Kim's Quest #15: Boracay (Part 1) - Best Island in Asia (Condé Nast Traveler's 2019 Readers' Choice Awards)

Kim Ybañez @ybanezkim26
· November 2019 · 13 min read · The Philippines · #beach

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 100, 15.2 mm]

Before the main post, let me say a few words of gratitude.

I have to admit that the kind of support I'm getting lately has been very overwhelming. I would like to express my sincerest gratitude before I proceed with the last part of this travel series. Thank you so much for the upvotes, comments, resteems, and even suggestions on how to improve my posts. I have been sharing my posts in my social media accounts, but I have been more aggressive lately. I wanted my old friends who always posted quality contents before to come back. I used my last post as a sample that the #newsteem is way better than before.

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 100, 28.8 mm]

The third part of this Panay Island Tour landed on Trending Page because of the generous upvotes. It's my first time to have a post on Trending Page after two years. It makes me happy, but pressured at the same time. Now that I have gained some attention, I feel that I should always maintain the level of quality and effort in my posts. I guess there's no room for mediocrity anymore. I hope that you will join me in my Quests to find beautiful places. For now, I'll be focusing on the Philippines because I'm still a poor, corporate slave with tons of bills to pay and two siblings to support in college. The rest of the world will follow soon.

[1/210 secs @ f/8.0, ISO 200, 16.1 mm]

Rest assured that I will continue to grow and hone my skills and will continue to bring you travel contents that are made with effort and passion. For now, let's go back to the main topic of this post.

Hello steemians and travellers!

[1/320 secs @ f/22.0, ISO 640, 34.3 mm]

Welcome to the 15th edition of Kim's Quest! I guess this is saving the best for last. I already shared about Mararison Island in the first part, Calawag Mountain Resort in the second part, and Boracay Island at Night in the third part. This time, it will still be Boracay Island - The Best Island in Asia for 2019! Well, that's not it! I'll be sharing also the reasons why I love the island now more than ever.

[1/320 secs @ f/22.0, ISO 640, 23.5 mm]

I was actually on the lay out process on how to present this post, but then I read about Boracay being voted as the Best Island in Asia for 2019 by Condé Nast Traveler in its 2019 Readers' Choice Awards. For those of you who don't know, Condé Nast Traveler is a luxury and lifestyle travel magazine that ranks best islands in the world every year based on the votes of travellers from all around the word.

[1/320 secs @ f/22.0, ISO 640, 15.0 mm]

This year, a record of 600,000 travellers and readers voted and Boracay emerged to be the best in Asia. Cebu and Visayas Islands (where I'm from) is second and then followed by Penang, Malaysia as third. Palawan, Philippines is fourth and then Bali, Indonesia as fifth. Three out of five are from the Philippines.

[1/320 secs @ f/22.0, ISO 640, 35.3 mm]

When I learned about this, I scrapped everything I made so far and went back to square one. I felt that I should present Boracay the best that I could to give justice to its beauty. That's when I decided to have it in two parts. It's just too long to be in one post. So, this will focus more on what happened in our second day in the island.

[1/320 secs @ f/22.0, ISO 640, 15.0 mm]

I guess I already told you in my previous post that Boracay was never in my bucket list before, but I changed my mind after it was closed for rehabilitation and reopened after 6 months with a concrete set of rules to achieve that sustainable tourism that they're aiming.

[1/280 secs @ f/8.0, ISO 200, 22.8 mm]

Let's get down to business, folks!

Best Island in Asia for 2019 | Condé Nast Traveler's 2019 Readers' Choice Awards

Okay. This is so cool! Being in an idyllic tropical island that's named as the best in the world, it's an experience that I will never forget. Boracay is also the 2012 Best Island in the World by the international travel magazine Travel + Leisure. The island is also at the top of 2014 Best Islands in the World by Condé Nast Traveler. When international magazines name an island as the best in world, there's no denying that it has appeal to tourists and travellers. I will just share my experience while in Boracay the best way I can.

