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We were sick of eating at Andok’s Manok every single day. Bringing your whole family to Boracay can really put a strain on your wallet, so besides carinderia food, we were at the ubiquitous lechon manok place almost every single day. And by the third time, we’re quite sick of it.

ANDOK’S BORACAY AT STATION THREE BEACHFRONT

THE SMOKE RESTO AT BORACAY’S D’MALL

So, I scoured the net, looking for Boracay restaurants with budget below the hundred peso mark. I know Smoke Resto at D’Mall is one, but I was surprised to find that the place has since closed down. We proceeded to its other branch, but it was packed, as expected.

Since it was already quite late for lunch, we simply decided to eat on a restaurant a few steps away from it, Plato D’ Boracay.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Thursday, April 27, 2017

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour

When the boatman tells you to jump—roiling waters or not—you jump. And I did, donning a full-face snorkeling mask, feet with fins, and one hand grappling an action camera . I hit the cold waters of Boracay in all its murky glory and surfaced a few seconds after. The sea was very choppy and the current was a bit strong, but I swam nonetheless, stabilizing myself with my fins every now and then to watch schools of small colorful fishes swirl around on unexpectedly lush coral beds. I was expecting a calmer swimming experience since it was almost summertime in Boracay, but it seemed that this was worse than our Boracay island hopping during Habagat season.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Galleria De Boracay

My two main factors when renting cheap accommodations in Boracay are its cleanliness and its proximity to the beach. The fist one is a no-brainer, especially if you’re tagging the whole clan with you, but the second one can be optional. I like my beach lodging to be right there at the beach itself, my room just a hop away from the sand and the sea—budget permitting. But if pressed for funds, well, you compromise somehow. And that’s actually how we ended up booking a room at the Galleria de Boracay.

This inn is almost in between the main road and Boracay White Beach’s Station 3. It actually has a pretty good location, if you don’t mind that the beach doesn’t start right at your doorstep. It’s less than thirty seconds by foot from the road, which means buying goods from convenience stores is a breeze and inexpensive. It sits right by the Original Talipapa, a market of sorts selling souvenirs. And it’s also near carinderia eateries, should you need to scrimp on food spending.

In terms of its proximity to the beach, it’s about three minutes away via a maze of narrow side streets. The path opens at the Station 3 side of Boracay White Beach, rigth  at the corner of Crown Regency Beach Resort Boracay. This was also where we booked our Boracay island hopping tour, which they also gave discounts for.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Sunday, April 23, 2017

Puka Beach Boracay

Giant waves were slamming the shore of Puka Beach like there’s no tomorrow. It was the habagat season in Boracay and what’s once a calm beach for swimming during the summer was now concert of crashing, angry surf that would sweep anyone off their feet if caught by it.

Puka Beach Sign Boracay
THE FAMOUS PUKA BEACH MAKESHIFT SIGN

Puka Beach Stores Boracay
STORES SELLING SOUVENIRS NEAR THE ENTRANCE OF PUKA BEACH

There’s no arguing that Boracay White Beach is the beach when it comes to fineness of sand and length on the island. But the problem with it is that there’s simply too many people crowding its shoreline, especially during the afternoons. Add in the docked paraws or local sailboats, and well, it’s really not the best place to go for a swim.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Friday, April 21, 2017

Maldives Travel Guide Itinerary Budget Expenses

Maldives is a beach paradise most sun worshippers would die to visit. The country is located in South Asia, a cluster of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls scattered along the Indian Ocean. It is regarded as the smallest country in Asia and the lowest in the world. With its elevation, it is predicted that it would be totally swallowed by the rising sea by the year 2100.

A TYPICAL RESORT ISLAND IN MALDIVES

Its islands are classified into two types; local islands, where Maldivian people live, and the famous resort islands, where most tourists associate the country with. It’s on the latter where you get to experience the Maldives postcard life—living on overwater bungalows surrounded by the sparkling and unbelievably azure sea.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sun Island Resort Maldives Day Tour

The view, a spread of luxurious bungalows suspended a few meters over unbelievalby cyan waters. It was something straight out of a Maldives postcard. Well, except we were there. We were standing on the wooden causeway connecting these to the main beach, admiring the over water lodgings and thinking to ourselves how we really can’t afford these.

Sun Island Resort Maldives Water Beach
SHADES OF BLUES AND GREENS

Sun Island Resort Maldives Water Beach
DOCKING AT THE SUN ISLAND RESORT IN SOUTH ARI ATOLL

But stay on this resort, we really would not. What we were here at the Sun Island Resort for is a day tour. Let me correct that, a free day tour. Coming from the Holiday Island Resort, we were given complimentary day passes to its sister resort at Nalaguraidhoo Island complete with free roundtrip transfers. Plus, we’re free to stay at the island until late at night too. Quite a deal, eh?

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Friday, April 14, 2017

Holiday Island Resort & Spa Maldives Jetty

It was unreal. I stood transfixed, staring at the glimmering emerald waters surrounding the wooden jetty of Holiday Island like it was my first time to set eyes on the sea. It was like a huge infinity pool, a never ending one with the clearest waters in gradients of blues and greens. I didn’t want to admit it, and I kept denying it to myself—the Maldives has beaten the Philippines when it comes to having the best beaches.

Holiday Island Resort & Spa Maldives Transfer
QUICK TRANSFER FROM MAAMIGILI TO THE HOLIDAY ISLAND RESORT

A day tour at an island resort made us rethink our Maldives itinerary. Our original plan of staying solely at the local island of Maamigili went down the drain as soon as we alighted from our boat and stepped on the resort’s wooden causeway. With unbelievable clear waters, super fine white sandy beaches, and cold, cold beer—yes, they have beer on these kind of islands—we thought, why not stay on one of these even for a night, we’re already here anyway.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Maldives Island Hopping Tour Maamigili Whale Sharks

“Beauty! Beauty! Beauty!” Our boatman exclaimed excitedly as he tried to stabilize our dhoni using his feet to steer its rudder on the Maamigili’s roiling waters. “Jump! Jump! Jump!” He further shouted. Without thinking, I quickly donned on my mask and snorkel, and jumped. The deep blue Maldivian waters surrounded me. And right in front of me, two of the largest animals I’ve ever seen underwater gracefully swam. Whale sharks. I was frozen. It took a couple of seconds before I recovered and popped back up the surface to breathe.

Maldives Island Hopping Tour Maamigili
ARIADHOO ISLAND NEAR MAAMIGILI

We were granted four free sea excursions during our stay at the Whale Shark Inn [CHECK ROOM RATES & AVAILABILITY] in Maamigili. For USD150.00 per person, inclusive of our five-day stay, daily breakfast and island transfers, we couldn’t believe how affordable everything was, considering we were at Maldives, a country where most backpackers veer off fearing they would empty their bank accounts in a couple of days’ stay.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Monday, April 10, 2017