Boracay – The Worst Tourist Trap in the Philippines

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One of the most visited destinations in the Philippines, Boracay is famous for its beautiful beaches and great parties. The beaches are often compared to paradise lost because of their white sand that’s incredibly soft and nice. Well, at least this is what you can read in a tourist guide of the Philippines. I was quite hesitant to go there as I’m not much for partying, but I enjoy the beach a lot and I felt like Boracay would be quite a social place.

Unfortunately, Boracay turned out to be no more than a tourist trap and probably one of the worst places I’ve ever been to in South-East Asia. You may hate me for saying this and trust me, I was incredibly disappointed when I left the island so before you crucify me, read my thoughts to understand why I hated Boracay.

Disclaimer: The title is correct. In MY opinion (underlining ‘my’) this is the worst island I’ve ever visited. If you’re curious which other beachy islands I can compare Boracay to here they are: Fiji, Cook Islands, Sri Lanka, Bali, Galapagos, Crete – Greece, San Andres – Colombia, Zanzibar and many others. The title of the post has been changed upon request.

Boracay

Boracay sand spots every 15m. Price: 50 pesos for a photo.

The nightmare of getting to the island

Boracay is a tiny island, so when I arrived at Kalibo Airport, which is located further away than Caticlan Airport. I was aware of the fact that I had to take a bus for 2 hours and then take a ferry to the island. Following the advice of a friend I ended up taking a Southwest service that organized everything. So far so good, right? Wrong.

To start with, I was on a bus with a group of teenage Filipinos that decided not to respect anyone else by playing  their music incredibly loudly while screaming to it and throwing chips on others. When we finally reached the port, some local guys tried to carry my suitcases and even when I declined, they still asked for money and wouldn’t leave me alone unless I gave them something. I have nothing against tipping, but yelling “Give me a tip now!” isn’t going to make anyone give them more money, actually quite the opposite.

The ferry terminal is like an airport where they x-ray your luggage and make you wait patiently to board your boat. Scratch patiently. I was trying to be polite while waiting for my luggage to be scanned when I was hit and pushed a couple of times by locals who absolutely didn’t care that I was standing there.

When we finally got to the island, nobody cared that Southwest left us all, around 40 people, in the pouring rain while they screamed out hotel numbers for at least 15 minutes before putting us in minibuses where we felt like sardines in a can. Suffice to say, it wasn’t a pleasant experience.10881537_10205324559135921_3414151674181460885_n

Crowds of horrible backpackers

Before heading there, I read on a blog that one of the best things about Boracay was the crowd and meeting other tourists. Honestly though, I don’t remember the last time I was surrounded by so many ignorant people. The majority of people who come to Boracay are either Korean tourists, which are fine, or  the worst types of backpackers who go there with one mission – to tick the Philippines off of their list, get wasted, and have sex with whoever comes along. Imagine a full moon party at Koh Phangan in Thailand, but every day! I think most of these people had no interest or knowledge about Filipino culture and were only there to party. My hostel was full of random strangers sleeping over every night and the beach was full of drunken people from early morning onwards. I enjoy parties and drinking, but parties in Boracay were just too much for me. There was nowhere to escape from them.

Some people didn't believe that the beach was crowded - one of my readers sent me this what I couldn't capture myself :)

Some people didn’t believe that the beach was crowded – one of my readers sent me this what I couldn’t capture myself :)

Sunset is a photo time!

Sunset is a photo time!

Lack of Filipino culture

I guess it’s not surprising then that Filipino people quickly figured out what kind of people come to Boracay and ‘adjusted’ the place to the crowd. There was nothing Filipino in Boracay, everything was designed for tourists in the cheesiest and most horrible way possible. One of the biggest attractions was an expensive restaurant called Hobbit Place that hired only dwarfs (and call them midgets on their website) as waiters to take photos with while you eat your overpriced burger.

White Beach

White Beach

Later, I realized that the local Boracay Filipinos don’t really give a damn about visitors at all. I had a mermaid swimming class scheduled, as I thought it would be a fun activity to try and something interesting to write about on my blog. Less than 10 minutes before I was supposed to show up for the class, I received an email stating that the class is canceled and can be rescheduled for next day. When I replied to ask what time the class is, I received two emails – one stating that it’s at 10am and another at 3pm. When I showed up the next day at 3pm there was nobody there.

Extremely popular spot in Boracay. As you can see it's very Filipino.

Extremely popular spot in Boracay. As you can see “it’s very Filipino”.

Annoying local vendors everywhere

I knew Boracay was a place to party, but I thought that I could just enjoy the stunning beach during the day without having to interact with anyone. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The moment you step out of the hotel in Boracay, you’re practically under attack. Annoying vendors are everywhere: the streets, the shops, and sadly, even the beach. A well traveled reader might ask “what’s the big deal” as there are vendors everywhere in South-East Asia, but in Boracay they aren’t just screaming at you ‘Madame, massage?!’ when you’re passing by. While I was lying on the beach every 5 minutes I had a different guy standing on top of my head trying to sell me some crappy souvenirs or boat rides. The nice Filipinos I had read about before heading that way were nowhere to be found and instead the place was full of people who didn’t respect the fact that I wanted to enjoy the beach in peace.

Cool photo? This is what you can see when someone removed people from the background (beach is never that empty in Boracay!)

Cool photo? This is what you can see when someone removed people from the background (beach is never that empty in Boracay!)

This is how crowded is the beach in reality.

Swimwear bought on Amazon. Get the same one HERE!

Seeing this beautiful beach being destroyed

The worst thing about Boracay was actually the beach. Not only because I was being bothered by annoying vendors, but because the beautiful island of Boracay is constantly being destroyed by consumerism. The white beach in Boracay is really a nice one, comparable to those in Fiji or any other Pacific island, but how can you even enjoy its beauty when you’re surrounded by Starbucks, Pizza Hut, and other random restaurants right on the beach. There’s no way to escape them, especially when every visitor is there just to get drunk, shop, and maybe overpay for some kitesurfing.

Beach in the morning - full of crap from the drunken night.

Beach in the morning.

Before you consider visiting Boracay think twice if this is really what you want to remember from the Philippines. I’d recommend going to another Filipino island instead, such as Bohol, because Boracay in my opinion it’s simply not worth it.

Recommended places to stay if you choose to go to Bohol:
Resort: Panglao Island Nature Resort and Spa
Beach villa: Villa Formosa Bohol
Boutique hotel: Ocean Suites Bohol Boutique Hotel
Affordable hostel: Tr3ats Guesthouse

Disclaimer: I visited other places in the Philippines and they were nothing like Boracay. Before you place a comment remember that I don’t discourage people from going to the Philippines, I just don’t recommend Boracay unless you like places like this (and I know some people do). Safe travels!




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1,252 Comments

  1. Jan 8, 2015 / 11:23 am

    I think tourists and annoying beach vendors are all over in the Philippines (unless you’re at an obscure sparsely inhabited island). I was in Bohol and there were lots of Korean tourists and annoying touts. I started walking around with my headphones on just so they would leave me alone! I guess I’m glad I went to Bohol instead of Boracay though because it was peaceful for the most part and the beach was beautiful.

    • Jan 8, 2015 / 1:25 pm

      I went to Bohol as well – way nicer than Boracay 🙂

      • carlo
        Jan 10, 2015 / 9:49 am

        I’m a Filipino and I agree to everything stated above (although I did not have a sickening transfer ride experience from Kalibo, so maybe you were just having a bad day. However, it’s still a sad experience.). I am saddened how you almost couldn’t recognized or smell or feel the Filipino vibe in Boracay. That’s why I never recommended it whenever people ask me about it. Sure, the water is prestine and the sand (at Station 1) is amazing but that’s it.

        I went to Cebu and Bohol last year and Bohol is still on top of my favorite islands in my country! I would love to go back there as I was not able to try Panglao Beach, only Virgin Island.

        Have you tried Anawangin and Potipot in Zambales?

        • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:51 am

          I had to cut my Philippines trip short as I got extremely sick there, but next time I visit more places 🙂

          • rndlty
            Jan 10, 2015 / 6:30 pm

            Boracay has long lost its luster. It is overrated. Sad that you had to go thru all that. But should you decide to come back, try visiting the least popular places. They have a lot to offer sans consumerism. Cheers!

          • Jolo
            Jan 10, 2015 / 8:16 pm

            They say PALAWAN is much much better than boracay. By the Im a filipino and I agree on this

          • Joshua
            Jan 11, 2015 / 12:03 am

            Hmmm….. next time your going to the Philippines I recommend my birthplace, Albay, Philippines… 😀

          • Joaquin
            Jan 11, 2015 / 2:13 pm

            Try going to Boracay during off seasons. The months of September-October are the best. Not many people going there during those months.

          • Camille
            Jan 11, 2015 / 4:03 pm

            I’m a Filipino and and I’m extremely sad and upset about this post because I couldn’t say anything wrong at all. Sad truth. I’ve been there multiple times because I the people I’m with could cover enough for the ugliness of the place. Boracay was waaaay better 10 years ago. Overly-commercialized. If I have the funds I would totally and literally renovate the airport, pains my eyes when I see foreign people not experiencing any hospitality at all. That’s why whenever I’m there I make sure to engage with at least few visitors, I wish I could accommodate all! But really, there’s more to see in the Philippines. Coron, Palawan.. You’all fall in love with it. 🙂 i look forward to experiencing the improvement we all hope for. (Calling the government) thank you though for being honest at the same time still, respectful. God bless you!

          • Rania
            Jan 11, 2015 / 11:24 pm

            Try Siargao, Philippines =)

            I had the same experience at boracay. Im sorry you were not able to enjoy your stay there.
            🙁

          • Nicole
            Jan 22, 2015 / 12:55 am

            It’s either you’re very touchy or you don’t realize the situation in the Philippines. The Philippines is a tropical country that- a fact all tourist must know- poor, and ungoverned properly. Albeit all the flaws Boracay or Philippines has, we remained upbeat. You lack distinction to what’s wrong and right. First, you bashed the citizens there for greeting customers and selling out on the dunes. They do it because if they don’t, what will they feed themselves with? Second, you sound as if you don’t feel the humid air in airports and it is only normal for the people there to shout. Have you ever been to China? The two countries almost share the same etiquette; even though they shout brashly for example, “Buy water!” or “You have so many children they can’t fit in the taxi!” they do not mean it in hostility- the Chinese and Philippine are naturally chatty and glow with glee. And teenagers in PH are half worse than those in America because they have good bits such as: they don’t commit premarital consummation, don’t act all depressed and they don’t say vulgar words on the street or catcall. But because of certain American-like tendencies, they copy AM teens they see in shows or movies- ill-mannered and stubborn. And why are you so bothered to get hit? PH is too small to make a grand walk way for you or even enlarge their ports just so you can’t get nudged and most of all, you act like a prissy at the part where you were so ‘flimsy’ when people bumped you. It’s expected already that they’d bump you because it’s the most known beach in PH and January and December are months when alot of peeps go to Boracay. You pinpoint the smallest things that are in any ways a normal thing to happen in a small island. The PH Boracay only shows nativity in certain events there like the tribal group every evening or at certain months. You speak like you’re not arrogant or ignorant too when you wrote about the crowds like ‘oh gosh this place is so damn crowded!’. It’s crowded because it a prime spot in December, January, February and Summer March. And goodness, if you hate being hit so much you should’ve wrapped yourself with the Fragile sticker in Airports.

          • Lady Bird
            Nov 25, 2015 / 10:16 pm

            I went to borocay years ago before it became a popular tourist destination. Back then generally it was a quiet of the beaten track type of place, but even then I was shocked at the state of the beaches in the morning before the cleaners came to remove the mounds of washed up rubbish that met us every day. The coral around the island was destroyed by dynamite fishing which was so sad, so much for snorkeling – the island was, even at that time, facing major environment issues that I am sure have never been addressed. Most of the once charming Asian destinations have been trashed – and it’s very sad to see. I rarely go to Asia anymore, especially understanding what a fabulous trove of treasures it once held.

          • Nov 26, 2015 / 7:17 am

            I guess you will enjoy Bora during off-peak season where local tourist are less. Maybe next time try Samal island in Davao City or Palawan where people are not that crowded. And If you really like a place free from all electronic gadgets and no starbucks and pizza huts go to Pandan Island. 😀

          • Rap
            Nov 27, 2015 / 2:46 pm

            Try calaguas island in camarines sur philippines. When it comes to sand and water calaguas is exquisite.its a virgin island. Trust me its beautiful.like you..

          • Gillian
            Nov 28, 2015 / 3:06 am

            Try to visit Baler, Aurora Philippines. u will be treating right for sure. 😃

          • Nilo
            Nov 28, 2015 / 3:16 am

            Boracay is the best beach I have seen around the world. I agree with you on some points( annoying vendors, and dirty beach during summer time) . I still like to go there during off season. The Philippines has many beautiful beaches like the ones in Palawan, Bohol, Cebu and even in Luzon(Punta Fuego) but it”s private. It”s my policy to go to places where I know somebody for familiarity and safety. If you come back to the Philippines, kindly let me know so I can guide you.

          • Alexis
            Jan 5, 2016 / 2:27 am

            Anna, don’t go back there. They have enough garbage & bitches in their beaches. Take your whining scheming ass elsewhere.

        • Simon Snow
          Sep 27, 2015 / 11:13 am

          Not to mention the 70 year old white men drooling over they’re 18 year old filipina bride! Gross

          • Sep 27, 2015 / 8:16 pm

            Good point!

          • MrBanana
            Oct 9, 2015 / 2:40 pm

            oh no! i was planning to move to boracay and live there for 6 mos. 🙁

          • Oct 9, 2015 / 8:00 pm

            Well, you’ll either love it or hate it – I’d read other comments as well to decide yourself 😉

          • U.S.A
            Apr 18, 2016 / 1:15 pm

            NICOLE AND ALEXIS by the sound of you rant you live or lived in the Philippines? Having a big mouth of how good you rich Country is WHERE is all the TOILET paper in public WASHROOMS. Even the top MALL’S don’t have toilet paper. As for Americans they have toilet paper in all restrooms. Can’t believe having to carry toilet paper when going out shopping. And also I had a confrontation with one of your own in a washroom. I asked if there was any toilet paper and his reply was ‘DO YOU THINK THIS IS A HOTEL’ He’s VERY LUCKY I didn’t slap the crap out of him. The nerve of this idiot. By the way does your Country now it’s the year 2016. No toilet paper means locals have no cleanliness. That’s why there’s so many Tourists getting sick. And for Pork being sold at the wet Market hanging in the sun for hours with flies have there way with it. Your a SAD individual who thinks your Country can Compete with the U.S.A. GROW UP.

          • officialtravelnews
            Apr 18, 2016 / 3:35 pm

            @U.S.A
            I really agree with you, these people who dream to compete with us are ridiculous.

          • Leon
            Apr 18, 2016 / 5:59 pm

            I am in my mid 40s and I have no problem with 70 y.o. guys dating 18 y.o. The reason I say this is because it happens in the USA or pretty much everywhere in the world. And women are partially responsible for this because they know the benefits that come with that. The rich divorce many times and their wives take millions to billions of their money. As far as toilet paper, they use it for paper towels. That experience began on the plane to Manila. Just stand up, walk over to the sink, and pull some toilet paper out. And as far as pigs, it appears you have never seen how pigs are treated in the USA. And I’m not talking about those that have them as family pets.

      • Roi
        Jan 10, 2015 / 6:12 pm

        you should try going to el nido palawan. 😀 way way better than boracay.

        • Jan 11, 2015 / 5:55 am

          Roi, I’ve stayed in the Philippines for over 4 months in a row and visited many islands including Boracay, Palawan, Panay Island, Camotes Islands, Bohol, Siargao, Carabao (I’m sure I’m forgetting some of them!), and I agree with you, I find Palawan way better than Boracay, even if i’m actually quite worried for the future. I could already see signs of mass tourism in there too, and it’s such a pity. But El Nido and Coron still remain some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Boracay is not bad for itself. The problem with the Island is rather the opposite: being a true paradise, it’s been literally attacked by tourists. Same as Maya beach in Thailand. Again, one of the most incredible sceneries of my life, ruined by tourists. This is something that will always happen with fantastic places, unless the government decides to stop it, but let’s face it: they don’t really care about a beautiful place being spoiled. They want the money. I was actually glad to visit the nearby Island of Carabao and find it almost completely deserted. Lights off at 11 pm, virtually no internet, just nature and the real Filipino people! I wouldn’t recommend it though (I don’t want it to be ruined!) 🙂

          • Jan 11, 2015 / 4:05 pm

            Stop recommending places Clelia – they WILL come haha! 🙂

          • Jose
            Nov 20, 2015 / 5:26 am

            I agree with you Clelia, just keep it to yourself.. I’m just glad that bloggers (especially the foreign ones) hasn’t discovered yet much of Mindanao aside from Siargao because of the current peace situation there..
            It gives us local travelers a sort of relief knowing that we can go back anytime to those places and not worry about them being spoiled by tourist for a long time..
            Mindanao is not a place for foreigners to gamble their own safety just to see and enjoy an incredible and beautiful scenery.. 🙂

          • Nov 22, 2015 / 4:37 pm

            Definitely 🙂

          • Craig
            Nov 26, 2015 / 1:01 am

            It sounds like she is stuck up and complains about everything she does. I’ve been there 4 times, I know the sunglasses man is annoying but just walk past him, dont say anything and he will not bother you! I really hate it when people bag other places out. If its not your cup of tea then fine, don’t tell everyone it wont be their cup of tea too!

          • JGirl
            Nov 26, 2015 / 5:20 am

            I agree. Though I have never been to Boracay nor have I ever felt the need to go and now Im glad i never did. I went to Palawan though and loved it. Will definitely visit the other Palawan islands in future trips

          • Nori
            Jan 19, 2016 / 1:57 am

            Spot on, Clelia.. that’s over 7000 islands out there, nobody knows anything really. The best island life is best kept secret :))

          • May 17, 2016 / 3:51 pm

            El Nido is nothing special. Its so much like boracay now, with crappier buildings though. They offee the same toirs everywhere, people asking you on the street t come do tour A or tour B, the beautiful archipelago is crowded wth these tour boats.
            Mthe way the tours are run, but that is not True. Foreigners want to enjoy the bacuit archipelago, but with the zero-variatin ,Mass tour product, its hard to do that as they cram each lagoon full of boats of which the domestic tourists are the WORST, they have no respect for the serenity of the environment the way they yell and scream and they throw trash in the water.

            Bohol is also becoming a oroduct destination. They sling the same packaged tours/activities at every tourist, and they are very low quality..
            Hiring a scooter and driving yourslef around the island is quite fun and a much better use of your time than going on the ‘trike tours’ the offer out of loboc, to see choc hills and a variety of waste-of-time “sights”.

            Sadly, the potential beauty of thenphilippines and its people are being lost amongst the shit or being mismanaged and not understanding its own identity in the world of tourism. It is trying to compete (and failing) with American destinations in terms of activities (AND pricing).
            Unfortunately things are ften over priced for what they are and speaking to many tourists actually pretty underwhelming at times.

            If Philippines wants to continue on this path it needs to decelop some serious infrastructure to actually deliver what its attempting to and be able to charge the money they want and get the toursits they want. OR they need to go backwards, to their roots and deliver the most rustic, independent experience.

            At the moment it’s a hodge podge of things that dnt quite fit together or deliver the experience that the tourists they anticipate actually want.

      • Xavier
        Jan 10, 2015 / 7:29 pm

        Another Filipino here. Boracay is overrated. But the Philippines has many more beaches (Dahican, Palawan, Baler, etc..) that are just on the verge of being discovered or are still hidden gems. 😀 Once it gains popularity, then it loses its beauty (which is sad) since Filipinos will turn it into a profit-making venture without care for nature. Come back to the Philippines but avoid tourist traps like Boracay. 😀

      • Mark
        Jan 10, 2015 / 10:23 pm

        You should have visited El Nido in Palawan, that im sure you will never regret!

      • Zxeff
        Jan 10, 2015 / 10:45 pm

        With your comments and observations, it seems that you came to the wrong place at the wrong time because Boracay (if you really researched about this) is for those who want to party and have a good time, be with friends, and enjoy fun activities (not to mention be seriously drunk). If you’re looking for a scenic place then Palawan is for you, if you want to surf then go to siargao or La Union, if you want to experience real Filipino culture then go to places like Manila or Cebu. As to your concern about the beach, as sad as it may seem, it can’t be corrected now for it’s too damaged already. You can only leave that to the government and to tell you honestly, them saving the beach is close to 0.01% of happening. Next time you go to the Philippines it would be best to have a local Filipino friend take you around since they know more about the place and they know how other locals act, thus, making your stay safer and a lot more worth it. I’m not attesting to your comments above because most of it are true but the thing is that you expected the wrong outcome with your stay in Boracay. Next time, have a more open mind about the place AND the country.

        • Mike
          Jan 11, 2015 / 12:44 am

          I absolutely disagree with you. I went to Boracay in the 90’s and it was a quiet, subdued and beautiful place. Nobody went there to party because it wasn’t easy going there. And a majority of the people who lived there were the foreigners who married local women and ran small inns and eateries. The only reason Boracay turned into the shithole it is now is because the local government realized it was becoming a money-generating place and wantonly allowed businessmen to setup businesses there in exchange for a lot of money.

          • Kenya
            Mar 27, 2016 / 7:03 am

            Mike
            She did not go in the 90s to young you goose , I went there a few years ago and never again the place is just a toilet

          • Leon
            Mar 28, 2016 / 11:23 pm

            In 1970, National Geographic shot video on Boracay when it was untouched. Immediately thereafter, developers from all around the world began turning it into a vacation resort. From that day on, Boracay was destined to rise. In the 1990s, Boracay still had some of its untouched charm and was relatively unknown to many expats. Today, if you want solitude, you have to pick the right time of year. If you like to party, the summer is prime time. If you want solitude, anytime between July 1 and December 1. If you want additional solitude, then go to one of the other beaches on the island other than White Beach. A 1990 comparison is rather ludicrous. What century were you born in?

        • Rose
          Jan 11, 2015 / 1:02 am

          I agree to this. I also agree to Anna’s exprerience, it’s just that, Boracay isn’t the right place.

        • Janis
          Jan 12, 2015 / 10:38 pm

          True. I went there during off seasons and it truly is a paradise!

      • Vince
        Jan 11, 2015 / 5:54 am

        Well dear you have to remember that boracay is a very commercialized place. Actually I think you’re at fault here if you really wanted a serene place and wanted to enjoy the scenery you could’ve stayed at shang,lacarmela,or at puka beach not to mention they also provide private transportation like shang so yo won’t complain about the port. You know you’re in control of your trip and the quality of it so next time make sure your budget won’t constrict you and that would make you go through all what you had to go through No hate just saying enjoy dear.

        • Larah
          Jan 12, 2015 / 1:08 pm

          She’s a blogger and she writes to let her readers know what’s the “normal” way to go to the place. She won’t have anything to write about if she chose private transpo and stuff. The way she travelled to Boracay is how normal travellers, bloggers should do it. Very informative actually. I’m a filipino and getting to Bora was a total crap, decided not to write anything about it when I got home. Full of crazy – bad experience.

          • Patrick
            Nov 25, 2015 / 10:36 pm

            The first line of this could have easily read “I stupidly picked to fly to an airport nowhere near where I wanted to go” then followed by “I wanted a quiet beach to visit so I stupidly picked an Island known for partying”…I have been to Boracay, it was exactly what I expected, bars and restaurants on the beach, commercial blah blah…It was great for a couple of days…If you want nice quiet and untouched (ish), try One Hundred Islands in Pangasinan. Don’t be an ignorant traveller and you will enjoy things a lot more.

        • Jan 16, 2015 / 2:01 am

          Good advice and I agree with You Vince.

      • Moize roxas
        Jan 11, 2015 / 9:01 am

        I guess if you want some place peaceful, el nido would be the closest to perfect. Had an awesome trip last time. Beautiful beaches, no noise on the hotel areas. The only problem is their electricity. They had to cut it off around the afternoon. But anyways, you’ll be on the trip by those hours.

      • Leonard
        Jan 11, 2015 / 9:24 am

        Hi Anna, I agrer with everything that you have written. I am a Filipino avid traveller and I also experience thosr horrible when travelling to crowded places in my country. I think you should travel to Coron Palawan. Its less crowded there and the islands are trully amazing. My fiance’ and I are outdoor trip organizers and Coron is one of the most beautiful places that we have been through. If you ever come back maybe you should contact us so we can accompany you in one of our trips.

