Boracay – a beach island with an abundance of water activities, foreign tourists, buffet dining, shishas, live band of different musical genres on almost every establishment, and environmental patrol men (an entourage of government staff, police, and military men complete with guns and all).
Since its re-opening after its rehabilitation, the locals have been very strict in making sure Boracay stays a paradise. A couple found to be drinking liquor at the beach was reprimanded and was asked to pay Php 1,500. Yes, that’s how strict they are now.
I would have to say Boracay has improved. It’s much cleaner and there are relatively fewer people. No more fire dancing, loud music, and parties that last till daybreak. The beach front has been pushed back from the water to comply with the 30-meter easement rule. They also limited the number of tourists coming in, around 19,000 at any given day (I’m not sure how that can be monitored, though).
I see the charm the island has. Why it’s still a sought after travel destination. You have the lovely beach with fine, white sand and the crystal clear turquoise water (no more green moss), complemented by the party vibe. Younger crowds may not like it as much since it’s tamer and less wild but titos (uncles) like me prefer this.
There are still a lot to be done like drainage and road works but this is a good start. Even affected locals agree that the Boracay closure was worth it. This also sets an example for other tourist sites to be mindful of the environment.
Nature has a way of healing itself if we allow it to. I just hope this won’t be a case of ningas cogon where we eventually revert back to how it was. In which case, we haven’t learned anything at all.