If you know me, I’m the type of person that would make a detailed itinerary to explore a province. Heck, I would even cross one province to another just so I could maximize my stay in a place. But going to Boracay was different. This time I want to do absolutely nothing but stay on the White Beach. No itinerary, no planned activity—just pure idling at one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines.

Depending on who you ask, Boracay is either a complete paradise or an example of a ruined island due to commercialization. It’s the party beach destination in the Philippines, like Koh Phangan in Thailand, and Miami Beach in Florida. To me, it is still beautiful– the fine white sand is incomparable to the other beaches in the Philippines, alongside with its turquoise water.

Boracay Island is situated in a town called Malay in Aklan. To get to Boracay, you can fly from Manila and arrive either at the two airports in Aklan: The first is Kalibo International Airport, which people commonly know. From there,  various tour operators, ranging from 150 to 200 pesos, offer shuttle service to Caticlan Jetty Port. This fee includes a one-way transfer, and a ticket boat to Boracay Island. Its counterpart Caticlan International Airport is near Boracay, but airfare here is more expensive.

Airlines like Airasia offer direct flight from Manila (MNL) to Kalibo (KLO) 4x daily. Following that, a 5-10 minute-boat ride is needed to get to Boracay port from both airports. I booked tickets in Manila to Kalibo as I had no idea prior my booking which airport is more accessible to Boracay. There are additional fees such as Terminal Fee that needed to be settled in Caticlan Jetty Port. Other means of getting to Boracay is via ferry.

It was almost night time when we finally arrived to our accommodation. Hungry, we grabbed dinner to a restaurant nearby and called it a day.

I’m not gonna lie, Boracay is packed with tourists all around the globe! That’s why the island can be expensive depending on your activity, and based on your nationality. I was able to talk with our tour guide, Barry, during island hopping activity, and he told me that price for island hopping and other water activities may vary depending if you’re a local or not. That seems to be unfair, but it was indeed, the sad truth. If you know how to haggle, this is the best time to use it.

Whatever you want or need, Boracay has it. The place has lots of stores, accommodations, and places to eat depending on your budget and taste. In the mornings, there are lots of activities you can try, particularly water activities, such as island hopping, parasailing, scuba diving, helmet diving, etc. At night, the island has a different vibe as restaurants turn into bars or clubs for parties.

What I wanted was to explore Boracay on the first day, and stay by the beach on the latter days. It might seem that I wasted some time in the island, but it was refreshing to do nothing after our trip in Thailand. The White Beach is a 4-kilometer stretch, most famous for its fine powdery white sand. The locals even brag how the sand won’t hurt your feet when you step on it during afternoon when the sun is scorching hot! The water is turquoise in color and appears to be glass-smooth as we traveled during Amihan season.

The White Beach is categorized into three stations: Station One is where most of the water activities happen. This is also where you can find the iconic Willy’s Rock. Station Two is the central hub of White Beach. This is where D’Mall, the local mall in Boracay, and D’Talipapa, the marketplace are located. Finally is the Station Three being the farthest and is the quieter side of White Beach. One thing you should also know about Boracay is which places are beachfront, and which aren’t. As a rule of thumb, upscale hotels and restaurants are located on the front line. Average to budget types of accommodations are generally located behind, requiring you to walk in order to get to the beach, but are more accessible to D Mall.

It wasn’t the white sand nor the crystal water that made me fell in love with Boracay. It’s every time the sun starts to set, faint music from stores starts singing, and the island change in colors different from each day. Some endings are not bad at all. Indeed, it’s one of the magical times in my life. There are still many things I’ve yet to visit and do in Boracay (and this time with friends).