      • jm
        Jan 11, 2015 / 3:20 pm

        I hope you write something about your experience in Bohol. 🙂

        • Jan 11, 2015 / 3:29 pm

          I will 🙂

      • Sam
        Jan 11, 2015 / 3:26 pm

        Hi Anna, So sorry for the ordeal you went through. I grew up in Bohol and I am proud of our beaches. But slowly they are also turning into a Boracay Wanna-be. Still, I have faith that some of our beaches are still pretty decent, safe, clean and tranquil but may come at a higher price as opposed to public beaches, which, still may not be as bad. But yeah, embarrassing as it sounds, you can have a brush with really rowdy filos and believe me, even I don’t approve of it. It’s such shame you had to witness the bad side of some of our countrymen. I have never been to some nice beaches in Palawan but I’ve heard of some good reviews. I’m planning to go home this year and might try it out myself. Perhaps if I find it to be a wonderful experience, I will let you know. 🙂 Cheers!

      • Niovi
        Mar 31, 2015 / 12:09 pm

        Hey Anna, we are currently in Boracay and I couldn’t agree with you more. Such a shame, because this is our first experience in The Philippines, and now we are afraid to come back and try somewhere different just incase! 🙁

        • Mar 31, 2015 / 2:59 pm

          I went to Bohol after Boracay and it was waaaaay different – maybe you can try it out ?

      • Florita Rasnier
        Oct 19, 2015 / 1:03 pm

        I think you need to try El Nido in Palawan if you are a nature lover
        that is the place.

      • Chris
        Nov 6, 2015 / 2:36 pm

        I have been coming to the Phils for 5 years now (BPO with office based in Cebu) and I agree with some of your comments and disagree with others. I stayed on the north part of White Beach in Station 1 and it was a great place to chill out. White Beach is still one of the best beaches in all of the Phils and I have been to Bohol, Bantayan Island, Malapascua, Siargao. I haven’t been to Palawan (El Nido) yet. I agree that station 2 is a zoo and if you don’t party then I would avoid but you don’t have to stay there. And everywhere there are hawkers on the beach, even in Bohol. I actually found Alona beach go be just as busy as White Beach. There are also beautiful spots away from White Beach worth checking out. If you go the off season then it’s far less crowded. Boracay is a bit more expensive than other islands in the Phils but I kind of compare it to Las Vegas in the US as it s a great place to visit for a weekend. If I had a week to a month then I would avoid this place and rent a nipa hut on the beach, rent a motorbike, and immerse myself in the local culture on one of the smaller less developed islands.

      • Nov 26, 2015 / 12:17 am

        g’day!,

        You should visit Camiguin Island…even better go to youtube and search for Camiguin Island.

        Siargao Island, Lanuza, etc those are some of the gems in the Philippines that few tourist have set foot because it in Mindanao. And many are afraid to visit Mindanao…

        • Friendly Neighborhood
          Nov 27, 2015 / 9:37 am

          Lol. This one’s a classic. The only place to bid people goodbye the moment they set foot on the island. Thank you, Camiguin.

      • SHANNON
        Nov 26, 2015 / 3:17 am

        should have went to El Nido , that place is paradise 🙂

      • Reaper
        Nov 26, 2015 / 10:01 pm

        Bohol is beautiful. Our favourite is Bantayan to the north of of Cebu.

      • Keith
        Nov 27, 2015 / 11:43 am

        I agree.. There are better places in the Philippines. The islands around Coron and El Nido are far better than Boracay. As a Filipino I hate to admit it, but you are correct. Or maybe I’m just too old for it.

    • justin
      Jan 10, 2015 / 11:21 pm

      It’s amazing they left you alone with just headphones? The ones I encountered … all couldn’t care less and would be glad to rip them out of my ears and tell me whatever ‘important’ thing they had to harass me with.

      Nevermind the day I made the mistake of carrying clothes outside my hotel in a clear bag, … letting one of the scumbag drug dealers on to the fact I was headed to get laundry done, and pestering the shit out of me about how this place I was going would wreck my clothes and he knows a better place…

    • JaneF
      Jan 12, 2015 / 8:07 pm

      I agree with you Anna. I’m one of the lucky ones who got to experience Boracay like 10 years ago. It really depends on the local gov’t unit. They kinda got greedy with tourism revenues and forgot to protect the island. May I suggest that you try CALAGUAS ISLAND? If you are into beach camping 🙂

    • officialtravelnews
      May 26, 2015 / 2:48 pm

      I cannot stand all these sellers !

      Only 2 hells on earth, Philippines and Cambodia, nowhere else is has been so bad for me.

    • DONNA
      Oct 19, 2015 / 8:11 pm

      Hi Ms Anna! The next time you visit Philippines, Try to write Amanpulo on your list. 😊

    • A Real World Traveler
      Nov 21, 2015 / 3:11 pm

      Thanks for your down and dirty hit piece on Boracay.
      We are all delighted that you will probably not be coming back soon to Boracay!
      Boracay is too crowded already with petulant foreigners who don’t appreciate the subtle charms of this island paradise.
      Is Boracay perfect? Certainly not… But it has a melting pot atmosphere of egalitarian fun on the world’s most beautiful white powdery beach that cannot be found anywhere else.
      Note to Anna: go by yourself to the privacy of Amanpulo and be alone with your quiet perfectionist thoughts. You will eventually come back to the sprawling noisy fun of Boracay and, perhaps, have a moment of clarity amidst the chaos.
      Good luck to you!
      And to everyone else: Don’t go to Boracay! It’s already too crowded and I want it all for myself!!! Mwah-hah-ha!!!

      • Michelle
        Apr 16, 2016 / 3:14 am

        Agree!

    • craig
      Nov 26, 2015 / 3:52 am

      Hello Anna. I read your article regarding your disappointing trip to Boracay. I’m an Australian male. Having been to boracay seven times and other islands in the phils, I did agree with certain points you made. The hawkers on the beach are annoying to say the least. The constant harassment by people asking for money, a tip for nothing. Yeah that happens all over the phils and in other third world countries. Your photos of Boracay in which u featured were dated 20th of dec 2014. Oddly i was also there at that time. I did not see any over crowding on the beach prior to xmas or at new yr. That is evident in your photos where you are featured that there was plenty of open spaces on a white sand beach. However there is one photo on your website that is deceptive. Had absolutely nothing to do with your trip. U did state a friend gave u the pic. Would have been taken at sunset when the majority of tourist flock to the beach for the million dollar view of the sunset and the romantic boat ride by the sunset. Its odd u failed to mention that. Or you did not have any pics of the sunset yourself.. U also stated you stayed in hostel. Made mention to backpackers. U failed to talk about the resorts or hotels at boracay. U did not talk about the activities at boracay. U did mention that people are over charged for food. The midget place for example is located at D-Mall. Highest rental area at boracay for shops, thus food and items cost more. Anna does that apply worldwide ? or just at boracay ? U made it clear in your article that boracay is a party island, that people get drunk. The majority of tourists to boracay, dont get drunk. Most people are in their hotels by 11 pm. After having a nice dinner, usually buffet and listening to a quality live band. U failed to mention any of that in your article. Boracay is also a family orientated tourist spot. Having been at the same time as you were, I did see many weddings on the beach, Koreans getting married. From your point of view, don’t u think that is romantic ? What i did not see at Boracay is many westerners, from the UK, USA or Australia. Most visitors are from Russia, Korea, China and Japan. I got the impression that you like to party and get wasted. . U did make reference to that type of behavior. U state that u did not see fiiipino cutlure, however what is evident in your article is your party western attitude polluting the truth about Boracay. U gave Bohol a postivie review, just wondering did u see anyone drinking at the beach in bohol ? happens everywhere.. Btw the kids misbehaving on the bus from kalibo to caticlan, Did you ask the kids to be quiet ? misbehaving kids happen worldwide. Had zero to do with BORACAY. Your article is unfair and untruthful. You would have found yourself in the minority of white female tourists. Just because u felt out of place, does not mean u can trash entire island. Your focus was narrow, you left out the majority of what happens at the island. When writing articles its best to be objective and fair. All tourist spots have positive and negative aspects.. 2015 Traveller’s choice awards voted boracay as asia beach beach. 2012 was voted the best island in the world by international travel magazine. Boracay has countless awards.

      • Ema
        Nov 28, 2015 / 2:04 am

        I so agree, we have been to boracay with my family, my local family( as I’m a filipina from Iloilo) and my husbands family who were from UK. We have been there 4 times and in every visit was as memorable as the last one. We always went there december which is the peak season. We first stayed at nigi nigi nono which was pricey for what it is, but for our next visits we stayed at la carmela and its reasonable, clean and quiet., and the services were good. We were always at least 20 people kids included, we had never experienced being harrassed by vendors, yes they would walk along beaches and offered their wares but i dont recall them shouting at us to get our attention. Sure the beach was crowded but no difference than any public beaches, in a popular place, its more jampacked when its sunset for obvious reason, its just very romantic. At night its fun to just walk along the throngs of restaurants and our kids could choose where to eat, depending on what you can afford, we always sought the entertainment of those dancers with fires( dont know whats its called really.) my husband and father in law would tirelessly video them. During the days we woke up early to swim, not so many people guaranted and then off to a free buffet breakfast and then on to so many family activity, boating round the island, helmet diving, para sailing, helicopter ride., etc etc. Though we drove from nearly 7 hours from our homeplace in iloilo , the only slight hiccups for us is to find a parking lot, there was one not so far away but small so if your’re not lucky you cant park, thankfully a house owner allowed us to park right in front of their house along the road and advised us just to lock up. The ferry terminal sure is crowded but no where chaotic, one can choose an aircon ferry which is of course comfortable, or the non aircon one. We took the aircon on our way to boracay, then on our way to caticlan we opted for a non aircon one to have more fun and to experience the openness of the sea. Yes we have some down sides too, once in our visit it rained so hard, and so many rubbish on the shore, but thats normal, we were happy to stay in our rooms playing games with our kids and we have 4. I have been to many places too, we spent 3 weeks at various eurocamps site and experienced overcrowding at beaches in southern, northern france, whom we thought would be peaceful and serene. The truth is if its a tourist spot then expect crowds, we are based in hk, very crowded, esoecially niw that mainlanders from china comes in overwhelming numbers, they are mostly not so good with their manners and yet we dont encounter so much of their popular rudeness. We teach people how to treat us but before doing that we should teach ourselves how to treat them. When you’re humble and kind in words, people you approach will also be like that. In all o my parents in law visits to the philippines , my heart and my family’s heart swell with pride when they would express how they enjoyed their visits and how filipinos are so warm hearted. Saying that we also noticed how boracay now is so commercialized, in fact if you ask the locals they are sad to see their island becoming like that, its us tourist that did that, especially foreigners, people who flashes out money, corrupting locals, again most of restaurant, hotel owners are foreigners married to filipinos. This is the time we live in, we go through the ride, happiness is a choice. Another thing, iloilo has another alternative to boracay, try to visit Guimaras, the water is better than boracay..

    • kamote
      Nov 27, 2015 / 9:26 am

      Palawan > Boracay
      Agree with you lots of annoying stuff in boracay, and yes this is coming from a filipino.

  2. Jan 8, 2015 / 12:56 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that, Anna. I never made to Boracay, but you already know I was not happy with my stay in the Philippines.

    • Ube-chan
      Jan 11, 2015 / 2:28 am

      Whilst I agree with Anna about this blog entry and Boracay, especially since she seems to have done her research about the area and gave constructive criticism, your blog entry about Philippine food and visit, on the other hand, is simply stupid.

      Who goes to 7-11 for a specialty local food like longganisa? Even in countries that offer delicious street food, a more experienced and wiser traveler wouldn’t go to a convenience store expecting local delicacies.

      That alone, is an indication of your ignorance.

  3. Jan 8, 2015 / 1:19 pm

    a Filipino here with no objection to anything mentioned. wait until i become the president, i’ll have only 10 visitors per day. 🙂

    • Jan 8, 2015 / 1:25 pm

      Please do it and improve the experience 🙂

    • Janis
      Jan 12, 2015 / 10:35 pm

      Haha! yeah right! only the reach and famous can afford that one!

  4. Jan 8, 2015 / 4:02 pm

    Sounds like an absolute nightmare – and the concept behind that “Hobbit” restaurant is wretched. Not cool at all. We actually very nearly went to Boracay on our 2-week holiday while teach in Taiwan. We didn’t in the end because flights were expensive and a couple of people said it was a bit of a party spot and we’re not partiers, though admittedly many more people recommended it. We actually went to El Nido instead and had a super time there, it was quite touristy but beautiful, quiet in low season and not full of party people just nice cafes and boat tours.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:52 am

      I had to cut my Philippines trip short as I got extremely sick there and managed to go to Cebu and Bohol only, but next time I visit more places including Palawan 🙂

      • Frances
        Jan 10, 2015 / 9:07 pm

        Hi Anna. A Filipino traveler here. I agree with the points that you’ve mentioned. Boracay does have a beautiful white sand and a picturesque look in it. But Boracay is a party place it’s not the IT destination if you are looking for Filipino culture/experience, it’s too hyped and expensive. It’s not a place for exploration, if you’d visit during Holy Week, you’d be damned cuz you can’t even walk straight because there are too many people. I guess Filipinos are into pleasing toursist since it’s a mix of everything, mind you, Philippines was colonized by three countries: Spain, Japan and US. I got the chance to talk to some vendors and learned that a lot of these vendors do not belong there but came form different islands as well(some as far as Mindanao the Southern most part of the Philippines). They were all looking for jobs, because as advertised, the Department of Tourism of the Philippines is showing Boracay all over the world. And visiting Philippines is all about the travel. The common inexpensive means of travelling from one place to another is by land and by boat. Travel time is usually 2-6hrs.

        I hope you’d be back in the Philippines because it is worth exploring. I suggest you visit Coron Palawan among all parts of Palawan. There are parts of it that havent been explored even National Geographic/Discovery Channel cannot go to (as told by the tour guide). It’s serene and a place for someone who loves nature and relaxation. You may also want to go to Vigan in Ilocos, for the Spanish vibe. Tried a 4-day exploration driving around Luzon. Again, explore Philippines. 🙂

      • Vien
        Jan 11, 2015 / 4:59 pm

        I would really like to recommend Palawan. 😀

      • Mitch
        Jan 11, 2015 / 10:13 pm

        i hope you’ve got a blog entry for your Cebu experience. I’m a CEBUana here 🙂

        • Reaper
          Nov 26, 2015 / 10:09 pm

          My wife is Cebuana, I love visiting there when we return. Once out of the city, the island has many spectacular places to visit. Our favourite place is Bantayan Island. That is our place to unwind and forget everything. Except during Holy Week.

      • May
        Jan 14, 2015 / 6:45 am

        Anna, I respect your opinion based on your experienced but I’m not happy with your statement. Behind of all the negative experiences you had in the Island of Boracay, I hope you still remember the white long beach and the clear blue water. I think you missed to visit Mt.Luho, from there you can see the view of whole island and not to judge the island from one side only.Boracay is one of the popular beach destination so I hope as a traveler you expect the flock of tourists.

    • Anton
      Jan 10, 2015 / 12:29 pm

      As bad the concept and theme of the hobbit place is, I’m grateful those guys have a job. I can’t imagine how hard it is for those guys to find work and be accepted in a community that they have there. I hope they improve that place so they can thrive.

      • Jan 10, 2015 / 12:36 pm

        Are you saying Filipinos wouldn’t hire them just because they’re short??

        • bong
          Jan 10, 2015 / 3:29 pm

          yup.

        • Anonymous
          Jan 10, 2015 / 8:01 pm

          You know, there is a legitimate exception. Not always but you will understand that a “chicken will never do same job the horse does”, no matter what. I know it’s hard for them but the truth is always the best and it hurts.

        • Helen
          Jan 12, 2015 / 8:30 pm

          Not true.. There is a resto in Bacolod who employes dwarfs… Dagul was discovered through that restaurant.

        • Jan 16, 2015 / 1:58 am

          Beware using Filipino instead of Bussiness owners.

          Maybe you are just sick by the time you went to Boracay. Your moods not so appreciative that time.

          But hey, Thanks to BORACAY, Your Blog got loads of attention.

          Sorry for the Vendors you mentioned…they are really annoying and I hope the Givernment of the Philippines will do something about the jobless Filipino people.

          You are alwayd welcome to the Philippines and we Filipino people will give your satisfaction.

        • Ema
          Nov 28, 2015 / 2:28 am

          Anna its a fact anywhere in this world little people wont stand much chance in finding a normal job, because of their physical attribute compared to the normal sized people. For a traveller as what you have claimed , you have a poor hindsight and obviously being snooty for deloping countries and its people. If you are that negative, dont travel to asia, or anywhere else, every place has its own merits and demerits, and so us individuals. Even not meeting you i can deduce you have more negative energy in your body than positive. Maybe its time for you to settle back in your home and ponder what and where you could get happiness. Read some more valuable books and enhance your mindset. Peace.

          • Ian Martinez
            Jan 29, 2016 / 4:17 pm

            There is a place in Manila where dwarf throwing is practiced, very funny apparently. Dwarves are in BIG demand in TV and movies too

    • Yson
      Nov 26, 2015 / 7:37 pm

      I agree to you ma’am…. If your looking for party and nightlife…. Just visit boracay…….. But if you want to just enjoy the beauty Of the place God gave…. Visit other places in the Philippines…. Palawan is nice place to go…. But make sure that its summer cuz u cant enjoy if its rainy days…… Sagada in benguet… Cebu and bohol…… Also in batanes…..my next planned destination…..

  5. Jan 8, 2015 / 4:53 pm

    Thanks and good write of this place. I like to get here in the future. good to have some advice in mind. As i am also a mindful of advice, look forward to keep in touch
    cheers
    JR

  6. Jeff & John
    Jan 9, 2015 / 2:20 am

    Must be a huge nightmare for you dear. It’s true, Boracay is already spoiled huge hotels and establishments meant to empty people’s wallets. What an honest-to-goodness review. Try Panglao Island in Bohol instead (although it sounds like you’ve been to a Bohol beach from what we’ve read in the comments) 😀

    • Jan 9, 2015 / 10:15 am

      I’ve been to Bohol and it’s nice 🙂

  7. Jan 8, 2015 / 8:36 pm

    I despise Boracay with a passion. Went once in 2009 for three days and that was two and a half days too much for me. Of course I also hate Bali too, for all the same reasons you outlined here (except the difficulty in getting to the island). Glad to see I’m not alone here 🙂

    • Jan 8, 2015 / 11:35 pm

      You’re definitely not alone hehe! And I totally agree that southern Bali (Kuta and surroundings) are the same – I only liked northern Bali 🙂

  8. Jan 8, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    Well, I think we can’t really blame them for becoming famous among tourists and then trying to maximize their earning potential with all those tourist traps. But the vendors harassing your private moment of peace when you are hanging out on the beach is too much, even to me!

    • Jan 8, 2015 / 11:46 pm

      Yeah, I know… but I just think a lot of places in Asia are becoming tourist traps 🙁

      • Teresa
        Jan 10, 2015 / 7:32 pm

        My sentiments exactly, the whole article and more! I left Boracay almost 20 years ago and had gone back a couple of times to visit for a few days since..and I’d been more than disappointed each time.
        I hope you get to visit Palawan and other places before they, too, become tourist traps.
        Happy traveling!

  9. Jan 8, 2015 / 9:07 pm

    I am not a big traveler, I have never been anywhere exotic, not have I heard of this island, but this was really interesting to read. You always hear about how wonderful people’s trips were, this was actually kind of refreshing, haha. Thanks for your honesty 🙂

    • Jan 8, 2015 / 11:30 pm

      This is exactly why I wrote it – to stop sugar coating this place when it’s not accurate 🙂

      • Jo Ann
        Jan 11, 2015 / 12:10 am

        Your big smiles in your photos show how disappointed you were in Boracay. Looking forward to see your bigger smile when you are not disappointed in some other places 😀

  10. Jan 8, 2015 / 9:21 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Anna! This is very good info- will definitely be skipping this place. I hate everything touristy so this spot clearly is not for me.

  11. stephen tremp
    Jan 8, 2015 / 9:26 pm

    I look at it this way. The worst day on vacation is better than a good day at work. Of course, I haven’t worked for years. But still. Gotta enjoy the warm white sands because the winds of change can shift and you may not be able to do what you do tomorrow.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:52 am

      3 out of 5 days it was raining like crazy actually hehe 🙂

  12. Jan 8, 2015 / 11:10 pm

    Hi Anna, this is why I like reading your blog. You are very honest and if the perception is different to the reality then you will make that clear.

    After reading this all the points you list would make me dislike Boracay too. Drunken, ignorant tourists, disrespectful people trying to make money by any means from visitors, lack of culture….

    I will give it that the beach sands look amazing. Such a shame it is not possible to sit back, relax and take in the amazing views.

    • Jan 8, 2015 / 11:47 pm

      The beauty of the beach is exactly what makes this place even worse for me 🙁

      • Kent
        Jan 10, 2015 / 5:17 pm

        I totally agree with what you’ve written. I have experienced it when we stayed in Station 2. If relaxation is what you want, you should have stayed at Station 1 or the more secluded Shangrilla Hotel (they have their own beach). I have stayed once in station 2 and i hate it. The noice, and the annoying drunk tourists is too much. Since then, only station 1 for me. There you are detached from the party scene. No loud noises, no vendors, and less drunk tourist. You just need to pay more. Im a Filipino by the way, thanks for your accurate feedbacks. I regularly go to Boracay to relax, and i pity the state that its in. I hope it went viral here to our government officials will take notice.

        • Jan 10, 2015 / 5:35 pm

          I hope it did, but I don’t want to get killed 😉

          • Zat
            Jan 11, 2015 / 1:28 am

            1. Don’t go to Boracay during a peak season if you want some peace and quiet. Or if you’re there on a peak season, avoid the crowd by staying in Fairways and Bluewater for example and find spots at the back of the island (less commercialized sections) with hardly a soul on it and just some local fishfolks.

            2. Boracay is a hotspot. Don’t go there to enjoy pure Filipino culture. Even the locals in Boracay have their own sub-culture already different from another region in the PH.

            3. I’ve been to Boracay and enjoyed it when it wasn’t peak season and didn’t stay at hotels near the beachfront. But even with that experience, I’d still choose Bohol (Panglao) over Boracay any day.

            4. Calling it the worst island when you only experienced it during a peak or super peak season is your opinion and I can understand you may have had a confluence of things happening when you were there. Your super high/naive expectations didn’t help as well. Everything else will either not measure up or downhill from there.

            5. Getting killed for sharing your experience when PH pols get wind of it? Come on, Anna! 🙂 It’s not about not sugarcoating. This one is exaggerating but some tourists will give weight to it and make sweeping conclusions in their mind.

          • Rob
            Nov 26, 2015 / 2:04 am

            Anna, after the phil tourism officials and politicians spot this article, you will permanently be blacklisted with immigration from entering the philippines. And if you do make it in, they will probably assassinate you. More journalists and reporters are murdered in the philippines than Russia

  13. Giovanni Morales
    Jan 9, 2015 / 12:32 am

    Very interesting article, i will keep this advice on my visit to Philipines, instead i think is more worth to visit El Nido right? Any tours you can recommend to get there?

    • Jan 9, 2015 / 10:14 am

      In El Nido take tour C.

      • John
        Jan 11, 2015 / 4:39 am

        Lol she hasn’t even been there

    • Roms
      Jan 11, 2015 / 7:33 pm

      Take tours A, B and C. Each would have its own highlight. Also, do not miss Nacpan-Calitang Twin Beach. But if you have limited time, prioritize tours A and C. You could also ask the boatman to pick the best spots from tours A, B and C. You might have to pay a different rate though, as tours A, B, C and D are the standard ones.

  14. Jan 9, 2015 / 12:33 am

    It sounds exactly like my experience in Thailand so thank you thank you and thank you again for the heads up, because after I read so many sugarcoated blog posts about visiting the Phillipines I really wanted to go. I can only imagine how dissapointed I would have been if I ended up on another Ko Phi Phi island but in Phillipines. And why people are keep saying that Phillipines are still so ‘Undiscovered’?

    • Jan 9, 2015 / 10:15 am

      Boracay is definitely ‘discovered’ hehe.

    • Doki
      Jan 10, 2015 / 6:33 pm

      The Philippines has 7107 islands. Boracay is just 1. Take your pick.

      • Jan 13, 2015 / 2:11 am

        I will visit all those 7106 except Boracay 🙂

        • Rod
          Jan 15, 2015 / 5:03 am

          you’ll miss half of your life then.

        • Joe
          Mar 17, 2015 / 6:48 am

          Yeah, skip Boracay if you want to be somewhere quiet, isolated. Skip Boracay if you don’t want to eat food you are most likely familiar with. Skip Boracay if you’d rather be on an island where accommodations are limited. Skip Boracay if don’t want any night life. Skip Boracay if you’d rather be somewhere else more expensive for the same thing. Yes, just skip Boracay altogether.

