From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Boracay Island)
Jump to: navigation, search
Boracay Island, Philippines - panoramio.jpg
White Beach, Boracay
Boracay is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates 11°58′8″N 121°55′26″E / 11.96889°N 121.92389°E / 11.96889; 121.92389Coordinates: 11°58′8″N 121°55′26″E / 11.96889°N 121.92389°E / 11.96889; 121.92389
Archipelago Visayas
Adjacent bodies of water
Area 10.32 km2 (3.98 sq mi)
Highest elevation 100 m (300 ft)
Highest point Mount Luho
Region Western Visayas
Province Aklan
Municipality Malay
  • Balabag
  • Manoc-Manoc
  • Yapak
Population 28,369 [1] (2010)
Pop. density 1,163 /km2 (3,012 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups

Boracay is a small island in the Philippines located approximately 315 km (196 mi) south of Manila and 2 km off the northwest tip of Panay Island in Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Boracay Island and its beaches have received awards from numerous travel publications and agencies.[Note 1] The island comprises the barangays of Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak in the municipality of Malay, in Aklan Province. The island is administered by the Philippine Tourism Authority and the provincial government of Aklan. Apart from its white sand beaches, Boracay is also famous for being one of the world's top destinations for relaxation.[11][12] It is also emerging among the top destinations for tranquility and nightlife.[13]

Boracay was awarded as the 2012 best island in the world from the international travel magazine Travel + Leisure.[14][15] In 2014, the resort island was at the top of the Best Islands in the World list published by the international magazine Condé Nast Traveler.[16] In 2016, Boracay headed the magazine's list of Top 10 destinations to watch .[17]


The name Boracay is attributed to different origins. One story says that it is derived from the local word "borac" which means white cotton with characteristics close to the color and texture of Boracay's white sugary and powdery sand. Another credits the name to local words "bora," meaning bubbles, and "bocay," meaning white. Yet another version dating back to the Spanish era says the name is derived from "sagay," the word for a shell, and "boray," the word for seed.[18]


Pre-colonial period[edit]

Boracay was originally home to the Ati people. Boracay Island was already an inhabited place before the Spaniards came to the Philippines. It was known to the Iberian conquerors as Buracay. At the time of contact with the Europeans, Buracay had a population of one hundred people, who cultivated rice on the island and augmented their income by raising goats.[19]

Contemporary period[edit]

Boracay is part of Aklan, which became an independent province on April 25, 1956.[20][21][22]

In around 1900, a certain Sofía Gonzáles Tirol and her husband Lamberto Hontiveros Tirol, a town judge on the Panay mainland, took ownership of substantial properties on the island, and planted coconuts, fruit trees, and greenery. Others followed the Tirols, and cultivation and development of the island gradually spread.[23]

Tourism came to the island beginning sometime in the 1970s.[24][25] The movie Too Late the Hero was filmed in 1970 on locations in Boracay and Caticlan.[26] In the 1980s, the island became popular as a budget destination for backpackers.[20] By the 1990s, Boracay's beaches were being acclaimed as the best in the world.[27]

In 2012, the Philippine Department of Tourism reported that Boracay had been named the world's second best beach after Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands.[28]


Location of Boracay above Panay Island.
Puka Beach on the northern shore of Boracay

Boracay Island is located off the northwest corner of Panay Island, and belongs to the Western Visayas island-group, or Region VI, of the Philippines. The island is approximately seven kilometers long, dog-bone shaped with the narrowest spot being less than one kilometer wide, and has a total land area of 10.32 square kilometers.

South-facing Cagban Beach is located across a small strait from the jetty port at Caticlan on Panay island, and the Cagban jetty port serves as Boracay's main entry and exit point during most of the year. When wind and sea conditions dictate, east-facing Tambisaan Beach serves as an alternative entry and exit point.[29] Boracay's two primary tourism beaches, White Beach and Bulabog Beach, are located on opposite sides of the island's narrow central area. White Beach faces westward and Bulabog Beach faces eastward. The island also has several other beaches.

White Beach, the main tourism beach, is about four kilometers long and is lined with resorts, hotels, lodging houses, restaurants, and other tourism-related businesses. In the central portion, for about two kilometers, there is a footpath known as the Beachfront Path separating the beach itself from the establishments located along it. North and south of the Beachfront Path, beachfront establishments do literally front along the beach itself. Several roads and paths connect the Beachfront Path with Boracay's Main Road, a vehicular road which runs the length of the island. At the extreme northern end of White Beach, a footpath runs around the headland there and connects White Beach with Diniwid Beach.

Bulabog Beach, across the island from White Beach, is the second most popular tourism beach on the island and Boracay's main windsurfing and kiteboarding area.

