Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Boracay January 2012 – The Preparation

Jojo and I have been talking about going on a trip to Boracay ever since we migrated back to Manila in 2008. I just don’t know why we never got around to planning it. Between then and now, we have had several trips both in and around the country with our little girl but not to the shores of Boracay. Mind-boggling, I know.

So when Cebu Pacific launched its Piso fare promo middle of last year, I bought us tickets to Caticlan for my birthday weekend. And I got them for such a steal – PHP1000 for the three of us. Bummer though that I was only able to buy one way tickets; the return trip was unbelievably expensive (well, to me, at least) at over PHP4000/person. I decided to wait for another promo for our return trip.

I got rewarded for my patience. About 3 months after I bought the Cebu Pacific tickets, Zest Air announced their promo rates and I quickly grabbed my chance. I managed to buy our return tickets at PHP3000 for all three of us. Never mind that the point of departure was Kalibo instead of Caticlan. I was so excited that I managed to get such good rates for what is typically known as high season travel.

With our tickets booked, the next thing I had to book early was our accommodation. You see, Jojo and I have different views on the kind of hotel that we wanted – he wants beachfront; I have to have a hotel pool; he likes modern looks; I prefer beach hut style. We both agreed on one thing though – we had to stay at Station 2. It was a challenge to find an affordable hotel that would satisfy us both, but I managed to do so, thanks to Agoda.com. I got us a room at the Tides Boracay – not exactly beachfront but close enough to the beach, has a pool, is modern looking and is right smack in the middle of Station 2. The price was not too expensive but was not cheap either. That said, both Jojo and I were happy with our find.

With the plane tickets and hotel booked, it’s all systems go for our Boracay trip. Yay!

Next step was to prepare for our stay there – bathing suits, waterproof bags, necessary toiletries and medicines, beachwear, etc. The list seemed endless, and it was such a hassle to shop for beachwear in the middle of the Christmas rush. The malls were crazy full of people and the beachwear selection was so disappointing. The only good thing about shopping around this season is the extended mall hours; Jojo and I did most of our mall trips after dinner until closing time.

It took two very tiring trips to Trinoma, one to SM City, one to Mercury Drug, and a few online purchases for me to get everything we needed. But of course with all the holiday festivities and my penchant for packing at the last minute, I only started packing the stuff into the bags after dinner the day before our flight. Mind you, our flight was at 530am, which meant we had to be on our way to the airport latest 330am. I don’t know why it took me such a long time to pack, but I did manage to finish and close up the bags by midnight. Yay me!

Then I remember that I have to make sure the cameras were ready. I always bring two cameras on our trips – a small point and shoot and my DSLR. So I spent another hour charging their batteries and making sure we have blank SD cards and back-up ones.

I finished all my preparations by 1am. I was tired, yes, but because it was so late, I had a bit of trouble sleeping because the worrywart in me was worried of oversleeping. I only managed to have around an hour or so of sleep that morning.

I was up by 245am and oddly enough, I was not sleepy. I was just too giddy with excitement! I made sure all our things were ready and that Jojo and I were dressed and ready to go before I woke up my daughter, who didn’t sleep until past midnight. The poor little girl barely stirred while I dressed her. She was still sleeping when we got on the taxi.

Next stop, NAIA Terminal 3!

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