    • Ssan Dongque
      Jan 10, 2015 / 6:50 pm

      There are still many undiscovered places here in the Philippines. You may consider going to Batanes or Palawan. However, must admit that Boracay is waaaay too commercialized. It saddens us. But this is the truth though.

    • Jaja
      Jan 10, 2015 / 8:04 pm

      Because Boracay is just one of the 7,107 Islands the Philippines have. If you really want to enjoy the Philippines, try going to a virgin island. No hotels, no bars, just you and your camping gear.

    • brent
      Jan 10, 2015 / 9:49 pm

      Because my dear, Boracay is not the whole Philippines, there’s Palawan, Cebu, Bohol, Vigan, Siargao, Baguio, Camiguin, Camsur, Davao, Misibis Bay, Poro Point La Union and more of the 7000 plus islands.

    • JJ
      Jan 11, 2015 / 4:24 am

      I think it still is since the Philippines has only around 5 million tourists on average compared to Thailand’s 25 million every year haha. Most of the tourists you’ll see in the Philippines are locals or Korean or other Asian tourists very few Westerners. I wouldn’t want the same Western crowds destroying islands in the Philippines. I honestly don’t mind Asian tourists crowding and spending their money, but I don’t like Westerners (not generalizing here but I’ve noticed a substantial number of them), who bring their drug and drunken culture to countries in Asia, those kinds of Western tourists can keep their drugs and drunken culture in Thailand or other parts of Southeast Asia.

    • Jan 11, 2015 / 6:06 am

      Marta, sorry to jump into the conversation, but the Philippines have more than 7000 islands, and Boracay is the n.1 spot for tourists, that’s why it’s so ruined. It all depends on what you want. Some people will still like the Boracay vibe, some others will prefer the more quiet Palawan (just to name another very famous spot), I visited many Islands in the Philippines because I stayed there for 4 months in a row, and I can assure you that they are still well worth a visit! I’m now a bit worried on talking and writing too much on the other beautiful places I saw, as I don’t want them to be ruined.

      By the way, I also was disappointed by Koh Phi Phi, but it’s undeniable that maya beach without tourists would be paradise on earth, Is not the place that has to be blamed, it’s humans. As in the movie “The Matrix” we are like parasites or viruses. Too bad.

      • Jan 13, 2015 / 2:10 am

        Hi Clelia! Thanks for the insight. I was certainly referring to Boracay in my comment not to Phillipines as a whole! Hell even if I hated my previous experience in Thailand I would give it another shot and visit the north, as everyone says it is completely different than the south. But I have read so many articles about how amazing Boracay is and from what I am reading here and in many comments below it is far from the truth. I am not crossing Phillipines of my list just because of this article, but I think Boracay will be a place I will skip for the sake of other islands!

        • Sunsets and Wanderlust
          Feb 18, 2015 / 4:00 am

          You’re pathetic. You look like a beautiful girl but you have a very ugly heart and if you have a very ugly heart just like the girl who wrote this blog, you’re ugly on the whole. You don’t go through life listening to other people’s opinions and that makes you a very stupid girl.

  15. Justin
    Jan 9, 2015 / 12:34 am

    Having been to Boracay many times and living in the Philippines for many years I definitely feel where you’re coming from. I especially get angry at the vendors. Having seen these guys in action for so long I can assure you that they have no hope of you actually buying something and mostly just want to get close to you to check you out. They can be pushy to guys as well, I was there just last month and literally shoved a guy off the path for trying to sell me a selfie stick by putting the dang thing in my face. I felt terrible afterward, and still feel bad about it actually, but at the time I just had had enough — haha. I do keep going back though mostly because it’s a pretty safe and controlled area to take my family, the beach really is beautiful and the sunsets are amazing — plus I can bring friends there who are looking to party their asses off and know they’ll have a good time. But I would choose Bohol over Boracay any day. Better culture, better people. Note though that every Filipino who works in Boracay is not from Boracay, they go there to “hustle” and try and make whatever money they can for their family — it’s a shame nobody teaches them how to sell.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:53 am

      That’s exactly what I thought! I’d be more than happy to buy something and tip people if they’re kind and nice instead of “gimme a tip now’ attitude 🙁

  16. Jan 9, 2015 / 1:00 am

    hhhmmmm… I’ve never been to Boracay before…Maybe I will stay closer to the Caribbean lol
    Thanks for this post.

  17. Jan 9, 2015 / 1:34 am

    Great article and an interesting read – especially as I very nearly went to Boracay on a recent trip to Asia. I guess I’ll leave it! Which Filipino islands would you recommend?

    • Jan 9, 2015 / 10:13 am

      I went to Bohol ams liked it. Palawan is a must-see, touristic but gorgeous

      • Jan 10, 2015 / 8:09 pm

        Hi Anna, I’m J and I’m from the Philippines. I’m on my mid 20s, the-should-be-partying-phase but I haven’t been to Boracay… Ever.
        Let’s cut it to the chase.. you might want to try visiting the following:
        -Basco, Batanes
        -Davao City, Davao (4th safest city in the world)
        -San Juan, La Union (where I came from; recently, it was named as the new Surfing Capital of the Philippines)
        -Currimao, Ilocos Norte
        -Silanguin Cove, Zambales
        -El Nido, Palawan
        -Coron, Palawan
        -Baler, Aurora

      • Ibrahim Bambalan
        Jan 11, 2015 / 9:52 pm

        If you want a 10 visitor per day, research about 100 hundred island in Pangasinan, one of those island can be 1:1 visitor or just go island hopping to it.

      • Kiks
        Jan 13, 2015 / 4:07 am

        Have you even been to Palawan? …………..

        • Jan 13, 2015 / 10:52 am

          Not yet.

    • Ryan
      Jan 10, 2015 / 6:14 pm

      Thank you anna for the heads up. I’m planning to visit boracay this summer but based on what I read, i migt skip boracay and go to coron instead. I’ve been to El nido and I must say it’s a must visit island in Philippines.

  18. Jan 9, 2015 / 1:40 am

    You went to boracay on its peak season what do you expect? Filipino’s are normally loud but friendly. As a traveller you need to expect the worse and be wise your chosen destination. No doubt there’s a lot of scam which I think you already know because there’s a lot of tourist already experienced the same thing. I pity you because of your bad experienced and I pity you more because you are not a wise tourist / traveller. You can’t blame if there’s a lot of people on the island because it’s really a paradise sand, beach, sun, drink and sex what can you ask for more darling?

    • gab
      Jan 10, 2015 / 7:59 am

      Exactly. I think Anna here should book a trip to heaven. It’s the place, the marvel of the sand and water. You should’ve travelled with friends. I think you will enjoy the experience more. There’s island hopping, cliff diving, snorkeling, and banana boat package that you did not avail. If you’re travelling alone, boracay and the likes (beaches for parties and social gathering) are not your place. You should go to museums, churches, temples, or places like that. You haven’t experienced the good side and yet you destroyed the image of the place. A lot of people don’t want to go there because of your article. Hope that before you have written this, you should’ve asked if you tasted all that Boracay has to offer.

      • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:55 am

        Oh I was hanging out with a friend, so it’s not like I was alone, but we both felt the same way.

        • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:19 pm

          You should have stayed at the other side of Boracay. There are a lot of private beaches on the opposite side, mostly owned by resorts so only the hotel guests are allowed to stay in the area = no annoying vendors and away from all the party places and drunk tourists. If you decide to give the island another try, go island hopping so you get to see other areas and beaches in Boracay.

    • Slipstream
      Jan 10, 2015 / 8:30 pm

      Go easy on the girl guys. Jeezus.

  19. Jan 9, 2015 / 1:49 am

    If you are having an issue with the people vendors and restaurant you should go to an isolated island I think that’s the best place for you. Not mad at you girl the thing is that you need to expect those things you mentioned in boracay because it has been posted several times. What you did is already plagiarism.

    • Jane Martinez
      Jan 10, 2015 / 7:10 am

      Another blogger who want to be famous…

  20. Maria
    Jan 9, 2015 / 4:07 am

    Hello! Well-written and you’ve probably listed everything I hate about Boracay. I’m Filipino and I’ve never dreamed of visiting Boracay not even once. For me, I think it’s so silly because it’s like you took all the Metro Manila partying crowd to a nice beach to do what they do best. Also, I don’t really like the partying crowd – had a bad experience one time at a popular night spot in Manila at some point, and I think they’re just the same type of people. Anyway, you should Google LaBoracay. It’s going to get on your nerves and it’s like the worst hashtag and set of photos online with inconsiderate people dirtying up the beach. My mum has gone to Boracay when it wasn’t infested with tourists sometime in the early 90’s, looking at current video footage and photos online, she says it looked so different back then. Great blog!

    • JM
      Jan 11, 2015 / 5:20 pm

      The whole Philippines is thanking you for putting more dirt on it’s face.

    • Russel
      Sep 14, 2015 / 2:22 am

      wow, you’re putting your own opinion without actually going there?
      that’s very stupid.

  21. Jan 9, 2015 / 5:58 am

    I’m from the Philippines and I completely agree with you. The first trip was all right because my friends and I booked ourselves in the FARTHEST part of the stations, where there are no people. It’s surely not a place for people who want to be left alone, since it’s a party scene. (Not my scene.) I’ve also read some news in the last couple of years that told the story of an indigenous youth leader who got shot because somebody wanted to build more resorts. I swore off Boracay ever since. If you do a search on Dexter Condez, you’ll see a lot of articles regarding this. He was trying to preserve heritage sites and was killed for it.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:56 am

      Omg that’s terrible 🙁

  22. Gregg
    Jan 9, 2015 / 7:02 am

    I don’t know what Boracay is like now. My last visit to the place was about 33 years ago.
    At that time there were several dozen nipa houses along the beach that ran between 15 and 25 pesos/night. There was no motorized transportation, you ate in the large home on the property you were renting from and your choices were the catch of the day, or perhaps a freshly killed chicken and some bat adobo if someone went hunting at the cave that was rumored to be at the north end of the island. You were often awakened by local kids knocking at your door offering to sell you a coconut shell full of magic mushrooms that they fresh picked in the cow pastures for 5 pesos. If you bought them it was common to have the cook make you a huge mushroom omelet to start you day in a most interesting way. There wasn’t a whole lot to do other than chill out, socialize and enjoy talcum soft snow white sand and dazzling shades of aqua sea. And, of course, sunset was not to be missed.
    From what I’m reading hear I’d guess that the Boracay I knew no longer exists. Such is the nature of things.

    • Jan 9, 2015 / 10:10 am

      It’s a shame but it seems like Boracay you’re describing is long gone 🙁

    • dave
      Jan 11, 2015 / 8:37 am

      My first visit to Boracay was in the early 90’s. The beach was lined with cottages that cost 150 to 300 a night, no electricity. In the evening, it was difficult to walk along the beach as the path (not road) was just lighted by kerosene lamps attached to coconut trees. The only noisy place was the Coco (something), it is still there because they have generator and loud music. Water was hand pumped from the ground, and lots of empty spaces. There was even a small swamp in the middle of the island. From there I witnessed how Boracay transformed. My last visit was 2 years ago and to tell you, I got lost!!! I can not find the place of my friend before!! Everywhere you go it’s noisy and everything is expensive.

      I like it better in Tawi-tawi (not recommended if you are white or fair skinned people). The islands/beaches in this area are way.way better than Boracay. I was there two months ago visiting the Venice of the Philippines when one of my cousins warned us to get out of the place. We did not stay overnight in the island even though we have relatives there, we went back to the boat before dark.
      We have great beaches here near General Santos which are located in Gumasa, Glan (an hour drive from GenSan). White beaches no nagging vendors. The vendors you can see are those women selling fishes caught by their husbands. There are no noisy motorboats too.

  23. Jan 9, 2015 / 10:53 am

    We visited in 2009 during the monsoon season and had a great time. We turned a 3 day trip into 11 days because we didn’t want to leave. In rained every day, but only for a few hours. The rest of the time is was beautiful. There were crowds, but not as bad as you describe. If you get off White Beach and go to the other side of the island it’s much nicer (well, it was 6 years ago). Too bad you didn’t enjoy the experience. Globalization and infrastructure has certainly impacted the “secret spots” of the world. That said, Boracay (like Bali, Koh Phi Phi, etc) is one of the most popular beaches in SE Asia, so you have to go in knowing that you won’t be alone.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 5:39 am

      I live in Iloilo so Boracay is just a 7 hour bus ride away. It is my wife and I’s favorite place so far. But then again, when I lived in Hawaii Waikiki was my beach of choice! I love Boracay. We are planning our next visit for Valentines Day. I love in rainy season or peak. 🙂

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 5:44 am

      I live in Iloilo so Boracay is just a 7 hour bus ride away. It is my wife and I’s favorite place so far. But then again, when I lived in Hawaii Waikiki was my beach of choice! I love Boracay. We are planning our next visit for Valentines Day. I love it in rainy season or peak. 🙂

      • Jan 10, 2015 / 9:19 am

        Waikiki and Boracay are sort of similar with the amount of people and shops around. Some people just like it 🙂 Safe travels guys!

  24. Cliff Friedman
    Jan 9, 2015 / 5:54 pm

    I am sorry, but I found this to be a stupid article on many levels. First is, look at the picture in which the author complains about an over crowded beach, and what you see is a spectacular beach with maybe 20 people. Hardly over crowded.

    But what is more is the author’s confusion on what he/she wants or is expecting. I have been living/travelling in the Philippines for 25 years. When I first arrived, all the Filipinos said “you should go to Boracay, all the foreigners go to Boracay” so right away I said, I don’t want to go to Boracay. Why will I go to the Philippines to meet foreigners, I want to meet Filipinos. Then the author talks about wanting to meet other “travelers” but is disappointed when the other travelers are doing what travelers do.

    And if you want to get local culture in the Philippines or any country for that matter, you are in idiot if you think you are going to find it in a tourist destination that caters to foreigners. If you want local culture, head to the mountains or even a fishing village, or a scary place or the churches, or anything, but not to a beach resort reknown for its partying.

    Boracay is what it is, the problem this author faced was that even though everything and everyone says exactly what Boracay is, the author expected something else. If you go to Kuta Beach in Bali do not look for Balinese culture, look for drunk Aussies.

    I just hate it when an idiotic author/blogger disparages a place, not because of what was there, but simply because it was what it was.

    • Jan 9, 2015 / 6:58 pm

      People were encouraging me to go because they claimed it’s beautiful. I wanted to meet both – travelers and locals and in fact who I met were annoying vendors and constantly drunken Dutch people. Not all travelers behave like this, sorry!

      • Jan 10, 2015 / 8:48 am

        I was a resident of Boracay for 6 years. Your post just makes me laugh. You can’t stay at a hostel and go during peak season and expect to get the El Nido experience. Also, the minute you hear it is a “popular tourist destination” and maybe even take some time to check how small the island actually is, you should have figured that you might stumble upon a busy beach, that is geared towards catering to tourists.

        What makes Boracay beautiful are the locals, the residents and their generous and welcoming nature. But based on how you write about your “awful” visit – I can understand why you didn’t meet any of them or learn how to appreciate what Boracay is actually all about.

        For somebody who travels a lot, you seem awfully ignorant and judgemental – I myself travel a lot, and well, let’s just say I have at least learned that you can’t go to Paris expecting Amsterdam.

        For your reference, this is the blog I wrote during the 6 years I spent living on this island you call the “worst island” you ever visited. There is a damn good reason why I named my blog that.

        Best wishes from the land of sunshine!

    • pandacankid
      Jan 10, 2015 / 7:23 pm

      well. if you live in a different country, the fucking tourism advertises a different face of boracay, even inside Phil, it doesn’t show that boracay is a party place and you don’t have any idea that it’s not a relaxing place because of the view or the people. if you’ll know in the first place that boracay is a shitty disco/party place then it would better go to the city to save the island as well.

      • Anne
        Jan 11, 2015 / 3:26 pm

        I’ve traveled a lot in and out of Asia both by backpacking and going on vacation with my family/friends. And while it may not be my favorite place, I’ve been to Boracay more than 15 times ever since I was a kid. My parents have vacation memberships so we get free accommodation every year. I’ve seen Boracay change throughout the years and it’s really sad. However, Boracay being a place for partying and fun isn’t really a secret. It’s a tourist spot and quite famous so you can’t really expect the place to be tranquil and be alone especially during peak season (Her picture shows December 20 and that is peak season.) You can’t just believe the tourism advertisements. And even in the Philippines there’s always news about parties in Boracay during peak season and almost every Filipino that I know are aware of Boracay’s busy night life. Even foreign travelers and tourists I have met that have heard about Boracay know about its night life. And the author clearly said she knows it’s a place for partying. There are lots of information online, aside from the tourism advertisements, about what to expect in Boracay. If a person wanted to have a peaceful vacation, there’s info online on where to go in Boracay, where to stay and when to travel. Besides, Boracay isn’t really advertised as a place for solitude. It’s advertised as a place for recreation and fun.

        The author had a bad experience and I feel sad for her. And I agree that Boracay is too commercialized which is why I prefer other places in the Philippines(Palawan, Bohol, Ilocos Norte, Camiguin, Cebu etc) even though I frequent Boracay. Even so, calling it the worst island, not posting valid points and pictures, and posting only negative things about a place when she didn’t manage her expectations and didn’t research properly is ignorant for a traveler/blogger.

        To the author, I’m not saying this because I’m from the Philippines but because I’m also a frequent traveler and I read a lot of travel blogs. As a traveler/blogger you should always carefully research and plan for a trip. Learn to manage your expectations, be prepared and keep an open mind so that you’ll have a decent and even an enjoyable trip. In my 23 years of traveling and 11 years since I started traveling on my own and backpacking, I’ve never really had a place I would label the “worst”. I’ve experienced far worse especially when I was backpacking but I always try to keep a positive attitude and look for things that I like. Also while I appreciate honesty on a travel blog, you should keep in mind that your voice has weight and you have different audiences so be more careful in your posts. You should have stated both what you liked and disliked about the place instead of focusing only on negativity. Use valid points and keep it rational. And be more mindful of the words that you use.

        • Jan 14, 2015 / 7:00 am

          very well said. highly objective post. 🙂

        • Florita Rasnier
          Oct 19, 2015 / 1:30 pm

          Go to Bondi Beach in Australia
          on peak season your feet have no room to walk

    • Christian Cruz
      Jan 11, 2015 / 6:10 pm

      I agree with this post. She criticized it for being exactly what was described to her. This is what one can call lazy blogging.

  25. rachel
    Jan 9, 2015 / 6:51 pm

    Wow this blogger has no effing clue what she is on about and sounds like the snobbiest backpacker with the highest expectations. If you want to visit bora on a budget, expect shifty buses and crappie lodging. Like anywhere pay a little more and be in comfort, like fly to caticlan (the closer airport), or if I want to save money, fly to kalibo and hire a private transfer to the ferry port. While my last trip to the island at new years just gone was a nightmare cause it was PEAK SEASON, like anywhere else it was crowded, and generally you would probably avoid tourist destinations at those times. Canceled and delayed flights are always am issue, I agree that these need to be fixed but having been a victim of these situations, one can only blame poor weather conditions and manila airport. All in all, if you want a good mix of a beautiful beach, good party vibes, decent food and nice accomodation, boracay is the best option. Trust me other places in Philippines are not quite as fun and the food is shit! I have had food poisoning 3 times bad in the country from local cuisine. Generally Philippines is a bit behind on the tourism spector compared to Thailand and other places but that’s what is the beauty of it, a bit off the beaten track. Agreed that this blogger just sounds like a frigging whinger who should probably find a new profession.

    • Jan 9, 2015 / 7:21 pm

      1. Who told you I’m a backpacker and that I was on a budget?
      2. Also, how do you know that I went during the peak season when actually it was a low season.
      3. I also got super sick because of the food in the Philippines and I didn’t even put it there (I probably should) because it won’t happen to everyone.
      Read the post carefully before complaining 😉

      • Jan 10, 2015 / 6:18 am

        I believe Rachel assumed you are a on a budget since you chose the farthest airport where the plane tickets are more affordable. The ticket price for Caticlan airport is usually ridiculously high.

        Anyway, I saw the picture of the sand castles with a date: Dec 20, 2014 (last weekend before Christmas). That’s definitely not a low season! Peak season is from November to May. Actually some hotels consider that week leading to Christmas ‘super peak season’.

        Remember, most Filipinos are already on holiday during that time and many of them flock to Boracay. Christmas is a big thing in the Philippines and most take long vacations and travel to different islands.

        • Jan 10, 2015 / 9:16 am

          I also think that for a lower price that you have to pay for everything in Boracay you can go anywhere else in the Philippines and have more pleasant experience 😉

          • Jenn
            Jan 10, 2015 / 6:33 pm

            sorry, i find your reply to mark conrad irrelevant. what you paid for is what you get honey. you dont pay for a crappy hotel and expect a 5-star experience.

          • Jan 12, 2015 / 10:09 pm

            palawan is better than boracay,,el nido..

      • Freddie Alviola
        Jan 10, 2015 / 1:30 pm

        I’ll take your word girl.
        Learn before you also complain!
        Did you know that for what you are doing you are distroying the life of thousand of people who are hoping and taking there living on the island? Or it is really on your goal?

        • Jan 10, 2015 / 4:08 pm

          So do you want me to lie instead?

          • wapski
            Jan 10, 2015 / 9:42 pm

            yes he does. dont mind him. 🙂

          • Vanilla
            Jan 10, 2015 / 11:34 pm

            But didn’t you just lie by saying you went during ‘low season’?

            Your photos clearly show that you were there on Dec 20 – this period is globally recognised as peak season…

          • Christian Cruz
            Jan 11, 2015 / 6:18 pm

            There’s a difference between lying and being fair. You were told beforehand what to expect and yet, you wanted to see something different than what your were told. Be fair.

        • Paul
          Apr 20, 2016 / 6:08 pm

          Not if they take the comments and turn them into positives. People learn from feedback and how you deal with it determines if you benefit or not

      • Filipina in Texas
        Jan 11, 2015 / 2:05 pm

        Hey girl. I have never been to Boracay, but this article is just crazy. I thought the reason for your travel was to know and experience the Filipino culture? And yet here you are complaining about our food, the vendors, and the destination itself!? You shouldve done your research, honey. Bora is known for having the best bars on a white sand beach island, perfect place to relax and have fun at the same time. If you were looking for somewhere to be in the quiet,, ooh definitely not the place for you. And really? December is obviously not a slow season. In fact, it is one of the busiest season we have. Regarding the food, i should say, Filipinos are good cooks. We have good food there, no bias. If you got sick after eating what they had to offer there, oh wait til you taste one of our favorites — the balot. That would have been funny!!! lol. You shouldve had an open mind of how we do things in the Philippines. Crazy bus rides and vendors in the streets and resorts, that’s how it is supposed to be! that’s how we are different from other countries. and you should have respected that instead of posting some lousy blog degrading one of our tourist sposts. I know you just wanted to scream your heart out as a traveler, who have had bad decisions, but yeah. You were just there for all the wrong reasons at the wrong time. If you wanna go somewhere and just have a goodtime with friends, then maybe Bora would give you another shot and probably be good to you. You were dragging all the bad vibes behind you, which might have been the reason why people there were mean to you.
        Anyway, safe travels. May the odds be in your favor.

      • Dee
        Jan 11, 2015 / 2:10 pm

        With regard to the comment on peak season, I’m thinking the reader based it on the photos you posted, specifically the “Sand spots every 15 mins”. The month on it was December, just 5 days before Christmas? This IS peak season, in fact peak season started in November.
        I’ve been visiting Boracay every yr, but during low season. Like you, I don’t enjoy being bothered by vendors constantly and over crowded beaches. Boracay is perfect during this time, as the beaches are cleaner, no one hassling you for tips, take photos on the sand spots and give ANY amount ( even coins) you want to the kids, and you can take photos that will look like you’re stranded on a deserted island (early in the morning or the sunny hours after lunch time- don’t really know why most stay inside when it’s so beautiful outside) . 🙂 I recommend giving Boracay another chance, and visit between June-Sept. Although this is considered wet season in the Philippines, I’ve experienced sunny skies in Boracay on my annual trips since 2005, with a couple light showers (short periods). 🙂 Anyway, in behalf of the people who still love Boracay, not for the party place, but for its beauty, locals, seafood, and fun nature activities, we hope to change your mind, if you give it another chance. Anyway, cheers and happy travels.

      • Christian Cruz
        Jan 11, 2015 / 6:17 pm

        Wow. You really are ignorant. December 20 onward IS peak season in Boracay. Of course, it’s going to be crowded. You obviously didn’t do your research.

      • Nov 26, 2015 / 5:56 am

        I recently went there and thought it was a great place. You cause job losses through the tourists you turn away through such negative, generalizing blog posts. Shameful.

