OVERPRICING (water activities & souvenirs)
WATER ACTIVITIES OVERPRICED!
When we went to Boracay, we were approached by several locals offering different activities such as reef walking, snorkeling, island hopping, etc. Most of these guys were charging us way too high! The man we talked to said that the cost for fly fish per person is P600! Luckily, one of our friends has been to Boracay just last month and he said they were just asked for P350/head!
My suggestion is before you agree with the locals offering such activities, be sure to ask other locals too or other friends who have been to Boracay for the prices because those people will take advantage of you! DON'T BE FOOLED! Also, beware of these locals offering activities because they are very very aggressive especially to foreigners! Also, if you have already agreed with the local in charge of your activities, DO NOT GIVE YOUR MONEY RIGHT AWAY. Be sure to write down the activities and the prices agreed upon so that the locals you talked to won't ask for any hidden charges if you are already paying! Payments for these activities are given after you have finished already so better keep your money first and not pay right away.
Prices for activities in Boracay as of July 2009 are: Reef Walking = P500/head, Flyfish = P350/head.. as much as possible try to bargain with the locals especially if you are plenty in your group.
OVERPRICED SOUVENIR ITEMS AT PUCA BEACH
When we went to Puca Beach, I was so excited as I was planning to buy anklets made from Puca shells as one of my friends gave me one years ago and it was really nice. I was planning to buy some as "pasalubong" to my friends. When we got off the boat, locals rushed to us offering different necklaces, bracelets, anklets, made from shells. Most were really nice. The anklets were selling at 3 pcs for P100 but you could ask for a free if you purchased 6 pcs (P200). I bought a necklace for my mom for P100, a bracelet made from their so called "magic stones" for P150, and rosaries made from "mother pearl" shells for P150. I thought I was lucky because I got to purchase some "limited edition" items only available at Puca Beach. My disappointment came we went to D Mall and D Talipapa (Station 1-2) where I saw the same necklace just like what I purchased. When I asked the lady how much it cost, it is just P50!!!! I cannot believe that I was FOOLED by the locals at Puca Beach!!! BEWARE OF THESE LOCALS SELLING SOUVENIR ITEMS AT PUCA BEACH! I remembered they were also selling necklaces for P300-P600!!!! Whew! Good thing we weren't that stupid to buy those. And guess what, we saw the same necklaces at D Mall & D talipapa and these items were just selling at P35-P50 each!!!! Whew!!!!
My suggestion: DO NOT BUT ITEMS AT PUCA BEACH. Maybe the anklets were fair as I wasn't able to see some at the market but the necklaces made of shells/beads/"magic stones", CRAP DON'T BUT THEM IN PUCA BEACH!! You can have those items in the market for waaaay below the price.
Also, you will see locals selling Boracay sand inside bottles of different sizes. The smallest one, like the one they're selling as cellphone accessories, cost P50 each!! Don't but them!! Aside that it's prohibited to bring samples of sand, it is also overpriced!! It just costs P20 per piece in the market!!!
- Water Sports
- Budget Travel
Tricycle cost normal just less than P30 fare. Of course, you need to ask the price for the ride. A short ride should be P7 and it usually doubles at night. Fares for longer rides should be displayed on a chart inside the trike.
DON'T pick/buy the sand back to your home
Warning. Because too many people like the white sand, so started to pick a few bottle of sand back to home. Now, the PH government has rule, this is illegal to bring back the sand, and when they catch you, you are fine for US$50,000. You will find the local shop selling these kind of bottle, don't buy it, it is also illegal to buy it on the plane.
MAG INGAT SA MGA MAGNANAKAW
UNA, WAG NA WAG NYONG IIWAN ANG MGA MAHAHALAGANG BAGAY SA LOOB NG INYONG MGA HOTEL AT HINDI KA SURE KUNG SAFE NGA ANG MGA IIWAN MONG BAGAY SA LOOB NG INYONG TINUTULUYAN. MARAMING MALILIKOT ANG KAMAY SA BAWAT PUNTAHAN NATIN. KUNG MAAARI, IKALAT ANG INYONG PERA SA IBAT IBANG PARTE NG KATAWAN PARA IN CASE N MAHOLDAP KAYO O MADUKUTAN, HINDI KA SIMOT AT UUWING LUHAAN, UN E KUNG MAKAKAUWI K P SA BAHAY NYO E KUNG WALA K NG PERANG PAMASAHE. WAG MAGSOSOOT NG MGA ALAHAS KUNG PUPUNTA KA SA ISANG MATAONG LUGAR LALONG LALO N KUNG ALAM MO N ANG LUGAR N PUPUNTAHAN MO AY KILALA SA PAGIGING DELIKADONG LUGAR. WAG MAGYABANG AT WAG IKALAT KALAT ANG CELLPHONE N MAMAHALIN SA KALSADA DAHIL MAKUKUHA MO TIYAK ANG ATTENTION NG HIOLDAPER AT SNATCHER.
During my stay on the Island a 14 year old kid drowned. If you are going to swim on the beach do so at your risk. I was standing on the beach watching the life guards searching for the victim and they lacked the proper equipment necessary to locate her. They didn’t have a boat for 70-80 minutes because it had to come from the other side of the island. No one had a flash light, radio, or simple goggles to put over their eyes. I’ll give the guys credit for diving in and out of the water for hours but it was futile. The response time was to slow and the technology to old.