Boracay is divided for land use and conservation purposes into 400 hectares of preserved forestland and 628.96 hectares of agricultural land.[30][31][32][33][34][35]


Climate data for Boracay (Malay, Aklan, Aug 2016-Jul 2017)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29
Average low °C (°F) 29
Average rainfall mm (inches) 333
Average rainy days 31 24 26 15 22 28 26 19 23 30 30 31 305
Source: World Weather Online[36]
Map of Boracay Island.

Weather in Boracay is generally divided into two seasonal weather patterns known locally as the Amihan and Habagat seasons. In the Visayan language, Amihan means a cool northeast wind, and Habagat means west or southwest wind; southwest monsoon.[37] The Amihan season is characterized by moderate temperatures, little or no rainfall, and a prevailing wind from the northeast. The Habagat season is characterized by hot and humid weather, frequent heavy rainfall, and a prevailing wind from the west.[38]

On Boracay, the main indicator of the switch between the Amihan and Habagat seasonal patterns is the switch in wind direction. In most years this transition is abrupt and occurs overnight. In some years there is a period of perhaps a week or two where the wind will switch between Amihan and Habagat patterns several times before settling into the pattern for the new season. As a rule of thumb, Boracay will be in the Amihan weather pattern from sometime in October to sometime in June and in the Habagat weather pattern for the remainder of the year.[39]

Daytime temperatures on Boracay generally range from 77–90 °F (25–32 °C) from the beginning of the Amihan season into February or March, and increase to the 82–100 °F (28–38 °C) range with the onset of the Habagat season.[40] During Tropical Storm periods, temperatures can fall below 68 °F (20 °C). Tropical Storms can impact Boracay at any time of year, but are most likely to be seen during the Habagat season.[41]


The White Beach in Boracay

Partly because of its wind and weather patterns, tourism in Boracay is at its peak during the amihan season (start from September or October and ends sometime in May or June). During amihan, the prevailing wind blows from the east. Boracay's main tourism area, White Beach, is on the western side of the island and is sheltered from the wind. During the Amihan season, the water off White Beach is often glassy-smooth. On the eastern side of the island, hills on the northern and southern ends of the island channel the Amihan season wind from the east onshore, onto Bulabog Beach in the central part of the island's eastern side. This makes the reef-protected waters off that beach relatively safe[42] and ideal for scuba diving, windsurfing, and kiteboarding / kitesurfing.

In June 2011, it was reported that Megaworld Corporation, a real estate development group led by Andrew Tan had earmarked PHP20 billion to develop tourism estates "featuring an integrated, master-planned layout and world-class resort offerings and amenities" in Boracay and Cavite. The planned Boracay project, Boracay Newcoast, involves four hotels with 1,500 rooms, a plaza and an entertainment center.[43]

Leisure activities[edit]

Paraws used for paraw sailing

Leisure activities available on or near Boracay include horseback riding, scuba diving, diving helmet, snorkeling, windsurfing, kiteboarding, cliff diving, parasailing.

Boracay is the site of an 18-hole par 72 golf course designed by Graham Marsh.[44] In addition, as of 2010, Boracay has in excess of 350 beach resorts offering more than 2,000 rooms ranging in quality from five-star to budget accommodation.[45] In addition, Boracay offers a wide range of restaurants, bars, pubs, and nightclubs.

A landmark natural rock formation, Willy's Rock, juts prominently directly in front of Willy's Beach Resort.


Boracay is one competitive venue for the Asian Windsurfing Tour,[46] with the week-long Boracay International Funboard Cup competition usually held in January on Bulabog Beach. In 2010, the event dates are January 25 – 31.[47] CNNGo, a division of CNN focused on travel/lifestyle/entertainment, selected the Boracay International Funboard Competition on the weekend of January 22–24 as one of its 52 weekend recommendations for 2010.[48]

Dragon boat races are held annually on Boracay under the auspices of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation, with teams coming from around the Philippines and from other Asian nations to compete. The races usually take place sometime in April or May. The 2012 Boracay Edition of the PDBF International Club Crew Challenge to is scheduled for April 26–28, 2012.[49]

The Boracay Open Asian Beach Ultimate Tournament, an ultimate frisbee event, has been held annually since 2003, usually in March or April.[50]

Asian Games Centennial Festival[edit]

Boracay will host a special multi-sport event called the Asian Games Centennial Festival. On its 31st General Assembly in Macau, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has decided to create the Asian Games Centennial Festival in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Oriental Games (later became Far Eastern Championship Games).[51] OCA has awarded the Philippines the hosting rights as it was the same host 100 years ago in the first Far Eastern Championship Games held in Manila. The Asian Games Centennial Festival was to be held in Boracay on November 2013.[52] However, due to Typhoon Haiyan, it was postponed to January 17, 2014, at the Sofitel Plaza in Manila.[53] The 32nd OCA General Assembly was to be held in conjunction with the games.