        • Warren Jones
          Nov 27, 2015 / 1:23 am

          Big disagree. You think that Philippines can build a sustainable tourism business by not delivering the services for which people travel and pay?. It’s a competitive world, so easy for people to choose between Phils, Vietnam or Bali. For the long term gain of the Republic of Philippines the short sighted attitude needs to evolve. While the one unscrupulous cousin of the major might make a small profit for Tanduay for themselves for one day, think about what they could achieve by building sustainable business for centuries. Tourists talk and in the same way some tourists might discourage others, when a good experience is delivered, people talk and flock to enjoy.

    • wapski
      Jan 10, 2015 / 9:39 pm

      cant take any criticism. LOOOOL. typical dumb pinoy.

      • Filipina in Texas
        Jan 11, 2015 / 2:21 pm

        typical dumb pinoy, huh? do yourself a favor and get a life!

        • wapski
          Jan 14, 2015 / 4:34 am

          HHAHA. another butthurt pinoy.

    • Flo
      Jan 11, 2015 / 8:32 am

      Good point! As a Balikbayan, I think Boracay has what they call high season and low season. If you wanted the Island all to yourself then maybe go on a season that is not too crowded. Plus traveling on a budget trip like arriving in Kalibo with 40something people instead of Caticlan and staying on a hostel with backpackers will surely make you end up with a rowdy group of people. I wouldn’t want that experience myself. And having local vendors approaching to sell stuff is so Filipino. Boracay has turned into a tourist spot such as the likes of Santa MonicaCa, Huntington beach Ca, Venice BeachCa, Cabo San Lucas in, Mexico, even Honolulu, Hi…and every toutist spot has a place where locals go and in Boracay, it’s always the Talipapa for me or ask a local to bring us fresh catch of the day and have them cook it for us for a small price to pay. I totally agree that the local government has enforce a strict regulation on beach clean up and waste disposal. But to sum up, I always enjoy my stay in Boracay everytime I go.

  26. Jan 9, 2015 / 7:39 pm

    Interesting! I have a friend who just came back and loved Boracay, but I’ve always kind of thought that it probably wouldn’t be my “cup of tea.” It seems that people either love it or hate it!

    • Jan 9, 2015 / 8:10 pm

      Pretty much – that’s why I went there to see it for myself 🙂

  27. The local guide
    Jan 9, 2015 / 8:37 pm

    Anna, this is very true and as a resident of the Philippines, I totally agree that Boracay is not the place to be unless you are going to Shangri-la o station 1, only a handful of worthy places and you end up spending more money as it is very commercialized. I do recommend Palawan and This particular Island called Flower Island as you will be the only one in the beach most of the time. Let me know if u want more details!

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 12:02 pm

      I just googled Flower Island and it looks amazing!

      • Bregendrewgo
        Jan 10, 2015 / 3:59 pm

        Hahaha. Another tourist guide who want to offer you something on their own place. I hope that this tourist guide dont drag other tourist destinations down just for their own interest.

        • lisette
          Nov 29, 2015 / 3:10 pm

          Go to private beach like shangrila resort in boracay if you dont want the ventors bother you. Atleast there you dont see vendors around you or crawded place..and also there have private ride for you on the way to the resort.. Unless if you have a budget.. Boracay is more better than san diego beach.. And im sure you went there pick season..

      • mj
        Jan 10, 2015 / 11:51 pm

        Calaguas Island is much better 🙂

  28. Ray
    Jan 10, 2015 / 1:09 am

    Thank you for your honest report on this place. I am a retiree living in the Philippines for more than 3 years now. Everyone is always telling me that I need to go to Boracay because it is so great. I go to many off beat places here that are much cheaper, easier to get to, and less crowded so I ask them why would I go? Their reasoning is that it is the most visited by foreigners. Which is why I would rather go to other places. Thanks and happy traveling

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 12:02 pm

      Exactly! I wanted to see it for myself tho, but definitely won’t be coming back as I only expect it to get worse in a few years.

  29. boraboy
    Jan 10, 2015 / 1:46 am

    well boracay really is an island for partying, i suggest try to visit palawan island coron or el nido, if you really want an island paradise without crowded people, cheers

  30. Belinda Schafer
    Jan 10, 2015 / 3:42 am

    I totally agree with this article about Boracay. I – Westerner lady travelling alone – had the worst time of my life for the exact same reasons..every five minutes being bugged and perved at by vendors…and obviously all sex perverts and totally confused that all foreigners are sex perverts. I was irritated by the local vendors constantly and in my 9 days there , could not ever enjoy my stay for 5 minutes without a vendor staring at me or trying to sell something to me. Even when you say no, they continue their conversation. Absolutely unbelievable arrogance and sexual perversion .

  31. Alex Rivera
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:24 am

    hey there Anna… im a filipino… and ive been in boracay several time…. i quite like the place (some of it) but yes… i agree with you…. its tooo commercialize! i hope the department of tourism of the philippines could read your article… (FYI: i also hate vendors shouting: Sir, Maam, Massage and even those who forcefully asking for Tips..)

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 12:03 pm

      That’s why I was happy when I was told that in Panglao Island vendors are banned from the beach 🙂

  32. boknoi
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:55 am

    Filipino here. An honest to goodness review. Of course Boracay is a prime destination and obviously a tourist trap, what do you expect? We still have other unspoiled beaches and other destinations to cater your need just a google away.

    Expect bashers and haters from sensitive Filipino readers haha! As a traveler any experience good or bad still counts these are the reasons why every travel is an adventure. Cheers!

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 9:17 am

      Thanks! Safe travels!

  33. Angelo The Explorer
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:32 am

    I actually just finished writing about how we enjoyed our stay in Boracay. We stayed in Station 3 which is away from the crowd. Most of the crowd and vendors are found in Station 1 and 2, but when you get to Station 3, it’s completely different. It’s really lovely that side of Boracay.

    You have a good point here and everybody is open to their opinion.

    • Pamy J
      Jan 10, 2015 / 9:34 pm

      I love station 3! So quiet, and away from it all.

  34. Yuan
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:56 am

    Hello Anna, I am a Filipino but I will not opposed on what you had experience in Boracay. I will recommend such places that will fit on your personality try to explore beaches in palawan and siargao for surfing. I’d been there. These islands are not populated as what boracay has. Less vendor and shops and locals are good. For us that we need a quite environment and explores the beauty of an island. Boracay is not for us, its for the people who always gathered in the parties, drinking alcohols etc.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 9:20 am

      I wanted to go to Siargao but then got super sick and had to leave the Philippines 🙁 Next time!

      • marie
        Jan 11, 2015 / 11:16 am

        siargao is best for you. it is one of the best places i’ve been to. it’s not just all about surfing. there are also small islands there that are super clean with crystal clear water and white sand… and less populated

  35. Tom
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:59 am

    Filipino here and quite agree with everything that you wrote. First time I went to Boracay was in 1983. It was truly a paradise. No electricity, no restaurants, no vendors, nothing of what you wrote about. When I went back 24 years later, I was shocked with all the commercialism. From then on, I decided never to go back.

    Looking forward when you visit other places in the Philippines where you can truly experience fond memories and write about. Keep us posted.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 12:04 pm

      I visited other places as well – posts are coming up 🙂

  36. Huno
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:13 am

    I think you visited the wrong place in the Philippines. I will only recommend Boracay if your a party person… If your not, you better visit Coron or El Nido, Palawan. It is less crowded and undeveloped with beaches much more beautiful than Boracay. Caramoan is a good option too and the islands of Bantayan & Malapascua of Cebu.

  37. Rhonnel Tan
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:24 am

    Hi Anna, I am a filipino and I’ve already been to boracay, I agree and at the same time disagree with some of your points but nonetheless, I respect your opinion. If I may suggest you can try to visit Calicoan Island, also in the Philippines. There, you can experience True filipino culture, its an unspoiled island and definitely undiscovered. I can tour you there without asking a “tip” Haha and I will be glad to cook and treat you for a filipino dinner 🙂

  38. john henry valencia
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:36 am

    Hi anna,it was so sad toread such kind of posts fornthe famous boracay of Thephilippines, and i perfectly understand the reasons why you felt so bad on your experience, but if ever it comes to your mind to give Philippines a second chance please do let me know so that i can help you pick which island to go to, Batanes is such a nice place to visit as well as panglao island (and a lot more) in bohol those are virgin islands that might suit your taste and expected experience 🙂

  39. onion_knight
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:49 am

    I’m a Filipino but I haven’t been (and not planning) to go to Boracay. Why? Your post says it all.

    Apparently, Boracay is now very commercialized and full of tourists everywhere. I don’t think you can enjoy your purpose of visiting, which is to enjoy nature. True, it may be a good for social place but as a person who prefers to relax and enjoy the nature, this is a no-no. I suggest visiting Palawan. I’ve been to El Nido and it’s amazing! I suppose it’s also cheaper but heck, I’d rather burn my money there.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 12:05 pm

      Exactly!

  40. Ahshsh
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:49 am

    I agree with the Local Guide. Station 1 has more pristine sand with more privacy. As the huge resorts are in Station 1, they get to maintain their beach front. More vendors, insistent vendors to rephrase, stay in Station 2 and 3 for the simple reason that more shops, reataurants, and foot traffic happens along those strips. If you wanna do some water sports for instance, go to Station 2 because that’s where their “offices” or posts are so most likely these vendors would be on the Station 2 beach area. From that huge rock on your photo towards the other end behind your back, that’s station 1, the farther you go, the less shops, the less vendors, the more resorts, the more peace and privacy. I agree with one of those who added a comment before I did, Boracay is what is is. Known for parties and tourists, def don’t expect otherwise.

  41. belle
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:03 am

    you could have read some reviews before coming though. boracay is really loaded now so if you’re planning for a peaceful getaway, forget that place. i’m not much of a traveller but as a filipino, i know the hustles and bustles of our country. the annoying street vendors aren’t just on boracay, they’re all over the philippines. they make me go gaga too (in a bad way.) 🙂 just need to search, search and search thru the internet. try el nido, palawan? that place is isolated like heaven since not a lot of filipino people can afford the place. LOL 😀

  42. Tiger
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:14 am

    You’re certainly entitled to your own opinion, but I can’t help thinking that perhaps you let a few negative things ruin your vacation too much. I’m a pinoy who’s been to Palawan, Bohol and Boracay several times for vacation and I gotta say that Boracay still takes the cake for me and my family. It’s got the best beach and atmosphere, while Bohol is too quiet and Palawan is too spread out, too huge to take in on limited time and budget. Boracay is unique in that it can cater to the budget-conscious or the big spender and you can find everything you need in a few square kilometers of island.

    We always go to Boracay at least twice a year and while what you say about the commercialism the number of tourists and vendors is true, the beach, the shoreline, the surf and the vibe more than make up for it, at least for us it does. We’ve been there several times but it never gets old. We always want to go back because there’s always something new to discover and to do. For us, there are still so many unexplored aspects of the island to experience and enjoy.

    Perhaps next time you can schedule your trip towards the end of May-middle of June (End of Summer), or around early to mid-December, right before the Xmas rush. You might also try staying in Station 1 (it’s the quieter side of White beach where we always stay), where there are several mid to high-end resorts to chose from but less tourists, parties and vendors. If more seclusion is your thing, then you might also try staying in Bolabog Beach on the flip side of the island instead of White beach. It’s where all the extreme sportsmen stay.

    Anyway, I do hope you give Boracay another chance, it’s really a very lovely place. If you ever need a tour guide to show you why this is so, me and my family would love to take you in and show you around. And not just Boracay but also other places in the Philippines (Gotta say that I really appreciate you visiting our country a lot! Thanks for all your tourist dollars! :)). It would certainly be our pleasure to host you, after all, we’re Pinoys! It’s in our genetic make-up to be friendly and solicitous. 🙂

    I hope you visit the Philippines again soon. Good luck and God speed on your further travels! 🙂

  43. JC
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:15 am

    Hi Anna, in my opinion, your experience really was unfortunate. I’ve been to Boracay around 5 times and all I could say is just that over the years, it became overrated. Instead of enjoying the peaceful beach, listening to the sound of the waves, your experience was full of harsh reality. Reading some of the comments, I could only agree with those who have seen Boracay before it became all tourist-oriented. As a Filipino, I’m no longer quite sure if the development of Boracay was a good change. First, the place lost it’s “untouched” beauty. Yeah, it’s still a white sand beach/island, but before, people had to go to wet markets and have their newly bought fresh seafood cooked in restaurants to eat and enjoy the island-living. Now, famous restaurants surround the island and there’s even D’Mall already. Second, (believe it or not) vendors weren’t found in the beach/shore area. Henna tattooists, hair braiding services, massage therapists and Spas weren’t all over the island too. Third, each station had their own category. Station 1 had the finest sand and the most expensive resorts, Station 2 has most water activities, the wet market and the “middle-class” resorts while the sand only a little less fine than Station 1, and then Station 3 was where the cheaper resorts can be found and the sand isn’t fine at all. Now everything’s just so different. People go there not really because of what special gift they can find there from Mother nature, but what man has made available for them.

  44. Tiger
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:23 am

    If seclusion and privacy are what your looking for you might try Carabao Island (right off Boracay to the North), or Bantayan Island off Cebu. Both are still pretty rural and pristine. A word of warning though, the resorts and accommodations in these islands are, what you might say, lacking in the more advanced creature comforts. Carabao Island doesn’t even have 24-hour electricity.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 9:09 am

      I tried but boats were all canceled. It was raining pretty much all the time 🙁

      • Tiger
        Jan 11, 2015 / 12:08 am

        Ah, you were here during the storm. Tsk, thats just bad luck. Usually all the storms have petered out by the time December rolls in. My reco is that next time you come back to the Philippines you might wanna try out those two islands, they’re what Boracay used to be 20 years ago. But, getting there is a bit of a bitch, no direct flights and a lot of boat rides.

        Boracay is still the best beach that is the easiest to get to. So, if you want to come back to Boracay, fly in straight to Caticlan (There’s also a ferry that docks in Caticlan but you have to take a three-hour bus ride from Manila to get to the embarkation port in Batangas). Stay in Station 1 and book in Sur or Residencia. Both are good value-for-money places, not as expensive as Friday’s or Two Seasons but offer great rooms and service for around 100-200 US$/night. Plus both are towards the end of Station 1, past Willy’s rock so there are a lot less people, vendors, disturbances, etc… You can also try Bulabog beach, it’s not as crowded and is more a center for water sports enthusiasts, but there are still several good resorts and the beach is just as fine.

        I do hope you’ll come back to our islands soon. Safe travels!

  45. Jan 10, 2015 / 8:24 am

    Y’all come to Catanduanes, my island! Its the home of the Philippines heaviest waves, the Majestic waves of Puraran. Contact me if you wanna book a tour.

  46. mike
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:28 am

    This is sad experience.. It is always crowded during december and summer… For me, Boracay is a place to party and enjoy the beach without taking out the city comfort.

  47. clark
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:31 am

    station 2 and 3 are mainly for parties..
    if u try to go to station 1 or maybe in shangrila u will have the relaxing experience you are looking for.
    at night..station 1 is a bit quiet compare to the other 2 station.

    every tourist have different taste.. some may love bora.. some may not. maybe its not anna’s cup of tea ..

    but there are too many things to do and to see in boracay, i dnt know what’s her itenararies… but it seems like relaxing, if ur in stn 2 , then its not the place to relax.

  48. vinreynantedy beltran
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:36 am

    You should’ve taken a non-budget trip instead. In lieu of taking on backpackers hotel, you should’ve checked-inn at the other side of the island where no one is there but you with an array of hotel staff to take care of your needs. Never complain on a trip where you didn’t spend much. Get a quality trip instead. There are lots of good things to say about this island anyway. A good writer shows the good and the bad side of the book.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 12:07 pm

      Well, compared to other places in the Philippines I’ve visited Boracay was way too overpriced and I wasn’t on a budget. I don’t mind sending money but for me this place is just not worth it.

      • Raymond
        Jan 10, 2015 / 5:51 pm

        Well it appeared so as you stayed in a hostel and took a kalibo flight. But then again, it was peak season and prices would be high and rooms and flights booked high.

  49. Mike Luakian
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:39 am

    Filipino here, travel junkie with a passion for food – and a constant visitor of Boracay for more than a decade. I go at least 3x a year and is still in love with the island.

    Sad to hear about your experience but the route you took was the budget or low cost route. There are ways to make your trip to the island much more pleasant. Take a flight to Caticlan and it will just take a 20 minute boat ride to the island – depends on which resort you stay at, they can have a private boat pick you up (Discovery Shores, Shangrila etc.) – you can have the whole boat to yourself if you don’t wanna socialize.

    Staying in these resorts would mean a better location – wider, cleaner and less crowded beach as well. No backpackers, and service is world class – truly Filipino.

    I don’t know if someone pulled a prank on you as I would never suggest nor have ever been to Hobbit House as there are a number of other restaurants that can please your palate.

    If what you wrote was how you experienced the island then I must totally agree with you. However the island, as with any place, has the good and bad parts and it’s very unfortunate that you are in the latter. If you do decide to give it another chance, please feel free to drop me an email and I will be more than glad to suggest an itinerary to introduce you to the Boracay I know.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 9:07 am

      If i give it another try i will! Thanks!

  50. Kat
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:57 am

    I am also not a party person. If you want pruvacy with lesser tourists, try a private island in Palawan called Mangenguey Island. It is a little over an hour of boat ride from Coron Island and I swear you will have the peace, relaxation, and privacy you are looking for. It is too far from the hustle bustles of city life, and electricity is limited only in the morning. My husband and I enjoyed our honeymoon here-it felt like we had the entire island to ourselves any time of the day. 🙂

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 9:05 am

      Next time! Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  51. John
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:00 am

    You should have visited El Nido Palawan instead, its a tropical paradise and the vibe is completely different from Boracay. Its a 5 hour trip from Puerto Princesa. The amenities are pretty basic in town with electricity from 2pm to 6am only. There are expensive El Nido Hotels if you want to be pampered. There is no loud party in the beach so you can just relax.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 9:04 am

      That was the plan but I got super sick and had to go to the hospital and change my flight 🙁 next time!

  52. yenice23
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:13 am

    You should’ve went To Palawan. Its a paradise in there

  53. Rex Babiera
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:19 am

    Why not go to Guimaras island instead and enjoy enjoy our sweet mangoes? There are a number of beach resorts there which even prohibits the use of celfones and other gadgets. Just enjoy the sea, the sun and the sand 🙂

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 9:22 am

      Sounds interesting! Next time; )

  54. Nikko Barrios
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:31 am

    i feel you anna…

  55. David
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:33 am

    I have been traveling to the Philippines for many years and have discovered many exquisite places, but have avoided Boracay for exactly the reasons you mention. No doubt the worst place to visit in the islands. My advice: get off the beaten path, explore a little and find your own private paraduse. I have already found mine, but won’t tell you where it is because I don’t want you to go there. Regarding the midget club, I saw the exact same thing in Manila, but didn’t know there was one in Boracay. Must be a chain…

  56. Huh
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:36 am

    It’s very unfortunate for you to experience all of these in your trip and I hope you find other places that will definitely enjoy your socks off than this Boracay place. And I salute you for mentioning these details on your blog so that everyone who visits here will be aware of all these and for the governing people there to at least improve the examples you have stated above. It’s been a long time that the place has been too chaotic and I am gradually losing interest to visit there someday.

  57. Shen
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:41 am

    If I had a choice, I wouldn’t want any foreigners in Boracay, imagine meeting condescending and feeling almighty people like you. que horror! I would be happy to just have the pristine white beach to ourselves. Maybe your post will help lessen people coming in to the island and foreigners coming in to build business on it so we can get back the pristine beach we once knew.

  58. John Kevin San Jose
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:50 am

    I surmise crowded places are not your thing. Try Batanes. It’s the northernmost province of the Philippines. Quiet, serene, and truly untouched. Very different from the bustling cities of Manila and crowded beach of Boracay. 110% sure you’ll enjoy staying there to the extent that you don’t want to leave anymore. 😉

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 12:08 pm

      A few people recommended me Batanes. Next time I should go there 🙂

  59. alan boracay
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:59 am

    I’d say your experience is fairly typical. But it would seem you got what you planned and then are complaining. You stayed in a hostel and I think those do cater to the backpackers. You complain about that! Come on now. Look at your picture of the “crowded” beach. I counted perhaps 20 people in a perhaps 200m of beach front. How much space do you really need? You knew of Boracay as a party place and a popular tourist destination, and then are surprised/disappointed that you didn’t have the Island to yourself? The concept of jamming people into a conveyance like sardines seems to me to be very Filipino. Most of the tourist-businesses are not owned by the “local Filipinos”. Mostly they’re foreign owned. So the mermaid swimming failure shouldn’t necessarily be blamed on the locals. I don’t doubt that there is a lot of stuff left on the beach by the drunken partiers, but your picture of 1 slipper/flipflop and a bunch of seaweed doesn’t make that point. It seems to me all your plans were for a cheap party vacation, and that’s what you got and you’re complaining about it.

    I live there about half the year. If you want a quiet time, come back and I’ll show you one. First off, don’t fly to Kalibo. Go directly to Caticlan. Second, stay south of Station 3. It’s quieter. Stay away from the Main Road. If you want to complain about something, there it is. One friend characterized it as typical of any Asian city. Yes there’s very little Filipino culture on Boracay. But one can still have a nice time, meet and get to know locals, and even go back to the “Mainland”, Panay Island, and see and enjoy local culture.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 12:09 pm

      The photo is just an example – look at the photo with the sunset.

      • Ryan
        Jan 10, 2015 / 7:41 pm

        That is why it’s called tourist destination where people visit to enjoy. Get a 5 star resort where there’s privacy!

