Sand Fleas -- Nik Niks
They are hard to see and seem to be worse during the "rainy season (June-mid-November)." Because they are still present during the "dry season" you should always coat yourself with any kind of sun tan lotion or oil. Theses insects don't seem to like or penetrate lotions, so use ALOT and constantly reapply. In the evening spray/apply some sort of insect repellent.
Boracay....Watch Your Money well!
First time I went to Boracay I was with a local...he knew the spots and it was great. Second time was with my wife...so both of us were foreigners. A kid on the boat showed us a hotel where the price was ok but lost about $400 out of the safety deposit box.
(Hint: do a thorough invetory of anything the the 'safety' deposit box with the manager and have him sign for what is in there!)
Also, took a boat tour....which was real fun. Stopped about halfway for a meal at a restaurant across the island...which was absolute crap because they brought food that we didn't order and then gave us a horrendous bill!
And, stuff missing out of our room....even the bloody trinkets we bought.
Only go with a local.
One more thing...but from a short stay in Manila. Gave an envelope with cash in it for pickup by a friend at one of the higher-end hotels. He got the envelope...minus 90% of the dough!
At dusk start applying liberal amounts of repellent to your skin. As the mosquitos are abundant. I used Avons skin so soft bath oil and it does the trick. Much better than the repellents.....esp when that stuff you can use as a nail polish remover. Whichever you have use it. And use it liberally. Some people take to wearing long sleeves and pants in the evening as extra precaution. If you have an airconditioned room you should not need a mosquito net.
The palm trees are beautiful but can be deadly if one of those coconuts falls on your head. So before you settle down to a seat look up. Just to make sure your not the next victim. Most of the nicer resorts pick them off so they won't have any casualties. But alot of them don't. Just beware and always look up before you park your fanny somewhere!
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
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
The Destruction of Boracay
HANDS OFF OUR ISLAND!
This is PANOLY BEACH - beautiful, isn't it?
WELL TAKE A GOOD LOOK, BECAUSE BY 2007 IT WILL BE COMPLETELY SPOILT, ALONG WITH NEIGHBOURING PUNTA BUNGA BEACH.
Despite the fact that this area is meant to be a marine reserve, a large hotel chain have been allowed to comandeer the site, and have installed armed guards to chase visitors away from these previously public beaches.
The forested hillside above the beach is home to several endangered species, including birds and rare fruit bats, and the beach itself is a turtle nesting site, but of course, not for much longer.
The sheer scale of the resort plan means that it will effectively destroy this beautiful tropical forest and it's inhabitants.
The mind boggles at the kind of greedy, sick minded individuals who could take a place this beautiful and choose to cover it in concrete.
Boracay was one of the Philippines' most precious treasures, but sadly, those individuals with the power to protect the island are now responsible for it's demise, having sold out to the big developers regardless of the consequences.
The question is, are the Boracay authorities going to allow the rampant development of the island to continue unchecked?
Plans need to be put in place to protect Boracay's last remaining undeveloped areas (and wildlife) without delay!
Boracays National Bird the Rooster
More roosters on that tiny island than I've seen in my lifetime. As cock fighting is the gambling sport here. I guess its Boracays answer to Las Vegas! They are beautiful birds as all male birds are. The females are always the ugly ones! Make sure you bring plenty of earplugs. As they just don't crow in the morning. You have been warned!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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...
- Budget Travel
Take your time
Boracay is to be savored...not rushed through for just a quick dip in its crystal clear blues.
When you come, plan to spend lazy days and fun-filled nights.
If you breeze through your trip, be forewarned that you'll be dreaming of coming back for more...and more...and more...
- Water Sports
- Adventure Travel
High tide and the steep Grotto
Be careful when you swim in the afternoon (12nn-3pm) because the waves can be so wild. During high tide, the whole beach is soaked in water and can't almost see the sand. Be careful too in climbing the grotto, someone died falling to the rocks.
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