Wednesday, January 28, 2009

44 Places to go in 2009: Boracay

The New York Times released a list of 44 recommended places to visit in 2009. Thank you for my blogger friend Dong Ho for breaking this news. It is exhilarating to know that the #1 island destination of the Philippines is included in the list. Here is the description of Boracay according to the article:

"The next Phuket? The island of Boracay -known for its emerald water, white sand beaches and glassy lagoons- may be just that. Less than an hour from Manila by plane, this small, four-mile-long island has long been a destination of wealthy Filipinos. Now, a new breed of South Beach-style hotels is broadening the island's appeal. The Tides, a chic boutique hotel, has quickly become the pool-and-party spot for the Philippine jet set. And later this year, a Shangri-La hotel opens with 219 rooms and villas and a 61,000-square-foot spa on a private bay."

All Filipinos should be generally happy with this news. But, I just can't help to notice the first sentence of the description. Boracay should not be described comparing another great island, which is Phuket. Boracay has its own qualities and charm and so as Phuket. It is also an honor to be paired with very well known destinations like Chicago, Hawaii, Vienna etc. and at the same time "exotic" destinations like Bhutan, Zambia and Kazakhstan.

Boracay is also categorized under the "Luxury" section of the list rather than the "Frugal" section where Las Vegas and Buffalo, New York were batched. Come to think of it, for a Filipino point of view, it may be somewhat true as sometimes it is cheaper to buy a Manila-Hong Kong package tour rather than a Manila-Boracay package tour (well, it all depends on the season of course). As far as I am concerned my last trip to Boracay is almost a giveaway, it cost me only 4,300 pesos for a roundtrip airfare via PAL Express, 3 nights accommodation at Escondido Resort, 3 breakfasts and roundtrip airport transfer. You just need to know where to get cheap deals and when to go.


the donG said...

hahaha... maybe they categorized it under luxury because they featured the new shangrila hotel and the tides.

Anonymous said...

and i've never been to boracay ever.... hmm, hope to change that this year.... if i still have a job.. crossing my fingers.. weeee

hey, you are going to phuket right?? do you plan to go to phi phi island too?? i've read about that and one of my dream destination too.. weee

ian said...

for whatever it is worth, for all of us visiting the New York Times website feature these 44 places to go to in 2009, it may be prudent to click on the *RECOMMEND* tab under the Boracay thumbnail.

The NYT list can be sorted according to NYT recommendation and readers' recommendation. Currently, Boracay is 26th in the Times' list; but we are 22nd according to number of reader recommendations.

It would be great if Boracay will be atop the Times and readers' recommendations. But the former seems to be fixed already.

Haven't been to Boracay myself. maybe this March... Is it a good time to be in Boracay- 1st week of March?

Homeless Diver said...

As a resident of Boracay - I have to be the voice of reality and agree that Boracay is 'luxury' only by Filipino standards. Anyone that has enough money to vacation to another country will find Boracay to be fairly undeveloped. I believe the terms are 'rustic' and 'off the beaten path'.

When I say things like this, I generally get a backlash from hurting the Filipino Pride. You see, the reason Boracay keeps getting high in these lists is because of exactly the suggestion of Ian - to visit major travel pages and vote. Ian himself admits to never visiting here, but is ready to vote it higher on the list for no other reason that its in the RP.

I know, here I am stepping on toes again but I'm not meaning to make enemies. I know of a call center with 300+ employees that all went and voted on Yahoo as Boracay being the best Beach (so said a rather active friend of mine working there)....... but none of these people had ever once been out of the country to see the massive difference in quality. "Powdery white sands" is possibly the most abused term for here.

Dont get me wrong, I'm not saying its by any means 'bad'. I too dislike being told to love it or get out. But the national push for recognition just gets tiring sometimes.

Oh,1st week of March? Yea, pretty good time! Still a bit in peak-season rates but well before the April surge packs all the rooms. Weather should be nice and calm, last yr it was almost like glass on the windless days.

Lantaw said...

lots of ways to enjoy Boracay cheaply, one just have to look past through the glitzy hotels

ALiNe said...

depends on the hotel I think, pag sa discovery shore ka or shang, aba luxury talaga!

Anonymous said...

ive never been to still planning to go there soon though...maybe when i get back to manila.

flamindevil..proud to be a filipino!

thanks for the info.

ROSILIE said...

wish I can finally go to this place.hehehhehe! Take care my friend.

philfriend2008 said...

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Karen Dayle said...

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