What’s up with Boracay?

I hear that one needs to stay in the Shangri La or some other posh resort to enjoy Boracay nowadays. Back in the days when the island was just a sleepy paradise, roughing it up in a rinky-dink hut or no-frills inn was the way to go. Is the spirit of beach combing the way it was portrayed by Leonardo di Caprio in the film The Beach dead in the Philippines? Are Filipinos quite simply habitual point missers?

Is this progress?

11 Replies to “What’s up with Boracay?”

  1. Apparently not. Maybe they’ve overcommercialized the place. Even worse, are horde after horde of Filipinos who mess up the place every time they go to the island.

  2. Boracay is a huge disappointment — overcrowded, dirty, noisy, the airport at Caticlan is a joke. I’ve not met one foreign tourist (although I admit that is probably an unscientifically small sample) who has not been utterly turned off by their visit to “the Philippines’ best beach.”

  3. I frequented Boracay in the early 80’s when there was just a few who knew about it. Locals called it a “virgin island”. Sunbathers went topless since there really wasn’t much people around. There was no electricity back then, just gas lamps and nipa huts as cottages. The sand was white as snow. Unlike the sand today. In the late 80’s, it was on it’s way to full blown commercialization. I was surprised with the tricycles, the stores and later on buildings by the beach. Nakakapanghinayang lang talaga.

  4. Remove 99% of the people in that picture and it looks a lot like the north luzon coast and I’m sure others could fill in their favorite island, stretch of water etc. It is all here waiting to be exploited.

  5. Back in the early nineties, *real* backpackers used to go to Boracay and these were the real deals — as in they actually lived off their backpacks once they got there.

  6. Is the spirit of beach combing the way it was portrayed by Leonardo di Caprio in the film The Beach dead in the Philippines?

    After what happened at Dos Palmas, pretty much. 😉

  7. So much coastline, so many beautiful beaches. One just has to be willing to get away from the trampling hordes, and be willing to subscibe to a bum’s attitude that air conditioning is obscene and a good cold San Mig is heaven.

  8. I rather visit Batanes. That place is so underrated which is a good thing since it’s not too crowded like Boracay. Besides, I read an article about the mayor of Batanes said that they don’t want to turn it like Boracay because it’ll just ruin its beauty. Too bad the airline fare to that place is so expensive since Seair is the only airline flying there and monopolizing it. I mean 6K for just a one-way, 2 hour, no meal trip.

  9. Among the things I dislike about Philippine tourism are (other than our inability to promote, market and cater itself globally):

    1) When they commercialize a place, they overdo it, hence ruining the very stuff that made it popular in the first place!

    2) They don’t know how to maintain their tourist attractions well enough unlike our neighbors. Many tourist infrastructure and attractions we have tends to decay and/or deteriorate.

    Will come back more when I can recall what other gripes I have with our tourist industry!

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