How Alcohol Turns You into the Friendliest Person Ever: Thoughts on the Boracay Pub Crawl

If you think that my first ever Boracay post is going to be filled with pictures of blinding white sand and turquoise waters, you’re dead wrong.

While Boracay is indeed ranked as one of the best beaches in the Philippines—the #1 spot in Asia for relaxation, actually, according to Agoda.comthis wasn’t the reason why I came here. Don’t get me wrong, Boracay is a true paradise. The sand is so fine I could’ve sworn some of it permeated my pores, making my legs thicker by a few inches. The shore is perfect, with its gradual slope and the moderately cool water. Boracay’s beauty has been photographed, blogged, and described a gazillion times before, I’m afraid there’s no room for another raving and exclamatory blog post. Thus, I choose to tell you about the other aspect Boracay is notoriously known for, the one I find more appealing and exciting, the one that other Philippine beaches don’t have.

The nightlife.

Everytime you hear your captain say "Boracaaaaaay!", you should respond with an equally energetic, "Pubcraaaaaawl!!!"

The biggest Pub Crawl group hug ever!

I remember going to Pagudpud and falling asleep before 10PM. That was a major nightmare for an alcoholic, party-seeking traveler like I am. Call me shallow or label me a booze-head, I don’t really care. I’m sure thousands of other people would agree with me that partying in Boracay is the best.

One of the team captains, Riza. Damn, she was awesome.
On our second night in the island, we signed up for the Boracay Pub Crawl—a crazy, wild, fun bar-hopping party which aims to “turn strangers into friends”. How exactly? Well, by forcing them to talk to each other, learn about each other’s most interesting facts (I met a former prostitute), urging them to drink when they bend the rules, dancing with each other—you know, all elements of a fun party. Except that this was in Boracay—a paradisiacal beach!—and not in the city, making it 10 times better!

Sober moments. The party has just started!
Having participated in the Pub Crawl, I came to understand why it was the #1 activity in Boracay in Trip Advisor. People who don’t like to party might easily label this as shallow and stupid (“Look at those morons with their headphones on, dancing to nonexistent music!”) but you know what? You can’t really say that unless you have actually participated in it. If you have had the chance to wear a bright yellow shirt, cut it off and design it the way you like, wore a shot glass on your neck, and proudly waved around your Pub Crawl baller, that’s the only time you are ever allowed to say anything!

And I say this, with all the (minimal) memories I have left of that crazy night, it was the best thing about my Boracay trip. I can even go as far as saying this was the best experience I’ve had this year. Why? Not because of the seemingly unlimited shots. Not because it was fun flirting with hot Europeans and Australians. Not because I consumed what felt like 10 liters of beer in one night, without knowing it or remembering where I got the money to buy them. Not because I was able to dance without worrying if I looked stupid doing so.

Can you spot the one with the bunny ears? That's MJ, another awesome team captain!
It was because the Pub Crawl was able to accomplish what it shouts in its logo: turning strangers into friends. (If you want to skip the story and head directly to the mechanics, scroll down to the bottom of this post, you lazy reader.)

“Booooo. That was it?” you say. Yes, that’s it. I may not remember almost half of the night, but I certainly can remember talking to lots of people and actually trying to get to know them. I remember genuinely liking them (believe me, it means something—I normally hate people hahaha) and being truly interested to learn new things about them.

Learning about their hometowns. Asking what their favorite drink is. Making them taste the balut. Knowing what they do beyond their jobs. Learning and teaching a new swearword. That’s the most you can get from a few hours of interaction, but those little things are the start of a connection. It’s about letting a stranger totally touch your life, even in the smallest way possible, without expectation or agenda. Forget the sex, or the thought of how soft their lips would be or how wild they could be in the bedroom.

Not that hookups aren’t nice (they are, LOL!) but I’ve always been fascinated with meeting total strangers. I’ve always had this inclination to open up to them, the way you can’t to a person you see every day. I don’t know if any of you has ever felt that too—maybe I just watch too many movies and read too many books. But you see, there’s always something new with a stranger—can you say the same thing for the person who sits beside you every day?

