Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Going to Boracay

November 2007

Boracay can be reached by boat from the municipalities of Caticlan and Malay, Aklan province. To reach Caticlan say from Manila, (a) by plane, there are 2 small airlines that serve Caticlan; (b) by bus via RORO (Manila-Batangas-Calapan-Roxas-Caticlan-Iloilo). By small planes, travel time is around 50 minutes; by bus, it’s around 20 hours.

Transpo expenses, Malay town (Panay mainland) to Boracay

1. Environmental fee, P50 per head
2. Terminal fee, P20 per head
3. Boat fare, P20 per head
4. Tricycle, port to beach resorts, P100 per trip

If your hotel is not accessible by tricycle, like the road going there is being repaired, and you have plenty of baggage and/or you’re carrying a baby, you may have to hire a ‘trisikad’ (bicycle with side car), fare depending on distance and/or number of baggage.

5. Trisikad, P20 to P50 per trip

When the winds are strong, the boats cannot dock at Jetty Port in Malay, so they dock at Tabon. But they can’t come close to the shallow waters, so passengers have to ride those small bancas and transfer to the bigger boats. In Boracay island, the same boats have to dock at the eastern side where there is no port, so passengers will have to ride again a banca from the boat to the shore.

3a. Banca ride, Malay to boat, P 5 per person
3b. Banca ride, boat to Boracay, P 5 per person

In situations like this, the ‘terminal fee’ should not be collected since there was no ‘terminal’ being used, and passengers have to pay extra for those banca rides. Anyway the banca operators pay a certain registration or accreditation fee to the municipal government.

* Going to Boracay can be inconveniently expensive. Or expensively inconvenient.