Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Boracay Day Three - ATV, Everland Aviary Park, Tanawin View Point and Seafood Galore

Day Three - Boracay

We had our usual breakfast at the Le Soleil beach cafe. My everyday favorite was the scrambled eggs. Although there are some dishes that are served everyday, like rice, egg, veggies, they do serve a variety of viands. Sometimes they serve tocino, sometimes sausages or maybe longanissa. Each day has a different viand.

My Breakfast at Le Soleil Beach Cafe (iPhone with MiLi battery pack on the left) Watch out for my review of the MiLi Battery Pack for iPhone!

Breakfast Stubs

After breakfast, my usual routine --

Boracay Early Morning - lounging by the Beach

Le Soleil de Boracay Fountain

Le Soleil de Boracay Signage

The first scheduled activity for the day was ATV! To those expecting that they will ride the ATV on the beach, let me spoil it for you -- They are protecting the beach area so there will be no off road ATV riding on the fine white sands of Boracay. The ATV path will use the same path as the Horse Back Riding.

We were fetched by Bryan, a guy working for Allan B. fun tours. We walked to the 'D mall and rode a trike to the ATV place. Rate was 25 pesos each person. We even paid the fare of the hawker. On the way to the ATV area, Bryan informed us that there would be additional fees other than the 600-peso per hour ATV fee. He told us that There would be an additional 250 pesos per person as entrance fee to Everland Aviary Park and Tanawin View Point. At this time, we already became very suspicious.

Here's a tip to save money:
Just ride a tricycle and tell the driver to drop you off the ATV place. This will save you from the percentage the hawkers get. Average tricycle ride is 25 pesos per person. If you get the service of the hawker, you'll be paying his tricycle ride (25 pesos) and possibly some other jacked-up fees. Please read my Boracay Tips and Tricks post soon. I will further elaborate on that matter.

Video: Tricycle Ride to the ATV area

There are two stops in this ATV adventure. First stop is the The
Everland Aviary Park and the other would be the Tanawin View Point. 60
pesos and 50 pesos respectively.
(Total of additional 110 pesos per person. Not included in the ATV fee)
ATV Adventure fee is at 600 pesos per person per hour

So, Bryan from Alan B Fun Tours was trying to scam us by telling us that the entrance fee to both stops costs 250 pesos when in fact, it's just 110 pesos per person. This was I guess the same tactic used by the same tour operator on our day 2 island hopping activities. I've had enough. After this, I won't be getting their services and I'm making sure that I write about it so tourists will be aware and won't be scammed. Imagine, during the island hopping activity, a lot of foreigners complained on why they didn't clear things up about additional charges upon paying the island hopping fee. I know they are one of the biggest service providers in the island. My tip is avoid Alan B Fun Tours - up to you to decide still.

Going back to the ATV ride...
The prodecure in riding the ATV in Boracay is:
1. Sign waiver
2. Listen to the briefing
3. Pay the fees
4. Test drive around the area to see if you are fit to drive the ATV or you'll be riding a buggy
5. Vrooom!

Video: ATV Briefing prior to riding

Paying area - ATV (In white sando, Bryan, a hawker from Alan B Fun Tours)

Waiting Area - ATV

ATV guys putting on my knee pads

Video: Riding an ATV (Don't attempt, okay?)

ATV Stop Over #1: Everland Aviary Park - Cool Cage!

Everland Aviary Park - Multicab Cage!

Everland Aviary Park - Jet Ski Bird Cage!

ATV Stop Over #2: Tanawin View Point (Overlooking Bulabog Beach)

ATV Stop Over #2: Tanawin View Point (Overlooking Fairways and Blue Water)

Video: ATV stopover #2: Tanawin View Point (Overlooking Bulabog Beach)

ATV Convoy

Overall, the ATV was great! The first time I rode one was in Ilocos and it was on the beach so the experience I had with this is entirely different. Just like riding an ATV around Metro Manila, without traffic!

