Beyond Escape Travel and Tours invited Village Pipol Magazine on a three-day trip to Boracay with new friends from Travel Tayo and Kasel Travel. On August 19, we departed from Manila and arrived an hour and a few minutes later in Caticlan. Then, we went to the Tabon Port where we took a boat ride to Tambisaan Port. Southwest Tours picked us up and dropped us off at Golden Phoenix Hotel in Boracay where we stayed for the remainder of our time.
All About Beyond Escape Travel and Tours
Before we launch into the experience of traveling with Beyond Escape Travel and Tours, let’s learn more about the travel agency and the people behind it. Beyond Escape Travel and Tours started on October 7, 2013. Turning nine this year, Jasper they have been through a lot of difficulties, a lot of anxieties, and a lot of lapses. But, they are still here, ready to improve every day to exceed their clients’ expectations.
Jasper Kit Torres-Tablan is the person behind Beyond Escape Travel and Tours.
Jasper was a graduate of BS Hotel and Restaurant Management at the De La Salle University-Dasmariñas. She used to work at UCC Cafe-Westgate right after graduation. Then, she transferred to Island Cove Resort and Leisure Park. A year later, she gave birth and decided to focus on her growing family.
“However, as years passed by, I got bored. So, I took culinary and lifestyle courses at CCA, CACS, and Heny Sison Culinary School. The funny thing was, after graduating from the CACS, I saw the ads of Travel Depot about putting up your own travel agency. My goal of being in the hospitality world was changed in a day. Imagine that! So, my journey to the travel industry started.”
The story behind Beyond Escape Travel and Tours started with a dream vacation in 2006. She had occasional out-of-town tours and food trips with her family and friends. Then, a memorable domestic trip followed it — hotels and resort hopping. Then, twice or thrice a year, she had an international vacation.
So, why not make it a business? The reason behind the name Beyond Escape revolved around being stuck inside the Department of Trade and Industry for registering a new business name. Finally, she decided on Beyond Escape Travel and Tours which was one of the names she was aiming for.
The COVID-19 pandemic hindered a lot of people when it comes to travel. Of course, the ongoing pandemic has affected Jasper’s business as a travel agency.
“I just thought that the pandemic will last for about two months. Then, it became three months. Then, it lasted years. We were badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and a lot of bookings didn’t push through. I remember we were getting ready for the spring season of our Korea and Japan packages that should start around March. Then, the lockdown began.”
“As in, for a year, there weren’t any bookings. We just started to operate again when the Philippines opened its borders. Pa-ticket ticket lang. At the time, quarantine facilities are the only ones that we can book. We also weren’t paying for rent because we transferred to our office at home. Then, our staff worked online and at call centers.”
When asked how they survived during the pandemic, there was a time when she couldn’t do anything.
So, she ventured into selling anything with her friends. Then, she put up an online milk tea business, sold home-cooked dishes, and her Lechon belly became a hit. She also became a plantita, too. Then, her happiness revolved around online selling and called dibs on plants from Mindanao. She even said that if she didn’t do anything at the time, she would have lost her sanity.
“It’s not just about the money, it’s more of uplifting yourself and continuing to hope that things will be back to its proper place in God’s perfect timing.”
Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic, Jasper and Beyond Escape Travel and Tours faced struggles with owning a travel agency.
“Of course, the #1 struggle is the fund. In the new normal, we struggle in adapting to the online world. Kasi ngayon, kailangan online na lahat. So, we are slowly familiarizing ourselves with social media as well as educating our clients with online transactions. It’s hard to convince clients nowadays because they are careful not to be scammed.”
Jasper once told us that “Once you pop, you can’t stop!” When asked about telling a specific story that made her fall in love even more with traveling, that’s what she told us.
“Once you started traveling, gusto mo pa ulit, then isa pa ulit. You would want to visit more destinations on your bucket list.”
One of her favorite local travel destinations – is Boracay.
“Boracay will always be my favorite local destination. It is a paradise for me.”
And, paradise indeed. So, let me tell you about the experience that Village Pipol Magazine had traveling to Boracay with Beyond Escape Travel and Tours.
Golden Phoenix Hotel
Golden Phoenix Hotel Boracay overlooks the Sulu Sea, a beach filled with white sand. It has rooms and suites ranging from relaxed to polished. The hotel also features free Wi-Fi, cabled television, minibars, and safes to keep your things… well, safe. It has an outdoor pool and access to the beach.
