I haven’t been able to give updates about my recent trips simply because I’m really swamped with work and some video edits for my friend’s wedding. Now, I finally found the time to sit down and write my thoughts and the first thing that came to mind was this.
For those who don’t know, you can go to Boracay Island through Kalibo or Caticlan. Kalibo being the farthest and Caticlan as the nearest entry point.
I went to Boracay in 2016 when the place was not rehabilitated yet. We entered Kalibo, rode a bus to Caticlan jetty port, then took another boat ride to Boracay Island. And I remembered paying about 500-700 pesos (10-15USD).
I’ve been to Caticlan airport waaaaaaaaay back that I can’t remember how much it would cost to get to Boracay Island. But if you’re using your brain, you’d clearly know it will cost you less because it’s nearer to the port than Kalibo. To get to the island, it may cost you approximately 300 pesos (6 USD).
Now after Boracay has been rehabilitated, I’ve been wanting to see how it looked like. After seeing all the photos online, who will not get excited?
SO HOW WERE YOU SCAMMED?
I never thought I’d fall into a “scam” not until my latest trip to Boracay. We came unprepared because all we ever wanted was to relax and not do anything related to work, school, etc…
Just when we thought we’d never get scammed, we fell into one. Right after stepping in Caticlan airport.
Thinking that prices got higher after the rehabilitation, we did not bother checking resources if we paid the right amount not until one of our friends came in later in the day from Kalibo. We asked her how much she paid for transportation services and to our surprise, we paid more than her. SCAM #1.
When we got on the island, I was really hoping some peace and quiet. But to my dismay, we were greeted with hundreds of people crowding the beachfront. Yes, the beachfront area has been cleaned. All the bean bags were kept and the day beds were moved back but you see people bringing their own mats. How resourceful!
And they said tourist count has been regulated. SCAM #2.
Yes, it has been regulated. About 19,000 tourists can enter the island. (This does not include yung mga nag-uunder the table na pinapapasok or may kakilala/kamag-anak, etc..)
I was expecting stricter rules especially at the Jetty Port, but everything went smoothly. So smooth you can just lie and say you’ll be staying in this accredited hotel. They never asked for proof. SCAM #3.
Why am I saying all these things? Not to discourage anyone in visiting Boracay but to raise awareness regarding its situation and maybe so people in power can see what’s happening and hopefully do something about it. I’m not sure if this has been influenced by culture but Filipinos are really good at the beginning (period). We fail to follow through. We’ve set so many good practices but we always fail to follow and keep them. We lack discipline. We all want change but we never do our part. How can you expect something if you’re not doing anything to get it, right, right, right?
So, going back to scams! How can you avoid getting scammed in Boracay?
- DO YOUR RESEARCH
- DON’T FALL INTO THE FIRST PRICE SCHEME, ASK
- DO NUMBER ONE
Boracay’s rehabilitation makes me proud as a Filipino. I just hope people will be responsible enough to keep this paradise as it is. Yes, it has been commercialized but you can’t say it’s not beautiful. Boracay may not be my favorite island in the Philippines but I will always be proud that we have one of the finest white sand beaches in the world.
Keep posted for my next post. I might share more about my Boracay trip.
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5 Comments Add yours
Hmm it appears like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for rookie blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.
Ne’er knew this, thanks for letting me know.
Thanks! Take care.
Interesting post Dee. I remember being scammed myself when I first arrived in Boracay in 2011. I paid P1000 for transport to my hotel from Caticlan airport. He helped me well though, carrying my luggage over the beach while we took a shortcut because of stuck traffic. He was friendly so I don’t really mind much in hindsight. Was probably good I had a smooth fully taken care of transfer like that the first time there.
Shortly after though, someone gave an hour tour around around Boracay and I gave him P500 as thank you. He smiled and gave me back P300 saying it’s too much. That really made an impact on me and it’s one of the reasons why I ended up falling in love with Boracay, this kind of energy.
Overall people are very friendly and light hearted in my experience, and I also love that the island is a melting pot of different cultures having a good time together – people from all over the world.
I do wish, like you, that people will be responsible enough to keep the paradise as it is. That has always pained me during the years I lived there. To see the island degrade over time. I was happy to see finally something being done about it, but yeah, follow trough hasn’t been the best.
By the way, since you said “Boracay may not be my favorite island”, I’m curious… What Is your favorite island in the Philippines?