BPI Boracay - On The Way Back to the resort

A Bakery at 'D Mall

My parents arrived on the third day. This is also the day where Rick St. John and Andrea will leave for Manila. Being first timers in that tropical island, Rick entertained us and showed us around. Boy, you'd think that he grew up there! He knows the small details of the island! (We are on the process of transcribing the interview we did with him. It will be posted on a seperate blog)

We met our parents then we went on to have our last interview for WOW Philippines Travel Agency. We did the small Q&A session by the pool of Le Soleil. I'm still thinking if I will be posting the interview video here even though I know you know your way through that video and you'll eventually find it. haha!

Le Soleil de Boracay Lobby

We had our lunch at De Paris Boracay, right beside Le Soleil resort. This is the 2nd time we are eating here. This time, I ordered Rick's favorite. The Thai Meal. Yes, I love spicy food and usually, I complain that the spicy foods I eat ain't spicy enough. I met my match when I ate the Thai Meal. I never perspired that much because of eating spicy food.

Chocolate Crepe for De Paris Boracay Beach Resort

Too bad I forgot to take a photo of that meal because as you can sense, I was already excited in tasting it. Got a photo of my dessert though -- Chocolate Crepe. For Php 190.00, you get an appetizer (Choice of salad or soup), main course and dessert (choice of Crepe or Ice Cream)

After our meal, we lounged again by the beach while deciding what to do in the afternoon. Everything from this point is on our own account. WOW Philippines Travel Agency was already very generous for providing complete meals, 3 activities and a 5d/4n accommodation.

We then decided to do two things. First, helmet diving and second, sunset paraw sailing.

For the helmet diving activity, we got Ariel, a hawker I found via reco. I asked the beach guard of Le Soleil Boracay Bong for a reco because I said that I can trust him to give me a hawker that won't take advantage of me. He then, introduced me to Ariel Cahilig. If you want your own hawker, I recommend this guy. His number is +639284210924 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +639284210924      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Just tell me I recomended him to you. He knows me. I promised him to post his number on the internet to give him more business as a reward for his honesty in giving me the lowest prices without taking advantage. I Gave him a big tip at the end of my stay there to show my gratitude.

I will just make a seperate post on the helmet diving. The helmet diving fees and inclusions are as follows:
- Php 500.00 per person fee. No more extra charge whatsoever unlike the island hopping thing
- Photos and Videos of you, doing the helmet diving in a CD
- Transfers from the shore to the helmet diving platform and vice versa.

It was my first time doing the helmet diving. Prior to the briefing, I didn't know that the bottom part of the helmet is not closed!! I really didn't know. Having done Scuba Diving more than twice already, I was expecting it to be somewhat the same.

Before going down, you will be standing on the stairs, at the edge of a boat. Once the 25-kilo helmet is placed on your shoulder, you should release your grip and let the divers below assist you in going down. Note that, if you don't release upon placing the helmet on your shoulders, you will feel the weight. Underwater, the 25-kilo is light enough that, you can walk around the reef.

(Photos to follow. for the meantime, go to google and search "Helmet diving boracay")

Some of the similarities between Helmet Diving and Scuba Diving:
- Hand Signals
- Equalization every few feet down
- The view down there and the view when you look up. I love doing that. :)

Advantage of Helmet Diving:
- Normal breathing, through nose or mouth
- No dry throat

Disadvantage of Helmet Diving:
- Loud noise coming from the rear part because of the bubbles caused by the oxygen
- Fear of water going in your helmet (Just by tilting, water goes in)
- Fear of the oxygen line being cut (I'm pessimistic at times)
- Distorted view at the corners because of the glass

Similar to going down, only vice versa, upon reaching the stairs, someone will assist you and capture the helmet before you surface out of the water. It's a different experience compared to Scuba Diving so I am recommending it to divers out there.

