Boracay. Ever since my first visit to the island, I found it to be too ‘tourist-y’ for my taste. Having grown up in Thailand where beaches usually involved cheap everythings, going to an island where trinkets and other items were overpriced was kind of a letdown for me.
Ever since I moved to Manila, though, I realized that Boracay is a convenient escape for my busy city life. And whenever I need a few days off, but don’t really have the luxury to go on a full-blown vacation overseas; Boracay has always been my go-to destination. In fact, I just went there a couple of weeks ago to get away from life in Manila for a while.
It is no secret that a ton of tourists flock to the place, though, and that the island has become quite busy, noisy, and overcrowded in the process. As such, the Department of Interior and Local Government decided to come up with ways to rehabilitate Boracay. Earlier this month, they recommended a temporary shutdown of establishments on the island with hopes of restoring Boracay to the paradise that it once was.
As of writing this article, there is still no official statement as to how the rehabilitation will be done or how long it will take; but it is clear that not everybody is ecstatic about one of the initial plans to close down the island for six whole months. While there are some business owners that are calmly accepting the thought of the closure and calling it a ‘long vacation’; other business owners are dreading it. After all, tourists bring in a ton of the annual revenues of the businesses on the island.
One of the most recent recommendations by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry is to go through three phases of rehabilitation, where one major entry point of Boracay is closed off per phase (the three entry points being Cagban Jetty Port, Punta Bunga, and Lapuz-Lapuz Beach). This way, the island can be restored in phases, and businesses and employees won’t be as affected for a long period of time.
Boracay isn’t the only island in Asia in need of rehabilitation. Maya Bay in Thailand, where Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie ‘The Beach’ was filmed, will also be shut down for rehabilitation after it was discovered that its coral reefs and sea life have practically disappeared.
What do you think should be done?