BORACAY REOPENS AFTER SIX MONTHS & HERE ARE THE DO’s & DON’Ts

Boracay Station 1 during the reopening on October 26, 2018 after 6 months of rehabilitation.
Boracay Station 1 during the reopening on October 26, 2018 after 6 months of rehabilitation.

Boracay, the country’s prime jewel, has finally reopened on October 26, 2018 for tourism after six months of rehabilitation. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to visit Boracay on its reopening day.

Click here for my blog entry regarding Boracay closure.

Thanks to my good old friend Jen for tagging me along. We were billeted at the Red Coconut Hotel from October 26 to 31 before moving to Frendz Hostel & Resort Boracay to join other friends from October 31 to November 5, 2018.

Now that this masterpiece of an island paradise has finally reopened, let us do our part and be good stewards. Let us stay on guard in keeping the environment clean and green.

Boracay Do’s and Don’ts

Below are the do’s and don’ts when visiting Boracay:

Boracay do's and don't's

  • Do dispose your garbage properly
  • Do smoke on the designated smoking areas
  • Do avoid using single use plastic bags instead use an eco bag
  • Do use public rest room, toilet or lavatory
  • Do all establishment maintain the cleanliness on their respective areas
  • Don’t litter on the beach and in other public areas
  • Don’t smoke on the beach and in other public areas
  • Don’t extract or collect sand and pebbles in the beach areas
  • Don’t carry or clutch glass bottles or any beverages in the beach areas
  • Don’t urinate or defecate in any public place

The above are Municipal Ordinances. Anyone caught doing what is not allowed by law will be dealt with accordingly by the authorities with corresponding fines and penalties. There are roving police officers and marshals. Hence, it is in your best interest to just follow the law while enjoying Boracay.

Drone flying is also prohibited unless authorization has been sought by the drone operator.

From the airport, go DIY and proceed to the tricycle queue just across Caticlan Airport. I shared a tricycle ride with Riczi Dio whom I just met at the queue. Tricycle fare is Php 50 per person. You can also rent the whole tricycle by your lonesome. You just need to pay Php 100.

Tricycle ride with a new friend from Caticlan Airport to the Caticlan Jetty Port
Tricycle ride with new friend Riczi Dio from Caticlan Airport to the Caticlan Jetty Port. Fare is Php 50 per person.
Boracay Tourist Verification Center, Caticlan Jetty Port
Boracay Tourist Verification Center, Caticlan Jetty Port

The number of tourists allowed to enter the island is limited and monitored. Ensure that you have your hotel voucher with you upon registration at the Caticlan Jetty Port. If you are traveling with family or friends who will be staying with you in your hotel room, make sure that their names are listed on the hotel voucher as well.

Boracay Tourist Verification Counter, Caticlan Jetty Port
Boracay Tourist Verification Counter, Caticlan Jetty Port
Boracay Reopening October 26, 2018
Thanks to the Department of Tourism for welcoming me to Boracay with this necklace.

Once verified, proceed to the counter to pay the following:

  • Pump boat fare Php 25
  • Terminal fee Php 100
  • Environmental fee Php 75
Caticlan Jetty Port Pump Boat Fare, Terminal Fee and Environmental Fee
Once verified, proceed to the counter to pay the pump boat fare Php 25, terminal fee Php 100 and environmental fee Php 75.
Pump boat from Caticlan Jetty Port to Cagban Port
Pump boat from Caticlan Jetty Port to Cagban Port, Boracay.
Cagban Port
Cagban Port, Boracay

The boat ride from Caticlan Port to Cagban Port was smooth and only took twenty minutes. At the Cagban Port, Riczi and I shared another tricycle ride for Php 120 or Php 60 per person to bring us to Boracay D’Mall where we would go our separate ways. E-trikes are also available. Fare is Php 20 per head. The tricycle ride from Cagban Port to D’Mall took about thirty minutes versus the usual fifteen minutes because of slow traffic and ongoing road and drainage constructions.

The New Boracay

Borcay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.
Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

I stayed in Boracay for eleven days, probably the longest I have ever been on an island. Why? Well, simply because I fell in love with the place again. Despite the ongoing road construction and establishment repairs, it seemed that everything was in its proper place. It felt like the Boracay I first saw way back in the early days. But then again, this is me. Some like it wild and cluttered. I like it serene and clean.

I had a chance to talk to Tita Connie, owner of Red Coconut Hotel. She has been living on the island since 1982. She shared that after six months of closure, Boracay now looks like the Boracay of the 1990s. She feels sad though that the locals had to suffer the brunt of the closure. There was practically no business going on on the island for six months. But she believes that the closure was necessary to save Boracay from being a cesspool. I have spoken to a number of locals as well and they all feel the same thing. After six months of rest, they are now more than ready to welcome tourists on the island.

Yes! No more bed mats or umbrellas near the shore. No clutter. All beach front properties have to follow the 25+5-meter no-build zone. This means that there should be no private structures built within the 30-meter easement between the shore and the beachfront property.

Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.
Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.
Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.
Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.
Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.
Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

View this post on Instagram

Missing Boracay. People close to me know that whenever I travel, it's "more footage and photos more fun for me" and these two were so patient and never left me while I set up, fly, swim and run around like there's no tomorrow just to capture moments and memories. See you soon! When they say that what happens in Boracay remains in Boracay, I somewhat disagree 'coz I am taking all my memories of my recent trip with you to Boracay with me. Keso na kung keso. lols. See you guys around soon! #Boracay #Aklan #islandlife #itsmorefuninthephilippines #travelbloggers #travelblogger #travelblog #travelph #travelphotography #travelphotos #pinoywanderer #wanderer #wanderlust #globetrotter #asianwanderlust #Philippines #whitebeach #digitalnomads #diginomads #pinasmuna #online #content #creator #island #diy #theworldexplorers #beach #sea #whitesand #friends

A post shared by JOEL JAWS ANDRADA | B/Vlogger (@joeljawsandrada) on

Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0008.JPG

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0006.JPG

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0004.JPG

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0002.JPG

Boracay finally reopens for tourism on October 26, 2018 after six months of rehabilitation.

One afternoon, I went jogging from Station Two to Station One. It was only a day after typhoon #Rosita and I noticed that the strong waves brought by habagat (south wind) have pushed ashore a number of garbage.

On the beach of Station One, I found a big ziploc plastic bag. I picked it up. After a few steps, I saw candy and Rebisco wrappers. I picked them up and put them in the ziploc bag. Then, I saw one and yet another trash. Picked them up and placed them in the bag. Not soon enough, the big ziploc bag was already full of plastic trash I picked up from the shores of Station One.

Near Station Two, I saw an empty sack. I placed the already full ziploc bag inside and continued my way picking trash. By the time I reached the front of our hotel, my sack was already heavy and full of plastic garbage. I gave the sack of garbage to the hotel staff for disposal.

Boracay finally reopens for tourism after six months of rehabilitation
By the time I reached the front of our hotel, my sack was already heavy and full of plastic garbage.
Boracay Plastic Garbage
A cement sack full of plastic garbage which I collected from the shores of Boracay Stations 1 and 2.

I felt proud of myself because I was able to contribute in my own little way in cleaning the newly reopened Boracay. So when you do get to visit Boracay or any of our beautiful islands, please be responsible and leave no trash behind. I was guilty of it in the past.

I also hope that more trash bins are installed in Stations One and Two like the ones donated by The Juan Effect of Cebu Pacific Air in Stations Two and Three.

The Juan Effect Trash Bins from Cebu Pacific Air
The Juan Effect Trash Bins from Cebu Pacific Air

Kudos also to the staff / volunteers of Department of Environment and Natural Resources for regularly collecting trash on the beautiful beach of Boracay.

Kudos also to the staff / volunteers of Department of Environment and Natural Resources for regularly collecting trash on the beautiful beach of Boracay.
Kudos also to the staff / volunteers of Department of Environment and Natural Resources for regularly collecting trash on the beautiful beach of Boracay.

I will be back very soon. Booked my tickets already for February 2019. I might be back even before that though. And when I do, I hope to see the same, if not better, Boracay.

Remember to never stop exploring the world one story at a time. Signing out for now. Peace!

Click here for ongoing AirAsia #RedHotSeatSale:

PERSONAL | I LEARNED HOW TO START AN URBAN GARDEN AT THE E SUMMIT

The two advocacies that are close to my heart are promotion of local tourism and protection of the natural world. Click here for some of my travel blogs.

Ecological Waste Management Summit

Last Saturday, January 27, 2018, I had the opportunity to attend the Ecological Waste Management Summit (E Summit) at the ABS CBN Vertis Tent, Quezon City. This was held by the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in observance of the 17th Anniversary of Republic Act 9003 and the Fourth Zero Waste Month from January 25 to 27, 2018.

The event aimed to further boost the DENR’s continuous efforts in enhancing public awareness and understanding of environmental issues and concerns, focusing on practical knowledge for effective solid waste management at source, which includes segregation, composting and recycling.

The exhibit booths showcased numerous environmental products, technologies and services from various Local Government Units (LGUs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), government agencies and the private sector. I will post a separate blog and vlog about this so stay tuned.

Bambuhay Booth that showcased reusable bamboo straws as an alternative to plastic straws

Also, the summit offered seminars and talks on the current environmental situation, laws and regulations, technological innovations, and sustainable goals. They also conducted workshops on practical ways of saving the planet.

Me with fellow blogger Jose Luis or Joel
Mark Nello Alvarez on the Concept of Urban Gardening.jpg
Mark Nello Alvarez of the Agricultural Training Institute discussed the the Concept of Urban Gardening during the Ecological Waste Management Summit at the ABS CBN Vertis Tent, Quezon City on January 27, 2018.

