Boracay: From Pristine Paradise to Unsustainable Tourist Trap?
The post below on Boracay was originally published on my personal Facebook account. Boracay is touted as having one of the best beaches in the world, and yet the place has suffered in recent years due to unabated tourism-related activities that threaten to ruin its paradise-like condition. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has even called Boracay a “cesspool” and warns of closing the entire island if the environmental and sewage problems don’t get resolved very soon.
Frankly, I don’t get businesses who rely on Boracay’s reputation as a top tourist destination and yet neglect to take care of its environment. Boracay businesses have been literally banking on Boracay’s beauty for years. If they ruin its beauty, however, then there won’t be anything left to cash in!!
Boracay in the 1970s
The latest news about Boracay is that it’ll be – temporarily? – closed for tourism if business establishments there don’t adhere to strict sewerage and sanitation standards within 6 months. It reminds me of the time I vacationed in the famed beach back in ’13. The place was indeed as beautiful as advertised. Powder fine white sand, check. Azure waters, check. Spectacular sunset, check.
What marred my personal experience was the fact that it was soooo incredibly overcrowded and commercialized (and to think that we went during the off-peak season). The place was brimming with activity and packed. There were tons of tourists all hours of the day. There were peddlers selling something every few meters or so. I know the latter comes with the territory, but I felt that some of the money-making schemes were ridiculous. Case in point: one time when we paused to admire a sand castle, we were approached by someone requesting for a “donation.” A donation for what, you say? It was a donation for admiring the said castle. #whut
Boracay nowadays (If you think that’s not too bad, wait ’til you hear about the sewage issues.)
That brief incident made me realize how profit superseded all other priorities in the island. Thus, I find it easy to believe the reports about Boracay businesses dumping their wastewater irresponsibly in the ocean. Yup, a lot of resorts in the famed island are said to have improper sewage facilities. Given Boracay’s untrammeled commercial growth, the reports are most probably true!
Overall, Boracay is still an incredibly beautiful travel destination. Plus, the amazing night life there is hop-hop-hoppin’!! 💃🕺🏽💯 If its stakeholders don’t take great care of it, however, this tourist destination will end up losing its innate appeal and charm. 🐠🌴
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Everything in this blog are my personal opinions.
Leave nothing but footprints. Let’s keep our trails, mountains, and beaches safe and clean for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.
Sandcastle image from Pixabay user antonmaster. Facebook embeds from Facebook user Jm Joem and this blog’s Facebook page. Info from CNN Travel, PTV News, the Facebook page Boracay Island, and the official Facebook page of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
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