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 100, 31.4 mm]

We woke at around 7:00 AM to prepare for the activities for that day. The agreement was to meet with our guide at White Beach. Take note that the photos I've shared so far are from White Beach. Let's start there.

White Beach

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 100, 15.0 mm]

White Beach was mentioned in Condé Nast Traveler as:

'Boracay's main draw, with its powdery white sand and shallow azure water ideal for swimming and snorkeling'.

White Beach was also reviewed as a very long coastal beach with super fine white sand and shallow water and the best beach in the world. The beach is very popular among tourists for its amazing sunsets (more on that later).

[1/320 secs @ f/22.0, ISO 640, 16.1 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/22.0, ISO 640, 15.0 mm]

[1/500 secs @ f/11.0, ISO 200, 15.6 mm]

White Beach is the longest and most popular beach in Boracay. It's divided into three sections: Station 1, 2, and 3. I think the best part is in Station 1 in terms of space and sand quality. It's relatively very flat so it's ideal for swimming because it doesn't get too deep too quickly.

Willy's Rock. [1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 100, 45.0 mm]

As mentioned in the previous post, Willy's Rock is located in White Beach. A lot of tourists flock there because it's an amazing background for instagram photos.

What I love about the beach is its very fine sand. It's the finest I've seen so far and its powdery consistency is very uniform. It means that you can't find large specks of sand that when the wind blows, the sand would get blown away. It would get stuck to the shoes or slippers that it would not get easily removed by just dusting.

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 100, 45.0 mm]

White Beach is very clean now that new rules are being imposed to limit the impact of tourists on the island while it's still recovering. I am not complaining with the new rules because I think it has been long overdue. Basically, almost all activities before were banned to keep the white sand as pristine as possible. Rules like (1) prohibition of drinking and smoking on the beach, (2) banning of umbrellas and beach chairs on the beach, (3) imposing of harsh fines when caught littering of any kind, and (4) banning of all kinds of pets on the beach are being implemented after Boracay was reopened.

[1/320 secs @ f/22.0, ISO 640, 15.0 mm]

As a result, there's almost no obstruction to the panoramic view of that long stretch of white sand. Selling of any kind of merchandise is also prohibited on the beach which gives you a relaxing and quiet time without those haggling merchants. Because of stricter waste management system, I didn't observed any green algae that are washed on the beach. Seasonal seaweeds are visible, but I think it's normal.

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 100, 31.4 mm]

Overall, I love the order as a result of the imposed rules. I observed that people are just enjoying their time on the beach. Some are walking, some are taking tons of selfies, others are swimming, while others are just enjoying the sun and the view.

Of course, we didn't miss to have photos in that beach.

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 100, 28.8 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 100, 45.0 mm] | [1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 100, 28.8 mm]

Bulabog Beach and Its Water Activities

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 320, 15.0 mm]

On the other side of the island and opposite to White Beach is Bulabog Beach which is the designated area for water activities. It's just a few meters across the main road from Station 2, but our driver made a detour to a long route due to traffic. Since the island is still under rehabilitation, the roads are still under construction and widening.

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 100, 28.8 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 320, 28.8 mm] | [1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 320, 15.0 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 320, 45.0 mm]

Bulabog Beach is less crowded than the main beach in Boracay, but boats are everywhere for all water sports activities. It's a 2.5 kilometer stretch that's designated as the heart of kite boarding and wind surfing.

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 320, 17.0 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 320, 15.0 mm]

Our activities were already set for the day and that's banana boat ride and parasailing. We chose a less extreme water activity as part of our package including island hopping and helmet diving for the next day.

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 320, 15.2 mm]

From the floating dock in Bulabog Beach, we had to go to an offshore jump off point of the water activities. The view at the jump off point is also stunning.

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 320, 15.2 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 1250, 15.0 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 320, 15.0 mm] | [1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 320, 45.0 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 320, 15.0 mm]


[1/1700 secs @ f/2.8, ISO 100, 3.0 mm, HERO5 Black]

From the floating jump off point, we had to ride a speed boat further into the sea before a colorful parachute is set for parasailing. It was a great experience. I'm an adventure seeker so I love the idea of being whisked into the sky while being strapped in a parachute that's tugged by the boat.