Our next activity was Paraw Sailing. Ariel Cahilig suggested that we do it prior to Sunset. Around 5pm and we happily agreed to his great suggestion. Paraw is this thin boat with outriggers. The middle part can only accommodate 2-3 persons in a single line while the outriggers outfitted with nets can accommodate 2 to 3 persons each side.(Check out my video below while seated on the net of the paraw)

I call this our first Paraw Adventure. Not only is this our first time riding Paraw but, we had a little trouble in the middle of the sea. The Paraw has this huge sails that is tied at the rear end of the boat so that the boat man can control the direction of the sail utilizing the wind for thrust. Paraw Sail Boat doesn't run on engine meaning, without wind, it won't run.

Having said that, the rope to the sail attached to the control mechanism snapped off. It was this metal hook with lock and the lock broke off! Nature then controlled our vessel for a minute or 2 and boy, was that the longest 2 minutes in my life! The sail is so heavy that there is no way we can control it. I tried to control the sail but it wouldn't even budge.

Thanks to our boat man who knew knots, he knotted the sail rope to his rear control rope and it worked like a miracle. Yes, I believe that it was a miracle. I was ready to call the coast guard that time haha! After that little thrill/adventure of ours, we get to enjoy an incredible view of Boracay's sunset.

A little chit-chat here and there, I learned that during peak season, companies sponsor their sails and put their brands on them. They are paid around 8,000 pesos per month for using the brand as their sail. Sails are of course, provided by the companies sponsoring them. Not bad for the X number of eyeballs during Holyweek and Christmas season.

Sunset Paraw Sailing

Video: Sunset Paraw Sailing

Boracay Sunset by the Beach - Paraw Boat on the background

We had 2 dinners. First dinner was the one sponsored by WOW Philippines Travel Agency and the second one was in D Talipapa because I wanted to eat seafood badly. You're in Boracay so you need to eat seafood!

La Carmela Boracay Beach Buffet

La Carmela Boracay Beach Buffet

Cheapest and freshest seafood in boracay? No need to pay exorbitant prices!! Head out to 'D Talipapa. Entrance to this place is located at station 2 (Near Boracay Courtyard / Sunset Beach Resort). Similarly found in several places in manila, it works exactly like dampa. For those who aren't aware, it works like this:

1. Buy fresh seafood at the market nearby/ right beside it
2. choose a restaurant to cook your fresh seafood
3. Seat and wait for the food to be served.

We paid Php 1000 for 1 kilo lobsters! 200 pesos to have it cooked at prajans cooking service. 5 pcs in total, cut in half.

Lobsters by Prajan's Cooking Service Restaurant - Located at D Talipapa

More Lobsters!

Video: Fresh Lobsters! Yummy!

Video: Seafood Display along the beach path

While on the way back, I saw this Ice Cream stand by FIC. I wanted to get dessert but then, I just had 2 dinners!

Pinoy Sorbetes by FIC - D Talipapa

Pinoy Sorbetes Flavors - D Talipapa

I Love Ube - Pinoy Sorbetes by FIC

Upon arriving at the hotel, I had my same routine. Get my laptop, go to the lobby to leech the free WiFi and work :)

Check out:
WOW Philippines Travel Agency Website (Best Boracay Packages, Guaranteed!)
WOW Philippines Travel Agency Twitter Account
Le Soleil De Boracay Resort

A free vacation like mine sounds great, doesn't it? You want to know where I won it? See below.

- Cheftonio


Zander said...

Oo, scammer yan alan fun tours na yan. badtrip yan ehh. siningil kami dati 50 pesos sa snorkeling gears tapos another 50 daw para mag snorkeling per area. kupal

The Big Bax Theory said...

Hi Chef Tonio

We were in Boracay last weekend together with the other bloggers/winners courtesy of SEAIR and Microtel..sayang hindi kita nakita...

Chef Tonio said...

talaga? from what date to what date? sayang!!! I didn't know..

Edwin said...

I'll be in Bora next weekend. I'll use your great tips re activities. I usually go to Bora just to lounge, sleep and eat. :)

Damicaye said...

Last sept 11-13 im with
mica of micamyx.com
Ed of soloflightEd.com
gael of thepinaysolobackpacker.com

We won sa Seair boracay bloggers tour...hehe