Boracay: Sun-Lovers’ Island Paradise

In the Land of the Ati-Atihans




THOSE WHO have been to this tiny dumbbell-shaped island in the Western Visayas described Boracay in many fluttering and superlative phrases, which of course, it richly deserves.


Travel writers and world travelers who visited the island are all in one in saying Boracay is truly “an island paradise.” Sun lovers and worshippers from Europe, America, Asia and other parts of the world flock to Boracay and keep coming frolicking in the sun on its powdery white beaches from sunrise to sunset.


Boracay was voted twice as “the most beautiful resort island in the world” by travel writers and tourism editors. The Sun Herald of Australia and Harper’s magazine chose Boracay as “the best tropical beach in the world and the perfect island getaway with its warm blue waters, powder-fine white sand and a palm-fringed 4-kilometer beach.” The BMW Tropical Beach Handbook and the British Publication TV Quick in its issue of December 21, 1996 rated Boracay one of the top tropical beaches in the world.


Former US Ambassador to the Philippines Richard Ricciardone cited Boracay as a top tourist destination in the Philippines that must not be missed. Writer Yul Malicse said, “the natural beauty of this internationally famous resort island, its crystal-like waters, natural white sand, trees and the community’s innate hospitality are the major factors that attracted Ambassador Ricciardone and wife Marie and daughters Francesca and Shaira” during their visit to the island in 2003.


Nestor P. Burgos, Jr. of the Inquirer News Service reports that despite the threats of terror attacks and travel advisories by the US, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada which discouraged travel to the Philippines, tourists continue to come to Boracay. It is heartening to note that the bulk of visitors to this island in Aklan, Panay is composed of Filipinos followed by Asians from Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Europeans and North Americans. Of the Asian countries, Korea tops the number of  visitors. We noted this trend during our trip to Cebu and Bohol last December 2005 where most of those who went on packaged tours were Koreans. Like the state of Hawaii, Boracay depends on tourism as its main source of revenues.


How Boracay was discovered and eventually developed into a major tourist destination in the Philippines and the Western Visayas, in particular, is said to be accidental. Boracay would have remained a national secret if not for a few foreign travelers and sun-worshippers who accidentally stumbled upon the island.


According to some accounts, it was a movie crew which spread word about Boracay to other sun- worshippers. Others say it was German traveler Jens Peter’s book, which included rave reviews about Boracay, that sent tourists on their way. Whichever tale is true, Boracay has a become a melting pot for sun-lovers from around the world. Proof of this is, at any point in the island, visitors can hear English, German, French, Spanish and other languages spoken fluently. Many foreigners have even taken residence in Boracay which they consider the sun-lovers’ paradise.


While the province of Bohol in Central Visayas takes pride in its Chocolate Hills and tarsiers, one of the smallest primates in the world, Boracay boasts of its white sand beaches as its primary lure for local and foreign tourists. There are some 30 beaches around the island. Most famous and popular of these beaches is the White Beach, a four-kilometer stretch of powdery white sand, blue shallow waters and fringed with tropical palms located in the west coast of the island between the villages of Angol and Balabag in the province of Aklan in Panay Island.


Yul Malicse reports that island is now practically complete with facilities for visitors. Along the main beach are markets and stores which both sell food, vegetables, canned goods, souvenirs, ornaments, among others. Boracay has a lot of bars, videoke houses, billiard camps, disco houses, and sports facilities for tennis and basketball.



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The White Beach of Boracay is a stretch of 4 kilometers of powdery white sand. This is the favorite beach resort of tourists and local visitors to the island.

Sunsets in Boracay are best viewed from the months of September to November. This is the peak season as more tourists flock to Boracay.

Text Box:         Kumusta! ONLINE  <> www.e-kumusta.com  ■  March-April 2006 Issue

Kumusta! Internet Edition—March-April 2006 Issue

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