The Philippines - Dream Island and the Dark Side of Tourism
The island itself has no airport. The aircraft land on the neighboring island of Caticlan, and on Boracay, tourists are taken by boat from the port. The center of a small island is White Beach - and as the name suggests, there is really beautiful white sand. The beach is 4 kilometers long and for better orientation is divided into 3 parts (stations 1, 2 and 3). Along the beach there are a lot of hotels, restaurants and bars that live a lively life. During the day, the locals build beautiful sand castles and earn money by letting them photograph their work.
The influx of tourists, however, also has its downside, so in 2018 the government took a sharp step and closed the island for tourists for six months. The local environment was almost destroyed. The sewage system did not work and all the waste went to the sea. When we arrived to Boracay, the sea was full of green algae. Now it is said to be clean again. Newly, the island is also not allowed to drink or smoke on the beaches, casinos closed. The number of flights and accommodation capacity also decreased.
On the island you can visit other beaches. Bulabog Beach in the east is very windy, so there is a sea full of surfers. On the north Puka Shell Beach you will find more peace, because there are not so many people. The sunset is very nice. In the northwest of the island there are several other beaches, but these are mostly private and belong to the hotels that stand here.
But Boracay is not just an island for partying and lying on the beach. You can hire a cruise ship to visit nearby islets or take a lookout at Mt. Luho, from where you can see almost the entire island. But do not be fooled - the mountain is at an altitude of about 100 meters above sea level. Also known is the statue of the Virgin Mary, located on Willy‘s Rock, White Beach (station 1). It is good to head to this place at low tide, when you can easily get to the rock. At high tide, it is cut off from the mainland.
Snorkeling or caves are available to explore the islands around. For adrenaline lovers, a boat trip to Ariel‘s point is a good choice. The voyage takes about 45 minutes and you can jump from various jumps, snorkel or go kayaking.
Boracay is known to either love him or hate him. After the closure of the island and major changes that will limit massive tourism, Boracay gained a completely different atmosphere. But let us believe that better and that the Filipinos can preserve this wonderful piece of nature for generations to come.
Text and photos: Jana Hejlová
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