Definition of buffet: Let loose.
Check out my review on Sea Breeze Café.
Maybe you would like to read about my other blogs about Boracay?
Definition of buffet: Let loose.
Check out my review on Sea Breeze Café.
Italian food with beach life. Vacation complete.
Check out my review on Aria Cucina Italiana
Crepes and the beach life. Perfect combination.
Check out my review on Ti Braz Creperie & French Bistro
One of the best parts of beach life is to surrender to all the delicacies and cuisines that surrounds you. I am always looking for the type of food I can hold in my hand while walking around or even sit by the beach and sip on something cool and refreshing.
The beach life. It’s like no other feeling. I realize now that I make every effort to visit Boracay for one or some of several reasons. You may have some of your own perhaps.
You worked hard for that beach body.
You had a stressful year and need to unwind.
You haven’t been to the beach for the longest time.
You just need to get away. Period.
For me, it’s not just the beach life but it’s for the food with the beach life. So I say to myself, “Throw everything out the window and let my appetite take it’s course because this is my vacation and I earned it.”
This is how I feel when I’m in Boracay. I want to explore. I want to enjoy. I don’t want anything to hold me back. Well, as long as I’m not overdoing it.
I start off with a little bit of coffee in the morning. Beach view. Clear mind. Calm weather. Bright. Beautiful.
After a few sips and staring out into the view, I completely lose track of time. Some time later my breakfast arrives. I’m not even thinking about how hungry I am until I look down at the most appetizing meal. A cup of garlic rice, marinated pork tocino, sunny-side up egg, with a little garnish of lettuce and cherry tomatoes. Delicious!
As the morning passes on slowly, there are a few places I frequently visit every time I travel here. The first place I usually hit is a place called “Aria Cucina Italiana”. Like most places that have a beach view, I prefer to eat indoors because people like to sit around the outside seating area and smoke vigorously. I love the food here! Pastas and pizzas are such comfort food at the beach.
Soon after our fulfilling meal, we walk on over next door to “Aria Gelato” for some cold, refreshing, yup-you-guessed-it, GELATO.
We like to switch up the afternoon snack between a couple of places. There is this small café called “Ti Braz” that had gone through some renovations. They specialized in serving light breakfast and snacks but now added power shakes and alcohol drinks to their two other businesses just inside their café. I highly recommend choosing any of their crepes. Any type of fruit inside a heated pastry then topped with a scoop of ice cream makes for an amazing afternoon snack.
Take a look at how this delicious crepe was made by clicking on both links below. I can watch this all day.
During our last visit to Boracay we decided to try a place called Halowich. They make fruit sundaes and chilled desserts. It is so refreshing to have a cold dessert melt in my mouth! Tropical fruits mix so well in a dessert. If you don’t believe me, look at the size of the bowl that some kids next to us ordered. Stuffed with loads of mangoes and papaya. It was bigger than my hand!
At night, there are so many choices where to eat. You can eat at one of your favourite restaurants and sit alongside the walkway closer to the beach side. Sip on a cool drink while looking at the breathtaking night views.
Sometimes we ate indoors and enjoyed the convenience of air conditioning with less chances of being bothered by beach vendors and insects.
To be honest with you, I enjoyed eating both indoors and outdoors.
Taking part in the foodie life is such a wonderful experience. If you ever find your way into Boracay, you must have a taste of every type of food it has to offer. Writing this food blog now is making me daydream about my next trip to Boracay. When I find more things to eat there, I will definitely blog about it.
Check out my other blogs on visiting Boracay, Philippines.
After enjoying the sunset, the walkway and D’Mall became full of tourists. It was so crowded that it was difficult to even find a place to eat. Happy hour started as early as 4pm so there would be a party crowd as early as 8pm. Drinks are fairly cheap even if you purchased canned beer at the local convenience store.
I never really enjoyed partying and consuming large quantities of alcohol so I like to turn in early and try to catch some of the early morning sun. It’s pretty cold around 6am so there aren’t too many people around but I do happen to catch some moments that answers why I liked to wake up so early. As soon as my feet touched the sand, I know that I have reached Heaven On Earth.
After walking around the beach for a while, I like to retreat back a little to see the view behind the trees. It feels as if I’m looking threw a picture frame with the sky and water within arm’s reach. It’s also an outlook of how the morning succeeded from the night before.