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 320, 15.0 mm]

[1/2700 secs @ f/2.8, ISO 100, 3.0 mm, HERO5 Black]

The ride was only 15 minutes, but I love the view of the island from above. It was adrenaline-filled, it was fun, but it was relaxing for me once we're already on the sky. I guess I'm not afraid of heights anymore. I love the view of the beautiful shoreline while sailing against the wind. It's one memory I can't forget.

[1/1800 secs @ f/2.8, ISO 100, 3.0 mm, HERO5 Black]

[1/1400 secs @ f/2.8, ISO 100, 3.0 mm, HERO5 Black]

Banana Boat Ride

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 800, 42.0 mm]

Since we were nine in a group, banana boat ride was always on the option. It was speed-induced while riding a banana shaped inflatable off the shore of Boracay's Bulabog Beach.

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 800, 38.5 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 800, 45.0 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/20.0, ISO 800, 36.3 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/18.0, ISO 800, 42.0 mm]

It was a fun-filled, wet ride for 15 minutes. I think the main purpose is to let us fall from the banana boat, but we were stubborn. No one fell in our group, but it was so thrilling. Life jacket is mandatory so it's relatively safe even if you don't know how to swim.

[1/320 secs @ f/20.0, ISO 800, 26.4 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/20.0, ISO 800, 26.4 mm]

What I love about the whole experience is that the speed boat coordinator took great photos of us against rock formations and while on the ride. I gave him my camera, and he already knew what to do. I guess local guides are also the best photographers based on experience.

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 800, 39.6 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 800, 39.6 mm]

[1/320 secs @ f/14.0, ISO 800, 39.6 mm]

Sunset at White Beach

[1/300 secs @ f/8.0, ISO 200, 45.0 mm]

Since we were already basically done for the day in terms of water activities, we decided to head back to white beach for the sunset. Other water activities were on the next day.

[1/120 secs @ f/5.6, ISO 200, 44.5 mm]

[1/140 secs @ f/5.6, ISO 200, 45.0 mm]

[1/140 secs @ f/7.1, ISO 200, 15.0 mm]

It was time to witness one of the best sunsets in the world. For those of you who are planning to visit Boracay, catching the sunset should be on your itinerary. The Philippines have stunning sunset locations, but Boracay is one of the best if not the best. Different beaches like Diniwid Beach, Manoc-Manoc Beach, and Puka Beach also offer stunning views during sunset, but we chose to stay at White Beach.

[1/160 secs @ f/8.0, ISO 200, 45.0 mm]

[1/140 secs @ f/4.5, ISO 200, 15.0 mm] | [1/140 secs @ f/7.1, ISO 200, 44.5 mm]

[1/90 secs @ f/5.6, ISO 200, 44.5 mm]

While my friends are enjoying the waters, I didn't bother swimming. I took tons of photos while on the beach. I eventually sat and take everything in. My senses are overwhelmed! It was so beautiful!

[1/600 secs @ f/8.0, ISO 200, 29.6 mm]

[1/400 secs @ f/8.0, ISO 200, 15.0 mm] | [1/240 secs @ f/8.0, ISO 200, 45.0 mm]

[1/340 secs @ f/8.0, ISO 200, 15.0 mm]

Pastel colors are everywhere. Boats with sails off shore provide a dynamics and movement. The clear waters reflect the sunlight which makes everything surreal. I'm in paradise! I don't want to go back nor wanted it to end. I guess I'll just let the photos speak for themselves. I hope I gave it justice.

[1/450 secs @ f/8.0, ISO 200, 15.6 mm]

Stay for the Part 2 of this post! It will be about the remaining days and activities we had.

First, Second, and Third Part:

Kim's Quest #12: Mararison Island Day Tour

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

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

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 (The Philippines) and the rest of the world (it will just follow since he's still a poor, corporate slave with tons of bills to pay and two siblings to support in college).


Share this post

Post Location