Kim's Quest #14: Strolling Around Boracay at Night

Kim Ybañez @ybanezkim26
· October 2019 · 8 min read · #beach


Hello steemians and travellers!

I already shared about the beautiful Mararison Island in the first part and the enchanting experience at Calawag Mountain Resort in the second part of our Panay Island Tour. This time, I'll share about Boracay Island. I guess everyone knows about Boracay and why it became part of the headlines this year. For those who didn't know about Boracay, it's an island off the coast of Malay, Aklan and it was one of the best islands in the world.

[1/5 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.2 mm]

Before anything else, welcome to the 14th edition of Kim's Quest! Finally, I'm now sharing the main destination of this tour. I think I have to divide this into two or three parts because I have a lot of points and photos to share.

[1/8 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.2 mm]

After Calawag Mountain Resort, we travelled for about 3 hours to Malay, Aklan via van from Culasi, Antique. Upon arriving at Malay, we had our late lunch, as it was already 3:00 PM, before boarding a ferry boat to Boracay Island.

[1/4 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.2 mm]

We didn't have a specific itinerary for the day/night so we decided to roam around and explore what the island has in store for us. After settling in our hotel, which was located inland since we can't afford to have a beachfront hotel, we rest for a while before heading out for dinner.

[1/4 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.2 mm]

Let me share about Boracay after dark.

Neon Lights and Nightlife

[1/4 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.2 mm, with Flash]

I have to admit that Boracay was never on my bucket list before. You want to know why? Well, simply because before President Duterte called Boracay a 'cesspool' and ordered the closure of the whole island for six (6) months for rehabilitation, I already knew about it from the documentaries I watched. No one listened before about how chaotic the island was, how the island suffered from wastes (both solid and septic waste), and how those indigenous people were displaced due to rapid development. People don't watch those documentaries because they were aired here in the Philippines late at night.

[1/4 secs @ f/5.2, ISO 3200, 37.4 mm]

Now, what changed my mind? Since the island was newly opened after its rehabilitation, I wanted to personally witness and compare my experience from those I watch and hear before the closure. I could go on about those things, but I'll just reserve those for the next part of this series.

Station 1

[1/12 secs @ f/5.6, ISO 3200, 45.0 mm]

Our hotel was in Station 1 and we decided to walk from Station 1 to Station 2, where most of the activities are located. Station 1 is more luxurious and quieter than Station 2.

[1/12 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.2 mm]

I had this picture in mind where people are having a good time at the beach, but when I got there, only a few are walking by the beach. It was dark with the lights from the establishments can be seen. It was cold and windy, but very relaxing. When Boracay was reopened, a lot of activities in the beach are banned and I think it was a good thing.

As observed from the photos above, the beach was dark but it was safe because police visibility is apparent. They tighten the security of the whole island. It was orderly and the beach was free from any trash.

[1/4 secs @ f/5.2, ISO 3200, 37.4 mm]

Located in Station 1 is the famous landmark of Boracay called Willy's Rock. It was just a rock with a grotto, but it was a famous background for sunset photos so it became famous for tourists. You need to swim during high tide, but you can walk during low tide if you want to take a photo at the rock itself.

[1/13 secs @ f/4.2, ISO 3200, 22.1 mm]

Walking by the beach itself was therapeutic for me. I observed that the sand was so fine. I think it was the finest beach sand so far. I've been to the famous beaches in Cebu and Bohol, but it can't compared to the fineness of Boracay.

[1/25 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.0 mm]

Most of the establishments in Station 1 were still under construction. Those structures that were within the beach easement zone were demolished. It allowed the sand to take over and widen the beach.

[1/12 secs @ f/5.6, ISO 3200, 45.0 mm]

There's no clear distinction between Station 1 and 2, but you'll know you're in Station if there are a lot of people, either on the beach or on restaurants and bars.

Station 2 and D'mall de Boracay

[1/20 secs @ f/5.6, ISO 3200, 45.0 mm]

Station 2 is dubbed as the Epicenter because aside from being the center of White Beach (a four-kilometer stretch of beach from Station 1 to Station 3), it's also a center of vibrant Boracay nightlife. Restaurants are also concentrated in this area. It's always busy and can be crowded especially during sunsets.

[1/40 secs @ f/4.4, ISO 3200, 24.2 mm]

[1/9 secs @ f/5.6, ISO 3200, 45.0 mm] | [1/20 secs @ f/5.6, ISO 3200, 45.0 mm]

[1/35 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.0 mm]

D'mall de Boracay is located in Station 2.

[1/35 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 2500, 15.0 mm]

[1/35 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 1600, 15.0 mm] | [1/20 secs @ f/5.6, ISO 3200, 39.6 mm]

[1/35 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 2000, 15.0 mm] | [1/25 secs @ f/5.6, ISO 3200, 39.6 mm]

[1/35 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 2000, 15.0 mm]

It is said that once you're in D'mall, everything's a walking distance from Station 1 to Station 3 because it's the center of Boracay. It extends from the beach going inland to the main road. It's a one stop shop of everything you need in the island.

[1/35 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 1600, 15.0 mm]

[1/35 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 2500, 15.0 mm]

Bars, currency exchange, ATMs, travel and tours, fruit stands, dessert places, restaurants of different kinds of cuisines, pharmacy, and beach apparel shops can be found in D'mall.

[1/35 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 2500, 15.0 mm]

When we got there, I felt that I was like transported to a different country. I felt that we were the tourists from a different country. Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, and Caucasians dominate the alleys. It was exciting to witness.

[1/18 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.0 mm]

[1/35 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 2000, 15.0 mm] | [1/25 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.0 mm]

[1/35 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 2500, 15.0 mm]

Colorful lamps illuminate the facade of the establishments. Based on photos online, Boracay is this sparkling, tropical paradise during the day, but it transformed into something very different once the sun has fully set. There's this duality of the island that I can't fully integrate so I have to separate the two.

[1/25 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.0 mm]

[1/17 secs @ f/4.2, ISO 3200, 20.9 mm] | [1/30 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.0 mm]

[1/35 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.0 mm]

Boracay is so different at night. While the beach is so peaceful and relaxing, the alleys and small passageways going inland is so bright and lively. Boracay at night can be intimidating for someone like me, but I find it a refreshing sight. We chose not to drink in bars because we still have activities the next day. So far, I love the new Boracay and I hope that it will continue to be that way.

[1/30 secs @ f/4.2, ISO 3200, 20.9 mm]

[1/40 secs @ f/4.0, ISO 3200, 18.6 mm] | [1/20 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 3200, 15.0 mm]

[1/35 secs @ f/3.5, ISO 1600, 15.0 mm]

I was actually torn between sharing this first or our Boracay escapade during the day. I guess I will save the best for last. The sun, the sea, the sand, the sunset, and everything in between will be shared in the next part. Stay tuned for I will share why Boracay is one of the best islands in the world.

[1/25 secs @ f/4.7, ISO 3200, 31.4 mm]

See you in the next part of this series!

First and Second Part:

Kim's Quest #12: Mararison Island Day Tour

Kim's Quest #13: The Experience of Being Cooked Alive at Calawag Mountain Resort

Kim Ybañez

Welcome to Kim's small corner in the Steem blockchain. He is a chemical engineer by profession, but a blogger by passion. He is a wanderlust and an adventure seeker. Join his quests as he visits secluded destinations, climbs mountains, tries new and exotic dishes, and explores his country and the rest of the world.


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