Category Archives: Boracay

Sunset Silhouettes – Boracay Beaches

Sunset Silhouettes!

Imagine visiting a place where every afternoon was the most amazing sunset you’ve ever seen…until the next day. Boracay island might be paradise, and made for some amazing sunset silhouettes.  Loved it!

Sunset Silhouettes - Boracay Beach Paradise!
this is one of my favorite photos from Boracay – I want to go back!

Boracay was easily my favorite part of the Philippines. We saw some of the most amazing sunsets – this post has some of my favorites.

Sunset Silhouettes - Boracay Beach Kodak Moment, Philippines
definately a “Kodak moment!”

Nearly every day in Boracay finished with one of the most beautiful sunsets I’d ever seen!

Frisbee Silhouettes! The Boracay beaches were fairly empty until around 5pm, when the sun began to set
Frisbee Silhouettes! The Boracay beaches were fairly empty until around 5pm, when the sun began to set

the gorgeous sky made for some awesome sunset silhouettes in Boracay Philippines

The gorgeous Boracay sky turned orange, red and purple, and made for some awesome sunset silhouettes.

Sunset Silhouettes - Boracay Beach -008
These kids were adorable!

capturing the sunburst in my hand

There’s nothing quite like experiencing a breathtaking sunset.

Julian captures the Boracay sunset with his SLR
My friend Julian captures the Boracay sunset with his SLR. We couldn’t get enough of these

Want more sunsets? I’ve put together all the sunset posts on Visit50.com at this link.
Julian enjoys the sunset in Boracay

How to photograph silhouettes

Assuming you work in Auto mode, turn your flash off. The key to photographing silhouettes is to meter on the background sky, instead of the subject. Most cameras autofocus as soon as you press the shutter halfway. Aim at the bright part of the sky, then press and hold your shutter halfway. Keep it pressed halfway as you adjust to what you want in your frame. When you’re ready to take the photo squeeze the shutter fully. Bam!

Want more sunset silhouettes?

I also put together some of our favorite jumping photo sunset silhouettes in Boracay with red and orange sky backdrops.

By popular demand, I’ve started to organize the series of Sunset Silhouettes at this link. Enjoy!

7 Jumping sunset silhouettes

The sunsets were gorgeous in  BoracayPhilippines, and made a great setting for an impromptu photo shoot of sunset silhouette jumping pics!

Just before a sunset silhouette jumping pic in Boracay, Philippines
Just before a sunset silhouette jumping pic…
The sky was beautiful and gradually changed colors as the sun set
The sky was beautiful and gradually changed colors as the sunset
Air Todd - I'm flying!
Air Todd – I’m flying!

Jumping in the Philippines

Jumping pics - Boracay sunset

Jumping sunset silhouette pics in Boracay, Philippines, with kids jumping in the background
Notice the kids in the background joining in as I jump
The Boracay sunset was such an interesting mix of colors
The Boracay sunset was such an interesting mix of vibrant colors

9 Jumping pics with Filipino kids in the Philippines

I took “jumping pics” in nearly every country I visited, and after taking jumping pics as the sun was setting with my friends in the Philippines, some kids started jumping along with us. Below are 9 jumping travel photos I took  of and with these Filipino kids.

This was one of my many photo shoots of jumping pics
This was one of my many photo shoots of jumping pics

Jumping pics - jumping with kids in the Philippines

Muhammed couldn't jump anywhere close to as high as the other kids and was getting frustrated so I helped him
Muhammed couldn’t jump anywhere close to as high as the other kids and was getting frustrated so I helped him
Jumping pics in Boracay
It was as fun as it looks!
Jumping pics in the Philippines - we had a contest to see who could jump the highest, and suddenly they got competitive
We had a contest to see who could jump the highest, and suddenly the kids got competitive

Jumping pics in Boracay, Philippines - 014

Air Muhammed! We had just taught him how to jump. I never thought that would be something I'd ever teach a child but he learned quickly!
Air Muhammed! We had just taught him how to jump. I never thought that would be something I’d ever teach a child but he learned quickly! 

Jumping pics in Boracay, Philippines

 

Jumping pics in Boracay -013

 

Jumping pics in beautiful Boracay

The crystal clear water in Boracay, Philippines, is a great setting for an impromptu photo shoot of jumping pics!  Here are a few of the photos we took on Boracay’s White Beach (at Station Two) – jumping photos in beautiful Boracay. Enjoy!