Urban Gardening

I sat in one of the seminars about Urban Gardening by Mr. Mark Nello Alvarez of the Agricultural Training Institute. With the ever increasing population and congestion in highly urbanized cities like Metro Manila, Urban Gardening presents a viable option to urban dwellers to grow their own food and promote organic farming. I also live in a midrise condominium in the city and I thought that this talk would be value-adding. Allow me to share to you what I have learned below.

Container Gardening

Instead of throwing away your plastic bottles, most of which end up in the ocean unfortunately when not recycled, you can do Container Gardening.

Mineral Water Bottles 2.jpg
Mineral water bottles
Vertical Gardening.jpg
Vertical Gardening

Container Gardening is raising vegetables in recycled containers such as mineral water plastic bottles, old tires, old barrels, old styrofoam, old pipes, etc. The added greenery will not only beautify your space but will also provide a relaxing environment since green is a restful and quiet color.

Container Gardening.jpg
Container Gardening

Edible Landscaping

Urban Gardening likewise gives you an opportunity to do Edible Landscaping which utilizes plants such as vegetables, herbs, spices and selected fruit crops instead of ornamental plants that are commonly used in conventional landscaping.

Edible Landscaping.jpg
Edible Landscaping
Used Pipes.jpg
Used pipes
Old Styro Foam.jpg
Old styrofoam
Coke Bottles.jpg
Soda Plastic Bottles
Barrel.jpg
Barrel Garden

I have a mini garden in my condominium comprised of two (2) plants. LOL. Both plants are ornamental. Super LOL. I should start planting edible plants in recycled containers soon!

My mini urban garden

How To Start Your Own Urban Garden

1. Choose  what to plant.

According to Alvarez, the various plants for Urban Gardening are:

  • Leafy vegetables like pechay, mustard, lettuce, sweet potato, malabar spinach, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower
  • Root of bulb crops like sweet potato, onion, garlic, carrots, raddish, sugar beets and turnips (singkamas)
  • Beans like string beans, mungbeans (munggo), lima beans, snow peas (chicharo)
  • Fruit vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants, sweet peppers and okra

The vegetables that can be grown in containers are:

  • Vine fruits like squash, cucumber, watermelon, muskmelon, bittergourd (ampalaya), bottle gourd (upo), wintermelon (kundol), dishrag gourd (patola) and chayote (sayote)
  • Tree vegetables like horse radish (malungay), sesban (katuray) and breadfruit (camansi)
  • Herbal plants like thyme, rosemary, basil and oregano among others
  • Mushroom species like pleurotus (oyster mushroom) and black fungus (tainga ng daga)

The Agricultural Training Institute has crop production guides to help you grow your mini urban garden. For more information, you may get in touch with them through their website here.

Seed and Production Guide.jpg
Crop Production Guides from the Agricultural Training Institute.

You may also visit their Facebook Page here.

2. Manage your resources.

Look for available farm tools, equipment, inputs and appropriate planting containers. If you do not have any, you can use old kitchen utensils such as forks and spoons for your mini urban garden.

Manager your resources.jpg

3. Start planting.

Once you have the seeds and resources, you can start planting. Alvarez recommends buying organic soil since finding suitable soil for planting in Metro Manila is close to impossible. Click here for the list of places where you can buy organic soil.

Start Planting.jpg
Start planting

Start Planting 2.jpg

3. Ensure proper care and management.

Once planting has been completed, the next job is to maintain the plants through fertilizer application, watering and weeding or removing unwanted plants from the growing area.

Know the difference when buying fertilizers. Alvarez shared that synthetic fertilizers feed the plant while organic fertilizers feed the  soil which in turn feeds the plant. Ask the vendor, too, about the frequency of using the types of fertilizers.

Types of Fertilizers.jpg

With the rising cost of inorganic fertilizers, although taxing, using organic fertilizers is more favorable to the pocket and to Mother Nature. I came across a good read on how to prepare an organic fertilizer. Click here.

Click here for the advantages and disadvantages of organic and inorganic fertilizers.

4. Harvest and enjoy your produce.

Harvesting.jpg
Harvesting

One of the simple joys I enjoy the most when I am home in Pangasinan is harvesting fresh produce from our backyard. I think our Mom has planted every single fruit and vegetable there is -from dragonfruit to pomegrenate. Now she is into herbs and spices. Who would have thought that my Mom had a green thumb? Even she is surprised.

My Dad has also become fond of planting. The last time I visited him in Pampanga, I brought home two (2) sacks of various fresh produce from his backyard.

I cannot wait for the day that I get to harvest my own produce here in Metro Manila. Heck! Both of my parents are good gardeners! There is no reason why I cannot be one, right? I must admit though that it will be challenging to come up with my own urban garden given the limited space that I have in my condo and the frequent travels I will be doing this year. But, as they say, if there is a will, there is a way. Perhaps, I will start with onions. LOL. I will keep you posted.

Signing out for now. Peace!

Note: The photos shown on here about Urban Gardening are not mine and were photographed from the LED wall during the seminar. All rights belong to the Agriculture Training Institute. No copyright infringement is intended.