Tag Archives: Boracay

My simple nirvana

This blog is not a personal blog. I can’t even claim that every word in every article posted here is 100 percent mine. Nonetheless, I feel extremely proud of this simple nook in cyberspace as it turns 2 years old this month. Continue reading

Making Boracay even hotter this summer

By Nickie Wang/Manila Standard Today

What makes the tropical island Boracay the hottest and best beach this side of the planet?

It’s not the 7-km stretch of powdery white sand beach with pristine blue water or the upscale resorts and hotels that are lined up along the beach of the tropical island. It’s actually the lifestyle and culture distinct to the island that match the expectations of party people, beach bums, backpackers, and tourists alike.

While the rest of Luzon was being ravaged by a typhoon, Boracay island made everyone’s sky bright and sunny as celebrities trooped to the small paradise for some summer actions. From May 8 to 9, a bevy of television personalities attended the Nestea Fit Beach Volley National Circuit ’09, this year’s hottest summer event, and gave the adage “work hard and party harder,” a whole new meaning.

Celebrity volley

Nestea Fit Beach Volley is an annual sports event that gathers some of the country’s best collegiate teams. This year, 18 dynamic teams from different colleges and universities battled out for a hundred-thousand-peso cash prize and the prestige to be called the country’s best.

The real highlight of the summer event was not the presence of the athletes or the physically vigorous sport, but it was the appearance of local celebrities who brought entertainment to the crowd at the white sand court of Bora. Crowds couldn’t help but cheered for their favorite celebrities and consumed megabytes of memory taking gigabytes in digital snapshots of Rhian Ramos, Paolo Contis, Alfred Vargas, Iza Calzado, Polo Ravales, JC Tiuseco, and Survivor Philippines finalists Jace Flores, Kiko Rustia, Kaye Alipio, Nikki Dacullo, Rob Sy, and Vern Domingo.

“We are here to enjoy and have fun, that’s the real essence of the entire game,” Survivor Philippines first sole survivor JC Tiuseco told us after his team ruled the sand court and won the celebrity volley showdown.

Most of the personalities who participated in the celebrity matches admitted that they don’t know how to spike or didn’t even have a short volleyball crash course beforehand. In short, most of them often hit the inflatable ball out of the line and committed numerous service errors like not having the ball reached the other side of the court or hitting the ball in a straight upward direction.

Sure these celebrities drink Nestea Fit with L-Carnitine, which is a naturally occurring amino acid that plays a vital role in the metabolism of fat, because they look oozing hot, and we are actually pertaining to Iza and Rhian who basked in the sun without wearing any make-up (the way it is supposed to be because it’s a beach, right?).

“It’s also our chance to meet and bond with other people. With our busy schedule back in Manila, it’s hard for us to play and enjoy because we need to work. I can’t even go to the gym as often as I have to,” JC, who became an instant celebrity after winning a reality contest, shared.

Beach buddies

Enjoying the sight of picturesque Boracay, we often see people enjoying some activities together. JC Tiuseco with close friend and fellow Survivor Jace Flores consider their Boracay summer experience as their time to catch up with friends, even most of the time they have to pose for photo opportunities whenever people recognize them while walking around the busier side of the island.

“I feel like I’m still in the Survivor series. The location is pretty much the same and I’m reunited with the people who were also part of the Survivor series. So the whole game was not really hard. I used to play volleyball but this one is a different kind of fun. We didn’t look at it as game but a friendly competition,” Jace explained. “If we would consider the beach volleyball a challenge, it’s nothing compared to the challenges we had in Survivor. Kaya it’s like, kahit saan na kami dalhin, we are quite sure that we can easily do all the challenges,” JC quickly added.

While Survivor buddies JC and Jace were having a good time and nostalgic about their beach experience, smitten couple Paolo Contis and Lian Paz looked so inseparable. Lian was like Paolo’s number one fan supporting and cheering her boyfriend most especially when he makes service aces during the celebrity matches.

On the other hand, Polo Ravales and rumored ex-girlfriend Bianca Paz Villamores were also seen together holding hands in public. “Are they back together, were they really an item or what?” asked one of the guests of the event.

All roads lead to a party

Beach party, that is. With Boracay’s reputation as the country’s premier summer destination for party animals, Nestea Fit Beach Volley National Circuit ’09 featured an array of events dedicated to people who purposely visited Boracay to have a moonlit merriment with overflowing bottles of beer and glasses of cocktails.

After the fashion show dubbed “Hot and Fit Body of Work” featuring invited celebrities and the Survivor castaways sporting the latest summer island wear designed by PJ Arañador at Juice Bar at Plazoleta on May 8, people present at the venue continued to party the night away with feel-good music and bottles of malt drink, wine and vodka.

“This year’s event is much bigger; aside from the new product [Nestea fit], we also expanded the event by including parties and concerts that guarantee unique Nestea summer experience. So far, all our expectations have been met and we can basically say that whole event was very successful,” Ronald Chuacokiang, Nestea brand activation executive, told us before the dinner arranged during the victory party.

Capping off the three-day event was a victory party cum concert on May 9 headlined by music heavyweights Sandwich and 6cyclemind as they rocked Boracay with their famous hits at Paraiso Bar. Members of the press, celebrities, athletes and Nestea officials partied all night with a safe idea that next year will be just another exciting time to celebrate fitness and enjoyment with the iconic brand Nestea.

Rediscovering Boracay through Fairways and Bluewater

By Nickie Wang/ Manila Standard Today

What else could we enjoy in Boracay?

Touted as one of the 10 best beaches in the world by Yahoo Travel for its pristine blue water and blindingly white sand, Boracay has more than relaxation, clubbing, and beach activities to offer.

