Wait. Abort! Abort!!
That’s an Adam’s apple, dude.
OK, no problem, this is Asia, we’re used to the ladyboys. It’s ok, I say be whatever you want to be, it’s not my style but it’s cool. How about that chick?
Hmmm. What do we do now? I know let’s go in this bar. Cool place, right? Lots of cute girls in here, for sure. And they sure are friendly! I thought Filipina girls were supposed to be shy, but those girls just jumped in our laps.
Oh. Right. Hookers.
How about those girls? Cute, right? Riiiight, they’re hookers too.
It goes on and on down the beach in Boracay Island in the Philippines, like the background of some old cartoon where the characters are running past a background that repeats over and over again. Hooker, ladyboy, hooker, ladyboy, hooker, ladyboy. That’s what the single dude traveler should expect in Boracay.
People tell us that it used to be different ten years ago, but now, what some call the second best beach in the world is now just a world capital of sex workers and fraudulent ladyboys who wait in the shadows and call out to drunk dudes when they stagger home alone. “Excuse me sir, excuse me sir, where you go? I go with you?” So we say, no matter what anyone else tells you, Boracay is not a single dude travel recommended destination.
The Philippines is a poor country. The people are nice, warm, friendly, and many are desperately poor. Thus they flock to the tourist places and do what they have to do, which is prostitution and tourist trapping.
Here’s the pros for Boracay: It’s cheap. You can walk down the beach and get a massage anytime you want for 200-300 Philippine Pesos ($5-7.50). Drinks are cheap – beers for a dollar or two at a bar and half liters of the local rum for a dollar at the convenience store. The locals are friendly and helpful, especially if you want to spend money. There’s lots of fun bars with live music, and as everyone from that part of the world will tell you, the Philippines has the best bands in the region and perhaps is the most talented country of musicians on the planet per capita.
The Filipinos take their music seriously. The new lead singer of Journey, Arnel Pineda is a Filipino who they found on Youtube who sounds just as good if not better than Steve Perry. Manny Pacquiao like to take the mic and sing a song to the crowd after he finishes taking the current “Contender” Not Named Floyd out by the woodshed. And they love their karaoke so much that there’s actually been half a dozen murders in the last ten years or so as a result of someone singing “My Way” by Frank Sinatra at karaoke.
Boracay is a really nice beach called “White Beach”. It goes on for miles and has super white powdery sand. Up north near the tip of the island, by the “Batcave” which is pretty cool there is an isolated beach that is super nice. Boris and I thought when we were there that this place would absolutely blow the mind of a nice Bulgarian girlfriend if taken there on vacation.
That’s the potential for Boracay, as a place to have a great beach vacation with girls that you bring with you. You could get a week on the beach for four plus drinks and food for under a thousand dollars no problem. Try that in the West. Just get a little bungalow on a quiet stretch of beach, and just alternate between buffets on the beach, buffets in the bedroom, and great party at night every night. That would be awesome and I imagine Boris and I will do that one day.
There’s also great waters ports to be had in Boracay, from scuba to windsurfing. We didn’t do much of that as Boris was still recovering from his Singaporean head injury and I’m always too lazy to do that stuff on vacation unless someone else motivates me. But you can certainly go to Boracay for that purpose and have a great time. Just don’t go to the main tourist trap places or you will get ripped off.
But the most important lesson is: don’t go without a chick. We learned that lesson. When we first got there we thought we might want to stay for a month but instead, four days later we were dying to get the fuck out of there. If we had some smart, cool, sexy Eastern European girls there with us we would have been happy to stay for weeks or even months I bet.
Although now that I think about it there are another couple of drawbacks to Boracay. The food, like the rest of the Philippines, is quite bad. There’s some edible cuisine, like the $5 all you can eat Mongolian buffet, and some tasty late night drunk food. There’s also lots of buffets on the beach that all the hotels set up that look amazing. We tried one and it was just horrible tasting though. It was bad enough that we walked and just got some other food and sank the cost of the buffet. At least it was only $5. Seriously, though, if you’re a foodie, don’t go to the Philippines, it’s just not good there.
Also it’s surprisingly hard to find drugs there. I’ve never had a hard time getting weed at a tourist beach place before. In Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, even Malaysia I found it, and I could not in Boracay. We were hanging out with the local musicians there a lot, and they had dreadlocks and lots of tattoos and they couldn’t get me weed. WTF? Not only that, but one night I got super drunk off the $1 bottles of local rum and brandy and Drunk Charlie was loudly asking them for weed – the musicians seemed quite freaked out by this, according to Sober Boris who was curtailing his drinking due to excess blood loss in Singapore the week before.
So there’s your basic rundown of Boracay’s pros and cons. Now on to the hotspots:
Cocomangas – home of the famous 15-Shot Challenge. This bar is dirty, loud, filled with hookers, and fun as hell. There’s also tons of Japanese and Korean tourists in Boracay and this seems to be the place in town where the Koreans get drunk off their asses. I had two observations about Korea while we were in Boracay.
1. Korean girls can be extremely, extremely hot.
2. Koreans drink their asses off and get super sloshy drunk a lot.
We met some French party animal guys in Boracay and they told us a story about the night before when they took 10 shots of Jaeger and then went and did the 15-Shot Challenge. It was like The Hangover 3, I wish I could recount it for you, but it’s a very long story. Luckily we got together with these guys and drank beer with the microphone and we have a special double episode podcast coming soon on Single Dude Radio with their whole story as soon as I get off my ass and edit it.
Up in Station 1 is where the late night stuff is. Such as Guilly’s and the other ones up there, I don’t know, I was always too drunk to remember what they’re called. These bars are also full of hookers although regular people go there as well. The names of the places in Boracay don’t really matter, as there’s only one main beach path, so you can just walk down the beach and see where the action is at night, a-la Quinta Avenida in Playa del Carmen.
The other main place for the clubbing set is Epic, and it’s where everybody ends up. Be careful, sometimes they have drink specials only on one of the two bars and the other one is expensive. Weird, right! This is a good place to hand out outside where the music isn’t earsplittingly loud and enjoy listening to the beach and socializing there. We met quite a number of cool people from all over this way.
In conclusion, I would say that while Boracay is a beautiful place, it’s not the place I would pick for a week even with imported girls. Why bother with bad food, tourists everywhere and no drugs when you can go to Vietnam and go to the beach for even cheaper with unbelievably good food and plentiful drugs? Chalk this one up to us being ten years too late on this former paradise.