If you are planning to go to Boracay on a solo trip under 4,500PHP for 7 days – then this is for you.
If you are planning to go to Boracay to help the local children – then this is for you.
I skipped the expensive hotels – I don’t have money for it. I stayed away from the famous island activities snorkeling, diving, sunset tour and parasailing – again, I don’t have money for those. I went to Boracay with just 4500PHP for a week vacation, all by myself. This is my FIRST SOLO TRIP and no definite plans on my mind. I’ll just sort it out when I get there.
MANILA to BORACAY via KALIBO AIRPORT:
1. Board a plane from Manila to Kalibo airport.
2. From Kalibo Airport, pay an ALL IN FARE PACKAGE (bus and boat transfer) for 200PHP + environmental fee.
3. When you reach Caticlan, transfer to a boat for another 40 minute ride going to Boracay island.
I did not pay any fee when I reached the Caticlan port but I filled up a form and signed a tourist log-book. It was a smooth ride all the way but I reached Boracay around 11:00 PM.
The island was packed with tourists. I have never seen this much people in a long time. I was stunned. I did not go in the water. Instead, I played with the kids.
I met Andrew, a local 12 year old kid of Boracay. He has been carving the sand for 5 years to help his parents earn a living. He takes any amount of money in exchange for pictures of his masterpiece. At the end of the day, he brings 50PHP – 200PHP home. Just enough to buy rice and fish, and some snacks for school.
On my first day, I gathered the kids and I handed them paper and pens. They did so good with Math. I see a lot of potential in them. All these kids are locals of Boracay. I sat with them for hours and they told me a lot of happy stories.
I also met another boy named Rick. He carves the sand every single day, starting around 4PM to late night. Like Andrew, he is working to help his family.
It only takes 30 minutes for Nick to complete a sand art. This boy is an artist in the making. He didn’t mind the heat, not heard a single complain. He was bouncin around, happy and so full of energy.
I helped Nick carve the sand. This is something I have never done before.
The final result. September 4, 2015.
The sunset is pretty in Boracay. I waited to see it along with the crowd. It is one of the best I’ve seen in the country, next to Puerto Galera and Manila Bay.
At night, I paid to lit up this sand art for David to see.
The Other Side of Boracay
After spending time with the kids, I got so interested with them. I decided to explore the backside of Boracay. I met a lot of people that became the channel for me to reach out to the kids and see their living condition.
I went to see the kids through the help of Pastora Theresa of Sitio Cagban, Manoc-manoc. She is the head of a congregation with the goal to make an impact to the community and put up a day care for the kids who can’t afford to go to expensive schools.
I saw the kids eat “lugaw” as snack and I thought to myself, maybe I can come back and bring them more foods.
These kids don’t have much but they are genuinely happy.
I love how they enjoyed our simple present. A bag that we filled with punch juice, cupcake and some candies. We played some games and told them that we will come back.
HOW DID I SPEND 4,500PHP in BORACAY for 7 DAYS
1. I stayed at FRENDZ for the entire trip. It is a cheap hostel situated in Station 2. I paid 400Php per night for a shared room of 6. That is 2,800PHP for one week. I would never trade this place for anywhere else in Boracay.
2015 Room Rates: OLD
- Deluxe Room Air conditioned- 1,400PHP per night good for 2 persons
- Standard Room Fan cooled – 1,000PHP per night good for 2 persons
- Dorm Fan cooled with shared room and bathroom- 400PHP per night for 1 persons
2019 Room Rates: NEW
- Deluxe Native Room Air conditioned- 2,400PHP per night good for 2 persons
- Casa Family Room Air conditioned – 2,400PHP per night good for 4 persons
- Bed in 5-bed Native Mixed Dorm with shared bathroom- 600PHP per night for 1 persons
Please CONTACT Frendz Hostel Boracay at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website Frendz Hostel Boracay to confirm their latest room rates and amenities.
Every guest gets a FREE pasta on Friday + live entertainment. This has been one of the best nights I had with people from all over the world.
Frendz is the best option for backpackers and everyone going to Boracay on a budget.
I bet you don’t want to miss this kind of fun! I had a great time. Go to Frendz and you never have to go out to party.
Everyone that works for Frendz are very friendly and accommodating. Here are some of the Frendz staff that I had the chance to meet and spend time with.
2. I basically live by with Andoks and Mang Inasal foods. On some days, I go to McDonalds and food stalls. Two meals a day- lunch and dinner. I don’t eat breakfast.
3. I did not try any of the water activities but I joined Pubcrawl for 500PHP.
4. I only bought 200PHP worth of pasalubong from the local vendors – mainly seashells.
- Transportation: 350PHP
- Accommodation: 2,800PHP
- Food: 450PHP
- Pubcrawl: 500PHP
- Feeding the Kids: 200PHP
- Pasalubong: 200PHP
I made it work, I don’t know how but I made it work.
The awesome people I worked with to see and feed the kids:
Pastora Theresa Atienza and her husband Rolando Atienza of Church on the Rock Boracay, kuya Gilbert and Josefa from Portugal.
Ate Lowelyn and Mae. They are both great employees of Frendz. They helped me prepare the snack bags to bring to the kids.
Andrew. He is from Australia and also a guest of Frendz. He worked with me to help the kids. He got a little shy and emotional when he saw them.
Random people I met in the trip:
I spent time with the little people but I also had some good time with the big ones.
Picture above are some of the guests of Frendz that I met during the Free Pasta Night. A simple “Hi” and “Hello” can really go a long way. We all are from different countries that decided to spend time at Puka Beach.
HOW TO GET TO PUKA BEACH FROM FRENDZ HOSTEL:
- On the main road, look for a tricycle.
- Tell the driver to drop you at Puka Shell Beach – a 20 minute ride from Station 2.
- Pay 150Php for 3 persons when you arrive at your destination.
The water at Puka Beach is a lot cleaner although the sand is a mixed of shells and small rocks. The beach was spotless, there was hardly anybody in there. There are sheds that you can rent for 50Php and refreshments like shakes and coconuts that you can buy for cheap.
Boracay as you see in Philippine postcards, represented by the finest white sand and golden sunset is not as glamorous on the back side.
But despite the poverty of many locals, you see happiness in their eyes. They have learned to make ends meet in the most creative and unique way.
I was not greeted by the white sand beach nor the golden sunset but with smiles and warm welcome of the locals. I have never felt so accomplished in all my travels than in Boracay.
To feed the children, to visit schools and be a teacher for a day, to meet strangers and hang out with them, to help a local vendor sell some snacks, to help a kid carve the sand, to talk to the locals and learn their living situations – they were all not in the plan. But they happened like I was set to travel for a purpose. It was a 4,500Php well spent.
The Kids of Church on the Rock Boracay, Inc.
I am reaching out to everyone to come and visit Boracay. Enjoy the place to the fullest, the fun is endless in this party island. But I also want to ask that you visit the kids of Boracay and for the little money you can give, bring them foods and organize a mini party for them. A little give-back to the community that gives a lot to keep millions of people relaxed and entertained.
You can find these kids at: Sitio Cagban, Brgy. Manoc-manoc, Boracay Island, Malay Aklan
Please contact Pastora Teresa Atienza through her Facebook messenger. This organization also supports education, so please reach out to Pastora Teresa if you want to sponsor a child in need to go to school.
I went to Boracay with no exact plan, with money that I have to stretch for a week. I was very unsure of how my days would be like but I found something that my heart loves to do. I discovered the reality of the island but I also discovered myself. I may or may not be back but one thing is sure, I had the best 7 days of my life when I was there.