Boracay is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Metro. The island marries the natural beauty of the tropics (the blue sea, white sand, and captivating beaches), the booming commerce, and the urban nightlife. All of these combine to create a unique and unforgettable experience for tourists on arguably the best beach in Asia.
However, the Boracay of today only tells part of the story. Back then, the Philippines’ premier tropical destination wasn’t always bursting with visitors and hardly had any commercial establishments along the beachfront. And while Boracay seems like a haven now, the irresponsibility of some of the businesses endanger the island from degradation in the long run.
Below is a quick look at how Boracay was before, is now, and will be soon.
Past: A paradise lost
These pictures of Boracay that were shot in April 1979 run in high contrast to what it is today. The lack of people along the shore aside from the locals there points to underdeveloped tourism. The proud resorts on the island are humble bungalow huts. A forest behind the beachfront thickened by coconut trees as far as the eyes can see.
While tourism isn’t booming per se, the trademark white sand and blue waters that Boracay has been known for was present and remain intact until today. Also, the absence of boats transferring tourists from one island to another has kept the waters free from algae and debris. Boracay’s past may not be for everyone’s enjoyment, but it is arguably its peak period if natural beauty is concerned.
Present: The best island in the world
Boracay has always been beautiful but it simply lacked the proper tourism programme to spread the word about its tropical wonders. Fast forward to the present, Boracay is one of the most popular beaches in the world. Much has been said about White Beach Boracay and we won’t say anything new here. But just so you know, it is one of the world’s top destinations for relaxation and was awarded as the best island in the world by Travel + Leisure in 2012.
Future: Conservation is key
Boracay tourism comes at a price. Because of the many businesses that have set up shop on the island to capitalise on the island’s popularity, proper waste management is not being observed. Worse, vendors are establishing their business too close to the shore. Whether this is ignorance or irresponsibility on the part of the business owner is unclear.
What is clear, however, is that Boracay is taking the necessary steps to conserve its natural beauty by decrease carbon footprint and promoting sustainable tourism through the Boracay Initiative.
Have you been to Boracay before it became a popular tourist destination? Do you agree that it’s one of the best beaches in the world at the moment? Do you feel that Boracay is taking enough action to maintain and sustain its natural beauty? Share your thoughts by commenting below!