Boracay, Philippines – After returning from Florida and New York for the holidays we had three hectic days to make the final preparations for our trip. By the time we boarded our plane late on Saturday night we were exhausted and actually somewhat looking forward to the 14 hour flight to Hong Kong so that we could get some much needed down time. We had planned to start our trip in the Philippines and discovered that our friends, Vic & Courtney, and their family were planning a trip to Boracay at the same time for a family wedding, so we decided to make Boracay our first stop.
We all boarded the same flight at SFO, but we didn’t see our friends for another 48 hours. The flight had to make a stop in Taiwan to refuel – something about strong headwinds. When the plane landed in Hong Kong we had to race to catch our connection to Manila. We made it by the skin of our teeth – but our bags didn’t. We had to make a fast decision at the gate to either wait for our bags and take a later flight out of Hong Kong, therefore missing our flight to Boracay from Manila, or to get on the flight and hope our bags would follow shortly. We were told that the bags would be put on the next flight out and that it would be best to go to Manila to work out our travel plans. We got on the flight thinking that when we were in Manila we could wait for our bags there and rebook a later flight to Boracay.
Once in Manila we learned from the Cathay Pacific staff that they could not tell us when our bags would get there and that it could be a few days, ugh! Should have stayed with our bags. Now we just had to hope that the bags would get to us and that it wouldn’t take too many days.
The airport in Manila is surprisingly a dump – at least the international terminal is. We had to take a shuttle bus through town to get to the terminal our next flight was leaving from. When we checked in at the counter we were informed that our flight to Boracay at 3:30 was canceled and that we had been rebooked on a flight at 6pm for another airport two hours away. But we didn’t have to worry; the airline would pay for our two-hour bus ride to Boracay. What!? After the day we had, this was the last straw. We we begged, pleaded, explained what a hard day we’ve had and the airline agent looked at the computer again, laughed and walked away to talk to someone else. Okay… What did that laugh mean? He came back and said he had two seats on the 3pm flight to Boracay (why didn’t he offer those in the first place!).
Worn out and mentally drained we arrived at our hotel (Nigi Nigi Nu Nuus) around 5pm. It was hard not to be excited. We took in the white sand beach, the lush landscaping around our cottage, had some dinner and crashed – trying not to think about how great it would be to have our toothbrushes and a change of clothes.
We met up with Vic and Courtney the next morning – they had just arrived that morning. They missed the connection in Hong Kong & ended up spending the night in Manila. It rained off and on for most of the day, so we weren’t too sad to be missing our swimsuits.
On our third day we were reunited with our bags & we threw on our swimsuits and spent the next three days swimming, lounging, hanging with Courtney’s family and drinking obscene amounts of mango shakes. Boracay may be one of the nicest beaches I’ve been too – although it is certainly crowded and as Stuart pointed out – the water is warmer in Florida. The sand is soft and white, the water is calm and the beach is big enough to hold the throngs of people there, without feeling too crowded.
We contemplated spending our whole time in the Philippines there – it was pretty tempting. But we deiced that our ‘vacation’ had to come and end and the real traveling needed to begin.