About 30 minutes walking distance along the white beach, we found a small island that is frequently visited by tourists. It sits just meters away from the beach shore. With the water up to our knees, we had to walk into the water to reach the first climb of steps.
Just above the first landing was a small grotto that held a statue of The Virgin Mary. I would see some people clutch their rosaries and say a few prayers as they passed by.
We would walk around the small island and snap photos. Out of the hundreds of photos I took, I think I liked this one the most.
Walking back, we happened to see a beachside resort setting up a small wedding and reception. We were so happy to catch this moment. How wonderful it was to see that a happy couple would exchange their wedding vows and celebrate their special day with family and friends by the beach!
As the day slowly turned into evening, we walked along the beach with slippers in hand, taking photos. The heat quickly moves on and a slight cool breeze set in. We would watch people enjoying the last minutes of the sun before it snuck underneath the horizon.
We would sit and watch the colour of the sun change colour from a large yellow-ish ball to a tiny orange no bigger than a thumbnail. I still remember how much I became so hypnotized with the reflection of the light off the water. I could sit and watch the sunset in Boracay every night and not even look at my watch. Time doesn’t mean anything when it feels like you’re in heaven – except when you realize it’s time to go back to reality.
After such a long road trip, the only thing on our minds is to unwind and walk along the beach. We would always check into the hotel right away hoping that our room might be ready. If our rooms weren’t made, we would ask if we could temporarily leave our bags in storage or at the front desk until we returned.
Boracay has become a popular tourist destination. It is a lot more commercialized from when I used to visit back in the early 2000’s. There weren’t as many hotels, the number of tourists were probably half of what it is now, and prices were exponentially lower. Even just the logistics of traveling from the port into Boracay Island was a lot different. We used to disembark several meters from the beach, walk into the rocky shore with the water up to our knees. Now we travel from the main road behind the hotels and walk about 10 minutes through narrow passageways to reach the front desk.
It is still beautiful as I always remembered it. Everywhere I looked was a different scenery. To my left, right and straight ahead – I saw the water, the sand, and trees that touched the horizon in every different way.
Sometimes I got a little sleepy and took a short nap but shortly after, I would take my wife shopping at the nearest outdoor market called “D’Mall”. Funny name, right? They have lots of things to do here from a mix between lower/higher priced shopping, snacks and restaurants, and a basketball free-throw court for entertainment. Every once in a while, I always liked to shop here if it was too hot to walk on the beach.
On a very heavy rainfall, there were times when the walking area in D’Mall was just completely flooded.
After the rain dissipated, the skies quickly cleared up. We ventured out along the walking path again. There were times when the path was clear and we could lazily walk up and down the main path to see anything that would catch our eyes.
Aside from seeing stalls upon stalls full of trinkets, jewelry, and clothing, we would come across the odd store that would sell fresh fruit ready to eat. They look so delicious and mouth-watering!
The sunset arrived very quickly. I had forgotten how quickly it came after watching everyone on the beach still catching as much sun as possible and smiling at the kids running in and out of the water. I remember sitting for on the beach with my wife and while I was looking out towards the horizon, I happened to see something that I never knew would catch my eyes. I managed to capture the moment when this long canoe was directly underneath the sun and it made for a great memory that will last a lifetime.
Next Blog: Boracay, Philippines. Heaven On Earth.
It’s summertime now and I’m feeling the heat. But I don’t mind the hot sun shining bright from above. Summer always reminds me about my short trip vacations to Boracay; an island just a few miles north of Panay Island in the province of Aklan, Philippines. It is a very special place for my wife and I. I will always remember the white-sanded beach that stretches way into the distance and the waves slowly disappearing into the horizon. The hot sun warming my body while I’m walking on the sand or taking a dip into the water. It is a breath of fresh air way from the bustling city life.
We try to squeeze time around our schedule to make our way to Boracay. Tourists will go to the ends of the earth to visit Boracay and for good reason too. For many flying in from other countries, there are only two ways to get to heaven on earth. Tourists will have to fly into Caticlan airport using a smaller airline service (possibly propeller) then take a 5 – 10 minute motorized transportation to the Boracay Jetty Port, then another 15 minute boat ride into Boracay. The other method is by taking a larger commercialized airplane ride into Kalibo then take a 1.5 hour bus ride to the Boracay Jetty Port.
With our travel, my family lives at the very southern tip of Panay Island so instead of taking an airplane ride in, we take a road trip starting as early as 5am. Early bird gets the worm, right? It usually takes us about 6 hours to reach the Boracay Jetty Port so it is about 3 times longer than those traveling from Kalibo airport.
