You may ask anybody that has ever visited the Philippines how the people are like, and they'd reply with much enthusiasm. Filipinos are known to be highly generous individuals, always enthusiastic to offer their foreign guests the red carpet treatment. But if you ask any Filipino for destination suggestions within the Philippines, most Filipinos would mention the island of Boracay.
The island of Boracay is two kilometers off the tip of Panay Island. Boracay is actually part of the Municipality of Malay, Aklan. The island is a melting pot as it welcomes over hundreds of thousands of local and foreign tourists every year.
If you are planning a trip to the island, here are some insider tips you need to know:
#1: It's essential to see to it you bring everything that you need for the trip. Clothing, medicines and toiletries are just a few items which you shouldn't forget, although you can always find a number of shops in the island that also sells various items. However, the prices of everything there in general is a bit expensive compared to how prices are in any other part of the Philippines, so always take note of the things that you'll want to bring with you. Here's a tip -- if you want items that are at an affordable price (be it the usual grocery items or souvenirs), you can get them at the "Old Talipapa" (talipapa is a Filipino word for market) in Station 3. There are also a couple of sari-sari and local grocery stores along the national road which offer cheaper things compared to the ones sold at the beach front shops.
#2: The island is divided into three stations -- Stations 1, 2 and 3. You will find the most number of upscale hotels and restaurants at Station 1 while Station 3 is the haven for the budget-savvy traveler. The center of all the activity on the island is at Station 2 -- where Boracay's only mall, D'Mall is located.
#3: Boracay accommodations are not necessarily expensive. The island has a variety of accommodation options -- from hostels to dormitories, to high-end 5 star resorts. Non-beach front hotels/inns/guest houses are relatively cheaper than beach front establishments.
#4: You might love the white and powdery sand of the island, but steer clear of trying to put any amount of it into a bottle to bring home with you. This is considered as an unlawful act and you will surely be slapped with a huge fine if you are caught doing this.
#5: Sea food is a must-try when you are in the Philippines. In Boracay, you can burn a hole in your wallet if you give in to your sea food craving in one of the beach front restaurants. If you want "sea food overload", you can eat at one of those "paluto service" restaurants (places where you buy the fish or meat from the market and then they will cook it for you) at the D' Talipapa in Station 2.