Gabbi jumping pics in beautiful Boracay Philippines
Gabbi jumping in beautiful Boracay, Philippines

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The clear water reminded me of the Caribbean. Some islands in Thailand are also this beautiful. So much fun!

Sarah's jumping photo in Boracay Philippines
Sarah jumping in beautiful Boracay, Philippines

me! Jumping out of the crystal clear water in beautiful Boracay, PhilippinesI took fun jumping pics in beautiful Boracay as well as nearly every country I visited. Check out the jumping pics I’ve posted so far.

Also, I’ve created JumpingATW on Instagram to feature the best jumping photos from around the world. These aren’t just my jumping photos – it’s from travelers all around the world. Join the adventure!

 

 

Is Boracay too touristy?

Boracay Too Touristy?

Is Boracay too touristy and overcrowded? That’s all perspective.  That’s what local Filipinos say about it, but that certainly doesn’t apply to their gorgeous beaches. While Boracay is the most popular tourist destination in the Philippines, it seems like half the tourists are  focused on avoiding  the sun. When I was there, the beaches were wide open when the sun was out, 10am – 4pm.
Here are photos of Boracay at different times of the day – it was completely empty at 1pm. By 5pm people start coming out, and by 6pm people are out to enjoy the sunset and post-sunset.

Boracay at 5:56 PM [17:58]

Boracay has some of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen. Amazing!
Beautiful Boracay
This is as crowded as I ever saw it in Boracay – people waited until the sun set and the clouds covered the sky to come out and enjoy.
Boracay at 1:14 PM:
does this look overcrowded?
This photo may look like it was taken of a private beach, but it’s actually beautiful Boracay in the Philippines. It didn’t get much more crowded than this… 
Boracay too touristy and overcrowded? No way! This is a 1pm in the afternoon
Boracay’s beautiful empty beaches

Boracay at 6:08 AM / 6:08:

At 6am for sunrise, young people are just getting back home from the bars after a night of dancing.

Boracay too touristy and overcrowded? No way!  It's the Philippines' crown jewel
Sunrise in Boracay – one of the few times we spotted others on the beach (but just a few).

The nightlife is awesome, among the best of any town in Asia. The “crowded” label likely is referring to the nightlife (with that said, it’s still less crowded than a lot of the bars we frequent at home in New York City). The beaches… I thought it was some sort of holiday or my area was semi-private since so few people were outside, but others pointed out that many of the tourists are coming for the parties. Many are coming from eastern Asia and thus less interested in being out during the sun’s warmest rays.

Is Boracay too touristy and overcrowded? Nope!

I strongly disagree with all of the advice I received.  Boracay is wonderful and fairly quiet beaches during the day. Don’t let anybody convince you that Boracay’s overcrowded. Perhaps that refers to the Boracay nightlife, but not the beaches.

Don’t go to the Philippines – you’ll die!

Is Boracay dangerous?

When considering visiting the Philippines, I kept receiving the same ominous warning each time.  “Don’t go to the Philippines – you’ll die!”  Based on that advice, and considering that it’s not really near anywhere I was going,  I was planning on avoiding the entire country. But is it true? Is the entire Philippines country dangerous?  Is Boracay dangerous?

I kept hearing about the terrible crime problems, and that tourists actually get kidnapped (OMG!). Between that, and how far it was from everywhere else I was planning to go, I initially wasn’t even considering going.

Is Boracay dangerous? It actually has very little crime. The Philippines are relatively safe in the center of the country. I miss the Philippines!
Is Boracay dangerous? It actually has very little crime. The Philippines are relatively safe in the center of the country. I miss the Philippines!

Spoiler Alert – I lived, and I’m glad I went! The Philippines ended up being one of my favorite countries I visited. They weren’t even on my initial Asia trip plan, but there was so much I wanted to see and do that I stay there an entire month! That’s longer than anywhere else on my trip.  I give a special thanks to Amanda (from Canada) – when I was diving in SipadanBorneo – she raved about her experiences there. Then I met Jesper and Louise (from Denmark), and they loved it there too, specifically Bohol.  And on and on. So are the Philippines really dangerous?  Here’s what you need to know:

Are the Philippines really dangerous? 

Parts are safe, parts are dangerous, but it’s easy to go the areas that are safe. From what I’ve read and heard (details below), the South of the Philippines (the southern third) is actually dangerous and to be avoided. Don’t even pass through. It’s nearly always misleading to declare an entire country as too dangerous to visit. I’ll elaborate on those parts in a moment, but you need to know that some parts are both safe and wonderful! Where?