Philippine Swimming League[edit]

On April 27, 2014, the Philippine Swimming League was held at Boracay Island for their open water swim after the competition in Aklan Sports Complex in Makato, Aklan. Many swimming teams joined the competition including Aklan Swimming Club based in Kalibo, Aklan and John B. Lacson Swimming Team which it is based in Iloilo City.[citation needed]


The first settlers of Boracay were a Negrito people called the Ati, and who spoke a Visayan language called Inati.[54] Later settlers brought other languages to the island, including Aklanon (as Boracay is part of Aklan province), Hiligaynon (Ilonggo), Kinaray-a, Capiznon, other Visayan languages, Filipino, and English.

The well-known Ati-Atihan Festival takes place each January in Kalibo on nearby Panay Island. A much smaller Ati-Atihan festival is celebrated on Boracay, usually in the second or third week of January.[citation needed]


The tricycle functions like taxis and are the primary mode of transportation in Boracay

Boracay island is separated from Panay island by a narrow strait. The island is located opposite the barangay of Caticlan in the municipality of Malay, Aklan. Transportation across the strait is provided by boats operating from the Caticlan jetty port.

Boracay is served by two airports in Aklan: the Kalibo International Airport and Godofredo P. Ramos Airport commonly referred to as the Caticlan airport.

The western part of the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) passes through Caticlan, with car ferries from Roxas, Oriental Mindoro docking at the Caticlan jetty port. Several bus companies operate provincial bus routes from Manila which pass through Caticlan via the SRNH.

2GO, the largest ferry company in the Philippines, offers regular overnight passenger and cargo service between Batangas City and Caticlan.[55]

The two main modes of transport are via motor-tricycles along the main road or by walking along the beaches. Pedicabs, known as sikads, are also available along the Beachfront Path. Other means of transportation include mountain bikes, quadbikes and motorbikes, all of which can be rented.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Some awards and rankings for Boracay are:
    • Boracay is among the "Most Beautiful Beaches in the Philippines"[2]
    • Boracay was awarded in the "Travelers' Choice 2011" by TripAdvisor as the second best beach (out of 25) in the world.[3][4][5]
    • Boracay made a debut appearance on the Top 10 Islands list in the Travel + Leisure travel magazine World's Best Awards 2011, ranking fourth.[6][7][8]
    • In 2012, Boracay was named as the best island in the world by Travel + Leisure[9]
    • Named as the 2014 Best Beach in Asia (TripAdvisor)[10]