    • boracay island girl in merlion country
      Jan 11, 2015 / 2:40 am

      very true, and agree with you, alan… there are a million ways to travel… if you choose the cheapest way, expect the worst possible nightmare to happen… though sometimes, some people get lucky meeting local residents and their hospitality without selling you anything but give you the best experience that money could not buy… if you are not into parties, there is still a way to do it in boracay but you’ve got to do your research better as a traveler or an experienced world traveler… learn most especially the low season and between peak and super peak season and the weather, of course!!…, this is an SOP for a traveler on a budget (even if you are not in a budget) and don’t want to spend much and counting every penny he or she spends and do not act like a know it all person because you traveled the world already and your standard of spending is not cheap yet you stayed in a rowdy place… what has been described by anna, are true these days, i wont deny that and this lady traveler is one of the most unfortunate person to ever visit boracay, but count yourself lucky, anna, as you are still alive… there are worst experiences than yours such as spider nesting in your face while in a train in africa or raped in the taxi or bus in india or not coming home alive at all… your hatred of the island and blogging about it to spread hate awareness is as worst like a tourism terrorist spreading it’s venom thru social media… you do not need to lie about your experience but to conclude that everybody will have your experience, is almost as the same terrorist style of spreading the worst of a place so you can appease your nightmare experience… sharing your bad experience does not mean you have to bad mouth the island and its people and there way of living, that is if you ever learned anything in international relations, humanities and journalism… obviously, your standard of cheap travel and not cheap travel is not the same to most people and the international standard despite your varied and wide experiences… if you were not ready to spend money to have the best comfort and experience, you should at least be ready for your nightmare of an experience as a world traveler and learned person… i used to be a backpacker but i have never been to the rowdy drunk guests crowd hostel you had experienced… if you were not in a budget you should have stayed in shangrila boracay where you can have your privacy, peace and quiet time in your own villa while enjoying the white beach… or if you like to be at the long beach, there are several hotels like fridays/dscovery shores/ambassador of paradise etc and several others, that you could have stayed that are owned or run by both filipinos and europeans alike, who are now become local residents and you can even have a chat at the coffee-shoppe with their families… if my daughter who is 5 years old was able to do this, how much more for an adult traveler.. so i think this is something to do with the traveler’s attitude and character in general… well, anna, if you ever visit boracay again, that is if you got the guts to get another nightmare, plan it well ahead, do your research on expected weather, island culture, cultural integration and make sure that you indeed learn something and not just so you can be a condescending whinger, and since you have no patience for vendors, do your research to avoid the crowded rowdy noisy places that are full of vendors, who, you must also consider if you are a learned world traveler and understand they are earning a living and do not judge them, at least they are not muggers, killers, or rapists… for a world traveler, you are not a very patient, adaptable, flexible, open-minded and not ready to rough it out kind of person… luckily you cannot terrorize or badmouth the weather who gives you displeasure when you wanted the sun in your spoiled ways… your travels, is just a travel for you but not part of growing and developing and learning to be a better person with understanding in humanities, cultures and peoples but to show off yourself… you sound like you are stock in the box of condescension and high opinions of your worldly self … and you should not count every penny you spend if you want to travel in a less hassle way… like why take a bus if you are not ready to spend time with the worst scenario… take a taxi and be ready to spend, for a less than 2 hours travel, that is about PHP1,500 to 2,000, is cheap compared taking a taxi in new york or sydney or london or singapore… i know this for a fact… if you are indeed a traveler and have done your research, you know that you can haggle/bargain with the prices in the philippines… that way you can enjoy your travel and you have no time to complain or whinge… of all the hundreds and hundreds of restaurant, your choice was the hobbit house in the middle of a crowded bustling mall!!.. in all my years as a local resident in boracay i have not been to this place but i interact with the crew outside as we pass by this place, coz my children are curious to see small people and thought them to be cousins of bilbo, the adventurous hobbit… sunset and the beach is not only for tourist to enjoy, this has been a part of the life of the local people to be at the beach enjoying every sunset with their families… if you have done your research as an educated with backgrounds in humanities and international relations, you do not sound like a learned person, but a spoiled traveler who thinks so big of yourself and look down of other individuals that does not suit your lifestyle and personalities… you even complained of the PHP50 picture taking of the sand castle, wow really… that’s about only a $1 or $1,50 or less than 1 euro, for an artist to get to share their art and make a living and for all people to enjoy and even get a souvenir picture… really, with that you whinged… think about it if you have internalized your degrees and education in many different universities and countries that you lived and traveled… you have judged and insulted the locals and their island home and their jobs of earning a living… if you are a cultured person, whinging is the least of the things you will do… but appreciate your life compared to people who have to deal with the likes of you to earn a living and invading their island home… your beauty is skin deep… you do not deserve to enjoy our islands in the philippines, so please do not come back, next time might be (more) worst for you than being in the hospital… and i would say maybe you deserve what’s coming to you… cheers alan… i do not want this kind of person to come back and enjoy our island home and other islands in the philippines… and for those who listen to the ramblings of this empty traveler/blogger who does not seem to understand what is research and tourist destination, it’s your loss and boracay will be better off if you do not ever come to visit and enjoy the fun that is only in boracay and/or in the philippines… and anna, if you have done your research, you could have experience the sound of waves before sleeping and when waking up at spider house but this place is not as luxurious as marina bay sands and not as expensive as marina bay sands and you do not need to get points or mileage just so you can get a discounted rate to experience the infinity pool and no need to pay $20 to get to the observatory lookout overlooking a city… just get lucky that it is not fully book or you actually meet the wonderful local people to get lucky to be invited to this place and other nook and crany of this small island paradise you venomously hate and bad mouth…

    • boracay island girl in merlion country
      Jan 11, 2015 / 6:33 am

      very true, and agree with you, alan… there are a million ways to travel… if you choose the cheapest way, expect the worst possible nightmare to happen… though sometimes, some people get lucky meeting local residents and their hospitality without selling you anything but give you the best experience that money could not buy… if you are not into parties, there is still a way to do it in boracay but you’ve got to do your research better as a traveler or an experienced world traveler… learn most especially the low season and between peak and super peak season and the weather, of course!!…, this is an SOP for a traveler on a budget (even if you are not in a budget) and don’t want to spend much and counting every penny he or she spends and do not act like a know it all person because you traveled the world already and your standard of spending is not cheap yet you stayed in a rowdy place… what has been described by anna, are true these days, i wont deny that and this lady traveler is one of the most unfortunate person to ever visit boracay, but count yourself lucky, anna, as you are still alive… there are worst experiences than yours such as spider nesting in your face while in a train in africa or raped in the taxi or bus in india or not coming home alive at all… your hatred of the island and blogging about it to spread hate awareness is as worst like a tourism terrorist spreading it’s venom thru social media… you do not need to lie about your experience but to conclude that everybody will have your experience, is almost as the same terrorist style of spreading the worst of a place so you can appease your nightmare experience… this is irresponsible journalism, look at your tittle “Boracay – probably the worst island I’ve ever visited”… sharing your bad experience does not mean you have to bad mouth the island and its people and there way of living, that is if you ever learned anything in international relations, humanities and journalism and responsible journalism… obviously, your standard of cheap travel and not cheap travel is not the same to most people and the international standard despite your varied and wide experiences… if you were not ready to spend money to have the best comfort and experience, you should at least be ready for your nightmare of an experience as a world traveler and learned person… i used to be a backpacker but i have never been to the rowdy drunk guests crowd hostel you had experienced… if you were not in a budget you should have stayed in shangrila boracay where you can have your privacy, peace and quiet time in your own villa while enjoying the white beach… or if you like to be at the long beach, there are several hotels like fridays/dscovery shores/ambassador of paradise etc and several others, that you could have stayed that are owned or run by both filipinos and europeans alike, who are now become local residents and you can even have a chat at the coffee-shoppe with their families… if my daughter who is 5 years old was able to do this, how much more for an adult traveler.. so i think this is something to do with the traveler’s attitude and character in general… well, anna, if you ever visit boracay again, that is if you got the guts to get another nightmare, plan it well ahead, do your research on expected weather, island culture, cultural integration and make sure that you indeed learn something and not just so you can be a condescending whinger, and since you have no patience for vendors, do your research to avoid the crowded rowdy noisy places that are full of vendors, who, you must also consider if you are a learned world traveler and understand they are earning a living and do not judge them, at least they are not muggers, killers, or rapists… for a world traveler, you are not a very patient, adaptable, flexible, open-minded and not ready to rough it out kind of person… luckily you cannot terrorize or badmouth the weather who gives you displeasure when you wanted the sun in your spoiled ways… your travels, is just a travel for you but not part of growing and developing and learning to be a better person with understanding in humanities, cultures and peoples but to show off yourself… you sound like you are stock in the box of condescension and high opinions of your worldly self … and you should not count every penny you spend if you want to travel in a less hassle way… like why take a bus if you are not ready to spend time with the worst scenario… take a taxi and be ready to spend, for a less than 2 hours travel, that is about PHP1,500 to 2,000, is cheap compared taking a taxi in new york or sydney or london or singapore… i know this for a fact… if you are indeed a traveler and have done your research, you know that you can haggle/bargain with the prices in the philippines… that way you can enjoy your travel and you have no time to complain or whinge… of all the hundreds and hundreds of restaurant, your choice was the hobbit house in the middle of a crowded bustling mall!!.. in all my years as a local resident in boracay i have not been to this place but i interact with the crew outside as we pass by this place, coz my children are curious to see small people and thought them to be cousins of bilbo, the adventurous hobbit… sunset and the beach is not only for tourist to enjoy, this has been a part of the life of the local people to be at the beach enjoying every sunset with their families… if you have done your research as an educated with backgrounds in humanities and international relations, you do not sound like a learned person, but a spoiled traveler who thinks so big of yourself and look down of other individuals that does not suit your lifestyle and personalities… you even complained of the PHP50 picture taking of the sand castle, wow really… that’s about only a $1 or $1,50 or less than 1 euro, for an artist to get to share their art and make a living and for all people to enjoy and even get a souvenir picture… really, with that you whinged… think about it if you have internalized your degrees and education in many different universities and countries that you lived and traveled… you have judged and insulted the locals and their island home and their jobs of earning a living… if you are a cultured person, whinging is the least of the things you will do… but appreciate your life compared to people who have to deal with the likes of you to earn a living and invading their island home… your beauty is skin deep… you do not deserve to enjoy our islands in the philippines, so please do not come back, next time might be (more) worst for you than being in the hospital… and i would say maybe you deserve what’s coming to you… cheers alan boracay… i do not want this kind of person to come back and enjoy our island home and other islands in the philippines… and for those who listen to the ramblings of this empty traveler/blogger who does not seem to understand what is research and tourist destination, it’s your loss and boracay will be better off if you do not ever come to visit and enjoy the fun that is only in boracay and/or in the philippines… and anna, if you have done your research, you could have experience the sound of waves before sleeping and when waking up at spider house but this place is not as luxurious as marina bay sands and not as expensive as marina bay sands and you do not need to get points or mileage just so you can get a discounted rate to experience the infinity pool and no need to pay $20 to get to the observatory lookout overlooking a city,,, that is if you just get lucky that it is not fully book or you actually meet the wonderful local people and/or get lucky to be invited to this place and other nook and crany of this small island paradise you venomously hate and bad mouth… in addition, you obviously want to be famous in this controversial blog you decided to open across the net and like to always look beautiful to the readers in your pictures hence your ramblings do not coincide with your pictures and disgust of your nightmarish experienced… you look beautiful and maybe that’s how you can attract but you just made your credibility questionable… how long have you stayed in boracay and how much have you explored the island to rate this as the worst island to visit in asia across the globe… not even your degrees and the universities you went to study, can help you get your credibility back…

      • ee
        Jan 14, 2015 / 1:20 am

        All praises to this part of this thread.
        Thank you ‘boracay island girl in merlion country ‘ for putting it all in another perspective. An ‘educated’ perspective i must say. I am a Filipino and am proud of the Philippines. I can’t say it’s perfect but it is what it is. Boracay, is now the Number 1 tourist spot in this country being that it has one of the most beautiful beaches. So yes, it’s crowded. Typically what you can say about a popular mall, a popular restaurant, a popular club. Anything that is popular gets crowded. Since i prefer nature over partying when i travel, ( i already live in the city so partying stays in that city life i have) i avoid Boracay during peak, and super peak season. People find it weird that i only book my travels during off peak season, but we should know what we want to control during our chosen visit on a certain destination. Truthfully, yes we get the best services when we are willing to pay a high cost on our vacations. But i’d also want to add that since i do not always have the capacity to spend as much for getaways, i am still able to experience the best of any place i travel to once i open my mind to what can be expected or not. Traveling entails a traveling mind open to experience (whether good or bad) and be able to write that in their memory as a learning experience. In my cheap travels, i’ve had that priviledge to live like the common folks, travel as they do (like through small boats, tricycles, motorcycles (habal habal) with more than two passengers and experience the serenity of the sea during long travels by the ocean (for when airfares get too pricey for my budget)… I get to eat what they eat on a regular day by joinng them in small carinderias, haggle in the wet market and get bitten by small insects when i’ve chosen to stay in a small nipa hut to get back to basics. Still, the experience of traveling that way is not something that can be concluded as a ‘bad experience’. Agin, it depends on the mindset of the traveller. How friendly you were to the townsfolk, and how you would choose to account this experience in your bucket list. For vacations where i can spend as much, so well yes i enjoy the other side of service. I get of course the most of what i paid for. Yet on both occasions i must say, i’ve never had to categorize something as worst (execept perhaps i got raped, mugged or killed). Every travel you do whetgher backpacking or the other way – are both luxuries of mankind just to be able to experience another part of the world. So once again, my point being, is that it depends on the mindset of one person on how he/she chooses to travel. If you prefer complaining and being a snob… stay at the confinements of luxurious expensive itinerary though even then there is no assurance you have a terrific experience to remember or write about…. but whether it be you are backpacking or have a low cost itinerary to carry with you and guide your tiurs — you can still have the most magnificent, memorable experience…. MINDSET is key. It’s like having a bad day and you feel everything’s going against you just because — as opposed to putting a smile on your face and loving what you do and it feels as the world comspires with you. CHEERS TO ALL TRAVELLERS.

        P.S. Now Ms Anna, what do you say about ‘boracay island girl in merlion country ”s comment. Any educated advice this time? Sorry but i’m curious how you will respond to this as obviously you have chosen comments to respond to.

        • Jan 14, 2015 / 8:58 am

          How do you expect me to answer (currently over 1000 comments) when most of them are super long?

  60. Jan 10, 2015 / 10:14 am

    I’m a Filipino and im saddened with your experience.. you should have visited Batanes instead. It’s a perfect destination if you want a peaceful place to wander.. nobody will annoy you there. You can even stay in our house for free just a few steps from the beach. 🙂 No kidding! 🙂 (For as long as you’re ok staying in a nipa hut) 😀

    Another exciting about Batanes is that the fact that there is an existing store there that has no attendant at all… it’s the only store of it’s kind probably that exist in the world… you won’t think it exist either. 🙂

  61. Mark
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:31 am

    Although I don’t necessarily disagree with you, I do have a few things to add. These are things that you may have missed and if only you knew them, you may have had a more decent experience.

    1. Boracay has 3 major parts called stations. Stations 2 and 3 is pretty much exactly what you described but not all parts of Station 1 is highly commercialized. If you walked a little further from Willys Rock (thats the name of the rock behind you in one of your pictures) theres a part of the beach that has no beachfront hotels and restos. Just the beach. I am currently wriing this reply in that part of the island and to be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t know about this part until yesterday morning when we got here and saw it for myself. d Ive been here a couple of times. Not our fault but nobody really blogs about the boring parts, right?

    2. It used to be really really expensive for us Filipinos to fly and go to Boracay (and everywhere else) and it was just recently when travelling became affordable to us so forgive us for being inconsiderate, rude, and careless. I can assure you that that is not who we are as a people. Its just that travel ettiquette is still unheard of only because we just started to be able to travel.

    3. You cannot visit any country without finding out about its people and its culture. Yours is a classic example of culture shock. We are a poor nation. Those vendors were not trying to intentionally ruin your vacation. They were just trying to earn a living. Yes it is perfectly ok to feel disappointed but if you knew this was coming, you may have had a different experience. Yes youd still be pissed but youd be a lot more forgiving.

    I hope you give Boracay another chance and if you do, try not to go during peak season which is march to april and december to early january as there are less people.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:44 am

      Hi Mark! I walked along all Boracay – station 1, 2 and 3. I know that’s not how Filipinos are – I went to other islands and experiences friendly and kind people that’s exactly why I wrote what I wrote about Boracay 🙂

  62. MAC
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:37 am

    1. Felt the same way about Patong beach in Phuket, as well as Pattaya. I loved Krabi though.

    2. Felt the same way the first time I went to Boracay 8 years ago. Probably coz of all the hype from people (satisfaction = reality – expectation). I grew up in a coastal island in PH (Cebu) so my idea of a beach was always serene, wide shoreline where you hear waves and not pop music from clubs. In Boracay, I. Saw a lot of cigarette butts by the beach, loud music. Definitely not the typical beach I grew up with. Loved it later on when I managed my expectations already and went there with friends, with the intention of really going to a party beach.

    Ever since, I’ve always gone to boracay expecting to party have a good time and be drunk. I go to Palawan, Cebu or Bohol to experience the opposite ie serenity, relaxation.

    In sum, going to overhyped touristy beaches such as Phuket and Boracay taught me that satisfaction = reality – expectation.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:21 am

      True 🙂

  63. Jan 10, 2015 / 10:37 am

    You went in the absolute peek season and posing on the beach in front of Willy’ Rock, complaining that there too many people at the beach? Just in case you didn’t know it: Willy’s Rock is one of the top 10 attractions in Boracay, it’s like you’re standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and complaining why are there too many tourists.

    Boracay is more than just White Beach. Did you try Puka Shell Beach, Ilig Iligan Beach, Lapu Lapuz, or Tambisaan Beach? Did you walk at White Beach all the way towards the end of Station 3, far after Angol Road? No people there. Boracay is the best if you go ouside of super peek season.

    I love Boracay, been there many times and surely come back another time. I never had such experience as you described. I truly believe, if you smile at people they will smile back at you. Hope you had more luck at other places. Happy travels.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:20 am

      C’mon the photo is just an example…

    • bert
      Jan 12, 2015 / 1:34 pm

      i knew you’re gonna react on this blog Sab 🙂

  64. Joey Hipolito
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:17 pm

    I as well do not enjoy a lot of people and partying. These are our preference, we should not be in a place like Boracay. I haven’t been there, and do not plan to visit there any time soon, although I am a Filipino. Boracay has gotten too much attention over the past years, and people there have overlooked people like us, that enjoys nice peaceful place, that prefers beautiful scenery than partying. Also I wanted to apologize to how people treated you there, this things happen even to us, but especially to foreigners.

    If you haven’t gone to El Nido, Palawan, I think you should, so Philippines can make up for the disappointment Boracay gave you. Few people, nicer and more hospitable, but still, please do take care. ciao

  65. H
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:29 pm

    hey – I absolutely feel you. Boracay is not a place to go if you want to relax. Go to El nido Palawan and you will have an exceptional experience. I am Filipino and had lost my trust with my fellow filos. But my recent trip to El nido have changed everything. People from there are incredibly polite and honest, and the place is a paradise.

  66. joy
    Jan 10, 2015 / 11:32 am

    I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t get to enjoy your stay in the Philippines when we are known to be very hospitable and cheerful people. But like all tourist places, consumerism was bound to happen. Did you visit Palawan? I haven’t been there yet, but am planning to visit soon. Mind you, I am Filipino-and proud. My fiancé loves Boracay, but he is a party person I suppose, and it caters to his tourist whims. The Philippines has so much more to offer; maybe the next time you visit will be a lot better.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:44 am

      I had a pleasant experience on other islands 🙂

  67. Freddie Alviola
    Jan 10, 2015 / 12:03 pm

    very well documented girl! Somehow you tell the truth but for the short period of your stay in the island it will not be enough for you to say that you already know everything about Boracay. I think you are a kind of traveler who only seek for negative things just to have something to write. For your own publicity and congratulation because you have actually get what you want. For your information Boracay has 13 known beaches you probably know the white beach where you said you in counter the annoying vendor but incase you want to know the other beach in Boracay there’s the
    Bolabog beach
    Diniwid beach
    Fairways and blue water beach
    Balinghai beach
    Punta bunga beach
    Puka shell beach
    Ilig Iligan beach
    Lugutan beach
    Tulubhan beach
    Tambisaan beach
    Manoc manoc beach
    Cagban beach
    And there are other hidden beach
    And a nearby beach if you have take a bangka I know it, its because I grow up on that island and it’s very unfair for me that you will only ruin the island for your own publicity. My point here is that the island have a lot of things to offer for all the things needed of a tourist like you. If you really go there for a purpose to relax and unwind you could have done it girl but I guess you have other purpose of going there and that is to list down all the negative things and good job! Your good at it. It may be annoying to you but for those people all they want is earn something just to survive for a day and have something to eat incase you don’t understand people there is trying to live in a tourism industry. What we promote is not only a place but also the people we are thought to respect just simply say no and they will not bother you! The beach your in is a place for vendors that they are allowed to sell something you could have go to other beach in the island. No matter what you say Boracay will still be a paradise. Million of tourist have visit the island not just because of the beauty of the island but because of the people. A piece of advice if you travel always be in your positive aura and everything will be a beautiful experience.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 12:13 pm

      I wish they wouldn’t bother me if I said no. The same vendors were approaching me and my friend a couple of times a day and when I asked them if they realized that if I wanted a selfie stick or a boat tour I’d have bought it already they started laughing and saying ‘but you’re a tourist’. Not cool.

      • Freddie Alviola
        Jan 10, 2015 / 2:04 pm

        see more-than selling you an items they are eager to be friends with you. Well I guess the problem is that you are very beautiful I suggest stay away from the beach.

        • Jana
          Jan 10, 2015 / 10:33 pm

          Freddie Alviola…The vendors want to be friends? Seriously? All my tourist friends have been swindled by these vendors (not giving back the correct change, pick-pocketed, selling stolen stuff, etc.). And they want to be friends??? How typically ‘defensive filipino’ you are.

  68. Pinoy Camper
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:05 pm

    Since that island became popular I’ve never got interested over it.

  69. twf
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:11 pm

    Im a filipino and i agree that boracay is not the place if you want peace 😀 There are lota of beaches and i always love Palawan – El Nido & Coron. There you can experience peace and true Filipino culture.

  70. Anton
    Jan 10, 2015 / 12:17 pm

    I’m a Filipino and I completely agree with all the points you’ve put in. Sure the beaches and the water may be gorgeous but the people definitely make the place. Boracay has lost it’s original charm many years ago. It’s now been converted into a 24 hour party arena and a money siphoning machine.

    If you ever decide to visit again I would recommend Palawan or take a trip North join a hiking group and climb Mt. Pulag maybe go swimming at underwater river inside the caves of Sagada and check out the cool hanging coffins at the face of a cliff. You can also go to Banawe Rice Terraces and go on an adventure to find the amazing waterfalls for a nice swim. We spent the night with the locals and we told stories around a bonfire while watching the fireflies drinking hot cocoa.
    I can show you some pictures from my trip if you want

    A truly amazing experience.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 12:36 pm

      I wanted to go everywhere you’ve mentioned here, but got super sick and had to go back. Only went to Bohol and Cebu.

      • borg
        Jan 10, 2015 / 8:24 pm

        NO..DON’T GO ANYWHERE IN THE PHILIPPINES JUST GO BACK HOME HIDE IN YOUR CLOSET MAYBE INSIDE EVERYTHING IS PERFECT….YOUR NOT WELCOME HERE…WILL SPREAD THIS BLOG OF YOURS SO THAT YOU WILL SEE WHAT YOU REALLY WANTED…IM SURE YOUR NEXT DESTINATION YOUR FIRST ITINERARY IS TO LOOK FOR NEGATIVE THINGS …YOU WILL NEVER GET HAPPINESS HONEY…BECAUSE YOU ATTRACTS NEGATIVE ALWAYS…PERFECT, ELEGANT, HIGH CLASS IS THAT WHAT YOU WANTED TO HEAR THERE YOU GO…BUT NEVER COME BACK HERE BECAUSE I MYSELF WILL BOOOO YOU ONCE I SAW YOU ANYWHERE HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES.

        • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:04 pm

          LOL. Hope a lot of decent Filipinos will respond to your comment.

        • Jan 11, 2015 / 4:45 am

          Shut up man.Grow up!

        • Albikans
          Jan 11, 2015 / 5:44 am

          WTH, borg. Your stupid “defensive Filipino” attitude makes us Filipinos look bad. If you don’t like what you read in her own page, then leave. I happen to agree with Anna. Boracay has gone to the dumps since the late 90’s. Furthermore, if you like to sound smart or perhaps your opinion be respected do not type in all caps.

          • Paul
            Apr 20, 2016 / 6:01 pm

            Boracay was once listed in the top 10 resorts in the world. I have been to wonderful beaches and resorts in the Philippines and many other countries.

            There are many positives on Boracay. The people generally are quite good to deal with and I found them very polite. I must say I am immune to the hawkers having been in the Philippines on and off for 30 years. There appears to be almost full employment and little numbers of beggars. I was looking to buy an article I could not find and 2 masseuses asked me what I was looking for. When I told them one offered to take me around to see if she could find a shop with the item I wanted. She did not ask for anything, however, I gave her something out of respect for the kindness.. This is the Philippines I used to know.

            I have seen over the last 10 years a growing level of disrespect from may aspects in the Philippines especially the people who carry bags and expect payment. I respond in their language “Tagalog” they dont bother me anymore, but, unfortunately, they do see foreigners as the cash cow.

            Restaurants are overpriced and hotel accommodation is not cheap. If I compare prices with Phuket Philippines does not go anywhere near competing. Phuket enjoys 10 million or more tourists a year and has a great beach. Bohol is fantastic and you have choices. Cebu has excellent beaches. Palawan also and so friendly there.

            The nature or Boracay is not so good.. I really did not enjoy it and could not wait to leave. My disappointments were the beach, second rate at best, the activities like parasailing done 2 km away so you cannot see your family or friends enjoying it. Limited activities and a dangerous stretch of water near the Port end of he main beach.

            Boracay for a long time was at the top of my list of places I did not want to go to but I had no choice since my Filipino family booked the Christmas holiday there for a week without asking me.

            Personally I will not go back there.

        • Dude79
          Jan 11, 2015 / 3:36 pm

          that’s foul dude very xenophobic!

        • gcd
          Jan 11, 2015 / 5:06 pm

          wow! give yourself a pat on the back buddy cause you just made yourself look like a complete retard!

        • Rickyp
          Jan 13, 2015 / 5:12 am

          hey BORG if you don’t understand the real meaning of her blog then please shut!!! take the negative into positive to improve surroundings in bora… be fair!

  71. John
    Jan 10, 2015 / 12:35 pm

    Well said!

  72. Gian
    Jan 10, 2015 / 12:55 pm

    DORA, THE EXPLORER, DOES IT BETTER

    I won’t try to defend “the island” because I can’t keep count of the times I’ve been there.

    But for a traveler, I think you suck at it on so many different levels.

    Ex 1. Don’t compare. Accept and appreciate your destination for what it is. Don’t look for something else especially when it’s your first time. But be prepared.

    2. You ruined her “vacation” yourself by being too consumed by things you didn’t like, because you kept doing no.1.

    3. Research, research, research. If you did, you wouldn’t have gone there to begin with if you thinks it’s not for you ie time of the year, airport to take, resort to stay at, restaurant to eat at, things to do, etc). There are 7,107 islands to choose from 🙂

    While some of what you wrote are probably true, there are ways to go around them… I find your photos funny to even point out “over-crowded” (less than 20 people in the background during the day… I’m sure you can find a spot in 7 kilometers of beach and own it for a day or two) and “full of crap from drunken night” (sea grass washed on the shore and a slipper) though. Your sunset photo isn’t even pointed where the sun sets. “Extremely popular spot… Is very Filipino” is a photo of a crepe?!? Seems like you’re always pointing your camera in the wrong direction to show your disappointment…

    I wish I can post here photos of Boracay contrary to what you’re trying to show everybody but some of them, especially my sunset shots have been shared at Living Asia Channel’s facebook account.

