“While the dress code still skews beach style — de rigueur flip-flops, loose Hawaiian shirts — at least one woman in stiletto heels was trying her best to navigate the sandy boardwalk. The influx of visitors has even prompted a “Bor-a-CAY please, not Bora” campaign among natives, a gentle jab at those who truncate the island’s name”

“In the Philippines, the next Phuket”
by Lionel Beehner, The New York Times

When I was young, my ultimate summer destination was the island of Boracay.
I’ve heard over and over again on how the island defined the idea of paradise, so I vowed that one day I will go there… and that I will bring my parents along while they are young, so that they could also experience the beauty of Boracay.

from the VisitBoracay website

As luck would have it, I found work as the PR person for an inter-island shipping company. One of our biggest projects was the launch of the Boracay Funship which will bring a cheaper means of travel to the much-covered summer destination down south. Finally, I had a chance to fulfill my dream.

How could I describe seeing something so beautiful for the first time? I probably couldn’t. But I never forgot what I was wearing, the things I did that day, where I ate, what I bought. Boracay was like paradise, only much better. Never mind that everything’s over-priced and that there were obscene amount of people everywhere. It’s hard not to bump into someone that you know from the city. And then I came back for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th time, and finally got the chance to bring the parents along on my 5th visit.
But by the eight and final visit in a span of four years, I found myself falling out of love on the island paradise I used to dream about.

Could it be the way some people annoyingly call it “Bora”? (Hey, I’ll see you in Bora over the summer right?) Or how you couldn’t miss bumping into drunk merrymakers along the White Beach by 1AM? Or the way resorts and restaurants fight over the minimal air space by playing hellish club music until the wee hours of the morning? Or was it the high cost of almost everything? Or that summer in Boracay evokes Divisoria during Christmas sale? But by the eight and final time of visit–I was ready to take a break from the island.

Don’t get me wrong, it was and still is the most breath-taking beach for me, and its sunset–the best sunset in the world, in my opinion. But maybe, like two lovers in need of a break from each other, Boracay and I would meet again one day.


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