Sunday, May 24, 2009

I was fortunate to be in Boracay last Labor Day weekend for the Smart Buddy Hot Summer Samahan event. I was not really expecting the work trip and I only learned that I was going less than 24 hours before my actual departure. I went to the island to oversee one of the activities of Smart's premiere summer event.

It was only my third trip to the island and it was fun to learn and experience new things and visit different places which I haven't been. It's also nice to discover a different Boracay apart from the watersports and beaching that we all love. Read on!

1. I was "almost" and "mostly" solo on the trip and it was both good and bad. Good because I can do all the things I want and bad because I don't have anybody to share it with.

2. Labor Day weekend was the second busiest period of summer! I was early at the airport but I was still bumped off because PAL Express overbooked my flight due to four canceled Caticlan flights that day.

Busy Terminal Three

3. PAL Express transferred us to Seair and it was my first time to ride a 20-seater plane (I counted)! The plane was bare and I can't sleep. I was finally able to sleep 30 minutes after take-off but the repeated turbulence woke me up.

4. The upside of Seair? We were only 9,000 ft. high so I was able to take some overhead shots; and land and sea travel to Boracay were also free!

Flying Seair


5. There were so many people in Boracay that weekend! It was so crowded! You have to line-up for almost everything. It was also raining on and off but the people were dedma about it.

6. I met and worked with colleagues from Boracay, Iloilo and Makati who helped me with agents stuff, booth supervision and reaching the target. :)

7. First lunch meal was at The Big Mouth in D'Mall with colleagues. I ordered a small bowl of Pesto Pasta and a glass of Coke. Damage? Php 200! Welcome to Boradise of Expensive Everything!

Big Mouth's Pesto Pasta

8. I was supposed to stay at Patio Pacific (it was overbooked) or at the Fairways (it was so far) but I ended up at this simple, beachfront hotel at Station 1 called Casa Fiesta. It was right in front of our event venue and it was just less than a hundred feet from our Wireless Center. Perfect!

9. The lady who owns Casa Fiesta was very kind and accommodating. She did not ask for even a deposit or a down payment for my 4-day stay. She just asked me to fill-out some forms. The room was spacious and the bathroom was clean. It has a double bed, a TV, a ref, a/c and a veranda overlooking the beach.

10. Work on my first day was very stressful. The target was high and it was really stressful working in the beach. Unbelievable but true.

Me Na Me

11. I took a break and a stroll along Station 1 mid-afternoon to check out the scenery. I was hoping for a Jonah's shake but it was jam-packed as usual.

12. I'll be fit as a fiddle if I live in Boracay with all the walking and strolling. I loved all the solitary walks I had.

Smart Paraw

13. I love great hotels so I took note of all the resorts and boutique hotels I want to stay in. Here are some of them: Zuzuni, Las Brisas, Residencia Boracay, Two Seasons, Bluewaves Beach House, Seawind (always been on my list since 2001), Boracay Regency and, of course, DS.


14. Since it was a work trip, we obviously had meetings! I had two on my first day.

15. I love the I-don't-care Boracay attitude that gave me the convenience of wearing anything I want. Shorts? Check! Floral overload? Check! Non-black stuff? Check! It was also the first time I wore white in years!

16. Our first day dinner was buffet at Seawind where I was able to taste one of the best pastas I've ever had = Oil & Garlic With Mushrooms and Hams. I am now hunting for a recipe!

Seawind's Buffet

17. There was also something in the Boracay air that makes one thirsty! So I ordered a glass of Bailey's on one of the beach bars near my hotel. I had the shock of my life when the bartender gave me two glasses. I apparently ordered one their "buy one, take one" drinks. Geez!

Bailey's Double

18. I was up bright and early on my 2nd day for our actual Summer Samahan event. I was happy and excited. I was up until 2:00 am devising a strategy that would "sell". It DID sell and we had a favorable outcome. Yey, me!

19. I was busy the entire day working non-stop. I only stopped for a well-deserved lunch at Tribraz along Station 2. Tribraz is a french bistro near Cafe Del Mar. I had Potato & Meat Casserole and Rice Pilaf. Yummy!

20. I had an EX moment across the miles. I can't believe it! *shakes head, roll eyes*

21. Speaking of #21, I learned that all my pasts and possible future are all Smart subscribers. Galeng!

22. The Summer Samahan event was so great! Bosses will be happy. I realized that I can also be an excellent frontliner and on-ground person. Chat will be proud!

Summer Samahan Event

23. I would like to thank Aqtiv 100 Plus Energy Drink (Hi, Jomar! Hello, Mark!) and Colgate for the support and sponsorship. Until next time!

24. I was so exhausted the whole day but it did not hinder me to peek at my Social Networking Sites and tweet.

25. Second night's dinner was another buffet at Le Soleil De Boracay at Station 2 with colleagues. It was just so so. Nothing spectacular.

26. I strolled along Station 2 and 3 after dinner. I discovered new restaurants, saw the new Mandarin Spa and took note of all the places I can take my family on our trip in June.

Boracay Mandarin Resort Hotel

27. Looks like the best chill-out places in the island are (and still are) Guilly's, Bamboo Lounge and the new Obama's Grill at Statiton 1; and Bombom's, SummerPlace and Hey Jude at Station 2.

Obama Grill Boracay
The new Obama Grill at Station 1

28. Spongecola is the best! 'Nuff said, love 'em. The Summer Samahan Event culminated with a concert of Spongecola, Rocksteddy and Bamboo. Rock on!

29. I caught a fever because of the on/off rain and the high temp of my room's AC. I spent the night on-line with my favorite fattening snack bought from D'Mall: Lays & Coke.

