Scenes from Boracay

A regular visitor to this beach paradise shares the sights he's seen over the years.

By Abet Lagula
November 01, 2010

No stranger to Boracay's charms (both the current ones and those of yesteryear), Abet Lagula reflects on how the island has changed over the years. He shares his thoughts (and images) about what to do and what to see when visiting.

Just off the northwest tip of Panay in Western Visayas lies a small island, one that was virtually unknown to the world 30 years ago. To visit, one has to take an hour-long flight from Manila to reach the quiet town of Kalibo, then ride a van and travel for another hour to reach the port of Caticlan. From Caticlan, the curious visitor then has to be carried by boat to the island (a 20 minute ride) before he can begin to experience what this place has in store: crystal clear blue waters, powdery fine white sand dusting beaches that stretch for kilometers. What used to be a place of solitude for lonely backpackers is an island now known the world over as paradise: Boracay.

Boracay’s popularity has soared to great heights, its accessibility further improved by the availability of direct flights from Manila to Caticlan, so much so that the concept of strolling along a quiet beach is now beginning to be a thing of the past. In place of the quiet beach are more people, crowded infrastructure, and lively parties which last well into the night. Old visitors reminisce about the times they had the island to themselves during what they think of as the island's best (but now past) years, while the younger generations hail Boracay as the best party place on earth. All these changes in the island may have created a whole host of both followers and critics, but one thing remains true: Boracay is still among the Philippines’ most precious gems.

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