The Uncool Man's Guide to Surviving Laboracay
What happened? You have no idea how you ended up here. One minute you were imagining sunny skies, pristine waters, smooth shores, and now you're being engulfed by a wave of partying youth. Who are we to judge you for being at the beach during the weekend? You could have been forced to chaperone your daughter, lurking behind her as you watch her go through this rite of passage (true story). You could've been that gentleman going for his last swing--then realizing later that you're seriously outdated and you'd rather be in bed by 9 p.m.. You could've been living under such a heavy rock that you had no clue of this millennial phenomenon.
What ever the reason, you're just that uncool man in a really cool place trying to make the most of the situation. The bad news is--and locals have told us this much: There will be no quiet place in Boracay during the very long Labor Day weekend. As one of them cleverly put it, this is the spring break of the Philippines. It's no place for brunch-loving folk like you and me.
But as you go through this ordeal, remember what Robert Downey Jr.'s character in Tropic Thunder said: "Survive. Survive."
Breakfast is the sanctuary of, shall we say, the older set. While brunch has become fashionable for yuccies, only people of a certain generation will be up and running to enjoy breakfast at the time it's meant to be enjoyed. The party-hopped youth will be rolling themselves into their actual beds at dawn, but (like any grown-up) you'll be alert and appreciating the productivity of the morning. This might just be the most peace you'll experience during Labor Day weekend.
The Boracay sunset is beautiful, sure, but the beach is just as stunning at first light—as if the night washed off the previous day's debauchery and every thing feels fresh again. If you're looking for a different flavor from your typical hotel breakfast buffet, walk to Station 3 (exercise!) and grab a bite at Sunny Side Cafe (The Sands, Station 3). The crowd usually picks up at around lunch.
Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict from Sunny Side Cafe
Asya Premier Suites
This luxury resort over at the far end of Station 3 will provide some much needed seclusion from the noise. While you can't prevent the partygoers from hopping over this side (if they make it this far), staying at one of their gorgeous villas will promise you that privacy you'll so desperately need. They're immensely spacious, complete with a vast rooms, a powder room, and a private pool (in a garden no less). You can spend your entire vacation in the tub or get one of the "smaller" rooms, which have their own verandas perfect for some quiet mulling.
You can be sure that you won't have utter peace and quiet during this weekend, so settle for quieter. According to locals, Station 3 will most likely be the most secluded out of all Boracay's stations. The party scene will be localized to Station 1 and 2 since the biggest events are already booked there. Boracay spots like D'Mall, Paraw, Real Coffee, and Exit--which are crowded even during off-season--are also in these areas.
Here's another "quieter" option. Bolabog is on the other side of the most popular beaches, like White Beach and Diniwid. There will be people for sure, but this area is the usual spot for kite- and wind-surfing, which means that the crowd will thin out once they're done with their watersports. Try getting into Rieseling, which has a beachfront view that's slightly concealed with coconut trees. At this rate, you should take anything that gives you a little extra privacy.
Station X is Boracay's newest commercial hub attached to the soon-to-open Hue Hotel. Incredibly new and not quite beachfront, you'll be sure that for these next few months, they'll be a little secret. Urban but still refreshingly tropical, the place is decked out in restaurants like Little Wave (a coffee shop), Nonie's (a home-style), Super Magic Burgers, Prisma (bar), and Boracay's one and only food hall Street Market. It has very varied food establishments.
To get there, walk along the beach. Turn right in between La Carmela and 7-Eleven. Go straight. Walk past Dos Mestizos, continue walking past the Ministop. The facade is stark, but the space opens up to a sprawling complex.
For Laboracay, the Station X team has even planned on a campaign called Refuel x Recover. While they'll offer their fair share of partying (from 12 p.m. on April 29, they'll be selling all-you-can-drink Heineken for P400 for two hours on top of the regular offerings), they'll be providing hangover remedies the next day, April 30. Prisma will be making hangover cocktails (hair of dog works, we tell you) and hangover kits. Their slew of comfort food will also be more than enough to nurse you back to sobriety.
Almost everyone goes for the world-famous beaches, but Finca Verde is just as breathtaking as those turquoise waters. It's in Nabaoy, a few minutes away from Caticlan airport and about half an hour from where everything's happening. The hidden sanctuary is sprawling with greenery and nature, with the highlight on the exquisite river running beside it. The farm is owned by the same folks behind Spanish favorite Dos Mestizos. Interested guests can stay at Narra Resort, which hosts cottages and simple home-cooked meals.
Netflix and Chill.
If you really can't deal anymore, there's really no harm in staying in your room. Hopefully, you got a beachfront spot complete with a little balcony--that way you won't miss out of the beach all together.