I’m from Florida and I hate tourists. There was nothing more disgusting to me growing up than coming across a fat man wearing a Hawaiian style button up shirt, layered upon a t-shirt that spelled Florida with tacky colors, topped off by a straw hat. Living in Lake City, it felt like an infestation of these men materialized in our town to pump gas into their oversized Buicks on I-75. (If you have kids, you’re RECUSED of my insult because if you have kids and survive you deserve to wear whatever you want!) So, if I have such a strong DISGUST towards tourists, how did I come to own t-shirt like this?
Not only do I have one for myself, but I bought three more. At the end of my trip, I left Borocay for Kalibo( Kalibo has an airport that is slightly further away which I highly recommend for anyone to use as you get a chance to see some of the stunning countryside of the Philippines and save money on your flight) with a touristy t-shirt, a straw hat, a stamp on my wrist from Epic, two rubber bands on my wrist(one from Ariel’s point), a shark tooth’s necklace, and puke on my shorts which I didn’t notice until later. So, what transformed a lowly tourist hater into the epitome of his angst? It was the disarming charm of the Lazy Dog Bed and Breakfast on Bulabog Beach. Boracay is an amazing and beautiful place, but it’s beauty was exponentially increased by staying in a place that I never wanted to leave.
Lazy Dog is located on the backside of the island on Bulabog beach. It’s not near station one, two or three. Sounds horrible right? Well, your humble traveler transversed all of white beach. If your heart is content to get to the action and party at station two, it’s actually a much faster walk from the Lazy Dog to station two than from the other budget locations near station one or three. Furthermore, it’s a much more enjoyable walk. There was something about seeing roosters being chased by dogs, the colorful laundry being hung from buildings, families huddled around their small tv’s in front of their houses and people pumping water from their wells that pulled on my heartstrings. It’s a small taste of the real Boracay before you get to “Tourism International” at D-Mall and Station 2. Furthermore, you avoid being harassed for massages and jet ski rides(or if you are a single guy you avoid the frightening requests from man-ladies).
The rooms in Lazy Dog are not grand but are adequate. Mine cost around 1200 pesos a night and came with air conditioning and a free breakfast. The WI-Fi at Lazy Dog is superior to what I experienced at other hostels and hotels. I was easily able to upload all of my pictures from my daily adventures. My only complaint is that my water pressure was very low in the shower. One morning, no water came out. However, five minutes later(when someone else stopped showering) I had a glorious shower. I’m unsure if this is an issue with the building or the infrastructure on the island. I assure you, it’s not enough to deter you of any enjoyment of staying in this unique place unless you are devoid of a personality or require a silver spoon.
The courtyard is gorgeous. It is charming and well themed. It reminds me of a tropical island version of the inside of a Mellow Mushroom pizza parlor. If that comparison doesn’t work for you, how about eating breakfast in an open air tropical hookah bar on the beach(minus the hookahs)? It is comfortable and well shaded. You can experience the wonderful aroma of an ocean breeze while avoiding the powerful Borocay sun. When I ate in the morning, I often found myself struggling to leave my bean bag chair. Throughout the day, I was longing to come back to take a nap on the hammock in the courtyard. The open courtyard also makes it very easy to meet other guests which was great since I vacationed by myself.
The food was excellent- the beef tapas and garlic rice hit the spot every morning. The pastas and dinners were also excellent and very affordable. The food was so good I missed opportunities to eat at some very famous places because of how convenient and pleasing my dining experiences were at Lazy Dog. Some overfriendly cats only multiply the charm and if you are lucky, the owner’s dog Whiskey will be there to keep you company (and chase away the “kittehs” if you don’t like cats). Are you finished with breakfast? Leave your beanbag chair or hammock, go out the exit, take a right and you’re fifteen seconds from the stunning Bulabog Beach. Get up early enough and you can catch an amazing sunrise. This is something your drunk counterparts on the other end of the island are likely to miss.
I met one of the owners and she was very hospitable. I even met up with her at Area 51 for her birthday party and she bought me a drink. Of course, buying a guest a drink on YOUR birthday is nothing short of excellent service. By the way, Whiskey the dog was at the party and he can get down. I’ve never seen a pup pop party poppers with such precision. All the bed and breakfasts on Bulabog Beach appear to have relationships with each other. I managed to witness two birthday parties and they determined different get-togethers at different spots on the back of the island for different nights. I was able to meet many locals who work on Boracay and they are fascinating people. It’s a refreshing break from the tourists on the other side.
While White Beach is extremely entertaining at night, you are cheating yourself if you don’t spend at least an hour or two on one of your nights ordering a drink from a bar on Bulabog Beach. The beach is practically empty, the stars are shining, and it is so quiet you can hear children’s laughter from the other end of the beach. The memories of the serenity and beauty of walking down Bulabog at night will stay with me for a long time. It’s miraculous when compared to how different the island transforms itself merely 10 minutes away on the other side.
So, maybe the fat guy on I-75 was simply charmed by the Dumbo ride at Disney World or the 25 dollar cocktails at bars on South Beach. However, if I’m ever blessed enough to return to Boracay and I see a tourist with a Lazy Dog t-shirt, my response will not be to ridicule but to only congratulate the tourist on spending some of the best and relaxing days of his life.