Back in the 80's, me and my family used to have our beach outings at Boracay Island.Bora at that time was like any other beaches found in Aklan lined with several coconut trees and makeshift nipa cottages along it's unpaved roads. It was also at this time when generous amount of shells adorned the shoreline and well formed corals could be seen from looking aboard a banca at the bottom of the sea or simply snorkeling the shallow waters.
Then came the Emildific presence of Miss Marcos and off she made a coral "abubot" factory at Puca Beach where precious or plain shells were made into elegant "kikay"adornments.She also brought some of her friends and of course they were awed by the beauty of the island and as word of mouth travelled,boracay was labeled to be the hidden paradise in Aklan..and soon tourist were pouring in. I remembered Bora when there were no electricity available at the island and the only source of light at night(aside from the moonlight of course)were these bamboo torches lining the white beach stretch. There were also just a handful number of decent cottages mostly made of indigenous materials which if I would think of right now added more authenticity to the hidden paradise theme projected by the island at that time. Indeed Boracay is a paradise at its own pacing.
Going to Bora in the 80's was an ordeal since you had to endure about 3 hours of rough jeepney ride from kalibo complete with thick dust that powdered every crevices of your face (since cemented roads were still a dream come true back then).Of course now that we have these air conditioned vans and buses, coming to Boracay is a dust free adventure already... but if I look back now, I kind of like missed it when the concrete port is still not there and arriving at Caticlan you would immediately see these motorized boats lining up the shoreline waiting to transport passengers to the coveted island of Boracay.. For me its more errrr.. dramatic. But of course I cannot stop progress and commercialism to take over since Boracay I would admit is a commercial success potential.Many have realized it earlier and even now so to speak a lot of investors are still trying to penetrate the Bora market. Now almost all franchise outfits found in manila could also be found in bora. Bora indeed has become a city of its own genre. Last week I spent time with my family back in Bora.We stayed at a resort called "serendipity". The room cost us 2 grand for one day since according to the owner its off season. If its summer then the room will earn them 4.5 grand.Take a look.. What I like about this resort is the location..its near the public vehicle terminal and it's at the back of d*mall.Of course there were a lot of big hotels and resorts available now but I never dared asked their prices.
As we explored Bora I realized that the only things that has changed were the buildings that are towering the mainland now..As we walked the white stretch of sand the manongs and manangs that are offering assorted services of "boating,island hop,scuba diving,horseback riding,massage,henna tattoo,hair braiding..etc..etc" are still the same.. hoping to make a living, hungry to grab a piece of the action. As we made our last dip at the beach and left our footprints at the white sand I can still feel the same magic that i felt the first time I was at bora.
A lot of people were asking me whats so special about this place? and my answers would always be.. you will know the answers once you get there...