Maxene Magalona was crawling with us.
Malaysians. Koreans. Hot Australians (sorry I really had to put an adjective on some). Pinoys (of course). Smoldering Germans. Kiwis. Americans. OMG. The sand and the waters are no match—Boracay Pub Crawl was paradise.

To tell you truth, I barely had time hanging out with my own friends at the Pub Crawl because I was totally busy talking to everyone else. I met a Filipina Latin dancer. A former G-Force dancer. Some Malaysian fitness junkies. An Australian hair dresser. A Kiwi so gorgeous I totally forgot everything, LOL. And most especially, two Germans, whom we hung out with even after the Pub Crawl.

Hanging out at Exit Bar during our last night in Boracay. I miss these Germans already!
I’ve always traveled to give myself some time to think and evaluate my life—if I’m still on the right track, or just to check if I’m still happy. In my Ilocos trip four months back, I realized I was doing exactly what I wanted. But this Pub Crawl shook everything and made me dig into that idea that I tried to bury into the deepest recesses of my mind way, way back—that I shouldn’t be in an office but somewhere else, travelling. Seeing the world. OMG I’m back to square one.

Trust me, the only person I originally knew in this picture was ... myself.
Boracay Pub Crawl, I hate you for that but I love, love, love, love you in all the other ways. They say that what happens in Boracay stays in Boracay, but with memories like these (or lack thereof, hahaha), it can be quite hard to restrain myself from telling the world. Thanks Boracay Pub Crawl for letting me “travel the world”, even if it was just for a few hours (and with many memory lapses).

Who would’ve thought that I could be sober enough to write this blog post?

How to Join the Boracay Pub Crawl:

1. Boracay Pub Crawl sessions are being done every Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. We went on a Saturday, which seemed like a great choice because instead of the usual 30-50 participants, our batch was composed of a whopping 170. Wild huh?

2. Register at to avail of the Early Bird promo (more than 3 days in advance of your desired Pub Crawl date)—which will give you a PhP200 discount. (PhP790 for guys, PhP690 for girls). Or you can check their Facebook page for more details.

3. If you fail to get the discounted tickets, register directly at Station 4 Beach Bar in Boracay—tickets cost PhP990.

4. Upon joining, you will receive a yellow Pub Crawl shirt (which you can redesign however you want, as what was traditionally being done); a baller; stubs for the free shots; and a shot glass which you must wear around your neck at all times.

5. Having the above 3 accessories will give you access to the 5 participating bars in the Pub Crawl. For our batch, they were: Station 4, Juice Bar, Wave Bar & Restaurant, Epic, and Paradiso/ADHD Silent Club. If you don’t wear the accessories, you will have to pay the corresponding door charges for each of them.

6. Each stub gets you a free shot from each participating bar. In addition, Pub Crawlers can buy special drinks at a discounted price (PhP50 each).

7. Competitive games are held at the beach, in between the bar-hopping. Prepare to combat for more free booze!

8. There will be Pub Crawl Captains who will facilitate all the activities and itinerary for the night. They will make sure you keep talking to strangers, keep drinking (LOL), and making friends all night too! And remember, raise your hands and shout "Pub Craaaaawl!!!" whenever the captains say "Boracaaay!!!!"

Are you ready for the wildest, the craziest, the most unforgettable, and the best night of your life in Boracay? #BoracayPubCrawl

Special thanks to Captain Van and Boracay Pub Crawl for the amazing photos.

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  1. Got me excited for Boracay next year. Will go kahit magisa ako. Hahaha


  2. Hahahaha. When are you going? Sama!

  3. Twice na ako nagpunta nang bora mag-isa... and everytime nagpupunta ako sa bora, automatic sign up agad sa pubcrawl and the rest olna experience is history.... pubcrawl is the best!...

  4. Totally agree! Worthy of repeating the experience, kahit once every Boracay trip. :)


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