Boracay is by default a haven of thrilling coastal activities complementing the tranquil vibe in the hotels and resorts. But year-round, several Boracay festivals and events—most coinciding the peak seasons—take place on the island, drawing more tourists who want to enjoy the beautiful beaches and witness the extra spice at the same time.
The island of Boracay entertains tourists in ushering in the New Year just like a renowned tourist attraction must do. Colorful fireworks are set off in the last minutes of December 31 to welcome New Year, and the island parties until the early hours of January 1 morning. This celebration is followed by sand-building contests on the beaches.
Boracay’s version of Aklan’s Ati-Atihan on the second Sunday of January wows foreigners with the motley-colored bodily decorations of the dancers grooving to the beat of perky music. Ati-Atihan on Boracay is participated by personnel in resorts and hotels who parade their painted faces and outlandish costumes while hailing to the Santo Nino image. Those who want to attend the mass head to the mainland in Aklan to thank Jesus for the gifts bestowed to them. This Philippine Mardi Gras is a week-long celebration.
Boracay Food Festival
From the 11th to the 13th of May, Boracay overflows with national and local food. This is one of the Boracay events that is highly anticipated, as it showcases the Filipinos’ delicacies to foreigners. The main highlight of the festival is a cooking competition where chefs and naturally good cooks compete to create the most delicious impromptu dish. Aside from tasting a wide variety of food, participants also dance to lively music electrifying the three-day festivity.
Boracay International Beach Festival
October is a bustling month not only for the continuous drove of tourists but also for the island-wide festival meant to showcase Boracay’s beauty and lifestyle. During this event, towns present their own interpretation of their lifestyle, among a diverse list of activities. Among all Boracay festivals, this one packs everything in, from dancing to music to food and beach activities.
Boracay International Funboard Cup
Since 1988, this sporting event held for six days in late January has attracted locals and tourists who celebrate together Boracay’s quality as a great destination for water and wind activities. Surfers and boarders for the various events battle it out to win prizes sponsored by concerned organisations. The Cup is also a reminder for maintaining the island, and during the event, efforts to lessen the environmental impact of tourism—voluntary trash collection, banning of bottled water, etc.—are conducted. The awarding ceremony for the Cup is followed by a closing party, which participants and island tourists can join in.
Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival
The first half of May makes way for rowers from different parts of the globe. The Dragon Boat Festival includes competitions for teams of men, women, and mixed rowers who race to the finish line using a dragon-inspired, 15-meter-long boat. A pre-event exhibition of the island’s native paraw sailboat is held to warm the air of excitement, and during the event, the entire island bubbles with tourists—even celebrities—as well as vendors. The food feast afterward is great appeasement for tired participants hungry for victory.
Boracay Invitational Golf Tournament
Fairways and Bluewater Resort hosts this professional golf competition in Boracay every first week of April. This is an invitation-based event where experienced golfers and golfing enthusiasts get to play or witness balls fly through the air into the 18 holes spread over the preened course.
International Paraw Cup Challenge
Combining a cultural and sports event in one, the International Paraw Cup Challenge showcases the skills of locals in steering the native outrigger boats of the Philippines in the surrounding waters of Boracay. This race is a huge spectacle for locals and foreigners alike, as there several activities that take place before this event. The Cup, conducted from January to February, is the local government’s way of promoting kayaking on the island.