I got a smoking deal for a business class ticket from Cape Town to Manila available only on one Tuesday, so I booked my two week trip revolving around this flight. I left Cape Town at noon on Tuesday and flew to Dubai, then onwards to Manila. I had to spend the night in Manila because my flight arrived an hour after the last flight left for Boracay, which I thought would in turn be interesting to see Manila.
Manila is your stereotypical Asian city that you see in film. Thousands of people, traffic everywhere (almost as bad a Cairo), crowded streets but the coolest looking old fashion taxi buses you have seen. They reminded me a lot of the vehicle from my trip to Havana, except these are only used to transporting people. I stayed pretty close to my hotel for the night and got up early to catch my flight to Boracay.
I booked a cheap ticket with Cebu Pacific which I thought was a steal until they checked in my kite bag. Long story short, I had to pay 125US one way to get my kite gear to Boracay, total was more than the price of my ticket. I was met at the airport by my prearranged transportation with my resort who collected me from the airport, put me on the ferry to Boracay and transported me from the ferry to the resort once I arrived at the island. I had booked at 7 Stones Suites in Boracay, a high rated hotel on kite beach. My room wasn’t ready when I arrived but the wind was blowing so I unpacked my kite gear and headed for the beach.
A friend of mine had given me a contact at a kite center next to my hotel so I headed in that direction. Freestyle Kiteboarding has been on the beach for many years and has all the necessary kiting essentials. Besides kiting they have a great little café onsite that makes awesome cheap Asian food, which was much harder to find in Boracay unlike in Thailand.
I grabbed my prototype light wind board ‘Black Magic’ and headed out with my largest kite. I was powered nicely and quickly explored the kiting area. It’s a bay that is sheltered by a reef, which leaves for nice flat water for boosting or tricks, but has chop and waves outside of the reef. March is the end of the windy season so there weren’t that many riders around, but the wind was decent for me and I quickly exhausted myself after a few hours. When I finally decided to head in, my prototype board snapped on toe side leaving me to body drag myself all the way back to the beach through the crowd of riders who huddle the shoreline. Turns out my board was damaged on transit and the riding style caused it to snap. Luckily I travel with multiple boards.
I was able to ride every day of the week in Boracay which was pretty awesome as it was low wind season. At the end of February the NE trade winds shift to a warm lighter SE wind. I borrowed a freerace board since my light wind twintip snapped and had a ton of fun early each morning. The wind tends to die around noon, so you kite in the morning and do other things in the afternoon.
Boracay is a huge tourist destination so there is plenty to do. The island has many dive centers and the site sites are very close, only 5 to 10 minutes by boat, so they run all day. Twice I went diving in the afternoon and was the only diver. Unfortunately I got congested early on and had to drop diving, which wasn’t great because I missed both the airplane where and large ship wreck they have to dive.
Boracay is known for its energetic nightlife in the Station 2 area, which I checked out briefly and left quickly as there is a crazy amount of people and it also gets very hot on that side of the island, since its sheltered from the wind. You can go over to a place called Spider House north of Station 1 to watch the sunset, or walk along Station 2 and Station 3 for all the shops, restaurants, excursion centers and massage places. There is literally something to do for everyone.
I highly recommend Boracay. Before I went, Egypt was my favourite kite destination, but after experiencing the Philippines, it’s a pretty close tie to Soma Bay and Boracay for the top kite destination I have visited. Maybe you should visit and let me know your vote!
Non Kiteboarding Activities: 10
Overall Experience 10