Our Philippines tour from India Allow me to take you on a journey back to a significant chapter in my life—the unforgettable voyage to the Philippines in 2017. Freshly married in December 2016, our plans for a honeymoon were postponed. However, the delay only made the eventual trip, a month-long trip across Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam, all the more cherished. This expedition held special significance for two reasons: it marked my debut on the international travel scene and was shared with my husband, Sid, along with my in-laws—creating a unique blend of honeymoon and family adventure, or what I fondly term as a ‘familymoon.’
Our Unforgettable experience of Philippines tour from India
While our travels encompassed three incredible countries, the spotlight today shines on the Philippines. The decision to include this beautiful archipelago in our itinerary was straightforward. My brother-in-law’s family resided in Manila, the Philippines’ capital, making it an irresistible destination. Serendipitously, we obtained a complimentary 14-day tourist visa for the Philippines upon securing our Singapore tourist visa, making the plan seamlessly fall into place.
Our expedition commenced in Singapore, where we spent delightful days with family before Sid and I embarked on a separate journey to Boracay while our relatives proceeded directly to Manila. The excursion to reach our Boracay hotel was an adventure in itself, unfolding in various intriguing stages. PS: We had done advance booking for
- Early morning flights from Singapore to Kalibo airport set the stage.
- A cab ride to the Caticlan Jetty consumed about an hour and a half.
- A quick boat trip carried us to Boracay’s islands within 10–15 minutes.
- Subsequently, another cab ride to our hotel stretched for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, accommodating other passengers en route to their respective hotels.
Our amazing Philippine Expedition started
By the time we reached our hotel, it was late evening and we were exhausted with long journey! However, that did not stop us from taking a long walk on the beach and exploring the island. Boracay is divided into 3 stations, literally named Station 1, 2 and 3. From what we had researched and heard from my BIL, Station 1 was kind of a party station and Station 3 was a quite one, while Station 2 had bit of both. So we went with Station 2 for our stay.
Arriving at our hotel in the late evening, wearied by the long journey, did little to deter our spirits. We ventured out for a leisurely walk along the beach, eager to explore the island. Boracay, divided into Stations 1, 2, and 3, each offered distinct vibes. Station 1 was kind of a party station and Station 3 was a quite one, while Station 2 had bit of both. So obviously, we chose Station 2 for our stay, a perfect balance between lively entertainment and tranquility.
What struck us was the layout of Boracay: all hotels, shops, bars, and restaurants across the three stations lined the beachfront, creating a picturesque shoreline. Moving from one station to another was effortlessly achieved by foot—a seamless coastal traverse.
We were informed by my brother-in-law that people on the beach do amazing massages so naturally, it was one of the things we did there on the very day we arrived. Apart from this, I and Sid were very enthusiastic when it comes to adventures and especially water sports. So, we began scouting vendors for activities, only to be surprised by the vast spectrum of prices. Bargaining ranged from 11000 to 800 pesos for the same activities, prompting us to choose the most reliable and trustworthy among them.
When rain interrupted our Boracay’s exploration
Our initial day’s plan revolved around island hopping, but fate played a twist. A recent typhoon warning restricted all water activities in and around Boracay during our visit.
We got quite upset as we were going to spend 5 days in Boracay and those are the exact 5 days when govt. had issued the warning to stay away from the water and strictly prohibited companies to conduct any water activities.
Despite clear skies for the next two days, the ban persisted. Undeterred, we spent our time strolling along the pristine beaches, appreciating the azure waters. Fortunately, we managed to partake in ziplining, ATV rides, and some sightseeing during these two days.
Over the next two days, it started raining heavily and we could not even go out of the hotel. At one point we definitely got scared that the whole island got vacated and we are the only ones left!! Obviously that was not the case. On the fifth day, bound for Manila in the evening, we sought a refund for canceled water activities. However, a stroke of luck granted us a window of time, allowing us to experience parasailing and helmet diving, the latter revealing an unexpected underwater marvel. To be honest, we were not even sure what to expect in helmet diving but I am sure we could not have imagined what we experienced on that sea bed. A must-do for any visitor to Boracay. Dont worry, Sid did not know how to swim and it was still completely safe.
Our Manila Expedition
The same night we reached Manila and from next day we started exploring the capital of Philippines with our family.The great thing was that we visited during Christmas so whole city was decorated so beautifully.
The ensuing days were a delightful mix of social encounters, visiting friends, and exploring attractions like the Venice Grand Canal Mall, Okada Casino and the mesmerizing art gallery, Art in Island. Art in island have paintings in 3D format and we were able to take hilarious pictures. Those paintings are also marked with the best place to stand to take an awesome pictures.
We usually make sure that we do atleast one adventure activity to any places we visit. So the adventure part of the Manila was co-flying a helicopter!! While the view was nice from up there, We even got to see a lava trail from the air!! Though far from being pilots ourselves, the thrill of taking control even momentarily (based on the instructions from pilot), while airborne remains an unforgettable journey.
Amidst myriad adventures and so much shopping, our Philippine journey drew to a close. Reflecting back, had we foreseen the sheer beauty and splendor awaiting us, we would have eagerly extended our visit to explore more of the enchanting islands the Philippines has to offer.
In conclusion, our Philippines tour from India was nothing short of a captivating odyssey, filled with unexpected twists and unforgettable moments. Despite the initial setback of a water activities ban in Boracay, we transformed adversity into opportunity, exploring the pristine beaches, indulging in thrilling adventures, and savoring the unique blend of a ‘familymoon.’ The collage of experiences in Boracay, the mesmerizing views from our accommodation in Manila, and the exhilarating helicopter ride over the Lava Trail painted a vivid tapestry of our Philippine escapade.
Maneuvering through the bustling streets of Manila during the festive Christmas season added a magical touch to our journey. From the enchanting Venice Grand Canal Mall to trying our luck at Okada Casino, each moment etched itself into our travel diaries. The 3D paintings at Art in Island added a playful and artistic dimension to our exploration.
Our venture into the skies, co-flying a helicopter and witnessing the awe-inspiring lava trail, elevated our Philippine experience to new heights. The journey, though brief, encapsulated the beauty and diversity of the archipelago. As we bid farewell to the Philippines, the only regret is not foreseeing the vast splendor that awaited us, prompting us to contemplate an extended stay in this tropical paradise. The Philippines, with its warm hospitality and breathtaking landscapes, remains etched in our hearts as a destination that beckons us to return for more adventures. #PhilippinesTourFromIndia #MemoriesForever