The road trip is a bumpy one. Some roads are unfinished, narrowed to one lane, or extremely muddy depending on rain conditions. Sometimes there is stop-and-go traffic because of the large trucks driving at a snail’s pace. But once you get into the rural areas, the road trip is a completely different experience.
The rural areas of the Philippines are like no other place. Once you start catching the sunrise, the light reflects on the beauty of everything you see. Rice fields upon rice fields, workers slowly start their day of laborious, back-breaking work by planting each single crop. For other types of food, they spread out their grains to dry in the sun. Even if it’s roadside, it’s an opportunity for farmers to sell their goods quickly or use for their own consumption.
Once in a while we catch a broken shelter that may have been a home or a small commercial storefront at one point. We saw piles of mud that became almost solid as concrete. These projects were planned to restore these structures but later abandoned.As we pass through some places and towns, the real beauty of nature is a sight to see. When there is no traffic on the rural roads, we drive as quickly as we can to make up for lost time which makes it difficult to take photos. Every time we were about to cross over a bridge, I would quickly pull out my Iphone and snap as many pictures as I can, hoping at least one photo would come out just right. And it paid off.
After the rural lands we start the up-and-down, twisting roads into the mountains. The forest is so dense that it became so hard to see anything beyond acres of trees and bushes. Green forestry with blue skies filled with puffy white clouds is something I haven’t seen for a long time.
Traveling down the mountain, the view starts to clear with a brief picture of the water. I managed to take this photo to capture a bit of everything on where I was headed and what I have seen during this road trip. A little civilization, trees, hillside farming, mountains, and the beach.
After we disembarked off our motorized transportation and paid our way through the Boracay Jetty Port terminal, we started to walk towards our boat ride known as a catamaran. It is a small watercraft with two, very wide parallel hulls of equal size that can carry up to approximately 30 passengers.
On a clear day, the crew will keep the plastic roll-down windows open for passengers to enjoy the fresh air and view. The ride can get a little rocky when several boats are riding nearby. There are larger boats that can take us across the water but they cost more and they are completely closed off. With the catamaran, I like the feeling that I’m very close to the water.
As I’m starting to approach Boracay Island, the anticipation starts to set in as I see smaller islands filled with rocks and trees and small caves hiding in the sides.
The catamaran slowly floats past more islands. The white-sanded beach can be seen in the distance. It’s just a few minutes away. I’m thinking now that nothing feels better than having small, powdery crystals of sand on my feet with the warm breeze on my back. But I could never forget how I arrived to Boracay as the journey will be the same going home.
Next Blog: Boracay, Philippines. Relax, Shop, Enjoy.
I have added Cabalen as a new listing on both Yelp and Google Maps. Yelp is available on the above link, however due to character limits, the link for Google Maps will redirect you here for you to click on the Yelp link. Tripadvisor, as always, takes up to one week to moderate so when the link is available I will post it.
Update as of March 6, 2017: My review is now available on TripAdvisor. The link is posted above. Photos will be on soon.
This weekend was a bit of a treat.
Inside the MegaWorld complex of Mandurriao, Iloilo City, Philippines held a local market named “Produkto Lokal Festival”. Usually these are run by organizers that attract local vendors to sell their goods and services in an open market setup. Ironically it was situated right in front of the restaurant I last reviewed.
Although it was a little bit out of our way, we were lucky to drop in on the evening of one of the 3 days it was running. From one tent to another, my family and I checked out what was available for sale. People from around the province were selling handmade weave accessories and freshly grown fruits and vegetables most commonly sold at a local farmers market. The choices were amazing. Take your pick from any large selection of mangoes piled on a table. How about choosing from a huge bunch of bananas and plantains?
Some vendors have made their own brand and made a whole line of products such as jarred pickled items and packaged dried food.
I looked for some ready-to-eat snacks to eat. There was always something to find.
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy the rest of the evening without a cup of fair trade coffee, grown and roasted in the Philippines. This local vendor brews their coffee the “cowboy” method. Much stronger in flavour with the right amount of strength to the taste. They also sold their other specialty, Matcha green tea, but my mind was already made up.
Even though the temperature remained hot and humid, I still enjoyed my special brewed cup of coffee, served to me with a smile and a “thank you”.
If you have any type of outdoor market in your area, get out and support the local vendors. It is a fun experience!