Yes, we’ve all heard the hype – this is supposedly one of the best beaches in the world. And in so many ways, the hype is well-deserved. On a sunny day (think summer), everything here can be – in a word – beauteous.
Long stretches of beaches with sugar-fine, sugar-white sand? Check.
Blue waters that stretch as far as the eyes can see, seemingly reflecting the blue skies above? Check.
Palm trees swaying with the lazy bombarding of the wind, creating almost poetic hush-hush sounds that could lull people into a trance? Check.
Sunsets that could rival, say, Laguna de Bay’s? Check.
Clichés abound when you’re here at the right time.
But that’s exactly it: Boracay is at its best ONLY when visited at the right time.
Visit the famed island when the sun isn’t (always) out, and you’re in for a (horrible) surprise.
Algae coating the shores, turning everything into mossy green, thereby easily making jokes about E. coli bacteria believable? Check.
Overflowing sewerage system, with the water (that’s often stinking of… something shitty) overflowing on walkways, making passing them difficult? Check.
Too expensive stuffs to use to protect yourself from the rain? Check.
Rubbish finding their way on the shore? Check..
This is not to say there aren’t things you can do when here when the time isn’t perfect. Boracay, after all, is Boracay.
And so here are five things you can do when in Boracay in the rain…
- Get wet.
You can take a dip, sure – but only if you’re a good swimmer. The waves of Boracay can get quite high, so caution needs to be taken when going for a swim when the weather isn’t that good.
But you can also get wet in the rain. Try walking from Station 3 to Station 1; or even beyond, to Diniwid Beach. That way, you get to enjoy the beach with not-that-many people; and even get to see Boracay with a different “lens” – i.e. a wet one. I’d say it can be poetically beautiful… if you’re willing to give it a go.
Now, concerned about the stuff you have with you? Resorts willingly hand out plastics to wrap them with, so don’t be shy to ask. Otherwise, buy water protections before going to Boracay (e.g. those mobile phone “wrappers”, disposable raincoats, and even umbrellas) as they could be costly when bought there (and when they know you are in dire need of it).
- Pig out.
Afraid of getting wet? Stay indoors.
But don’t sulk (Oh, please, don’t!).
Instead, try the goodies that the island has to offer – e.g. Zuzuni’s choco lava mud cake; and Real Coffee & Tea Café’s calamansi muffin.
Boracay isn’t THAT big; but for such a “small” place, it does have gustatory offerings waiting to be discovered…
- Check new venues.
When on the island, there are two “venues” that can be checked out – 1) the “natural” offerings of the place (that is, aside from the known and even abused White Beach), and 2) the “man-made” destinations on the island.
While it is easy to lambast Boracay, particularly for those whose exposure to the island is largely limited to the stretch of the White Beach, a little-known fact about this place is the availability of other beaches here. These beaches have yet to be touched by corporate greed, and so are worth discovering indeed.
Among those worth considering are: A) Yapak Beach (better known as Puka Shell Beach), an 800-meter-long stretch of glistening white sand on Boracay’s northern tip; B) Bulabog Beach, an eight-kilometer-long beach on the eastern side of the island; C) Ilig Iligan Beach, located in the upper north eastern tip of the island near Yapak Beach; and D) the open-to-the-public Banyugan Beach, which is actually the “private beach” (a misnomer since shores can’t be “private”) of Shangri-La in Boracay.
Now, sick of the beach (even if you actually went to the beach!)? No worries. This place has venues worth checking – e.g. the island’s first elevator (made of bamboo at that) at Nami Beach Resort in Diniwid Beach (beyond Station 1); three-floor tambayan (hangout place) of TreeHouse Restaurant (this one is for sale, so check out while it’s there) in Station 3; et cetera. Again, just be willing to get wet and take a walk by the beach to see everything that this part of the island has to offer…
- Try wind-abusing sports activities – or any new activities, for that matter.
Consider their existence as proof of how over-developed the island is – but nowadays, you can do just about anything that tickles your fancy (and that you can afford, of course). Reverse bungee. Parasailing. Wakeboarding. Windsurfing. Kitesurfing. Heck, you can even be a mermaid for… 30 minutes – you just have to be willing to cough up P700 to “fulfill your dreams”, as the flier of the costume shop states.
- Stay indoors… to party.
Now, if you are “familiar” with the party scene of Boracay (C’mon, you can admit it!), you’d understand me for saying that everything on this island is… fickle. This place seems so used to what’s new, that everything just doesn’t last that long. Places of years ago included Bazura and Cocomanga’s (the latter still there, but not as “in” now). Then came Hey! Jude – eventually dying, too. Epic is in the middle of White Beach now – though with the crowd thinning, I’m not sure until when. And Juice Bar? Padlocked! And even the locals did not know it just folded.
This makes partying on the island a must – after all, the next time you visit (whether the sun is out or not), everything may have already changed.
Now, if you’re willing to throw out some cash, ClubSummerPlace (Station 2), Paraw (Station 1, beside Cocomanga’s) and, yes, Epic (Station 2, at the entry of D’Mall) are still around. The first one has the most number of partygoers; so you may have bigger chances of picking up there.
For those who do not believe in paying bars to listen to often not that good music (Plus, hello, this is a beach!), options include the comfy Bamboo Bungalow and rasta-frequented BonBon Bar (both at Station 2).
Drinking a bottle of beer by the beach will never, ever be passé, I say…
Yes, the flights are cheaper.
The accommodation is cheaper, too.
So even if your flight may be cancelled because of the bad weather; or you can be redirected to Kalibo (meaning you have to take a two-hour land trip before reaching Caticlan, where you catch the ferry to Boracay), going to this famed island during rainy days may still be worth it.
You just have to have a different way of looking at being there…