    Cliche, but, next time you travel, keep an open mind. Next time you write, toss in both good and bad. Please write responsibly.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 4:07 pm

      The photo with a sunset is pointed at tourists to illustrate the crowd 😉

  73. Jean Cyrene
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:55 pm

    Hi anna, it’s really sad to read this blogpost as a Filipino. But then, you are right. Tbh, Boracay is not what it used to before, maybe you could visit other islands and places where there are few tourists such as el nido, anyawangin, enchanted river, etc. Hey you still have 7,106 islands to visit and explore. Hehehe.

  74. Gian
    Jan 10, 2015 / 1:12 pm

    Filipino here, and i agree with you on Consumerism destroying the island. I’d give you tips on where to go next, but i don’t want to say it here as other tourists might follow…hehe..hope you het to enjoy the other islands next time though.

  75. Jake
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:39 pm

    Hi Anna, this is a very intersting read.

    I am a local of the island and I’ve got to say that your points are indeed true however I would like to voice out my opinions as well.

    You see, being a resident of the place, I’m not particularly fond of hearing bad things about it, or in this case, reading something bad written about it.

    I’d like to start with the trip from Kalibo Airport to the island. You were grouped with other tourists under southwest tours and you complained that there were kids who played loud music without any regard for anyone else. Well, you could’ve asked the tour guide on the bus to ask them to settle down. I think there’s a tour coordinator for each bus group if I’m not mistaken. So the first topic of your post should’ve been directed to Southwest Tours. Although it’s also good that you’ve pointed this out so other tourists can look for other options on how to get to the island but this one is not the island’s fault.

    The crowds of horrible backpackers is one thing I fully agree on. There are a lot of those here.

    The lack of Filipino culture, well, that’s actually towards the advantage of the tourists. Business owners may have wanted their guests to “feel at home away from home”. But there are places on the island that kept the Filipino culture intact. You may have just missed it.

    Regarding the mermaid swimming thing though, you said that there were to e-mails sent to you. You should’ve asked which e-mail was more accurate. Though I do understand that following the latest email would have been the right call, however, you may not have been the only group that they had a schedule with. It never hurt anyone to ask. (Not a hundred percent sure about that though, some may have been slapped.)

    Next, the local vendors are indeed annoying. I’m even ticked off at times but they can just be ignored. You can’t actually blame them because they’re selling their services and product to make a living. So they’re bound to ask you if you wanted a massage or a boat ride or if you wanted to try cliff diving. Also, it’s not as if every vendor on the island knew that you wanted to enjoy the beach in peace.

    Crowded beach? Well, knowing that Boracay was a top tourist attraction in the Philippines, of course, there would be a lot of people on the island. It’s not as if we could just cater 10 people at a time.

    You were right about consumerism destroying the island though since I’ve seen the island before all the buildings and establishments were even there. However the government is doing the best that they can to preserve Boracay. There are hired people assigned to clean the beach at dawn and during dusk to keep it clean. I know because I’ve been with them picking up trash and bottles at the front beach during the times when I decide to take stroll along the sandy white beach and enjoy the sunrise or the sunset.

    There are also municipal ordinances prohibiting drinking and smoking outside the coconut trees as markers so anywhere further than those trees towards the beach is a no smoking, no drinking site.

    However, it can’t always be closely monitored since the tourists just come and go and not every tourist is educated on the dos and don’ts in the island.

    But like I said, I do respect your opinion and your post is correct. It is a nightmare to get to the island especially if you’re not used to the processes or if you’re new to the place, there are crowds of horrible backpackers, Filipino culture is slowly diminishing, the vendors are annoying though but can’t be helped, and the island is indeed being destroyed by consumerism.

    But I hopenI’ve somehow partially put Boracay back into the light, if not fully.

    Thanks for your honesty.

  76. Rouie
    Jan 10, 2015 / 1:41 pm

    Was planning to go to boracay with some of my close friends this upcoming summer, but hearing rumors about the beach overcrowded is somewhat true after-all how disappointing, well i could somehow tolerate the vendors and say pass, but i really have no patience when it comes to transportation which is one the things i must say is very important in a trip, maximizing your time and energy not wasting it on bad vibes while on your way to the destination this review simply summarizes everything thank you for informing us

  77. jhay
    Jan 10, 2015 / 1:44 pm

    Thanks anna, next time you visit… check out biri rock formation in samar i’m sure you’ll love it… they have several waterfalls too… 😀

  78. Isaiah Mendoza
    Jan 10, 2015 / 1:46 pm

    You knew from the start that a big part of Boracay is commercialized; non stop parties, big establishments and excited tourists. So why do you need to diss these people for trying to make the most out of thier vacation? Why do We bash things that is not aligned with our lifestyle choices? There are lots of serene spots and beaches in boracay away from the mainstream scene perfect for relaxation (puka shell beach, balabag, Shang hotel etc.) have you made an effort to look for these peaceful spots? And Have you also bothered to check the LGU’s in boracay regarding thier waste management system? I’m guessing that you didn’t and just assumed the worst that everyone is out to destroy the beautiful white beach. You insult the vendors who are trying to make a decent living to sell those “crappy” sovieniers, that you so excellently put. You booked the cheapest transfers and you complain cause it was uncomfortable and there’s a lot of rowdy tourists? You book a cheap hostel and, of course, you complain about that too. It’s Not boracay’s fault that youre a fault finding, offensive, tourist constricted by budget limitations with 5 star treatment expectations, It’s ridiculously annoying and downright stupid. Lastly, I don’t think you have the credentials to comment about our culture and heritage So just Don’t explain things that you don’t understand. My advice is to plan your trips better and a little HUMILTY goes a long way. There will always be glitches when we travel but to whine like a kid about every little detail is not what seasoned travelers are about. Cheers!

  79. Ardie
    Jan 10, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    That’s why I never considered Boracay in my favorite beaches list. I’d rather go to the uncommercialized beaches in Pangasinan, or do ialand hopping in Palawan…or at extreme north…in Ilocos.

    Beaches should be serene.. Boracay ruins that idea. Good writeup Anna.

  80. Lester
    Jan 10, 2015 / 2:07 pm

    Just ignore the butthurt Filipinos. All they know is to cry and ramble when they can’t accept the truth. I’ve been to Boracay and it’s as shitty as you described it to be. Never going back that shit hole again.

    • kerstin
      Dec 4, 2015 / 2:43 am

      omg! thanks so much! we`d love for you not to come back! 🙂 we`d appreciate that!

  81. Ardie
    Jan 10, 2015 / 2:08 pm

    Much as I still wanted to defend by saying we have Station 1 if that’s your kind of thing, if you consider budget and that’s your preference, then Boracay’s not for you. I’d rather go to the uncommercialized beaches in La Union, Pangasinan, or do ialand hopping in Palawan…or at extreme north…in Ilocos Norte and/or Batanes (the best for relaxing).

  82. IC Mendoza
    Jan 10, 2015 / 2:14 pm

    So
    You’re expecting a 5 star treatment with your budget limitations? You’re Complaining about the cheap transfers and hostels when you were the one who chose to be cheap in the first place?
    You’re complaining about the lifestyle choices of tourists and qualifying it as a review for Boracay? Instead of just minding your Buisness?
    You’re insulting the vendors who are trying to make an honest living?

    You’re such a negative person who needs to eat a truckload of humble pie. This post is dumb and offensive in more ways than one. You’re too bad for the Philippines.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 4:00 pm

      I’m dissatisfied about the way they sell stuff, not that vendors exist – read more carefully!

  83. Drewfinn21
    Jan 10, 2015 / 2:32 pm

    anna anna anna banana… Such a horrible experience i must say. However, youre just 8% of the people who experienced it. 92% were extremely satisfied Im a dutch and i dont like the sound of “drunken dutch” you racist. Youre ignorant. Book a tour to heaven. Boracay is known for parties and getting wild. Boozed up at night and when youre sober and thinking “i hope i am in a beach” then there you are next morning facing to paradise. Whewww!

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 3:59 pm

      I met a lot of drunken Dutch people. How is that racist LOL?

  84. OzzY
    Jan 10, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    May I recommend ilocos norte search for blue logoon
    And I highly recommend Kapuluan vista for the place where you’ll stay. i recently been to boracay it was fun but Blue Lagoon is on the top of my list second is Bohol.if you just want to enjoy the beach to tan or just to chill and have your drink.Ilocos Norte “blue lagoon” best place to be

    • Rey
      Jan 11, 2015 / 2:37 am

      I would say yes visit Ilocos Region.. Blue lagoon is perfect for you definitely will change your your view…

  85. Nina
    Jan 10, 2015 / 2:34 pm

    Funny thing is Anna, you sound like you’ve only been to the white beach which is just one of the many known beaches in the island. Would you think it’s fair to spread negative information if you’ve inly even seen thirteenth of the place? Next time, get your facts straight and scour every inch of your destination before you start putting things up in the internet. Looks to me, your “probably the worst tourist that visited boracay.” How do you like that now?

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 3:57 pm

      Many people agree with me so I guess I’m not the only one 😉

  86. tzardy
    Jan 10, 2015 / 2:41 pm

    U just only get a bad experienced, sorry to hear that,..maybe boracay is not a place for u, ur research is not enough,..u probably stayed in a crowded area where vendors is around (borcay is like all yeat packed) and u like it or not people need money (and a BIG yes they need to be educated). Next time check-in to more private resorts so u’ll not disturb. Thanks for the blogs

  87. Jimbo
    Jan 10, 2015 / 3:00 pm

    Watch out anna. Filipinos are known to be very sensitive when anyone says negative things about anything in their country. Just giving you a heads up in case you’re not aware of it. I’m already seeing some of them commenting here. Your post will eventually be shared on social media and will become viral, so expect a deluge of hate comments in the coming days. I for one agree with eveything you have said, so don’t let such commenters bother you. They just find it hard to accept the truth.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 3:56 pm

      Thanks for the heads up! I see a lot of haters, but also a lot of people agreeing with me. I sort of expected a lot of haters, but can’t lie on my blog 🙁

      • Raymond
        Jan 10, 2015 / 5:59 pm

        You’re not lying Anna. So did the three blind men describing the elephant

  88. james
    Jan 10, 2015 / 3:05 pm

    some of it are on point, but you never explored the island enough for you to consider it the worst island you visited.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 3:53 pm

      Comparing to where I’ve been it was the worst 🙂

      • toots
        Jan 10, 2015 / 5:44 pm

        If u have stayed in any hotel in station 1 instead of a hostel in station 2 or 3, you probably would have different views.

        • Jan 10, 2015 / 5:49 pm

          I actually stayed closed to station 1 😉

  89. IE
    Jan 10, 2015 / 3:23 pm

    Sorry about your experience. But I think it’s just a matter of wrong timing . I’ve read quite a few blogs & majority of them r gushing about the place. Some few bad blogs like yours, but noticed that it all happened in the peek season. Read this one blog one time a year ago, how much they couldn’t get over how beautiful & perfect the place was the first time they’ve been on the island. Went back in the summer for good Friday & ended up despising the place after! I think it is different experience for different season! If u are the type of traveller U’ve described to be, it’s always to do some research first on when is the best time to go to cater your preferences. It is a party island in a peek season, I can’t really expect that much privacy and expect not to have any hustles & bustles of the holiday season. I think what makes people ticked off is for u to call the island the worst you’ve been to! U could have been more diplomatic with your wordings my dear! One bad experience for one person doesn’t have to generalize for everybody! You know how your blog could affect thousands of people trying to make a decent living on the island by someone like u dissuading anyone to even try to set foot on that place, just because it didn’t meet your expectation. Yes, u can always give an honest review without having to sound mean and harsh about it! Give a more open minded about it. You could have made a suggestion how you can improve the place for better experience, but what you did was just simply bashed the place and the people on it. Very disrespectful & I wouldn’t be surprise why you had to experience the way you did!

  90. May
    Jan 10, 2015 / 3:27 pm

    Im from Palawan and I also went to Boracay last Dec. 1 and my experience was not so nice but I enjoyed a little.

  91. JP
    Jan 10, 2015 / 3:28 pm

    Agree. I’ve been to Bora a couppe of times and really didn’t want to go back. And if ever you go back stay in hotels that are not on the beachfront. That’s what we do.

    But more than that, I think Bora is over rated. The sand is great and all but the beach is not. If you party then Bora is for you. As you mentioned you are not much of a party person. If you really want quiet but great beach experience then Palawan should be on your list.

    Palawan doesn’t have the powdery whote sand but it teumps Bora with its crystal clear water, amazing corals and marine life. Plus you get your peaceful and relaxing beach get away. Did I mention that their beach was top notch!? I’d always go with Palawan over Bora. You can either fly to Puerto Princesa or Coron (it’s a long island facing the South China Sea). Both offer backpacker places and also high end luxurious hotels.

    Hopefully the bext time you visit the Philippines it is a better experience than what you just had.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 4:05 pm

      I had a good experience in the Philippines – just not in Boracay 🙂

  92. Jakub
    Jan 10, 2015 / 3:30 pm

    Hey Anna, you seem as a nice girl who has been to several places. Its not just Boracay, which is over-oriented to tourism. People are getting more “aggressive” if we talk about money, I think the only way is to be a more stubborn tourist, not trying to be nice all the time (but you shouldnt end up thinking that everyone wants to rip you off). I try to get information about places i travel to (but not too much as other people :p). Because I was traveling around Philippines for about 2 weeks, I knew what to expect form Boracay. It was just the obvious ubiquitous corruption that surprised me – you know, the various extra tourist or environmental fees going right in a pocket but also other things people told me. I like to do backpacking, and its not just as you described it. I like to do couchsurfing, which is really one of the few ways to get to know the locals and the culture. Hotels dont give you almost no idea and some tourist attractions are a bit of a theater in my opinion. Backpacking than seems as the best idea for me to move around and getting to know things (not the drugs-sex-rock&roll kind you described, though i like go get a drink time to time). One last thing, Did you really expect an empty beach? Did you really described that beach in the picture as crowded? you havent been to a crowded beach than. Every time there are pros and cons. My overall experience with Boracay is positive. I met great Philippinos there, I had some great Philippine food and I had really nice relaxed weekend after over 2 weeks of running around Philippines. I will surely return to that island once I will be in the Philippines again.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 4:04 pm

      If you look at the photo with the sunset you’ll see the crowd. It might not be as crowded as some beaches (eg. Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro), but many people described it as heaven and the greatest beach and it’s just not the best place I’ve visited… I liked Philippines overall, but not Boracay!

      • Jakub
        Jan 11, 2015 / 9:54 am

        True … I must say I found some pretty amazing beaches on other islands, those werent in a guide but my hosts from couchsurfing took me there. In Boracay I was lucky to have the Puka beach on the north of the island completely empty :op

  93. Melanio
    Jan 10, 2015 / 3:39 pm

    Try our place, Palawan. Awesome. 🙂

  94. Catie Chan
    Jan 10, 2015 / 3:45 pm

    Did you try to go to Carabao Island? They say Carabao Island is just as beautiful as Boracay, but without all the consumerist/capitalist pollution.

    I also recommend Camiguin.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 4:01 pm

      I didn’t get a chance since I got super sick and had to leave the Philippines 🙁

  95. Jan 10, 2015 / 3:48 pm

    Hi Anna,

    I went to Boracay just last year and did a photoshoot with this Russian model but my experience was great and on the points you have written on this post on Boracay, they are as valid as it your personal experience and some of those horrible experiences you went through, I been through it because I also took my flight from Manila to Kalibo and took the same bus company you took and stayed in a rather small hostel too.

    But summing all my experiences there in a positive manner, i learned to appreciate life at its simplest of joys and that allowed me to set aside my prejudices of people selling me whatever they fancy, from trinkets to guided tours, etc. If you could have wanted a quite respite in Boracay, you should have taken yourself to nearby Puka Beach, less crowded, you can relax more and think deeply. Carabao Island is nearby too.

    Similar to what you said, my own personal experience in Boracay is somewhat of a love-hate one. I love to be there but wonder also until when the beauty can bearably exists because there are far too many people who are all going to Boracay. More so, Boracay is best experienced some years back but then, I could not be there and you also, but now I’d say, as a fellow travel blogger like you, i’d cherish the moments where I can enjoy the sun and the beach while in the Philippines, whether it be in Boracay or elsewhere. If you’d enough time, you could have gone to Amanpulo or El Nido in Palawan or those nice beaches up north, even in Batanes – these will make you love the Philippines more and more.

  96. Joseph
    Jan 10, 2015 / 11:54 pm

    Well I agree with you Anna, I’m a filipino but i really dont appreciate Boracay tho. Me myself dont think its a good idea to visit there. Its better to go somewhere in Western or Northern part of the Philippines like Palawan, Ilocos, Baler etc. . . You can have a peace of mind there. 🙂

  97. Irish
    Jan 10, 2015 / 3:58 pm

    It’s so sad that you didn’t experience the best of boracay. If you want privacy, peace and tranquility i would highly recommend balinghai…it’s an eco friendly resort in boracay. They have their own beachfront,they have a bar and a restaurant, you can even meet some locals that will not bug you of selling something because those locals that passes there are mostly fishermen. I had an experience before of meeting some local kids in the area who were so friendly and even let me borrow their small boat…boracay has a lot of things to offer. It’s just unfortunate that you only experienced one side of it .

  98. kevin
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:11 pm

    dont take anna seriously she wants publicity she went on a peak season and on a budget packages and she complain and read her reply statement before she came to boracay she already knew that boracay is a party island and a party place is a noisy ang crowded place if you want a more quiet place there are place in boracay you can choose which is quiet place this blogger want to be famous by writing all the negatives in her favor to become famous 😛

  99. Mortesya
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:17 pm

    I agree..! But I still enjoy my time when I was there.. it was one of my non expensive trip.. But on top of my list would still be El Nido.. Make sure to have a tour of the beaches.. thats how u’ll enjoy it.. there are parties at night but its not as crowded as Boracay.. Just a heads up its a 6 hour drive from puerto princesa and if u’ll get public transportation its a little bit jam pack.. if you want an easy breezy ride u’ll spend a little more for a private transportation..

  100. DJ
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:24 pm

    No objections here. Its sad that Boracay ended up like this. It was really nice and “islandy” back in the 90s before it became this monstrosity. Youll never experience peace and tranquility in Boracay.

  101. Mytz
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:35 pm

    Boracay is nice except for too much commercialism. It’s like Metro Manila with a beach. I heard that their local government plans on having a mall on the island. I suggest you go to Amanpulo in Palawan the next time.

  102. dominic
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:41 pm

    I totally agree with you! the place is very crowded and polluted. But that is the face of Boracay, it is for the people who want to show off their body and party. I suggest, go to Palawan instead, try coron, el nido, and punta sebaring. you can also try caramoan cam sur. 😉

  103. Ma An
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:43 pm

    This is true. Other filipinos here can’t accept the fact that Bora is getting worst. I had been to bora for many times but it didnt gave me a wow factor. Anyways, Anna, you can visit Isla Gigantes on Carles,Iloilo. Its far more better than boracay, no crowd, beautiful beaches, clean white sand

  104. Ghiro
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:45 pm

    i believed a good traveler do research first about the specific place to visit. You probably not a backpacker yet you to go in a cheapest way. If you don’t like crowded people you should’ve been private resort to have a vacation not for travel:) realistically boracay is for adventurous people. Who loves fun and to meet a lot of people along the way. It is not a solemn place. Go to a place where your heart wants to. Not just go to a place because a lot of people go there. But always know the purpose of your travel:)

  105. Vanessa
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:47 pm

    Hi Anna! Have you tried Amanpulo, Palawan? Think you will like it much more than Boracay. No annoying vendors and loud tourists in Amanpulo.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 4:56 pm

      I wish I could as I have planned on going to Palawan but got super sick 🙁

  106. Lurvehere
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:48 pm

    This blog is true and sad. When we went there in 2012 I was really disappointed well just because I should have stayed in Station 1 which is less crowded. We were at the same
    area as you were. Thankgoodness I refused the Kalibo flight coz I knew it would be a nightmare just like what you experience. Another thing that is really sad is the city planning or zoning! You get to the beach area, yup beautiful but the way and view to get there is so depressing. You get into a van or whatever ground transpo after the ferry ride and you see all these poor filipinos, kids going to school wearing slippers.. ahhh I can go on and on. Im pretty sure the city/government is collecting so much from travel tax etc/terminal fee and should use it for better or world class public facilities.. Okay done with my rant! But anyways, Next time I’ll stay in Shangrila to feel the more touristy feeling and enjoy the island without the annoying vendors.

    • Roms
      Jan 11, 2015 / 9:03 pm

      that is actually how it is in the provinces. we walk to school in slippers.wear shoes and you’d get stared at.

  107. Jay
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:51 pm

    Boracay is well commercialized and well known. Palawan is way better than Boracay.

  108. Jan 10, 2015 / 4:51 pm

    Boracay is last on my least because of its deteriorating environment…watch out for the water…I suggest you try next time Bucas Grande in Surigao. There you will find peace in paradise .

  109. Jack Lloyd
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:52 pm

    Hi anna,

    I regret to know your experience in boracay. But that is actually the main reason why lot of tourists visit boracay. It is because of their party. And boracay is already crowded. I suggest you try next time “isla gigantes in Iloilo” that is 4 hours away from my place. To experience the paradise island. I am a traveller also but i dont do blogging. If you want to know more of the place pm me at facebook.

  110. steve
    Jan 10, 2015 / 4:52 pm

    I am a filipino. I am saddened that you were treated like that in boracay. I recommend that if you return to the philippines, you visit the northern parts of our country too. There is a beach in ilocos norte that is comparable to boracay which is pagudpud.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 4:55 pm

      I did visit other places 🙂

  111. Louis
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:06 pm

    I’m guessing you did not see the mountain of rubbish in the middle of the island, it was there 20 years ago. I reckon its worse now. The waste sewage of the island goes straight into the beach waters.

    If i were to go back to Boracay, I’d probably try the other side of the island where the sea is rougher and the “sand” coarser. But I’ve heard its slightly better.

  112. Sam
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:20 pm

    Hi anna! In behalf of every Filipino we are very sorry for what happened to you. But let me assure you one thing, that all places in the Philippines are not like that. I can recommend our place which is Dumaguete to visit and me and family will welcome you with a big heart plus give you a free tour! 🙂

  113. Marlon B.
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:29 pm

    There are so many things written about Boracay already. I find it amusing that you will first, find yourself flying via Kalibo (wayyy far and not Caticlan.. I just walk from the airport to the port from Caticlan.. You’ll be in Boracay in minutes) second, you stayed in a Hostel.. And now you’re complaining people just wanted to party. That’s what backpackers do on a beach in a hostel. I’m way confused. (And if you’re not a backpacker, why didn’t you stay in a proper resort? There are about a hundred resorts in Boracay)

    As what everyone here said, December is a peak month, yes it is. You didn’t expect the crowd because you didn’t do your research. You may have gained the viewership with this post, but you lost your credibility to be called a traveller.

    The trash that you documented, that actually comes from trees if you didn’t bother looking. The only man made I see there is a slipper. Almost all beaches I’ve been to have slippers lying around. The tides get them before people can come back for them.. I don’t think you have been to that many beaches yet.

    If you did your research, even during peak season there are tranquil spots in Boracay with NO vendors. I’m not gonna tell you because you don’t deserve it. 😉

    I don’t know how much money you brought coz I think you paid for the cheapest possible trip to Boracay from airfare, to land transfer, to accommodations. Boracay is a world class island with a world class price tag. It’s not cheap.. But there are cheap restaurants, again if you did your research.

    And to equate the Boracay experience to Hobbit house. Do you know what the term tourist trap even means? How can Hobbit House be a tourist trap when the drinks are cheap. What did you expect when you entered the bar?? Hobbits on trampoline? If you did your research, you’d know where to have sunset drinks, sunrise drinks, where to chill at night. Again I’m not going to tell you since every traveller must do their research.

    But hey, if I did what you did, I’m sure that I won’t enjoy Boracay too. Only I won’t, because I do my homework before I buy my ticket.

    Cheers

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 5:38 pm

      I didn’t stay at the resort, because it wall all booked already. I wouldn’t mind heading to Boracay from Kalibo if the trip was all right. I’ve been to many beaches and Boracay still wasn’t my favorite. But I assume you’re Filipino so no matter if the place is good or bad you’re gonna say it’s amazing. Sad, but true.

