So you run out of Pesos after a night out and you need to draw out more cash from the ATM the next day. How hard can it be?
I had been warned by fellow backpackers, and also from reading guides online such as at Wikitravel, but the problems I encountered with money here in Boracay were just appalling – and it’s supposedly only low season at the moment as I write this! Admittedly, I have spent a little too much money here, mainly because I neglected to budget on food and drink while being hostelled up with a few rowdy colleagues here on Bulabog Beach. Anyway, I am not blaming them! But still, I needed to withdraw some more money, as I knew I would run out before I needed to head back to the airport over at Kalibo. I queued up for over 50 minutes in the slowest moving queue I can ever remember! Anywhere! Even the traffic in Jakarta moves faster than this! It is no way to spend your time on a paradise island by getting stressed out in the glaring sun.
One of the best tips I can give you about how to prepare financially for Boracay is to withdraw more cash than you would think necessary for the duration of your stay on the island. While this may not always be possible for a number of reasons, I still think it is something you should seriously consider. Credit cards and debit card usage on the island is patchy at best, and as far as using them at these ATMs is concerned, probably best avoided unless you like queuing for up to an hour just to withdraw some more Pesos. In addition to this, be warned that money is only restocked at these ATMs every morning, and as such the money runs out pretty quickly on some days, so don’t leave your withdrawal attempt until later on in the evening! And while I’m at it, one of the best tips I can give the authorities here on Boracay is to open up more ATMs, as there is simply not enough on the island at present to cater for the sheer amount of people wanting to use them!
You also need to consider that not every ATM on the island accepts every kind of credit or debit card, so while some may accept Visa, they may not accept MasterCard, and vice-versa. Before you enter a queue to withdraw money at these machines, you had better be sure that it accepts your kind of plastic. Otherwise, that’s potentially a waste of a full hour, which could have been much better spent on White Beach!