I'm on SMILE Magazine's Trip Journal for Boracay Guide December Issue


It is so nice to know that I have a "cameo" role in Cebu Pacific's in - flight magazine, SMILE for their December issue. When I went to Boracay last July, I had six nights to spend with fellow travel bloggers. This was entirely a sponsored trip with Mad Monkey Hostel as our home for 3 nights plus 6 restaurants, one luxury foot spa and 5 - star wellness spa.  We did not spent a lot of money all throughout because we had brands that took care for us. That's the best thing about travel blogging!

Our DIY Boracay itinerary was full but it is not the usual backpacker budget because we splurged into a few fine dining restaurants and some relaxation activities. I shared these to SMILE Magazine's Trip Journal section because I have been longing to see my name and photo there. I am a huge fan of them and I collect in - flight travel magazines myself. 

I was reminded by one of my contacts that a new set of editors are coming that is why there is going to be a revamp of Trip Journal section. I didn't expect that I will make the cut though but my friend Russel who flew Cebu Pacific, tweeted me about this. Though they publish only a portion of my travel tips to Boracay, I decided to share it whole here.




Please see below my own travel guide to Boracay:




Destination:
Boracay
Guide’s name:
Maria Rona Beltran
Work description:
Travel Blogger
Purpose of trip/Local:
Backpacking with friends

Food and Dining
Tell us about your top two dining experiences.
It can be as simple as gobbling down on some street food or as fancy as being served by a master chef! Include details like the dish you had, how much you paid for it, and the contact information of the establishment (address, telephone number, or website).

Dos Mestizos (036) 288 5786) is a 13 – year old Spanish restaurant that serves the best paella and cochinillo, the crispiest pork lechon in the island. Check out Chef Andre, son of one of the owners. While you wait for your order, you can ask him to tour you around for a few minutes of this house that’s full of old memorabilia and let him share a trove of memories of his family. Prepare for Php 1, 000 each as this is fine dining style.

Jeepney Stop inside D Mall offers a sophisticated version of street food with quirky names.  Try Pares Hilton (beef stew), Beef Beef Bap (Korean dish), Goodbye Philippines (cheese, ground pork, chili) and Kakang Humay (mixed plate of fried chicken, peanuts). They got one of the best and freshest smoothies too. A minimum budget of Php 500 per person is worth 2 - 3 dishes already.   


Things to do
Recommend two places to see, things to do, or experiences unique to the destination that visitors shouldn’t miss.
Treat your feet for a therapeutic massage at Footzeez Spa (+63929 320 2664). It is not your ordinary foot pampering because it comes with foot reading to identify certain body issues that you may not be aware of. For Php 650, you’ll have 1 hour and 45 minutes of complete foot relaxation while sitting on a Moroccan inspired chair and be welcomed by its two cute furry dogs.  

Head to Mandala Spa and Resorts Villas. Choose the Asian Signature Massage for Php 3500+, you get a five – star pampering package in a very peaceful nippa villa all by yourself. If you’re a city rat, it means heaven on earth for an hour and a half of complete bliss.



Shopping
Describe stuff that travelers can bring home.

Buy the famous calamansi muffins at Real Coffee and Tea CafĂ© beside Sea World along Station 2. Six pieces in one box is Php 320.  You can walk in but it is best to call them first at (036) 288 5340 to order in advance.  They get lots of bulk orders so better be sure than go home empty.  

For the ladies who are crazy about Snapchat’s flower crown filter, you can have one for Php 120 – 300 depending on the style inside D Mall near the entrance.  This small shop has no name yet but you’ll find it really fast because it is usually flocked by girls who want to try it on. Taking photos aren’t allowed but you can pretend you don’t know it yet, the staff won’t say it is forbidden unless you ask.  


Travel Tips
Pay forward some good advice or key information to travelers.
There’s a newly – opened backpacker slash party hostel called Mad Monkey just 10 minutes away from Station 1. It is the 5th branch from the biggest chain of this kind in Cambodia. A dorm bed costs as low as Php 400 and room for 2 is Php 1400. They got the biggest pool to date, free shots of grenade (mix of drinks with 40% alcohol content) at the bar every night and organizes a booze cruise, an island hopping with a twist. It comes with unlimited beer / rhum / vodka while on the boat. Why not? You’re in a party island.





Credit to Russel Barquilla, my former officemate for the photos.

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