  1. ^ "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-11-15. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Top 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in the Philippines". Philpad - an Online Filipino Magazine - Filed under Travel. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  3. ^ "TripAdvisor Announces 2011 Travelers' Choice Beaches Awards". 
  4. ^ "Best Beaches in the World - Travelers' Choice Awards - TripAdvisor". 
  5. ^ "Malacanang hails inclusion of Boracay as one of world's top beach destinations". 
  6. ^ "Top 10 Islands". World's Best Awards 2011. Travel + Leisure Magazine. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  7. ^ Cupin, Bea (18 July 2011). "Boracay hailed as 4th best island in the world". GMA News TV. Retrieved 19 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Newspaper Archives". Boracay Island Awards. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  9. ^ "BORACAY 2012 WORLD’S BEST ISLAND". July 11, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. 
  10. ^ "Best Beaches in the World - Travelers' Choice Awards - TripAdvisor". 
  11. ^ "Boracay is top place for relaxation: poll". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Boracay beats Asian favourites to take crown as top destination". Good News Pilipinas. Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Relaxation, nightlife both more fun in Boracay". Yahoo! Philippines. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Boracay named 2012 worlds best island". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ "BORACAY named 2012 No.1 World’s Best Island". Boracay Beach Live. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  16. ^ "The Best Islands in the World". Conde Nast Traveler. October 20, 2014. 
  17. ^ "TOP 10 DESTINATIONS TO WATCH IN 2016". Conde Nast Traveler. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  18. ^ Historically Digitized, Ro Isla it Buruanga.
  19. ^ Miguel de Loarca, Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas (Arevalo: June 1782) in BLAIR, Emma Helen & ROBERTSON, James Alexander, eds. (1903). The Philippine Islands, 1493–1803. Volume 05 of 55 (1582–1583). Historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord BOURNE. Cleveland, Ohio: Arthur H. Clark Company. ISBN 978-0554259598. OCLC 769945704. "Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the beginning of the nineteenth century.", p. 75.
  20. ^ a b "Aklan Tour". Panublion Heritage Site. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2007-06-12. 
  21. ^ Our Province Aklan Historical Background (archived from [ the original] on 2014-05-29), The Provincial Government of Aklan Official Website supports assertion that Boracay is part of Aklan and creation date of Aklan province -->
  22. ^ "REPUBLIC ACT NO. 1414 - AN ACT TO CREATE THE PROVINCE OF AKLAN". Chan Robles Law Library. April 25, 1956. 
  23. ^ The Woman Behind the Greening of Boracay, The Sunday Times Magazine November 1987 by Nick I. Marte, Encyclopædia Britannica. (article text can be seen here)
  24. ^ "". 
  25. ^ Grele, Dominique; Lily Yousry-Jouve (2004). 100 Resorts in the Philippines: Places with a Heart. Asiatype, Inc. p. 225. ISBN 971-91719-7-9. 
  26. ^ Filming locations for Too Late the Hero (1971), Internet Movie Database.
  27. ^ "Boracay Tops World's Best Beaches". The Philippine Star. Internet Archive. February 16, 1990. 
  28. ^ Mayen Jaymalin (January 29, 2012). "Boracay named world's 2nd best beach". The Philippine Star. 
  29. ^ History & Geography | Boracay Island | Boracay's Official Tourism SiteBoracay Island | Boracay's Official Tourism Site (archived from the original on 2013-12-13)
  30. ^ Boracay to be developed as forest land – DENR official,
  31. ^ "G.R. No. 167707 and G.R. No. 173775, The Secretary of DENR vs. Mayor Jose Yap, Dr. Orlando Sacay vs. The Secretary of DENR, October 8, 2008". Archived from the original on October 11, 2008. 
  32. ^ SC affirms Proclamation 1064 on Boracay Archived October 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.,
  33. ^ Jay B. Rempillo, [1], Supreme Court of the Philippines.
  34. ^ The Secretary of Tourism exercises administration and control mandate of the Philippine Tourism Authority over Boracay Island, Executive Order No. 706, s. 2008
  35. ^ "Boracay establishments heed the call for voluntary redevelopment". Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. 
  36. ^ "Malay, Philippines: Average Temperatures and Rainfall". World Weather Online. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  37. ^ English, Fr. Leo James (2004). Tagalog-English Dictionary. Manila: Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. ISBN 971-08-4357-5.  (19th printing)
  38. ^ "Habagat Amihan Northeast Southwest: What Is Monsoon Weather?". Puerto Galera Yacht Club. 
  39. ^ "Philippines : Weather". Lonely Planet (travel guidebook). Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  40. ^ Available climate charts for Iloilo City, located about 150 kilometres (93 mi) to the southeast, show similar variations.
    ^ "Iloilo, Philippines: Climate, Global Warming, and Daylight Charts and Data". Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  41. ^ "Monthly Typhoon Tracking Charts". Digital Typhoon. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  42. ^ "Boracay Scuba Diving Emergency Action Plan". Boracay Scuba Diving Safety. June 12, 2017. 
  43. ^ "Alliance Global unit to spend P20-B for tourism estates". ABS-CBN News. June 30, 2011. 
  44. ^ Fairways & Bluewater Golf Resort, Graham Marsh Golf Design Archived 2009-08-17 at the Wayback Machine..
  45. ^ "Boracay Island Guide for First Time Travelers". May 14, 2016. 
  46. ^ The Asian Windsurfing Tour Archived June 1, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., Proteus Sports.
  47. ^ The Boracay International Funboard Cup website
  48. ^ 52 Weekends: Go somewhere different every week, CNN GO;
    ^ Estan Cabigas, January 22-24: Boracay International Funboard Cup Archived January 21, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., CNN Go, 18 January 2010.
  49. ^ PDBF International Club Crew Challenge: Boracay Edition at Official Website of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation.
  50. ^ The Boracay Open Asian Beach Ultimate Tournament is organized by the Philippine Ultimate Association.
  51. ^ "OCA General Assembly opens in Macau". OCA. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  52. ^ "Philippines to host 2013 Centennial Asian Games". Inquirer Sports. Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  53. ^ "Asian Games Centennial Festival in Manila". IAG-Crew. Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  54. ^ Mirla N. Cantalejo. Bridges to Communication: Language Power. Rex Bookstore, Inc. p. 52. ISBN 978-971-23-5150-1. Retrieved 2014-06-25. 
  55. ^ "2GO Travel website". 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]