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Stretching Your Budget In Bora

White Beach At Dusk

There are three places that people think of when they think about summer:

  • Baguio
  • Puerto Galera
  • Boracay

Today, I'd like to discuss Boracay.

Boracay is an island paradise just a few kilometers off of Panay Island's northernmost coast. It is a gem of a geographic location, and tourists and locals both have been captivated by its beauty.

What sets Boracay apart is its pristine shores. The island is gifted with shores that are lined with white, powdery sand, sand unlike anywhere else in the Philippines, and unlike most beaches in the world.

Boracay, as a tourist destination has a costly standard of living, compared to the rest of the Philippines. Things that you can buy elsewhere are 5, 10 to 20 pesos more expensive in Boracay. Thus, you have to be wise about your purchase decisions, especially the food that you eat.

If you're on a budget but would love to enjoy your summer in Boracay, here are a few tips to make the most out of your stay here.

  1. Don't fall for convenience. If you're on White Beach/Front Beach or the main tourist spot, try to get a place on Station 3 as opposed to Station 2 or Station 1. Accommodations and food are far cheaper on Station 3 than on either Station 2 or Station 1.
  2. If you're on accommodations on Station 2 or even Station 1, don't believe that cheaper food cannot be had in your area. Andok's is on D'Mall, and there are carinderias all over the place. Even though carinderia food is even a little pricey at Php 30 to Php 45 per viand and then Php 10 per cup of rice (coming from an Ilongga who has lived on Php 25 for ulam/viand and Php 7/Php 8 per cup of rice), carinderia fare is still way cheaper than what you'll find at Aria. Remember, food is ingested today, gone tomorrow. The best way to go in Boracay would be to make sure you can live through your stay and get back home to your place with more than enough left.
  3. If you're tired of Andok's and would love some authentic Filipino food, a great place to eat is in Mangan in D'Talipapa, which is conveniently located beside Culpepper Lodge. D'Talipapa is in Station 2, definitely cheaper than the places in Station 1. Culpepper Lodge offers great rates for repeat guests, so be sure to ask about this loyalty discount.
  4. There is an eat-all-you-can Goto place located on the alley from the Boracay Lying-In Clinic to the White Beach. If you're facing D'Mall, this side street is to the right, right after the Lying-In Clinic, and before the area leading up to Island Kebab. The eat-all-you-can Goto can be had for only Php 50 as of today, April 28, 2011.

Although Boracay as a tourist destination will definitely burn a hole through your pocket, you don't have to live according to the hype and bleed money while you're here. Be wise and frugal, heed our advice, and you'll be able to make the most out of living on this island.


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