It's been more than a year since I last did many things. This includes all the small activities I used to do to take a breather from work: Going to the salon, shopping for clothes in person, and of course, traveling. Being isolated for so long is obviously not the best for everyone, which is why when travel restrictions were lifted, I jumped at the opportunity of being away from the trap that is my bed. That's how I ended up in Boracay, taking my chance at a "wellness weekend." Read on to see how it went!
Traveling to Boracay
There are a few things travelers need to prepare before boarding a flight to Boracay. Aside from your flight and accommodation confirmation, you'll need the following: 1) A negative RT-PCR test done at least 72 hours before your flight, 2) An approved S-Pass application, and 3) An accomplished health declaration. You can print your documents if you want, but the officials at the Boracay airport also accept digital copies in mobile phones or other devices. As long as they can scan your QR codes, you're good to go! (Note: Travel requirements may change depending on the LGU).
Flying to Boracay
I took an 11 A.M. Cebu Pacific flight on a Friday. The airport was as busy as usual, but surprisingly, it couldn't have been easier to board my flight. Almost everything was done online or through a machine. In fact, the closest person-to-person interaction I had in NAIA was when I dropped off my baggage. I was also lucky enough to be on the first row in the plane, which definitely helped with the flight jitters. It couldn't have gone smoother—we took off on time and even landed in Boracay few minutes early!
I felt the fatigue from transport immediately leave my body when I arrived at my accommodation at Discovery Shores in Station 1 Boracay. I had a Junior Suite, which was the perfect size for a solo traveler like me (it could fit a pair, too). The room was so pristine that I almost felt bad putting my stuff everywhere. One of the best features of my room though was definitely the great view of the pool area, and the way sunlight filtered in beautifully every morning—very ideal for selfies.
We took almost all of our meals in the Sands Restaurant. It was the ultimate al fresco experience, because while you eat, you have a stunning up-close view of the white sand beach. Air conditioning wasn't even needed because the breeze was refreshing enough on its own. Having cocktails at night became one of our favorites activities, too, because of the beautiful setting.
3-Day Laboral Summit at Discovery Shores Boracay
My wellness weekend was actually a three-day experience of Discovery Shores Boracay's first ever Laboral Summit. It aims to promote a healthier lifestyle among those who have been in work-from-home set-ups for the past year just like me. For an entire weekend, we did different types of exercise, meditation, and other activities that can help lead to wellness inside and out.
The first day was more about adjusting to the environment than anything. We started off with light exercises (while physically-distanced and masked, of course) in the afternoon. Despite the moves being simple, though, I truly felt how immobile I've become for the past year. Doing the exercises while facing the beach did help the activity become more relaxing, compared to if I were to do it at home in my bedroom.
We wrapped our first day with a special al fresco Napa Valley-inspired dinner. We all felt at ease because the protocols applied were similar to the restaurants back in Manila. Everyone was seated at safe distance from each other and the dining area only catered to our small party of around 10 people.
The second day was dedicated for the "Nature Fun Walk," an Amazing Race-esque activity that encouraged us to explore. Unfottunately, teammate and I didn't win the race (and the awesome prizes), but we were able to enjoy the views of the beach and the resort for a few hours which honestly felt like a prize on its own.
Day three was pilates day. We did an equipment-free version on the resort's roof deck, which again, made the activity seem less daunting. I also realized throughout the exercise that the past few days have warmed me up enough to make the moves easier—a big difference from my unoiled tin man form on the first day.
After doing a bunch of exercises outside, it was time for a chill activity. I spent the rest of my Sunday afternoon making pizza right in the comfort of my room. It was pretty therapeutic, especially because I had a meditation sequence playing through my television while doing it. Once I finished, a resort attendant picked up the assembled pizza to bake, and a few minutes later, I had a delicious snack.
I spent the last few moments of my stay exploring the beach and hitting nearby restaurants for a change of scenery. Los Indios Bravos was one of our best finds, and I'd absolutely go back for their desserts and cocktails.
At the end of my stay and the laboral summit, I felt like someone pressed the reset button in my brain. The activities were a refreshing break from spending all my days in front of my computer or in bed, as much as my exercise-averse self hates to admit it. So yes, I'm now a "wellness weekend" believer, and I couldn't have had a better setting for it than Boracay.
For more information about Discovery Shores Boracay, visit their official website.
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