      • Dindin Ko
        Jan 11, 2015 / 2:06 am

        You say you stayed at a hostel because the proper resorts were already fully booked. Then you got surprised by the crowd on the beach. Is that right? Yet you say it was not peak season.
        Fully booked hotels = crowd = peak season. That is how the travel industry defines peak season, yes?
        There is a reason Boracay is crowded. Tourists. And the foreigners who put up all those beachfront businesses. Tourists are encouraged so they’ll spend money. They weren’t there in the 90s when Boracay was a true paradise. Maybe you are heavensent to drive away tourists and kill those businesses so Boracay can heal.
        Try Saranggani. Tourists hardly go there and the beaches are such virgins that the sand is fine, the waters clean, no vendors, no hotels, no toilets even. You might even spot the Congressman on his way to Manila.

  114. Sheryl
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:33 pm

    While you are entitle to your opinion, but I tend to disagree with your for so many reason. As a world traveler myself, and born in the Philippines, your expectations were too high for a third world country.
    I believe you had the worse experience because you let all the negative things over power you. You were so negative starting from the airport that you attracted all negative things even sickness.
    You went to Boracay for the beach and Im sure you agree with me it is beautiful. Focus on the beauty not the people around it.
    I completely understand you hated vendors but it is to be expected anywhere where tourist go in Asia. If there where people asking for tips, give them and eveything will happen the way you want it to be. If people wants to help you let them help you then you don’t have to carry heavy things. Your day would have been better.
    ITS A LAW OF ATTRACTION. You were negative to begin with so all negative things started coming your way.
    I was also disappointed how you describe one of your photoas “crowd of horrible backpackers”. Did you introduce yourself to each of them? Have you hangout each of them for 24 hrs? How do you know those crowd are horrible backpackers?
    I also wished you learn the basic dialect (tagalog) before going to Boracay. That way you can say “No Money Thank You” in Filipino. They will stop as soon as they hear you speak their mother tongue specially you are a tourist. Learn the basics firts. If you want to see the real culture, don’t go to the Tourist spots.
    I know you got sick too according to you. Well you had a real bad time. We all got sick. You were there at a wrong time. I got sick when I travelled Australia. But I was okay in Thailand, Taiwan, Honkong, Guam, Japan, and Philippines.
    I can’t blog Byron Bay is the worse place because I was only there once and it was rainy, crappy and Cold. Byron Bay has amazing beaches with beautiful surf. It just happened it was rainy when I was there.
    You can’t expect Boracay to be quiet and peaceful when it is one of the most tourist infested beach in the Philippines.
    Have you tried: Camiguin Island? Bantayan Island? Davao? Taal?
    These are just a few.
    If you don’t want any vendors then don’t go any to any beach anywhere in Asia and Mexico. Again, don’t let your experience ruin your trip and don’t let it stop you from enjoying the beautiful beaches.
    Why not go to Maui? Honolulu or Kauai? Rest assured no body will bother you I promise. Go to Niagara Falls. Nobody will ask ypu something. You can even drive to Hana to yourself and be alone. Go to Sicily, or some part of Europe. Well even some places in Europe there’s vendors. These are just people who sells things for a living to suppor their family.
    They are not fortunate like you and I. So give them some lacks. Learn all the basics, th culture before hitting your next destination. It will save you a lot of stress.
    Above all, Don’t sweat on little things. Those little things are what makes their country different. You are very lucky you get to see the beauty of the world. Those vendors can barely feed themselves on a daily basis.
    Why not on your next trip start helping those who needs help. It will diffinitely change the way you look at things.
    One more thing… Filipinos are very passionate. When you said they were yelling, no they were not. When Filipinos speak their language it sounds like they are screaming or yelling at each other but they are actually just conversing. They’re just very passionate. If they were throwing chips at each other, maybe because they are having fun so go along with it. They probably can’t buy a basketball to throw to each other. Look at things in a different way.
    If you learn the language and tradition thats when you understand things.
    Have you been to a Filipino Party? if not then you wont understand why everyone seems like they are yelling at each other.
    I hope along the way, ( you look very young) you will learn to be adoptable to your environment whereever your next destination will be.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 5:42 pm

      Well, I’ve been to a lot of places in other third world countries and there were vendors there. I’m not annoyed by vendors, but someone should teach them how to respect visitors and how to sell. I’d be more than happy to give them a tip and buy something if they didn’t harass me. You’re right, it happens in Thailand when people are rude and if you know you’re being screwed they would shout ‘you fuc*** tourist’ and drive away. It happens everywhere in Asia and this is my point. I think the amount of tourists keep destroying the continent and the Asia we used to know isn’t there anymore and this is sad.

      • Jm
        Jan 10, 2015 / 10:07 pm

        someone with a little brain would definitely say that. Have someone to teach the vendors of proper way of selling? are you serious? they are not working for big companies you moron. some of them live in the streets and trying to make a living . you are just full of yourself because you’ve never experienced being poor. i have read the whole thing and you clearly despise the vendors. I just wish that you experience the same fate in your life or in your next life and try to post a blog like this again. bitch.

        • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:34 pm

          A lot of assumptions here and your use of language expresses that you can’t accept criticism to discuss anything 🙂

          • pajzsa
            Jan 11, 2015 / 1:58 pm

            Anna don’t mind them. This Sheryl obviously has some extreme ideas. Wonder if she got raped she would claim she attracted the people commiting the rape and that it is her fault?:D This kind of thinking is dangerous. Victimizin the poor also can be dangerous elongating the state of those people, not letting the dialogue to happen in society.
            Btw I’m a hungarian guy living in the Philippines now for 2 years. There are many beautiful, remote spots to visit. Even cheap. You try to google Cagbalete Island, Borawan, Dampalitan, all really close to eachother in Quezon province. Imagine when we went to Borawan island, after maybe 5 minutes walk, we left behind the dozen of people which were on the island and we enjoyed total privacy. White sand, though not that smooth, but really beautiful.
            If you come back visit the remote spots. You won’t regret is!

            Polak, Węgier, dwa bratanki, i do szabli, i do szklanki 😉

          • Jan 11, 2015 / 3:11 pm

            Hehe, you got the point 🙂
            Yeah… I think what’s the point of visiting Boracay if you can only go to the most expensive resorts… 0_O

    • Randall Parker, MBA
      Jan 11, 2015 / 12:36 am

      Very well stated, Sheryl.

  115. Raymond
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:35 pm

    I just saw your article in a forwarded angry post. After reading your post, I think it’s really because of how you did it. My friend who replied said you should have done some research, used a private jet, stayed in Shangrila so as not to be bothered by vendors. There is some point there, you stayed in a backpacker hostel in station 3 and expected a quiet place. Oh, my friend also remarked that crazy crepes is not Filipino and like her I don’t like it. I like the savory or desert crepes the French way. Crazy Crepes is actually found only in Boracay.

    I like Boracay and go there 2-3 times a year. I like it because I can party if I want to and be with people wanting to get drunk and if I wanted peace I can have a drink in one of those nice resorts in station 1 and not be bothered by vendors). Best time to get shots is in the morning when all the revelers are still asleep. It was actually unfair to complain about your shot with a few people. You said it was a small island so being the most visited island you should expect a lot of people. There are a lot of nice quiet beaches in Philippines that you will love but they won’t be on a hostel budget.

    When you travel to a place, you should try finding a nice local to give you tips. You didn’t even notice it was easy for you to travel around as every local understood English. We are the 3rd largest English speaking country and that helps a lot of tourists.

    Re starbucks, mcDonalds, etc, that happens and too bad the island did not have a code that prevents that but my kid loves it. I don’t go to starbucks when I’m there I go to cafe del sol at d’mall which has better coffee and a small cafe charm and mean cakes.

    The beach is cleaned every morning by establishments in front but you can’t fault boracay from a sandal in the sand. Everyone is in sandals. That could have been from the sea or a backpacker drunk the night before.

    You had a definition of what a perfect beach should be and if boracay is not that you should try to see what are the good things. Your beach cannot be this small island visited by tourists daily.

    I just really think your post did not reflect all of boracay specially you calling crazy crepes a Filipino fare.

    Let me be counted as one of the Filipinos who think your post is misleading because you did not researched well enough before your trip or talk to locals on how to find your place in boracay.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 5:47 pm

      Just one question: do you want to teach your kid that setting fast food chains on the beach is good just because he/she loves it?

      • Raymond
        Jan 10, 2015 / 6:14 pm

        Oh you’re that type of person. Boracay is really not for you as you want to impose what you believe in and not understand it.

        Re my kid, I’d love him to eat veggies and enjoy a nice properly planned and nutritioned home cooked meal. But he goes through phases. He went through a cheese phase, bacon phase, a local soup and rice phase, etc. he’s a bit picky with food and I allow him to eat what he wants every other time. He’s into his Mcd nugget phase and is his safe food when we travel. He also likes lamb chops, blue cheese, plain pasta with olive oil and garlic, roast chicken, anchovies pizza, etc.

        Funny that I wrote things about Boracay and you chose to comment on how i feed my kid. Oh well. You did not even noticed I wrote that I wished that boracay had a code not to allow this.

  116. juf
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:35 pm

    If you want a serene island with white sand and beautiful scenery, visit Isla de Gigantes in Iloilo, Philippines. Pure nature, no clubs, no hotels. Accomodation is located in one of the islands or stay in a tent being provided by the owner. Food is limited to seafood. Just don’t expect a first or second class accomodation.

  117. justin
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:37 pm

    been to Boracay several times.

    I believe you have researched in advance what Boracay has to offer, so I assumed that you know that there are a lot of establishments ( Bars, hotels , restaurant etc.. ) along the beach. So i cant understand why are you complaining about these, specially the drunk fellows along the beach. For me its as if you know that there’s war in Iraq already, and you still went to Iraq, and you cried and complained “why am I in the middle of this war!!!”

    second, if you don’t want to experience difficulties or hassles due to too much crowd , common sense is to go the place on OFF-PEAK season.

    for the annoying vendors, yes its true and its sad that some of them are like that, but mind you, most of those VENDORS are not from Boracay, they came from different parts of the Philippines.

    your statement “Later, I realized that the local Boracay Filipinos don’t really give a damn about visitors at all” – you generalized all the people there, this is too much. Your a grown up girl, and dont tell me that this is the first time you encountered hassles or problems after you bought a certain service. Point is, this happens to anyone and anywhere regardless where they are.

    Just to summarize for all the people who may read your blog and discussions here:
    If your not prepared to experience elbow to elbow bump during your travel to Boracay, or you don’t want to see lots of people on the beach, go there on OFF-PEAK season, or if your the type of person who wants to be on a secluded beach, got somewhere else like Palawan or Bohol.

    Don’t go here if your the type of person who doesn’t want to see bars and restaurant near a wonderful beach.

    Learn how to appreciate the positive part of the place, and not to focus on the negative things. Enjoy the travel and stay safe always everyone.

  118. dennis
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:38 pm

    Try the northern part of the Philippines next time, specifically ilocos region, water falls, beaches, mountains, are well preserve. thats all. if you want some guides or assistance you can ask me.

  119. Ecko
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:43 pm

    Hi Anna! I’m a filipino. You should try travelling in northern part of Philippines in Pangasinan and Ilocos provinces. If you want a good beach in the Philippines I recommend you Patar Beach in Bolinao, Pangasinan. The sand is white too but not as white in boracay. You can really enjoy the beach there. It’s so peaceful, clean and not very crowded. No annoying vendors around(just fishermen who sell their catch.) There’s no night life scene there unlike to boracay. I consider it a underground beach paradise because very few people knew that beach. You can also try Pagudpud beach in Ilocos region. besides the beach you can tour some great attractions out there and see the true filipino culture. The windmills, the old spanish houses, pres marcos grave, and try some sandboarding too.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 5:44 pm

      They have sandboarding up there? Awesome, next time! 🙂

      • Ecko
        Jan 10, 2015 / 5:59 pm

        Yes, they have. There are so many great beaches and attractions here in the Philippines besides boracay. If you love surfing you should try visiting Siargao Islands. The swell are good there. They called it cloud9. If you love trekking and see some hanging coffins you should try sagada in mountain provinces.

  120. Ed Manuel R
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:45 pm

    Interesting read. BUT

    Boracay, as everyone knows, (duh) is a HIGHLY Commercialized beach. It wasn’t then, but it is now. You even went during it’s SUPER PEAK SEASON and you want to complain about it being too crowded?

    Been there 3 times and during my first trip, i even left a luggage on the boat ride onto the island. It was returned to my hotel UNTOUCHED. This made me love boracay and its people.

    If you get offered something by any vendor, smile and say no if you’re not interested. They may not leave you alone but you can easily say no again. Happened to me in numerous countries even in highly urbanized SINGAPORE.

    You bought a fucking crepe. Have you even seen the infamous grilled boracay burger? It’s 100% filipino. You’re clearly trashing the place.

    If you have the budget, go to palawan instead.

    Remember, NO ONE CAN DRIVE YOU CRAZY IF YOU DON’T GIVE THEM THE KEYS.

    Who can enjoy your boracay trip or any destination in the world except for you? What you did is, you let the trip decide if you would enjoy instead of YOU deciding if you would enjoy the trip. If you work VERY HARD, an awful day at the beach is HEAVEN compared to a normal day at work. I know you’re not a spoiled and entitled girl… 🙂

  121. justin
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:45 pm

    been to Boracay several times.

    I believe you have researched in advance what Boracay has to offer, so I assumed that you know that there are a lot of establishments ( Bars, hotels , restaurant etc.. ) along the beach. So i cant understand why are you complaining about these, specially the drunk fellows along the beach. For me its as if you know that there’s war in Iraq already, and you still went to Iraq, and you cried and complained “why am I in the middle of this war!!!”

    second, if you don’t want to experience difficulties or hassles due to too much crowd , common sense is to go the place on OFF-PEAK season.

    for the annoying vendors, yes its true and its sad that some of them are like that, but MIND you, most of those VENDORS are not from Boracay, they came from different parts of the Philippines.

    your statement “Later, I realized that the local Boracay Filipinos don’t really give a damn about visitors at all” – you generalized all the people there, this is too much. Your a grown up girl, and dont tell me that this is the first time you encountered hassles or problems after you bought a certain service? Point is, this happens to anyone and anywhere regardless where they are.

    Just to summarize for all the people who may read your blog and discussions here:
    If your not prepared to experience elbow to elbow bump during your travel to Boracay, or you dont want to see lots of people on the beach, go there on OFF-PEAK season, or if your the type of person who wants to be on a secluded beach, got somewhere else like Palawan or Bohol.

    Don’t go here if your the type of person who doesn’t want to see bars and restaurant near a wonderful beach.

    Learn how to appreciate the positive part of the place, and not to focus on the negative things. Enjoy the travel and stay safe always everyone.

  122. Jr
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    Hi anna, it’s so sad that u didnt have fun in boracay as much as almost all of the people who go there did. I have been to boracay many many times, most of the time backpacking alone. But reading your post and your replies to the comments here, i think that To be fair with Boracay, the “WORST” is not the Island itself, but your unfortunate EXPERIENCE, and how you choose to remember it.

  123. Giselle
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    Hi Anna,

    Filo based overseas here. I’ve been to Boracay only once and it was back in the 26th-30th of December 2012 with my family. If you want to enjoy just the beauty of the beach, try to book in Sol Marina or Shangrila Boracay. We stayed in
    Sol Marina and it was a private resort, no party people, really peaceful, smooth white sand, clear waters, you’ll love it there. Once you go out to Station 1, 2, and 3 though you’ll be able to see a massive difference between the beach of these private resorts and the Stations.

  124. Sheryl
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:48 pm

    I have commented a few minutes ago. When is it going o be posted?

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 5:54 pm

      It takes some time to approve it, don’t worry!

  125. Jan 10, 2015 / 5:49 pm

    Boracay is not the place for you dear, if u want to enjoy the beach and have peace of mind you should have gone swimming in the beach of siargao, coron or other destination. Boracay is commercialized and is suitable for those who love partying by the beach. I rate your blog 6/10. Not because I don’t agree with your views about it but because, this island doesn’t fit you. 🙂

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 5:54 pm

      It definitely doesn’t – you’re absolutely right! 🙂

  126. Jan 10, 2015 / 5:50 pm

    I agree with everything you said (with such shame for me being a Filipino) and I would apologize deeply if you went through Metro Manila. You would probably die out of emphatic distaste.

    However if you do drop by the Philippines again, I recommend that you try to visit Nagsasa, Zambales. Very few people go there. You can see the Aeta natives (people who live in the mountains) and the beautiful beach. It’s a combination of Mountains, Pine trees and the white sand beach.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 5:56 pm

      I think a lot of people would be put off more not by my post (as I clearly said other places were more than enjoyable), but rude comments by some Filipinos unfortunately. I guess that’s the Metro Manila you’re talking about 🙁

      • Zap
        Jan 10, 2015 / 6:42 pm

        Well you can’t really expect posting a negative review about the Philippines to get positive feedback right? Filipinos are really big in social media so this is just the beginning. And I’m guessing you want to get more traffic in your blog for this post so you should be happy instead! And if you give out hate, basic premise of karma is you’re going to get some hate back. 🙂

        • Jan 10, 2015 / 7:23 pm

          Well, traffic is nice, but that’s too much traffic from haters hehe 🙂 A lot of people didn’t understand (or read) that I enjoyed the rest of their country.

          • Zap
            Jan 12, 2015 / 2:27 pm

            I think it’s the way the article was written. If it was written in a constructive manner, people would be more receptive to your views. We, Filipinos, cannot deny that there is something wrong with the system, but you were too aggressive with they way you wrote it, which left no choice for the Filipinos to become defensive (sorry it’s a character flaw deeply rooted in the Philippines’ history).

            You really have a chance here Anna to change the world (well, the way things are run in Boracay, at least) because your blog is getting quite some attention. If our local media get wind of this, they’ll feature it in the news which could potentially reach the government officials. Sometimes, all it needs is a fresh set of eyes to see what is wrong in the system. I hope you use your influence in social media positively. 🙂

  127. Ecko
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:51 pm

    Yes they have. There’s so many great beaches here besides that filthy island of boracay. If you love surfing you should try Siargao islands in Mindanao. The waves are awesome there. They called it the cloud9.

  128. Dodjie
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    Yup, A friend of mine rightly said. “Station 2 is nothing more than mall with plenty of sand”.

    • Cecile
      Jan 10, 2015 / 8:44 pm

      That’s true. We visited Boracay when there were just 2 resorts up and by 7 pm the only light you could see on the beach was moonlight. We’ve stayed away since it started resembling a very sandy mall.

  129. hannah & bong
    Jan 10, 2015 / 5:54 pm

    i am a native and local of Boracay island
    There’s a place for everyone..just know where to go and what to expect
    white beach is just 1 of the beach of Boracay and we still have 7 more beaches for you to have your space and not be bothered..
    you’re entitled to voice out your bad experience and we respect that, but please do research first before you go to a place so that at least you have an idea of what to expect,…we welcome everybody to come here in boracay to prove if what she’s saying is true or not!..but i promised you guys, we have a lot of good things to offer.

  130. Nicky
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:01 pm

    Amanpulo sounds like the perfect island for you, and it’s still in the Philippines. 🙂

  131. Sheryl
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:02 pm

    Anna,

    I agree with you 100% on your respond to my post. It is those tourist who ruins Asia. You just ruined one more beach in Asia because of your negative persona. Sad to say you are one of them. You need to lower your expectations. I thought you are smarter than them. You can’t expected them to be well thought when they can barely feed them selves. In fact they are begging you to buy their product. Breath, relax, and write a more positive blog.
    Why not stay in San Diego? Well, San Diego is quite expensive to live. I don’t think a photo will cost you $1 or 50 pesos in San Diego with a nice sand spot. Crepe is not a filipino food. It’s French.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 7:38 pm

      I’m glad these crepes aren’t French, as it wasn’t tasty actually 😉
      P.S. In San Diego nobody charges you for a photo 😉

    • Jean
      Jan 11, 2015 / 12:03 am

      Sheryl,
      I can say that your response to Anna’s blog has the right perspective. It seems that Anna does not reply directly or clearly to the things you pointed out and to other comments here as well. If you have a blog, i’d be really interested to read it. Safe travels!
      I respect your opinion Anna but your experience has more to do with your negativity from Kalibo to Southwest and so forth. Learn to let go of the small stuff. May God bless you.

  132. Kenneth
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:02 pm

    Hi Anna! Im a filipino Ive been there like four times and I couldnt agree more on what you said, maybe I didnt notice the rudeness of those people because im somehow used to it because I live here in the phil., but on the perspective of a foreign visitor I must say that its sickening the way they treat them especially those people who carry your bags and ask for a tip in a rude way, and those very annoying vendor on the side of the beach, even I too experienced the rudeness and the awkwardness of the people asking you for activities while showing the brochure right in front of your face. Hope you try our different beach like palawan or bohol for a beach experience. thank you and have a nice visit the next time.

  133. cheryl
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:02 pm

    Stay at Station 1. My family stayed at Discovery Shores and it was awesome. They have their own boat to take you from airport to the resort. They carried our luggages ( perfect with small kids). Service was impressive. I don’t like the heavy crowds at the other stations.At Discovery Shores it was peaceful and we don’t have to deal with the crowds and the noise. We had to beach all to ourselves.

  134. Judd
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:02 pm

    I have to agree with you even though I live about 4 hrs from Boracay, there are waaay nicer beaches on the Island of Guimaras(15 mins boat ride from the Iloilo) and significantly cheaper/cleaner and nicer to stay people.

    • Stuart
      Jan 11, 2015 / 11:21 pm

      I agree with you, Judd. I lived in Iloilo for about 6 months in 2012 (my wife’s hometown) and I really prefer Guimaras over Boracay. The beaches are nice, the prices are better, the people are nice and the mangoes are the best in the world!

  135. Vanessa
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:16 pm

    I am a filipino but boracay is not in my bucket list

  136. Gareth
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:19 pm

    Hi Anna! I’m a Filipino and I totally agree everything about you blog. Went to Boracay twice, I enjoyed the crowd but not the vendors! Worst part ever! Every place you go you have to shell out some money, (sometimes overpriced) Hahhaha! If you really want to know cultures and stuff I would recommend Vigan, it’s one of the place I love and i find it peaceful. Locals were great, they’ll help you without asking for something in return. Most of the places we went into were free.

  137. vanessa
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:21 pm

    I am a filipina but i agree to u anA

  138. vanessa
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:24 pm

    Agree

  139. Karen
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:25 pm

    I highly recommend palawan especially coron. It was a peaceful island. 🙂

  140. Jayps
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:26 pm

    Hey girl! You should learn to manage your expectations! This article shows you’re an irresponsible traveler. Though boracay is no longer the paradise it was, still it has its own charm and beauty. Have you heard of the Ati tribe? Did you try to visit them? Maybe you could have written a constructive criticism instead. Pay a visit to Koh phiphi or Maya Bay in Thailand if you haven’t been there and tell us how it is like! 😉

  141. Maureen
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:28 pm

    Good thing I came across this blog as I have a scheduled trip at the end of this month. Im a Filipina that has been to different beaches in the country but everyone is surprised to know that I havent been to Boracay. It feels like one must see Boracay first before any other beach. I know I wont like it as much as I liked El Nido but Im giving it a chance ASAP before it becomes worse. I hear it gets worse each year. I cant wait to share with you how it goes. Wish me luck 🙂 safe travels, Anna!

  142. Jan 10, 2015 / 6:33 pm

    I agree with this post. I have only been to Boracay once even if it’s near my hometown. I don’t like it. Have you been to Calaguas Island or Balabac Palawan? The best!

  143. nikita
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:33 pm

    My very first experience in Boracay was really great and I think that was the year 2004. I was soooo peaceful even if it was summer time with no vendors and just watching the sunset makes me more relaxed. It was a virgin Island before.. rwally amazing! but when I visited Boracay again last 2013 it was horrible! there were a lot of people and yes no more Filipino culture because everyone was wasted, everyone just wanted to complete their “bucket lists”. the worst! I never expected that theyy built buildings already and have a lot of fast food restaurants. Never have i imagined that Boracay would be an urban jungle. I wanted to relax but I couldn’t. I’m never going back! But other Islands here are great! You can try going to Siquijor 🙂 great beaches and resorts there 🙂

  144. Zap
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:33 pm

    It’s so sad but mostly true. Boracay caters to a specific market–those who are young, looking to party and get wasted. I assume you are not part of this group so going to Boracay is a wrong move. As with other comments, there are a lot more places in the Philippines that are worth visiting: El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Panglao beach in Bohol, Siargao, Pagudpod in Ilocos Norte, Hundred Islands in Pampanga, and much much more. After all, we have 7107 islands. Visiting just ONE island and concluding that your visit to the Philippines is one of the worst countries you’ve visited is just plain IGNORANT. It’s like saying you want to see the ocean and sand and going to NY instead of Florida and then saying NY is the worst place you’ve visited.

