a vacation, we made it a point to also indulge in what Boracay had to offer. We had plenty of seafood (especially those weird tasting oysters!), pork (lots of liempo and BBQ), and beef (Gasthof’s steak was number one on my brothers' hearts and bellies. But the salad was my favorite!). We also drank a lot of Jony’s fruit shakes and a few alcoholic drinks! Don't worry, we were all under adult supervision.

Also, a trip to Boracay won't be complete if you haven't tried their famous Chorizo Burgers! I've tasted different versions of it in Manila. But the ones in Boracay tasted totally different, more flavorsome at some point. And those were the best ones that I’ve tasted so far.

Anyhow, I wouldn’t be giving food breakdowns anymore since that might take me too long to write! But to give you something to ponder on, we spent more or less PHP30,000 throughout our stay in Boracay (this was for 15 pax).  

Before ending my trip details, my family and I also went on an island-hopping adventure. We spent a total of PHP3000, which we used to pay for the boat, tour and snorkeling gears.

If you’re ever interested in getting some of the services that we had, you can contact the following people below:

Manly Tours (Travel Agency)
Contact person/s: Ayi
Telephone #: 02-2540134
Referred by: Ching/Christine Reyes

Ocean Breeze Inn
Contact person/s: Juvy or Eya
Cell phone: 0926-4844-564
Website: http://www.oceanbreezeinn.info
Email: Contact@OceanBreezeInn.info

Summer's coming up! Where are you heading this time for summer? =) 

Explore & Be Free!

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  1. Been to Boracay for the nth times....pero hindi pa rin ako nagsasawang pumunta! My hubby and I are planning to go back for our second honeymoon :)

    1. ohhhh! kilig naman ako.. go go go! =) If you do push through, try niyo magStay sa Hannah Hotel. Super comfy, homey, at accommodating ng owners. They're very organic too. =)


  2. we went here last year, sobrang pagod lang sa transfer, plane to kalibo, bus to caticlan, boat to port and trike to hotel. but boracay is really beautiful so dedma na yung pagod. =)

    1. Super dedma talaga sa pagod especially pag nakita mo na yung beach..hehehe!

      Hey Michi, thanks ulit for recommending your site.. super helpful sa pagpplan ko ng Ilocos trip namin for June. =)

  3. Boracay is one awesome destination in the Philippines that never grow on you. My last visit was early last year and I really had fun. Wow! Big group. Usually when I go there, we are just 4 or so. Sent my parents there as well for their 25th anniv. Even the oldies had a blast. :D

  4. Hi KC! Sanay nako magplan for big groups.. hehe! Mahirap pero masaya naman.. and that's nice of you to treat your parents.. worth it talaga pag Boracay! =)

  5. Wow what a detailed report! :-) I've been to Boracay for many times too (I'm from Iloilo City) but I used to like it before as compared nowadays. The only thing that makes me want to go back to Boracay is the beach.

    1. Thanks Gabz! Matindi lang talaga ako magOrganize.. kasi pag may pumalpak, ako ang deads *OA* lang..hehe! And as always, nothing beats the beach in Boracay.. Have you tried Bohol, yung sa Dumaluan part? It's as close to Boracay din, but less people. =)

  6. Nakakahiya man aminin but I haven't been to Boracay. kakaintay namin sa murang deal, kakascout namin ng murang place and all, hanggang ngayon di pa kami nakakatapak sa buhangin ng Boracay. But I know that time will come, anyways I'm in no hurry and still quite enjoying Boracay through pictures and stories of other people.:)

    1. Ok lang yan Blanca.. di naman mawawala Boracay. Maganda naman ang upkeep don. =) Abangan mo din ung P1 fare ng Cebupac.. usually lumalabas yun 2-4 times a year. =)

  7. Nakatulog pala ako sa site mo ang ganda kasi! But I love station 1 kasi mas maganda ang sand sa bandang yun. Bilib naman ako sa tyaga mo mag organize ng byahe.

    1. Nakatulog ka? Di kaya nakatulog ka kasi naBore ka sa site ko? =D hehehe.. and korek ka, Station 1 is by far the nicest. And salamat! Kailangan din talaga matiyaga.. no choice ako eh, madami talaga kami sa family. =) Pero love ko naman ginagawa ko everytime.

  8. Last time we went to Boracay, tatlo lang kami di pa magkandaugaga. Panu pa pag kasin dami nyo. Anyway, the more the merrier, sabi nga. Wish ko rin makabalik with all family members. Buong Angkan! LOL

    1. Why not? Planuhin mo na yan.. hehe! =) Mas masaya talaga pag madami.. =)

  9. My wife told me na talagang maganda sa Boracay at lagi nya akong iniinggit na pumunta dun. :D

    Boracay Virgin pa nga ako kung tawagin nya. :D

    1. Hahaha! Sumama kana next time? Promise, maganda talaga sa Boracay!

  10. When everybody else has something to say about Boracay...I have yet to make my own. Just yet...

    1. Let me know how your future trip goes? Boracay is definitely worth it! =)

  11. This planning must be fairly tedious..
    I don't like planning at all when I go on vacation..
    possibly the reason why I normally skip writing any itinerary post.
    But planning a big trip like these with your love ones is fulfilling.
    I dread the fact but I intend to bring my family to Boracay as well.
    Hope its gonna be smooth.

    1. Visit my pages again if you plan on taking your family to Boracay. My itinerary and expense sheets may be able to help you out. =)

  12. very useful info! Pati rates completo

  13. ralph marcuss ManarangSeptember 8, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    wish ko na makapunta ako ng boracay.

  14. Why not visit Ralph? :)

  15. ralph marcuss ManarangSeptember 24, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    ala pang arep!

  16. Wow, this trip really entailed much planning and work on your part but I see that it was very much worth it.

  17. Little baby looking so cute. and after reading this I must say that you had enjoyed a lot. thanks for sharing such a adventures experience. Carnival Cruises

  18. Punta na! Di naman masyado expensive magpunta ng Boracay, plus, meron ka pang makukuha mga promo sa airfare, deals pati sa mga online Boracay reservation... :)

  19. Hi Kit! I've been to Boracay 4 times na. :) Babalik at babalik din ako. But not anytime soon. :)

  20. What's wrong with BORA? Does it have wrong impression for Boracay? I love to visit the place and want to compare with a white sand beach I have visited several year ago somewhere in Dapitan City.

  21. Some people just want the name to be pronounced properly. So instead of doing the shortcut version, the right one is preferred since it sounds more appropriate. :)


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