Revisiting Boracay

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014


THE amazing island of Boracay never ceased to captivate everyone—young and old, local and foreign tourists, and practically people from all walks of life.

Voted the World’s Best Island Destination by Travel + Leisure magazine in its survey for the 2012 World’s Best Awards, Boracay is famous for its beautiful beaches, powdery white sand, and crystal clear waters.

White Beach, its longest beach, is divided into three sections named after the former boat stations: Station 1, furthest north, is home to luxury resorts. Station 2, in the middle, is a huge commercial hub and home to dozens of shops, restaurants, and hotels. Station 3, furthest south, is much quieter and more relaxed.

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My visit to Boracay last week was my second; the first was in 1997 when it was still ‘young and pristine.’ Back then, going to Boracay was not as easy as today. There was no Jetty Port from Caticlan; people who wanted to take a boat ride only lined up at the shoreline. Upon arrival, travelers go down from the boats and directly get soaked in the Boracay waters.

Back then, there were only a few nipa huts that served as small resorts operated by foreign investors; no high-rise buildings, no high-tech communication facilities and no entertainment activities, except for swimming.

Today, the island is abuzz with many hotels and restaurants, and plenty of day and night activities. The long line of white sand beaches is swamped from sunup to sundown with holidayers who either go swimming, sun-bathing, island-hopping, snorkeling, sky-diving, speed-boating, and a lot more.

But even if all you what to do is sit on the beach, get a drink or two, swim a little and watch the sunset—you will still feel happy and accomplished.

Boracay has definitely transformed from a small community to a large district bustling with economic activities. From the beachfront and up to the higher areas of the island, hundreds of hotels (from 5-star to affordable ones), high-end resorts, bars and restaurants, and business establishments stand side by side.

At nighttime, the island is alive with the sounds of music from entertainment joints filled with tourists who party the night away. Each bar has come up with their unique promotional events to attract the tourists, the most popular of which is the fire-dancing.

Transportation in the island has also become brisk, making it easier for travelers. The impressive Jetty Port in Caticlan serves as the gateway to Boracay Island. I am glad to witness the transformation of the old port to a modern port.

My recent Boracay escapade was made more special because I was with my two daughters, Nicole and CJ, along with the rest of my family who were all first-timers in Boracay, including my niece, Ronalyn Barrios, who came all the way from Toronto, Canada to spend a month’s vacation with us.

We definitely enjoyed our Boracay adventure, and as my little CJ said, “I will be coming back!” (Gerlyn Regalado)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 21, 2014.

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