30. I am the biggest loser in Boracay because I spent the day in bed resting and nursing my colds on my 3rd day. I was awoken by cheers before lunch as a result of Pacman's greatest boxing battle against Hatton. I wasn't able to watch the match live but I learned from Twitter how the bloodshed happened.

31. I spent my final afternoon doing usual Boracay stuff like eating Chori Burger, strolling along Station 1 and sipping Jonah's Fruitshake. I tried the plain Mocha flavor and it was delicious.

Boracay's Street Food

32. There was, of course, the Sunset! It was not a magnificent summer sunset and it was very cloudy but it was great nonetheless.

Boracay Sunset

Boracay Sunset1

33. I love the All Flip Flops By The Beach store at Station 1. Nice lighting, too!

Me at All Flip Flops By The Beach

34. My favorite Boracay activity is Massage By The Beach so I obviously did not leave the island without it. It was relaxing and refreshing as usual.

35. I had my first-ever Henna Tattoo! I was so happy about it so I had two. One on my right ankle and the other one on my right leg.

Henna Tattoo

36. One of my best ever meal was at Aria. I had the Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino pasta for my last lunch at the island. It was so delicious. All the raves about Aria are indeed true!


37. The flight back home was breeze. I took a PAL Express flight and I must say that it's the best ride I've ever had from Caticlan to Manila. It's not as "uncontrolled" like Cebu Pacific and Seair.

Bare Paraws

38. I arrived around 4:00 PM on a Monday and was both happy and sad about it. Sad because I just came back from one of best places in the world and happy because I am back in my beloved city with my family and friends on it.

I'll be going back to Boracay in June but this time with the family. We will be celebrating my brother's 27th birthday there. Hopefully, I'll be able to swim and do beach stuff and watersports by then.

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  1. hi abby! a new post at last! i will take note of all the places and stuff you've mentioned and try them on our first boracay trip this august. we will be staying in la carmela de boracay. it will be my 1st time! :) nwei, i was so envious that you were in boracay those days. me and hubby, on gthe other hand, were busy with the call center olympics' semi finals. oh well. looking forward to next year when we can invite smart to be one of our sponsors! btw, we have a drink all you can victory party this may30 at transcom. pls come if you can. check out the poster on my blog.

    - arvee

  2. Hey, Arvee!

    Yeah, its been a while since my last post. Been very busy lately and it took me almost a month to finish this post.

    Enjoy your Boracay trip! Blog about it and let me know ha. Just let me know about the next event that you will have and thanks for the invite. :)

  3. Hi Abbie! Ygy here. :-) I'm still following your blog! Haha! I've only been to Boracay once (and I didn't really like it.) :-/

    Hey, you lost weight!

  4. Concept Magician? :) Nice! Is this for your event planning biz, Ygs? Nice one!

    Thanks for the visit. I am touched. You don't like Boracay? Really? C'mon! :)

  5. i wish i was there to drink the 2nd glass of baileys! yum!

    wow, you like spongecola? i used to! remember my band fan days? hehe! i used to have a crush on yael (vocals).

    hey i looove your 2nd shot of the boracay sunset (o yan ha, i resisted to type just "bora" hahaha!)

  6. Hey, Madamme!

    Yeah, Spongecola's cool! Galing nila. I was impressed.

    The "It's Boracay Not Bora!" was actually a tagline I borrowed from the locals there. :)

  7. I love Borah-cay! Your post made me miss the island more. Nice pictures, by the way. ;)

  8. Hey Abbie! Hehe, yup! But it's more of a wedding thing, actually - social/personal events mostly. Well, I kind of tied the blog to that... and everything else (but I'm careful about naming names and stuff.)

    I like Bohol better, and I absolutely ADORE Palawan!

    Oh, and Daytona Beach as well. ^_^

  9. Hi, Ice Queen! :)

    I love your blog!!! Thanks for dropping by. Have you been to Boracay this month?

    Hey, Ygs!
    Great! I better visit your blog then. Bohol's cool also. It's very relaxing and peaceful. Palawan? Hopefully in August! :)

  10. hey!!! i love your shots! sunset, pasta, paraw, lights. basta, astig yung shots! your food shots are getting better ha, can't wait for our food wok! weee!!

    oh yeah, you're wearing shorts!

  11. Thanks, Tin!
    Yeah...I'm so OC with my food shots lately. Kaya nga atat din ako sa Fod Wok na.

    Shorts? Hahaha! :)

  12. No, I got busy. :( I want to go to Boracay sooo bad. Seeing your beach photos breaks my heart. But in a good way. ;)

  13. Wahhhh! Kainggit ka Abbie! You DO get around with your current work! Nice travel perks! :-)

  14. It's good you were originally booked with PAL Express and they seemed nice enough to actually do something with the problem. Please, don't fly with Zest Air -- it's the worst airline here in the Philippines.

  15. Thank you for the picture. Nice article because Boracay was described as one of beautiful tourist destinations in the Philippines.

  16. Hello. And Bye.

  17. Wow what a great blogs, i loved it. thanks for those photos. I hope i can go there too. I hope so....
    Bora and boracay is the same.

    Tanya Gemarin

  18. Hi there! I'm from Malaysia and i happened to stumble upon your blog when i was searching for Boracay hotels.Thank you for your insightful and informative blog posting on Boracay. :) I'll be visiting Manila & Boracay for the first time next month. Can't wait to visit this beautiful place!

  19. Hi, Ange! Thanks for the comment and I am very happy that I was able to help you.

    Enjoy your vacation! Don't forget to eat at Aria and Cyma. They are both located at D'Mall at Station 2. Aria is a good pasta place while Cyma serves Greek food.

  20. I like your photos and you're henna tattoo looks cute.


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