Now that this masterpiece of an island paradise has finally reopened, let us do our part and be good stewards. Let us stay on guard in keeping the environment clean and green.
Boracay Do’s and Don’ts
Below are the do’s and don’ts when visiting Boracay:
Do dispose your garbage properly
Do smoke on the designated smoking areas
Do avoid using single use plastic bags instead use an eco bag
Do use public rest room, toilet or lavatory
Do all establishment maintain the cleanliness on their respective areas
Don’t litter on the beach and in other public areas
Don’t smoke on the beach and in other public areas
Don’t extract or collect sand and pebbles in the beach areas
Don’t carry or clutch glass bottles or any beverages in the beach areas
Don’t urinate or defecate in any public place
The above are Municipal Ordinances. Anyone caught doing what is not allowed by law will be dealt with accordingly by the authorities with corresponding fines and penalties. There are roving police officers and marshals. Hence, it is in your best interest to just follow the law while enjoying Boracay.
Drone flying is also prohibited unless authorization has been sought by the drone operator.
From the airport, go DIY and proceed to the tricycle queue just across Caticlan Airport. I shared a tricycle ride with Riczi Dio whom I just met at the queue. Tricycle fare is Php 50 per person. You can also rent the whole tricycle by your lonesome. You just need to pay Php 100.
The number of tourists allowed to enter the island is limited and monitored. Ensure that you have your hotel voucher with you upon registration at the Caticlan Jetty Port. If you are traveling with family or friends who will be staying with you in your hotel room, make sure that their names are listed on the hotel voucher as well.
Once verified, proceed to the counter to pay the following:
Pump boat fare Php 25
Terminal fee Php 100
Environmental fee Php 75
The boat ride from Caticlan Port to Cagban Port was smooth and only took twenty minutes. At the Cagban Port, Riczi and I shared another tricycle ride for Php 120 or Php 60 per person to bring us to Boracay D’Mall where we would go our separate ways. E-trikes are also available. Fare is Php 20 per head. The tricycle ride from Cagban Port to D’Mall took about thirty minutes versus the usual fifteen minutes because of slow traffic and ongoing road and drainage constructions.
The New Boracay
I stayed in Boracay for eleven days, probably the longest I have ever been on an island. Why? Well, simply because I fell in love with the place again. Despite the ongoing road construction and establishment repairs, it seemed that everything was in its proper place. It felt like the Boracay I first saw way back in the early days. But then again, this is me. Some like it wild and cluttered. I like it serene and clean.
I had a chance to talk to Tita Connie, owner of Red Coconut Hotel. She has been living on the island since 1982. She shared that after six months of closure, Boracay now looks like the Boracay of the 1990s. She feels sad though that the locals had to suffer the brunt of the closure. There was practically no business going on on the island for six months. But she believes that the closure was necessary to save Boracay from being a cesspool. I have spoken to a number of locals as well and they all feel the same thing. After six months of rest, they are now more than ready to welcome tourists on the island.
Yes! No more bed mats or umbrellas near the shore. No clutter. All beach front properties have to follow the 25+5-meter no-build zone. This means that there should be no private structures built within the 30-meter easement between the shore and the beachfront property.
One afternoon, I went jogging from Station Two to Station One. It was only a day after typhoon #Rosita and I noticed that the strong waves brought by habagat (south wind) have pushed ashore a number of garbage.
On the beach of Station One, I found a big ziploc plastic bag. I picked it up. After a few steps, I saw candy and Rebisco wrappers. I picked them up and put them in the ziploc bag. Then, I saw one and yet another trash. Picked them up and placed them in the bag. Not soon enough, the big ziploc bag was already full of plastic trash I picked up from the shores of Station One.
Near Station Two, I saw an empty sack. I placed the already full ziploc bag inside and continued my way picking trash. By the time I reached the front of our hotel, my sack was already heavy and full of plastic garbage. I gave the sack of garbage to the hotel staff for disposal.
I felt proud of myself because I was able to contribute in my own little way in cleaning the newly reopened Boracay. So when you do get to visit Boracay or any of our beautiful islands, please be responsible and leave no trash behind. I was guilty of it in the past.
I also hope that more trash bins are installed in Stations One and Two like the ones donated by The Juan Effect of Cebu Pacific Air in Stations Two and Three.
Kudos also to the staff / volunteers of Department of Environment and Natural Resources for regularly collecting trash on the beautiful beach of Boracay.
I will be back very soon. Booked my tickets already for February 2019. I might be back even before that though. And when I do, I hope to see the same, if not better, Boracay.
Remember to never stop exploring the world one story at a time. Signing out for now. Peace!