by Chris Chew I was captivated by several respected travel magazines claiming that Boracay island resort in the Philippines has one of the best beaches in the world, I wasted no time in traveling to this island resort to experience what many claimed is a tropical island paradise.
Boracay island is a lush tropical tourist resort about 200 miles south of Philippine's capital of Manila and is about slightly more than a mile off the northwest of Panay in the West Visayas province. Because of its acclaimed publicity of being home to some of the best beaches in the world, Boracay island resort is naturally one of the Philippine 's most popular tourist attraction.
The island is made up by the barangays of Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak and is under the administration of the Philippine Tourism Authority. A barangay is also known by its former name, the barrio and is the smallest local government unit in Philippines. The word is a Tagalog term for a village or constituency.
Boracay island was originally the home of the Ati tribe before it became a major tourist attraction. Not surprisingly, the word Boracay is derived from words Bora which means 'bubble' and Bukay means 'white sand'. However, the sand on the main island is not as white as I have expected due to too many tourists and pollutions. Then again, if you visit some of the nearby islands and you will be fascinated by how white the sands on the beaches can be.
Boracay island is part of Aklan Province and it was only in the 1970s that tourism industry started to develop. The main tourism beaches on the island are the White Beach and the Bulabog Beach both of which are located on diametrically opposite sides of the island 's central area with the White Beach facing towards the west and Bulabog Beach facing east. Of course, Boracay also have several other beaches as well.
White Beach is well known for its white powdery sand and hence its name. The beach is slightly over 4 km long (2 miles) and is populated with numerous beach resorts, hotels, restaurants and shops catering to the needs of tourists staying in the area.
Incidentally, Borocay has more than 300 beach resorts with more than 2,000 rooms ranging from stylish five-star hotels and resorts to budget accommodations for backpackers. Golfers will be delighted to know that Boracay is home to a world-class 18-hole par 72 golf course.
Bulabog Beach, across the island from White Beach is a secondary tourism beach. This beach is a favorite location for windsurfing and kiteboarding because of its seasonal strong winds for these activities.
When is the best time to visit Boracay? Well, you can visit Boracay anytime, however some visitors may wish to visit the island resort for different purposes.
Catch the spectacular world-famous Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival in January. This festival is Philippine 's version of the Mardi Gras which is celebrated on the third week of every January.
If you just want to enjoy the beaches and the sea, then visit Boracay during the 'Amihan' season. This is during northeast monsoon season in the months of March to May when trade wind is at its strongest which is very suitable for activities like sailing, big game fishing, scuba diving, wind surfing and kite-boarding.
The months of June to September are considered off-peak season, however budget conscious tourists and backpackers consider this as the best time to visit Boracay as prices for everything are at its lowest and there are few competition for that precious white sand beach turf to plonk yourself on to enjoy the sun.
October marks the beginning of another peak season. As from October to December, the weather is cool and major sports events are usually held at this time of the year.
If you are thinking of taking a vacation holiday in the Philippines, do head for the tropical paradise island of Boracay.