Unfortunately, the salesmen on Boracay Island have become very aggressive. I couldn't walk two feet during my entire trip without being harassed by a salesman. Had I known this was going on prior to the trip I would have never went to Boracay. It was awful! I observed white ladies running down the beach because the sunglasses guy was chasing her. These guys will keep harassing you until you buy something and if you refuse they become very aggressive. It’s almost like a forced sale. I was approached by the same sales guy 8 times in a two day period. I kept saying no and it looked as if he wanted to attack me. Many tourists buy stuff just to get rid of them. I will never go to Boracay
This is not really a danger (except perhaps for the roosters), but for those who like their sleep, a pair of EARPLUGS can come in very useful! Many of the budget rooms are made of bamboo and nipa, and are pretty far from soundproof. Filipinos (in Boracay at least) tend to live their lives at top volume, and get up very early in the morning to start sweeping the pathways and having conversations at the top of their voices. Tourists in neighbouring cottages may come in late and have noisy parties, or you might find out that you are staying next to a karaoke bar! And of course, my favourite, the ever present roosters...
Do a little research when you check in.
Bag Snatchers / Pickpockets
I have no wish to alarm anyone unnecessarily, but there have been a spate of bag-snatchings in the mall area recently - possibly a small gang operating - and visitors need to be aware of this. Keep your belongings in your sight at all times. Do not drape your handbag over the back of your chair, or leave it under your seat. Don't leave your wallet sticking out of your back pocket or your phone on the bar. Carry only the cash you need, and leave the rest in a safety deposit box. When walking, tuck your bag tightly under your arm. Keep your wits about you in crowds. If you witness a bag-snatching in the mall, call for the guards straight away.
Hopefully the local police will catch up with these guys soon, but in the meantime, be aware!
Wrongly labeled as a "sewerage pipe", this unsightly pipeline drains dirty floodwater from central parts of the island straight onto Bulabog Beach, and is the brainchild of the Philippine Tourism Authority..
You'll certainly encounter mosquitos in Boracay Island, but if you apply some repellant around sunset time, you shouldn't have too many problems. Repellant is sold in many shops on the White Beach strip so there is no need to bring your own. The most popular brand is "Off", and there are several different types - Off Sport, Off Kids, Off Spray etc. It is very inexpensive, and does the job.
If your accomodation is in a mosquito prone area, a mosquito net will usually be provided. Most places don't require one.
To repel mosquitos when sitting outside in the evening, many people burn a mosquito coil (popular brands are Lion/Tiger and Baygon). These last for a few hours, but be careful to put them out properly.
If you are particularly prone to getting bitten, wear long pants in the evening, preferably in a light shade.
Unfortunately there is a bit of a problem with stray dogs on the island. Not everyone is a dog lover, and it is unpleasant to see them relieving themselves on the beach.
Usually they are not aggressive, but it's best not to approach or touch unfamiliar dogs.
The regulations state that dog owners should not allow their animals to roam around on the beach, but most resorts and restaurants have at least one dog, and they don't keep them on their own property.
If you are bitten, inform your resort and ask them to call the Mayors office.
Eat at your peril!
Along the beach front you will see many BBQ stands serving everything from chicken's feet to pig intestines. There's no guarantee of how fresh anything is, and if you order a hotdog or pork BBQ stick, make sure it is cooked properly or you could experience a dose of "Boracay Belly"!
Thankfully this photograph is not actually of a Boracay beach, but let it be a warning to everyone! I've seen so many ignorant people throwing their trash on the beach - don't be one of them. Admittedly there are not enough trash cans around, but that's no excuse. Plastic bottles, wrappers and even cigarette ends take years to biodegrade, look unsightly and are a danger to wildlife. Take your rubbish home with you!
- Budget Travel
Flying Foxes - in Danger of Extinction
Long before Western tourists and backpackers came to Boracay, the island was home to giant fruit bats, locally known as 'kabog'.
Giant fruit bats are dispersers of seeds and play a role in the regeneration of Boracay's forests, besides helping control insects. But their numbers are dwindling because of development, hunting and destruction of their habitat.
Once there were thousands of these creatures living in Boracay - now they are in grave danger of extinction. A recent count came up with only 720 golden-crowned flying foxes and 520 large flying foxes.
The main threat to the fruit bats is the unchecked development of the island - the local authorities are aware of the situation, but think nothing of handing out permits for large hotels chains to destroy the bat nesting sites. These creatures are of no importance whatsoever to the the powers that be in Boracay (as the Mayor himself demonstrated by impaling a bat on a spear at the last Ati-Atihan festival).
It is an awe-inspiring sight to see the bats flying over the beach at sunset, heading to the mainland to feed.
In a few years, this will be nothing but a memory.
- Budget Travel
Don't do what this poor guy did (read his t-shirt and you'll understand)!
Local spirits come in large measures, and beware of the Tanduay rhum - it goes down a treat but can often bring about an interesting blackout effect, and avoid large quantities of Red Horse beer unless you have an especially strong constitution.
Sleeping on the beach is not advisable - you're liable to wake up minus your watch / wallet / shoes. The same goes for skinny-dipping. Clothes left on the beach at night will disappear...
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