Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How to wisely spend your 7 thousand peso allowance to a Boracay get away and still get the best vacay of your life!

I am back! And with vengeance! Well not really, "and with vengeance" just sounded cool after saying 'I'm back". I just want to fulfill my promise over a year ago to write something about my trip to Bora and so here it is! (What a lame introduction. Please bear with my poor writing skills. Its the thought that counts. Haha!)

The planning of our trip to Boracay with friends was a short story actually. A friend whom I just met that day now turned out to be a really good friend, got drunk on his birthday which was celebrated in my house (I forgot why he celebrated in MY house when he was supposed to be a stranger but I'm sure glad he did.) another friend mentioned about wanting to go to Boracay, this birthday celebrant asked to use my laptop and voila, we were all set. Wait, what? YES, he bought all of us a round trip ticket to Bora. All 8 of us! Generous? Yes HE IS! Though he was really really drunk that time, if you know what I mean. (Love you Soi!)

The trip was booked around November 2012 and we were set to leave for Bora on the 3rd week of January 2013. I have to be honest, I had mixed emotions when the trip was set. I was excited (ofc, who wouldn't?) and I was worried. A Boracay trip sounded expensive. I didn't have the extra money. I am a single mom who has to pay house rent, nanny salary, groceries and was only earning 25k a month.  I didn't have savings because newsflash, I can't save with that meager salary and with that much bills to pay. I was determined not to go and just sell my ticket to another friend but as the days to our flight came closer and with my friends talking about it day in and day out, I said to myself "PH*CK this, ma prenda na ang dapat ma prenda!" HAHAHAHA! Don't judge me. It's not everyday that you get to have a chance to go to THE summer destination of the Philippines with air fare ticket for free. 

And so, I said goodbye to my mixer temporarily and said hello to my 7k Boracay vacay allowance. 

Tip #1. Don't spend your money on ridiculously expensive swimsuits! 
I only spent Php 380 for a decent swimsuit. Most high waist swimsuits cost around 550-600 but because I am The Streetsmart Fashionista, I only got mine for 380 from my favorite online store Kim Closet. 

Nice eh? ;)
Not only did it cover my stretchmarks, cs scar and fats, it also made my tummy look flatter because it has this really nice fabric that reminds me of this certain brand of spandex shorts that my mom bought for me because I can't afford it. That brand is sooooo expensive but its oh so lovely and this swimsuit has that fabric and feel! I am not entirely sure though if Kim Closet still sells this kind of swimwear because I am writing a year after this trip happened. You can check out my 2nd blog post so that you can get ideas on how to find cheap with quality stuff. 

Don't be embarrassed to use old bikinis too. You can buy one black bikini and match it up with your old colored bikini top and it will look just like a brand new pair. Besides, nobody really cares on what you wear there. Some foreigners are just happy lying around almost naked. 


Tip #2: It's always better to travel with as much people as you can. 

I've heard there are now direct flights from Davao to Caticlan but we had the Davao-Kalibo flight. That means you have to travel an hour and a half in order to reach Caticlan. Once you get off your plane, you will be overwhelmed by a lot of travel agencies that will offer you "pakyaw" or vans for rent and they will charge you 500-600 per head. DON'T TAKE THOSE OFFERS. 

Just go outside the airport, you will see a lot of vans lined up. Take advantage of your instincts and look for the nicest looking driver. Luckily, we found ours. Their initial offer was 300/head for the 8 of us and because we are good in negotiating, we settled at 250/head. Normally, it's only 200/head but because there are only 8 of us, we have to pay for the extra seats for four people.  

Important note: Other drivers will offer you 250/head with free boat rides to Boracay White Beach. Don't buy that. The boat ride only costs 25 pesos. Also, don't forget to ask the driver to fetch you on the day of your flight for the same price. 

In Caticlan Jetty Port, you have to pay for three different fees.

Environmental Fee                                                      Php75.00/head

Caticlan Jetty Terminal Fee                                          Php100.00/head

Boat from Caticlan-Cagban jetty port (10 minutes)          Php25.00/head

A trike ride from the white beach port to Station 2 costs Php 100. So if there are 4 of you in one trike, you only have to pay Php 25. 

The name of the hotel that we stayed in is Crown Beach Hotel. It's in the heart of Station 2. Just a walk away from Club Paraw, Epic and D'mall. It is managed by Ms. Aida Gregorio who was very accommodating to us not to mention that she is a gorgeous 40 year old woman. The room she gave us costs 3,500/night. The room contains 2 beds fit for 2 people each. We stayed for 3 nights in that hotel and because there are 4 of us who has to share the hotel fee, I only had to pay 2,625 for the entire stay. How cool is that?? It really helps to travel with a lot of friends. You can equally share in paying for almost everything. :) 

This just in: I had to insert this information because it could help you a lot in your budgeting. An acquaintance commented on my Facebook post for this blog that there are actually cheaper and decent rooms around 300-400 pesos a night. Sharing this for you guys! 

Tip #3: Don't spend your money on expensive food. 

