Boracay Island is a great place for just lazing around. Seven km long, it is only one km wide at its narrowest point. Boracays largest villages or barangays are Yapak, Balabag and ManocManoc. A confusing network of paths and tracks connects them, and several smaller hamlets called sitios, so maps of Boracay can only serve as a general guide. Slightly more than half the 5200 population lives in ManocManoc.
There is a beautiful beach on the west coast with very fine white sand, particularly near Balabag. The water is quite shallow, however. For snorkeling the east coast is better but beware of rips. There are scores of little sandy bays scattered around the island they make an attractive alternative to the everpopular White Beach.
The atmosphere on Diniwid Beach is also pleasant and peaceful, just to the north of White Beach. There are a few places offering inexpensive accommodation there that would cost twice as much at White Beach. Also well worth the visit is the immaculate Punta Beach.
Boracay is also well known for its now very rare gleaming white puka shells, said to be the best in the world. For years puka shells were dug out of the beach at Yapak and then sold. Its already a fait accompli that large masses of land are soon going to be moved in the north of the island. The most important Philippine property developers, Ayala Land, FiIEstate and Primetown Property Group have bought up 205 hectares of land. There they intend to build resorts and housing for the better off; construction on the obligatory golf course is already well under way.
Every day seems to be a holiday on Boracay all you need to do is relax and enjoy yourself. Just get up, make some coffee and decide whether to go sailing, windsurfing or perhaps snorkeling and looking at corals. If youre curious you may get as far as the Caves of the Flying Dogs of Yapak or Bat Caves (admission P20) on the other side of the island, where there are still fishermen who have nothing to do with tourism, except that they too have to pay higher prices in the stores.
For many people, Boracay is the typical Pacific island paradise. Whether this will change in the foreseeable future depends on how much building development goes on. Which will inevitably change the face of the island Out of all recognition. The new slogan seems to be concrete instead of bamboo. Fortunately, so far most architects have succeeded in designing buildings that do not dominate their environment and fit in with the island around them.
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