Aside from enjoying Boracay, we also did a lot of work where we went to hotels for an ocular visit. One of these hotels we visited is Astoria Current. Located just beside Golden Phoenix Hotel, the hotel’s aesthetic caters to the tastes of the hip and trendy. The vibrant hotel has relaxed rooms brightly colored with decoration. They also provide Wi-Fi, flat-screen televisions, safes, and minifridges, as well as tea and coffeemakers. Some rooms offer direct pool access and can accommodate up to four people. The hotel also has amenities like a fitness room, an outdoor pool, a poolside restaurant, and a beachfront bar.
Taking a sharp turn away from Boracay’s White Beach, you will find what they officially called Bulabog Beach. It’s the back beach, the quiet and windy side of the island. It’s just a ten to fifteen-minute walk or a short trike ride. Passing through unpaved roads, you will know you’re getting closer once the wind becomes stronger. Aside from that, you will also see that it houses the tree that a lot of promotional materials for Boracay use.
A Boracay day tour isn’t complete without visiting the iconic natural attraction. Located at the northeastern part of Boracay island, at the southern end of the Newcoast property, Cujo’s Keyhole features a large opening on a large rock formation that tapers toward the sea. Aside from that, according to a lot of accounts, it looks like a dragon taking a sip of water at certain angles.
According to Megaworld’s website, Boracay Newcoast is an inspiration from the world’s best beach destinations — Miami Beach in Florida and Santorini in Greece. It offers visitors the chance to unwind and relax. It houses an exclusive beach, exclusive villas, and so much more. It currently has three hotels which include Savoy, Belmont, and Chancellor.
On our second day, we went island hopping and visited various beaches and islands. Puka Beach is a serene destination in Boracay. It boasts a white-sand shore, containing bits of coral. Stretching for 800-meters, it is also one of the longest beaches on the island. It has an unspoiled beauty, especially with the tall coconut trees and lush tropical forest.
Aside from visiting the white-sand shore, don’t forget to buy pasalubong from locals, too!
You can also use the offers that they offer like the Crystal Kayak Adventure.
Crocodile Island is situated in the middle of the main island, named after the islet’s resemblance to a crocodile at rest on a sandbar. It is one of the stopovers on the Palaui island hopping tour. We went snorkeling and fish feeding around the island. Aside from Puka Beach and Crocodile Island, there were other islands that were offered. However, we decided not to go.
Mega Paraw ATV Adventure
Before we went on our next adventure, we went to Mega Paraw Restaurant and ate like royalty!
Now, this was a fun one. I’ve always wanted to try this out. And, thankfully, with Beyond Escape Travel and Tours, I finally got to do it. An all-terrain vehicle or ATV is a motorized off-highway vehicle designed to travel on four low-pressure or non-pressure pneumatic tires, having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control. We rode around the tracks specifically made for this adventure. We got muddy and, of course, I loved every second of it.
A huge contrast to the mud-filled adventure we had just an hour ago, we went on a last ocular visit to Movenpick Resort and Spa in Boracay. The place was, indeed, luxurious. The polished resort has upgraded quarters featuring sea views, sitting areas, and can accommodate up to four guests.
Suites add separate bedrooms, kitchenettes, and/or balconies. There is even one villa that has a private pool. There is a stylish eatery, a cafe, and a pool bar. Plus, it has a pub and a pizzeria. Aside from that, it also has a spa, a gym, and an event space. Movenpick also houses the largest outdoor pool in Boracay.
Plus, the sunset is absolutely beautiful.
There is a piece of advice from Miss Jasper Kit Torres-Tablan when it comes to traveling.
“Ang sarap mag-travel. Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t bear in mind that traveling is just for the rich. That’s a big no-no! Ang daming destinations na malapit lang. You don’t need to spend a lot and, of course, andiyan ang mga seat sale that you can grab. Spend more time traveling with your friends and family. Create more memories with them. Life is too short. Let’s enjoy life!”
Aside from advice, she would also like to give a message to their patrons and people who have continued supporting Beyond Escape Travel and Tours.
“Big thanks to all our clients (family, friends, online) who supported us all the way. We appreciate your understanding for the situation we are currently in. We will continue to improve our packages and rates para lahat makapag-travel. See you all on our next escapade!”
Angela Grace P. Baltan has been writing professionally since 2017. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. Aside from that, she has an affinity for writing anything under the sun. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, the LGBTQIA+ community, and mental health among others.