During the first Fairways and Bluewater Resort Golf and Country Club Amateur Golf Media Invitational, local press discovered something normal Bora goers have hardly experienced before. We visited the resort to learn how to play golf yet the experience turned to be serendipitous. As first-time golfers we had our own funny wind shots, yet we met new friends, stuffed ourselves with good food and had an adventure while basking in the tranquil panorama of the island paradise.

From the domestic airport in Manila we boarded in a 20-seater propeller type plane. The plane was quite noisy and it hurts our ears while landing at the island’s port of entry in Caticlan. But the auditory torture was alleviated because Fairways and Bluewater has its own lounge at the airport. Visitors of the resort can wait there before they are shuttled to the resort’s posh welcome center, which is just less than a five-minute ride.

Friendly and attentive staff greeted the press with a welcome drink—our initial taste of the resort’s superb hospitality— and gave our designated room numbers.

“You can feel the difference from the time you arrive at the airport. We would like to enhance the arrival experience of our guests and members,” resort general manager Gregg Pearson said during his sit-down with the press.

The exclusive welcome center of Fairways and Bluewater, a facility that other resorts also use for a fee, transports the visitors directly to the resort complex via private ferry boats in a blissful 15-minute ride.

Spacious and finely furnished rooms and condotels will welcome the guests after their trip. The resort complex has an array of accommodation options. The vast expanses of greenery surrounding the villas are simply mesmerizing. The units are self-sufficient and feature panoramic views of the manicured surroundings and the sandy white beach. The apartment-style guestrooms are equipped with sophisticated facilities just like at the Balaihara Villatel where we stayed for two nights and three days. The opulent accommodation includes air-conditioning, a balcony overlooking the golf course, satellite TV, direct dial telephone, fully equipped kitchen, coffee/tea maker, and a luxurious bathroom.

Aside from the golf course, guests also have access to private beach coves and the white beach of Boracay, the nine Balaihara Villatels are spread along the fairways of holes 1, 2 and 8. Each building has 30 rooms with an area of either 50 square meters or 70 sq m each (the biggest space you can find in the island).

Pearson said there are condotels that have the most scenic view of the resort; they are named Villa Maria, Villa Margarita, Villa Sofia, and Villa Ysabel. They are first-class condotels that offer buyers with ownership of their Fairways and Bluewater units in Boracay. These buildings also have a view of the Sibuyan Sea. Designed to accommodate the discriminating taste of holiday visitors, suites have all the amenities of home. The spacious two-bedroom, one-bedroom and studio units accommodate families or groups without sacrificing privacy.

… the golf

A day before the Amateur Golf Media Invitational, we had an ocular tour of the entire golf course with Steve Polastri, who also patiently instructed us during the golf clinic.

Designed by Australian master golfer Graham Marsh, it is a spectacular 18-hole par 72 world-class golf course blanketed by lush greens and fairways that compliment the tropical surrounding of the island. The cemented golf cart pathways that snake through the entire complex ease the way of traveling around.

It is surprising that in the little island of Boracay, there is a resort that offers this kind of amenity. The golf course alone constitutes 70 percent of the entire area of the resort complex. The resort itself is 120 hectares or 10 percent of Boracay’s total land area. It spans the entire width of Boracay, creating not just one but three stunning stretches of splendid white beaches.
The golf course was designed to test one’s skills. The developer, Fil-Estate Properties Inc., did not alter the natural landscape of the island when they constructed the resort to create rolling and undulating terrains. It is a tough test for golfers but an exhilarating experience of teeing off feeling the sea breeze and the magnificent warmth of the Boracay sun.

… the gulp

It was an exciting night at the resort’s clubhouse when we had our dinner at the Andaluz Restaurant, which specializes in Spanish-Moroccan cuisine. After our sumptuous meal, we headed to the poolside where the resort holds “The Thirsty Thursday.” This is a drink-all-you-can event at the clubhouse where golfers and gulpers alike can have some nice chats.
The clubhouse is located conveniently inside the complex; it serves meals and scrumptious snacks. It is also home to a freshwater infinity swimming pool, a children’s pool, a game room, an open-air deck patio, a grill restaurant, and a conference/events room.

Just beneath the clubhouse is the Paradise Cove that provides beachfront cabanas and lounge chairs where golfers can soak up the sun. This was the venue of the luau party organized by the resort to the participants of the golf invitational. It is just a perfect place to see the stars and walk along the secluded beach while having a private time with someone special.
Just above the clubhouse is the Pirate’s Den where La Terreza is situated. La Terreza, as the name suggests, offers buffet meal where guests can dine and enjoy the spectacular view of the Bulabog Beach.

… and the adventure

We had the chance to ride ATVs (all terrain vehicles) and drove at the westside of the resort complex. We experienced seeing the real beauty of the island while raising our way to reach both ends of the resort. The vehicles provided an exciting new adventure for the press people. These machines are easy and dependable to ride and can reach even inaccessible areas.
The more vigorous guests of the resort can try horseback riding and a variety of water sports such as jet skiing, scuba diving, snorkeling, para-sailing, mini-cruising, island cruising, wind surfing, among others.

In 1993, Noel “Toti” Cariño and other founding members of Fil-Estate Properties Inc. envisioned to build a world-class golfers resort complex in Boracay. Now, their vision is to make Fairways and Bluewater Resort Golf and Country Club one of the best resorts not just in the Philippines but also in the entire region.

“They [other resorts in the island] don’t have what we have, here our guests have the option to get away from the hustle and bustle here in Boracay,” Pearson affirmed.

Whether you are a professional or an amateur golfer or even if you’re not a fan of the sport, Fairways and Bluewater is a perfect access to the islands most precious offering. It’s not just the golf, the gulp or the adventure that people will remember when they leave the island, it’s the experience and the moment they shared with people they love in a small piece of heaven where everything is just splendid and beautiful.