Hi Anna! First of, I am a fan of your blog. So being a Filipino travel blogger, this article caught my attention quick. It got me startled.
Whenever I write something bad in my blog, it’s usually out of huge frustration. I actually try not to rant on my blog, unless it is called for. So, being a blogger, I sense that urge for you to release all your frustrations about Boracay, and the Philippines maybe. I am so sorry that you had a lousy time here.
I agree to your points, but I think, the use of the WORST in the title is what got me off. You see, I have been to almost all popular Asian beaches and islands from Sri Lanka to Sihanoukville to Bali. After all my years of traveling, one beach has claimed my BEST BEACH title - the Calaguas in the Pacific side of the Philippines. Others in the BEST LIST include Canggu in Bali, the Phi Phis in Thailand, the Perhentians in Malaysia and the Gilis in Indonesia. So as you can see, I am for the small island but brimming with energy and laid back vibe.
Boracay will always be special to me though. It may not be my best beach, but it will defnitely be my most FAVORITE. And there’s the difference.
I have experienced worse in travelling to Boracay - from 8 hour delayed flights from Manila, reckless bus rides, rained out and wet ferry rides and wild wild tricycle rides. But when I reach White Beach and feel the cld powder white sand engulf my feet, all the curses stop.
And this is the magic of Boracay. Sure it has thousands of Asian tourists, vendors touting you to get a massage or an “activity” from them, loud banging music left and right, expensive food, ladies at the dark waiting for old foreigners to pick them up, fire dancers in every bar and lots and lots of drunken tourists having a good time.
But once you see one of the most gorgeous sunsets in the world, join the early morning beach joggers taking advantage of the serenity of the morning after, sit back in a beachside cafe for breakfast, breathe in the laid back pace of lunch time, play beach volleyball or football with the locals and share stories with them as they take countless of pictures during sunset, every piece of the puzzle falls into place, why Boracay is one of the best beaches in the world (according to Time, TripAdvisor and Conde Nast).
So they may be wrong. Yes they painted a different picture. And the Philippines is still stuggling to be organized in taking care of their tourists. We are still on the off-beaten path after all.
Boracay is not paradise. I give that title to Palawan, to Siquijor, to Caramoan and a thousand other islands and beaches scattered across the country. There, you can sleep all day in a beach hammock with the splash of waves serenading you, until you are awakened by the sun, who is going to bid you with a glorious goodbye.
Someone should have told you about all these things. But I can’t blame you. This is also probably the sentiment of a lot of other visitors to the Philippines. And until we get our act together, we are doomed and our natural beauty will be wasted.
So to all the readers here, Boracay is not the paradise it once was. It is definitely a tourist trap. But for me, it has got to be the best tourist trap in the world.