If you have all the money, WHY NOT? I would definitely spend on eating in some of those posh restos and buffet near the beach. But since I only had 7k (now only 3,300), I opted not to dig in to my wants and chose to eat in those little barbecue stalls that sells pork barbecue, isaw, hotdog and puso for only 10 pesos. No way? Yes way!!! There are actually a lot of barbecue stalls located near the shores. Most of them are located in Station 2 and Station 3. I only have to spend 50 pesos per meal. The picture below shows us enjoying a pork barbecue. We are not just acting, we really enjoyed it because it's delish too! 


If you'd rather go for a "safer food" and freshly cooked rice, Leylam kebab is there! (One of my favorite fastfood!) Their stall is located near La Carmella just beside Master Siomai. 

Us enjoying Leylam on the shore. You can see the stalls of Master Siomai and Leylam in the background. 

Spend your money on those awesome rides instead! 

There are a lot of rides and activities in Boracay. There's para sailing, AVR, Island hopping and a whole lot more. I wanted to do every single thing! But because I didn't have the money to do that, I had to choose carefully on what ride to pick and my heart led me to riding FLYFISH because my friends who have been to Bora highly recommended it! (click the link. It's not my video, I just wanted to show you what it's like. Credits to the owner of the video). 

You have to pay 500 per head in that 15 minute ride but I swear, it's the one of the most fun rides that I've ever been! I almost died laughing looking at the horrified faces of my buddies. HAHAHAHA!                                                                            




And the first victim, HAHAHAHA! 

Tip #4  Don't buy souvenirs in D'mall, buy souvenirs in shops located at the back of D'Talipapa. 

My friend and I actually found this out by accident. We visited the D'talipapa, a wet market in Boracay that sells fresh seafood. The wetmarket is surrounded with restaurants that charges service fees in exchange of cooking the seafood that you bought. The shrimps and fresh fish cost around 600 and 300 for service fee. They cooked it deliciously so no regrets! 

My friend took this pic so please excuse the face. Hahahaha! 

After eating, we decided to walk around because we were so full and that's how we found out about the cheap shops. I don't have pictures because I was too busy hoarding for cheap finds but keychains that were sold 50 pesos each in D'mall are being sold there 3pcs for 20 pesos only! The pouch that our other buddy purchased in D'mall for 150 is being sold 2 for 150. Tshirts that are sold in D'mall for 300-500 are being sold there for only 75-150. All with the same design and same quality! I only spent around 500 pesos for keychains for friends, sandos for my son and a shirt for his nanny. 

Tip #5 Don't buy new clothes for Boracay. 

I noticed most of the people I know always spend too much for outfits whenever they go to Boracay. Again, that's okay if you have the extra money but if you don't, please don't bother on the outfits! You can  bring your old decent swimsuits and beach wears and no one would actually care. I am glad I didn't, being the fashionista freak that I am. I only brought with me 2 old shorts, an old 2 piece skirt for my first night out, a big shirt that I DIY'd to make it look like a stunning beachwear shirt and an old bustier dress for my last night out. Fashion in Bora is actually sporting a good bod (which I didn't have that time unfortunately HAHAHAH!) and not on the clothes that you wear. Or at least that's what I noticed. 

Buddies and I in Epic Bar on our first night out. I'm wearing my old 2 piece skirt here. 

I told you I didn't sport the gorg bod hahahaha! But this is me on our 2nd night out wearing a big ukay-ukay shirt that I bought in Bankerohan for only 10 pesos. I designed it to look just like that. Also sporting the 75 peso pouch that I mentioned in Tip #4 :)

Here on our 3rd and last night in Bora, I'm wearing my old bustier dress. Nobody really cared. And I think I still looked gorgeous. Please agree with me. :p

I think I'm done with the tips. If I have something that I forgot to say, I'll mention it on my next blogs.  Now let's check my money. 

   380.00  (Swimsuit)
   100.00   (Taxi to airport)
   250.00   (Davao terminal fee)
   500.00   (Van round trip)
   450.00   (Caticlan Jetty Port fees and trike round trip) 
2,625.00   (Hotel)
   500.00   (Food budget for 3 days)
   500.00   (Fish fly)
   450.00   (Talipapa) 
   500.00   (Souvenirs) 
   100.00   (Taxi from airport to home)

I actually had Php 645 extra which I think I spent on booze. HAHAHA! 

I hope this will help you guys if you are planning to go to Bora with the same budget. If you have any questions, comments or violent reactions (hope not) please don't hesitate to ask. Hit the comment box! :) 

Stay classy!  Have fun! Be a Streetsmart Fashionista! 

P.S. I got my mixer back. :p


  1. HMMMM.. I cant wear bikinis for sure.

    1. Hahahaha! Point taken. I was only writing these tips from my perspective, didn't think that I could have men for readers. I will do a blog for men ASAP for you hon. Lels. Mwah!

  2. Wow! I didn't know people would be buying new clothes when planning their Boracay vacation. :) Would-be visitors should know that people don't really care what you're wearing on the beaches of Boracay.

    1. I know right? But honestly if I had the money that time, I would have LOL. But as what I've said, I'm sure glad I didn't. Thank you so much for the comment BoracayStories. You have a very nice blog! Will definitely give it a shout out on my facebook page . ;)