Where are the Philippines safe?

The Visayas are likely where you want to go – that’s the center/middle of the Philippines. I loved Boracay and surrounding islands, and I’ve also heard rave reviews for Palawan in the west as well.  Boracay is the beach tourist capital – it’s one of my favorite places for the beaches, the nightlife, and so many reasons. Unlike Thailand’s beach tourist capital (Phuket), Boracay beaches don’t get crowded and are among the best you’ll see. They’re awesome! I also went to Malapascua for SCUBA diving and see Thresher Sharks, to Donsol to go snorkeling with Whale Sharks, to Cebu, and to Bohol to see Phillipine Tarsiers and the Chocolate Hills. I wish I had time to head up north to see the rice patties; I’ve heard it’s beautiful.

Where is the danger in the Philippines?

The most dangerous part of the Philippines is in the south. Comparatively the area near Manila sounds tame. Crime in the south has even included kidnappings. Really?

Tourist Kidnappings in the South??

Ahhhh!  Everything is relative, but lots of caution (or perhaps completely avoid) Mindanao in the south to avoid the craziness where tourists actually get kidnapped and held for ransom. If you have enough time and don’t want to overlook some treasures of the south, please do your homework. The US and UK have very stern warnings against visiting due to terrorism. There’s lots to know and it sounds like it ‘s to be avoided. More info at the bottom of this page.

There’s quite a bit of crime in Manila, but anything like a kidnapping isn’t grabbing people at random. I hear there’s quite a bit of research on specific businessmen with big bank accounts to hold for ransom. They’re not looking for backpackers in Manila. I ended up avoiding altogether, but mostly because of the rich alternatives to explore.

How dangerous is Manila?

Manila also has quite a bit of crime – pick-pocketing, ATM scamming, etc.  If you go, as with anywhere, particularly in cities, it’s important to be street-smart and aware of your surroundings, so you can appreciate the capital of the country. Here’s the US State Department’s writeup on the Philippines.

Fun fact: Manila is one of the fastest growing places for customer service jobs for US companies – labor is cheap like in India, but without the strong accents.

Philippines Orientation –

Manila is in the north; it’s the area labeled Luzon. Most of the islands you want to visit are in the middle, which are referred as the Visayas (which includes Boracay, Cebu, and nearly every place I visited). The south is the dangerous “stay away!” areas. You want that middle area, the Visayas. Avoid the southern islands.

Map of the Philippines

Where are the Philippines located?  

The Philippines are far from everywhere I was visiting in SE Asia. They’re directly east of Vietnam, south of Taiwan, southeast of China, and northeast of Borneo.

Conclusion:  Boracay is safe

The areas near Boracay in the center of the Philippines are largely safe. The South is dangerous. Manila and the areas in the North has crime but is ok.

Ok, so Manila is filled with crime, and the south is legitimately scary and dangerous. That leaves a whole lot of awesomeness in the middle to explore. I’ve shared some of my favorite adventure stories from the Philippines on Visit50.com.

I’ve highlighted some more info on the crime in the southern Philippines’ Sulu Islands, where you’ll want to avoid, from Britain’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office:

  • We advise against all travel to south-west Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago because of ongoing terrorist and insurgent activity. We advise against all but essential travel to the remainder of Mindanao for the same reason. There are also ongoing clashes between the military and insurgent groups in the Sulu archipelago including Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Jolo. See Safety and Security -Terrorism and Safety and Security –  Local Travel.
  • There is a high threat from terrorism throughout the Philippines. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Such places could include, but are not limited to, airports, shopping malls, places of worship etc.
  • On 25 January an explosion on a passenger bus in the Makati district of Manila killed five people and injured 13. There are no reports of foreign nationals being involved. See Safety and Security – Terrorism and Safety and Security – Crime.
  • There is a threat from kidnapping in the Philippines, particularly in the southern Philippines. Kidnapping could occur anywhere, including on coastal and island resorts and dive boats and sites in the Sulu Sea. On 12 July two US citizens and a Philippine national were kidnapped from a resort on the island of Tictabon near the southern port city of Zamboanga. On 5 December 2011, an Australian citizen was kidnapped in Zamboanga Sibugay.

[Normally I’d use the US State Dept but their info wasn’t nearly as clear]

Wikipedia on the Philippines

Cover photo is from here.