MANILA, Philippines – I kicked off my flip-flops and dug my feet into the cool, soft sand. It was the first sunny morning in a week of stormy skies and sudden rainshowers, and I wanted to make the most of it. I sipped the warm, sweet taho that I bought from a roving vendor, then I settled my glass snugly into the sand before finding my own sweet spot.
In front of me, the high tide was carrying strong waves in a sea of teal and blue. From a distance, I could spy a woman running toward the sea with her dog; in another direction, there were two little boys hopping and crawling on the sand. There seemed to be only a handful of people around me—I was in Boracay Island, yes, yet there were no beach-going throngs, no ugly windbreakers blocking the view, no jarring sounds.
This is how it is in Diniwid Beach, White Beach’s quiet, unassuming “little cousin.”
Diniwid Beach is located right next to Boracay’s famed White Beach. It’s a 15-minute walk (through a semi-hidden, cliffside trail) from the upscale Station 1, and around a 20-minute, Php100 (“special”) tricycle ride from D’Mall in Station 2, the heart of Boracay’s action.
Despite its proximity to White Beach, however, there is none of the heady, hedonistic vibe that has come to define partying in Boracay. At Diniwid, there is only peace, serenity, and quiet seaside pleasures.
One such luxury is dining with champagne, fronting the best view in the island. That can be enjoyed from Nami Restaurant, named of the best restaurants in Boracay (2013) by Philippine Tatler. A quick trip up a rustic but cleverly designed bamboo elevator gives one a great vantage point that seems to be unique to this spot. From our table that morning, we could see a wide expanse of blues and greens, punctuated by the bobbing of Hobie cats taking advantage of the summery weather.
We chose a Filipino “Champagne brunch,” which for only Php650 gave us a generous serving of tapa, tocino, longganisa, boneless bangus, and rice, served with a glass of champagne and followed by fresh seasonal fruits and coffee or TWG tea. It was the perfect punctuation to a week filled with deadlines, policy work, and heavy rains.
At that point, for me, nothing else mattered but the slow, sweet savoring of flavors and sensations.
Another indulgent treat that we were surprised to discover near Diniwid Beach is a small, private “villa” that we found through AirBnb. Dubbed “Tahanan”, the Asian-inspired bungalow features a spacious split-level studio tucked within a forest-garden (on top of a hill!). Rented for only less than Php2,500 per night, Tahanan gave us the luxury of a true home away from home without the hefty price tag.
All told, this Boracay trip was defined by small luxuries, quiet pleasures, and—I must admit—smart spending. We scrimped on all the White Beach action and shopping in order to get the vacation we really needed; and at the end of the day, we were reminded of the priceless things that truly mattered to us.
If there is anything that Diniwid Beach taught me this trip, it’s that you don’t really need much in order to enjoy Boracay—only the mindset and the spirit that you pack along with you.
To view more of Diniwid Beach, watch this video:
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