Boracay in October – part 1

Boracay is my favorite quick-break vacation spots. It’s such a familiar place to me already, yet I don’t get tired of it. There’s something about getting away from it all, having the sun shine on your face, the waves lapping gently at your feet, while the fine soft sand caress your toes… really, it’s that wonderful. Add some familiar creature comforts like ice cold beer, excellent buy-one-take-one beach cocktails, fresh (albeit expensive) seafood and relatively good service – I’m in paradise.

Last weekend was no exception.

Ela and i hurriedly booked our trip there, a mere 2 weeks before peak season starts. Flights were still cheap and accommodations aplenty and reasonable. We ended up taking PAL Express and staying in Nigi Nigi Too.

Two firsts in one

It was our first time to take PAL Express – the new budget airline extension of PAL and it was our first time to go to the new Terminal 3. T3 is really nice. It reminds me of Kingsford-Smith International Airport in Sydney. It’s big, yet not intimidating, spacious without being too massive. Just what we need to welcome weary travelers. Oh yeah, make sure you BRING A JACKET when you’re passing through terminal 3. It’s really cold there!

It was raining cats and dogs that cold Friday morning, so we were rather worried that either our flight gets canceled or delayed. Surprisingly, we flew out just in time. Oh yeah, funny thing about taking PAL Express in the new terminal – you feel like you’re a second-class citizen in the airport. The gates are in the lower part of the terminal – with some electrical wirings still visible and temporary sound systems in place. Heck, you even have to board a bus and drive far from the terminal just to reach the plane!

No biggie though, because the new PAL Express planes are quite nice. Q300 – that’s the aircraft model they have. Turbo-prop, very clean and neat inside. The FA’s uniforms are festive too. Floral button down shirts and bermuda-looking shorts.

But there aren’t any potholes in the sky…

The weather was awful and the minute we took off, it was evident that we had to tighten our seatbelts throughout the flight. Clouds clouds everywhere, and the plane was battered by monsoon winds. There was even a moment that the plane was pitching and rolling in all 4 axes for about 3-5 minutes – which seemed like an eternity! Man o man… that was one of the scariest flight experiences I’ve ever had. Seriously!

Mercifully, the turbulence ended soon, and it was relatively smooth sailing all the way to Caticlan. I have to applaud the pilots of PAL Express – they landed that plane quite well. You know how scary Caticlan landings can be right? Rushing down and approaching the runway at over 200KPh, and you can see the water mere meters away, and then when the plane hits the ground, the pilot seems to slam it and hit the brakes as hard as he can…
That wasn’t the case with our flight. It was smoooooth as silk.

next up… pictures and pictures of our stay in boracay

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