    I am not just defending Boracay because believe me, when I go there, I prefer not to stay in the front beach (where I assume you stayed based on your post) and stay on the other side of the island near Shangrila Boracay and Sol Marina (where it is quieter, cleaner and more relaxing). I’m just saying give the other 7106 islands of the Philippines a chance. Tell your travel agency what kind of experience you are looking for so they can recommend the appropriate places to go.

    P.S. Put El Nido at the top of your list, but take a plane directly there instead of going via Puerto Prinsesa. It’s a 6-hour road trip if you don’t. And most hostels in El Nido are nowhere near 3 stars so go to El Nido resorts if you are looking for a top notch experience.

  145. Marya
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:33 pm

    I live in the Philippines, I consider myself well travelled both in and out of the country. I like escapes as well. Quiet little nooks of the country that keeps me sane. I have NEVER been to Boracay. I have never had the urge to visit. From what I’ve heard its not really my style of vacation. There are 7701 islands in the Philippines sad Boracay Island of Aklan is overrunned by tourists. If you want a good info on cool little places in the country go befriend a local who loves adventure to show you around.

  146. MazeRunner
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:34 pm

    I suggest Palawan,Philippines. There are plenty of smaller islands within Palawan and the only way to get to each small island is through small boats: so they regulate how much people go. It is not completely white sand, but the islands are so magnificent and clean and beautiful. You will not regret it. And while there, I suggest visiting the Underground river cave which is known as one of the 7 wonders of nature. I was just there last week and it was one of the most pleasant experiences I’ve had.

  147. Patrick rubin
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:39 pm

    Come back at around may and we will show you what boracay really is. 🙂 give it a second chance. You up for it?

  148. Jan 10, 2015 / 6:41 pm

    When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.

  149. dlane
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:41 pm

    also a filipino but never been to boracay..its not in my bucket list i guess.. i suggest you try el nido or SIQUIJOR if you’re the adventurous type..siquijor is not touristy, no starbucks, no pizza hut yet we found a place with white sand and no tourists.

  150. Zap
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:44 pm

    It’s so sad but mostly true. Boracay caters to a specific market–those who are young, looking to party and get wasted. I assume you are not part of this group so going to Boracay is a wrong move. As with other comments, there are a lot more places in the Philippines that are worth visiting: El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Panglao beach in Bohol, Siargao, Pagudpod in Ilocos Norte, Hundred Islands in Pampanga, and much much more. After all, we have 7107 islands. Visiting just ONE island and concluding that your visit to the Philippines is one of the worst countries you’ve visited is just plain IGNORANT. It’s like saying you want to see the ocean and sand and going to NY instead of Florida and then saying NY is the worst place you’ve visited.

    I am not just defending Boracay because believe me, when I go there, I prefer not to stay in the front beach (where I assume you stayed based on your post) and stay on the other side of the island near Shangrila Boracay and Sol Marina (where it is quieter, cleaner and more relaxing). I’m just saying give the other 7106 islands of the Philippines a chance. Tell your travel agency what kind of experience you are looking for so they can recommend the appropriate places to go.

    P.S. Put El Nido at the top of your list, but take a plane directly there instead of going via Puerto Prinsesa. It’s a 6-hour road trip if you don’t. And most hostels in El Nido are nowhere near 3 stars so go to El Nido resorts if you are looking for a top notch experience. Just my two cents

  151. Filma
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:45 pm

    Everything is true. I am a Filipino from Cebu. The first time I visited Boracay was in 1988, then it was very beautiful with only 3 beach resorts almost a mile from each other. There were just our group of 8 and a few local tourists in the white, fine and clean sands/beach. I came back in 1995 and it was already crowded with tourists who are drunk and wild. The last time I was there was in 2005 and I said I will never go back. The place has gone overly crowded and dirty just like Baguio.

    I would recommend Palawan particularly El Nido. Please, go there as soon as possible before tourism and the mighty dollars (from foreigners) spoil this beautiful immaculate place.

  152. Gilbert
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:49 pm

    I’m Filipino. I don’t go to Boracay often but enjoyed the few times I’ve been there – maybe those were the good old days. From your post, it seems that consumerism and tourist dollars have gotten the upper hand. Too bad, coz to this day I still tell Manila visitors to go there. Maybe I’ll send them to Bohol or Palawan instead. Sadly, nature gives, but man destroys.

  153. Jan 10, 2015 / 6:49 pm

    Same thoughts here…….the first time I visited Boracay was in the early 1980s. Believe me, it was paradise !!!!!! Was there for 10 days and stayed in a cabana just beside the beach not far from the only hotel there , Friday’s……..cabana cost then was P35 pesos a day.
    Phosphorescence on the water and the sand…… fireflies flittering on the palm trees…..magical!!! I was tearful when I left, and vowed to come back every year (which I did; I was already based in Zurich then).
    Every year I went there, I was witness to its development. My last time I went there was May 23rd, 1993. We were the last passengers to arrive and then they closed the Caticlan airport for two weeks. Reason: they were paving the field to make it into a decent runway!!! When we boarded the boat to the main island, noticed that they werent giving us our gas lamps….they informed us there was no need anymore for them–they already had electricity!!!! True enough……when we were asleep was suddenly woken up by the sound of motorbikes…..Lo and behold just at the back of our bungalow, a paved road that ran from north to south of the island had been built! UGH!!!!!…….By the time we left, I told myself that this was the last time I would ever go to Boracay. Sad, really what happened to this island.

  154. obg
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:50 pm

    Anna was SPOT-ON with her article. Boracay has now become an unmitigated CLUSTER-F of EFFED-UP PROPORTIONS. Everything she wrote is true and happened to me when I was there. The island is quickly DYING and unless the hoards of asshole tourists and locals are removed ASAP, it will lose all its natural beauty sooner than later.

  155. Mike
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:51 pm

    You went there during peak season and it’s obvious people are everywhere. You said getting there is a nightmare? There are direct flights from Manila to Boracay instead of riding the two-hour bus ride. I think you are expecting too much that’s why your post about Boracay is full of negativity.

  156. Harry
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:52 pm

    You should have stayed in Station 1 in Boracay to get away with those vendors, but I agree with you Anna, Boracay became so commercialized already and most people go there because they want to party and not relax and enjoy the beach.

    I suggest you try Coron, Palawan it is more peaceful there.

  157. Jan Pauline
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:52 pm

    Try to visit Batanes, Ms. Anna. That’s a good place and very peaceful. 🙂

  158. jed au
    Jan 10, 2015 / 6:54 pm

    I always go to Boracay mostly every 3 months because of my job. I am really sorry to hear you have an awful experience there. I also have my share of those nasty experiences with backpackers, rude filipino teenagers, and (probably the most annoying tourists of all — the) korean tourists who never bother to apologize whenever they bump on you and step on you.
    There some more peaceful beaches here where you can really relax. If you have chance and time, try Villa Igang and Guisi Clearwater Resort of Guimaras Island. Some people say it is boring, but we find the place really relaxing. 😉

  159. Rocky
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Anna.

  160. Pads
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:08 pm

    Hi, I am Filipino, and i totally agree with your article. I’ve been around the country. On a motorcycle. I feel thats the way to go, There are a lot of places, even the average Manila folks have not even heard of. Dinadiawan for example, its a 300km ride from Manila. some 60-70 kms from Baler, Aurora. Pozo Rubo Beach in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. almost untouch. Calaguas, Cagbalete, Camiguin. I can go on and on. These places are not “commercialized” like Boracay.
    I’ve been to the Boracay several times. I hated that side of the island, Bulabog beach on the other hand has a totally different vibe, That’s where I spend most of my time when I’m in Boracay to windsurf.

  161. Jacq
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:08 pm

    It is sad to heard but its true. Before all the establishment in Boracay, Truly it was a wonderful and peaceful place. But now if you want to party and get wasted you can go to Boracay. But I hope you were able to visit near places were surely you’ll be amazed like siquijor , beaches in northern cebu, EL nido, Samal, Surigao and other parts of Mindanao and Visayas region.

  162. Steven
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:08 pm

    Stupid Article..

  163. Jan 10, 2015 / 7:09 pm

    Hi Anna. I feel morose after reading your article. I am a Filipino, and I have never been in Boracay. But upon knowing what happened to this beautiful beach because of ignorant and irresponsible people there is just heartbreaking. I do love seeing the beauty of nature. And I too would rather take pictures of nature’s scenery than take pictures of people. The beauty of nature that is untouched is just overwhelming.

    Thank you for your bravery to post such experience. Hopefully, betterment can be done in such place. Try other wonderful places here in the Philippines which are not yet famous next time. Cheers!

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 7:20 pm

      Thanks Francis! Safe travels!

  164. Chivar Maximillan Pilones
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    you should try calaguas its better tham boracay, calaguas is in camarines norte a 30minutes or so boat ride from vinzon/daet. i wholly agree with you on what you wrote about boracay all the shoving and jostling and all those groups taking pictures where you literally have to stand and wait while they get their group picture. sorry for te bad boracay experience you had 🙁

    laboracay is 1000x worse all the vomit and drunks puking everywhere

  165. steph
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:15 pm

    I’m a Filipino and I’ve never been to Boracay, for the very same reasons you stated here. If you want to see culture, go to Ilocos Sur & Norte. If you want to see beautiful beaches, go to Bohol, Palawan or Siquijor. There are a lot of places to see here in the Philippines, places way better than Boracay 🙂

  166. Jerome
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:16 pm

    This blogger is a travelling princess and who doesn’t know how to research. Boracay is known for being a party island and why did you bother going there if that wasn’t your cup of tea? learn how to form a constructive opinion girl!

  167. estrowberie
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:18 pm

    if you don’t like crowded beaches, there’s an island somewhere in Samal Island, Davao (Buenavista, I guess) where you can rent it and stay there alone.

    Also, a friendly reminder the next time you visit Philippines, you should bring a Filipino friend along so someone could negotiate for the annoying vendors.. 🙂

    Anyway, I hope you went to Puca Beach in Boracay.. I swear, you’ll love it there, few tourists, no hotels, virgin island, it’s paradise.. 🙂

  168. Peabanan
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:20 pm

    How much was your budget? If you wanted a place that is not crowded you should’ve gone in an exclusive hotel. Bet you wouldn’t have anything to complain about.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 7:25 pm

      I’d still like to leave the hotel, so yes – my experience would have been the same 😉

  169. Karla
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:21 pm

    Palawan for the win! 😉

  170. JC
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:21 pm

    visit Negros Island for nice beaches and resorts…

  171. Dada
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:26 pm

    Hi Anna,

    I’ve been to boracay more than 10x .. every visits is such a wonderful experience.. and I’m looking forward to visit the island again this summer..

    Your observation is valid… I respect that.. but those problems you mentioned are not related to the island ITSELF.. Please appreciate the beauty of the island..

    Next time.. you may try to book at Shangri-La Boracay if you want… For sure.. you will treasure the experience.. More power..

    Dada

  172. Jan 10, 2015 / 7:27 pm

    Sad but true, Anna. I’m Filipino but I agree, Boracay has become a nightmare. Looking at the bright side, there are 7,000+ other islands to explore in the Philippines. 🙂

  173. luna-moh
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:32 pm

    Hi maam! I am from zamboanga city which is located at the western part of mindanao. I’ve never been to boracay and it was on my to-go list until i read your blog. Im still planning go see for myself though :). I recommend you to visit sta.cruz island. It’s just a 30min boat ride from the mainland. The water is colored blue green, the corals are like that of an underwater garden and the sand pink! Minus the annoying vendors,drunk people and disrespectful teenagers 🙂

  174. artsyfartsy123
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:32 pm

    Two things I noticed in this article and the discussions: First, the blogger obviously had bad experiences (we should respect that). Second, if you read about Boracay, many of the bad experiences were to be expected (e.g., crowd, people, service, timing, etc.), but the blogger obviously insisted on her expectations and disappointed when they weren’t met;

    I travel a lot myself. But I do not understand, what kind of sensible traveler goes to: a) Boracay, b) on a budget trip and accommodations, c) during the peak season and expects i) for it not to be ‘touristy,’ ii) to escape crowd of tourists of the get drunk, party, get laid type, iii) comfortable services, iv) solitude and being left alone at the beach ???

    First, as a very “popular” tourist and party destination, Boracay is touristy, and attract huge crowds of the swim, drunk, party, and get laid type. During the peak season, the crowd reaches epic proportions and is of course followed by a crowd of people like vendors who would like to take advantage of this opportunity. Obviously, one cannot escape these crowds and it makes no sense to go there expecting quiet time, solitude, or to be left alone in a tiny island like Boracay. (She also obviously stayed at White Beach and missed Puka beach where there’s a lot less people.)

    Second, if one wants excellent services, they do not get the cheap one. The blogger obviously had no idea she was on a budget trip during the peak season (see her comments which read and I quote, “1. Who told you I’m a backpacker and that I was on a budget? 2. Also, how do you know that I went during the peak season when actually it was a low season.”) but she obviously was. She got off at Kalibo, more than 2 hours away – not Caticlan which is near Boracay obviously going for the cheaper fare. Also, she stayed in a hostel where people (strangers) can just come in and out.

    I think our Dane friend above sums it up quite nicely. “You can’t [go to Boracay], stay at a hostel and go during peak season and expect to get the El Nido experience.”

    • Jan 11, 2015 / 3:43 pm

      Answering your comment:
      a) I wasn’t on a budget, but if I need to go to a resort to have a pleasant experience somewhere as some here suggested then it speaks for itself… I also don’t mind a 2h bus – I was often taking buses for 10h and it was fine, that’s not about the length!
      b) So according to you Boracay is a get laid destination. Fine. Does it make it so amazing?

  175. Kristine Agbayani
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:34 pm

    Dear Ms. Anna
    I will make this reply point by point.

    YOUR STATEMENT: One of the most visited destinations in the Philippines, Boracay is famous for its beautiful beaches and great parties. “I was quite hesitant to go there as I’m not much for partying, but I enjoy the beach a lot and I felt like Boracay would be quite a social place”.
    FACT: The first statement in your blog means that you are fully aware that Boracay is famous for partying. And you quoted also that you are not into partying but still its your choice to go either way. So, you don’t have to complain of random strangers at your hostel sleeping over and the beach was full of drunken people. And btw, you checked in a hostel? So why complain about seeing random strangers? You could have booked for better hotel, where accommodation better and lesser people check in.

    YOUR STATEMENT: Nightmare getting to the island.
    FACT: First of all, as a traveler. It’s your responsibility to research before you go to a foreign place. You should have taken Caticlan Airport is nearer Boracay. I have been in Boracay several times and if you want better transportation you could have taken a van not a bus. Or you can rent out your own service if you do have the budget.
    I agree that it’s not a pleasant experience being annoyed by giving out tips. But I persons action could not justify everybody’s means. Not every local in Boracay is like that.
    Also, you said so that Boracay is a small island with a lot of tourist all year round. So, you should have expected that there are a lot of people on the Ferry Terminal. In your picture there are seats. If you don’t want to get bumped by other people on a busy terminal, you could have simple taken a seat while waiting.

    YOUR STATEMENT: Crowd of Horrible Backpackers
    FACT: First, you cannot justify that Boracay is the worst island simply because you hated to be with a lot people. If you wanted peace, you should have visited other places. But, you have mentioned several times before you went to Boracay, you are fully aware that there are lots of tourist there. Let me remind you that you are not the only one with the money to have a vacation. Since Boracay is know to be one the best beaches in South is Asia. And its not the island fault that some tourist flock the place to party, getting drunk or have sex.

    YOUR STATEMENT: Lack of Filipino Culture
    FACT: I also travel a lot. If you wanted to experience Filipino Culture, you should have went beyond your comfort zone and visited Boracay’s Market, Church, tasted Boracay’s Delicacies or mingle with Locals as if you live there. I beg to disagree that locals don’t care about tourist there. Boracay locals are known to be very hospitable and melodious people. I have been in Boracay several times, people are very friendly specially to Foreigners.

    YOUR STATEMENT: Annoying Local Vendors
    FACT: Again, if you want a place with lesser people, you could have taken a 5-10mins walk to Beach Station 1 where the sand is finer and there are lesser people. Its seems to me that is easy for you to say that it is the worst island, but looks like you have never really explored it. What’s wrong with being offered island hopping? If you could have taken the offer you could have seen how beautiful Boracay is beyond the crowd and the partying.

    YOUR STATEMENT: Seeing the beautiful beach being destroyed.
    FACT: I agree with you that the island is not as clean as before. But it’s not the island fault! It’s the fault of tourists who trashes the beach. My aunt works for the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources). And there are numerous projects implemented by the local government in partner with DENR who have kept the beauty of Boracay all these years in spite of thousand visitors each year that they have to manage.

    Clearly there is a lot more to Boracay that you did not experience because your way to busy complaining. What’s the point of travelling if you would waste your time looking at the bad petty things than enjoying what is in front of you. Before you label the place as worst, make sure you know everything. Clearly Boracay is not a perfect place but its far from worst as you are saying. YOU KNEW WHAT TO EXPECT YET YOU KEPT ON COMPLAINING. I am sad to here that you had a bad vacation, but please don’t blame the place for your attitude.

    • Jayps
      Jan 10, 2015 / 8:41 pm

      You got it right point by point!

    • claire
      Jan 10, 2015 / 10:45 pm

      very well said. I totally agree with you Kristine.

    • HrkOne Azkal Fan
      Jan 11, 2015 / 5:17 pm

      What an over zealous, over self-righteous response from a typical Pinay, who can’t accept the criticisms of foreign tourists regarding “beautiful” Philippines.

  176. MonA
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:34 pm

    I agree on most part but with Boracay being crowded-well, it is meant to be crowded. It’s an island where people party and just get drunk. If you want something secluded I think Palawan, Bohol, caramoan in Bicol and amanpulo are your best bet.

  177. balong,
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:35 pm

    better come to our place. “sagada, mountain province” no beach but has a lots of cave for adventure and splunking,

  178. Jhaya
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    im from PH and this is soo true ! the overpriced products and souvenirs they make everything a business sometimes i feel shamed of being filipino for disrespecting foreign tourist . they asked money everywhere they think that foreigners had lot of money to give and sometimes the price is so high but the quality is too low im afraid what will happen to boracay someday they are concerned about money they get using the beach instead of aprreciating the beauty of nature 🙁

  179. ELLE
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    I’m a Filipino, never been to Boracay coz I am not a party person..I recommend you to go to Batanes, been there and its beautiful and quiet! try also El nido and if you have a big budget try to go Amanpulo, Hollywood peeps go there.

  180. justSaying
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    if someone asks me about where to go in Phils, I usually would say, what do you wish to do? To party or to find a quiet island to relax? From there you could make suggestions on different great and beautiful islands in Phils. If you wish to spend quiet, and less crowded place, then never go to Boracay. Maybe you could stay Palawan, Sumilon Island, Bohol and many others. These places are my favorites.

  181. Cheryl
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:37 pm

    Cheryl here, a Filipino living in the Philippines. I first visited Boracay sometime between 1996-2000. That time, it was still very simple with very little people. It was BEAUTIFUL. The white sand, the clear waters and even the peace and tranquility. Unfortunately when I went back 2 years ago, it was completely different. It became a huge party place with algae all over the shore and mostly everything you described. I love our country and I’m sorry this was your experience of it. Boracay IS the place for the party people, I’d go visit it with friends who just want a good time but I wouldn’t really recommend it to most. It’s sad that tourists and fellow Filipinos were not able to preserve this once beautiful beach. At the moment, I’d probably recommend El Nido or Coron. These places are not yet too crowded and “commercialized”. You should grab the opportunity before it’s too late. Hope you’re able to find other relaxing and beautiful places to visit here in the Philippines. 😉

  182. pinoy explorer
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:38 pm

    Thats the only problem with you foreigners you always stick into one point of view, We all know that there is a saying that “first impression last” but Philippines is not only having Boracay as a place to go with! we have a lot, Though Boracay is a famous place to visit but we are not saying they are the best. why can’t you visit those place where not too much crowded.. like ( Cebu-“camotes island, bantayan island, sumilon island or you try to exprience island hopping” ) (Bohol-” Panglao beach or some tourist attractions”) (camiguin island) (Palawan) etc.. Its just happened you went to a place were it is not in your expectation.

  183. Bob
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:39 pm

    Great article, and straightforward. 🙂

    This is why i dont visit boracay during peak season and holidays. I avoid too many people on the beach.

  184. Louie
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:40 pm

    im filipino and i have no objection about what you have written. Maybe you should visit baguio instead and try to write about your experience in your blog.

  185. jill
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:41 pm

    Hi Anna, truly sad you got that impression but you are right. I am Filipino. Have you ever been to Langkawi? Well the sand is not that good but how I wish Boracay was that way, quiet with no people harassing you every 2 minutes or so. Next time you come back please do try Camiguin Island or Caramoan Island. Sorry for the terrible experience but I do hope the warm hospitality of most Filipinos have somehow made a mark 🙂

  186. Jan 10, 2015 / 7:49 pm

    How long have you stayed in Boracay? Have you visited all the beaches in Boracay?

  187. risel
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:53 pm

    i have to agree with you with Boracay, it has become more commerialized every year, and i have been there almost every other year since 2000. i would like to welcome you back to Aklan, in January for the Atiatihan fiesta in Kalibo ( 3rd weekend in January) or Ibajay ( 4th weekend in January)

  188. Molgen
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:54 pm

    Hi Anna, I’m a Filipino and I agree with what you said. I went back to Boracay last May 2013 and it was completely different from what I remembered way back 2004. The shoreline is now overly crowded with commercialized structures! It was very annoying to see how the government allowed this place to be treated this way. I can definitely say that your stay could have been better during those times as compared to the present. The government should consider taking care of the island instead of just focusing on earning money. That’s corruption for you in our country, truly SAD! >.<

  189. Aida
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:54 pm

    Too true. Boracay is one of the most well-known among tourists, but in all honesty it’s really just a huge tourist trap. I’m Filipino and my father was an Aklan local. Our first few times in Boracay, it wasn’t as popular yet (mid-90s) and it was gorgeous. Sure, the tap water was salty, there weren’t a lot of bars, but it was a great beach. Now, it’s really not a place you go to relax.

    Don’t let Boracay dissuade you from trying out our other beaches, though! We have a lot more beautiful beaches around. Palawan, Bohol, Camarines Sur, Surigao, the list is long.

    I’d like to speak up in defence of Hobbit House: it’s actually not something that was made specifically for Boracay. It’s the second branch of a much older Lord of the Rings themed bar in Manila. It sounds exploit-y in theory, but the owner treats his employees really well, they’re really awesome people and they love him a lot. I’ve never actually tried drinking at the Boracay Hobbit House, but the Manila one is great fun. The owner is a huge Tolkien fan who came to the Philippines, fell in love with it and never left. The Manila bar opened in the early 70s and, even when it moved to a different address, brought all its history to the new address. A lot of Filipino folk singers play there, and if you want a taste of Filipino culture and history, it’s definitely a place to try. (I know it sounds weird looking for Filipino culture in an English Literature-themed bar owned by an American, but just try it. Jim Turner, the owner, speaks better Tagalog than most Manilenos)

  190. JULY
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:55 pm

    Boracay is a place of pleasure and vices. Im an aklanon and i agree to that. but as a traveller, i presume you already knew that before coming to the island. of course you’ve done a lot of reading and research right? and you cannot expect the island to satisfy your expectations based on your standards. People who like to party may love the island and people who seek serenity may hate it. but that doesn’t imply that it is the worst place to go just because it did not satisfy your expectations.

  191. Jan
    Jan 10, 2015 / 7:58 pm

    Hi,

    I think you just had a wrong expectations for Boracay. It is the same thing in Phuket or so, but much more worst there. There’s still thousand of islands you can enjoy in the Philippines and own for the whole day. Try Bantayan island in Cebu, or nearby islands in Visayas.

  192. Gidjette
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:00 pm

    I’m a Filipina and I share your sentiments. Too bad it’s so hard to fix this problem. Please don’t be discouraged to visit the Philippines again and try to visit El Nido..so much more peaceful and beautiful 🙂

  193. Biggie Yu
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:02 pm

    Hi Anna, sad that you didn’t enjoy Boracay. Well, just to manage your expectations, and as I read comments and opinions of your readers, it is very true that Boracay is not a place if you are looking for relaxation and appreciation of hardcore preserved nature tripping, and with a budget trip, no can do. In addition to that, sinilar to the Full Moon Party,majority of people who go to Boracay to party. And similar to any tourist destinations in the world, locals adapt to cultures around them esp when it means business. If you would try to make a count of nationalities in Boracay, I would say that locals are outnumbered by tourists (ironic huh?). Boracay is no longer ‘Filipino, and that is a sad reality. Anyway, if you really want to enjoy the best of Boracay has to offer, budget trip is not the answer. There are several high end resorts in Boracay that is far from the experience you had. A less congested shore or even an empty one that only you can enjoy. Anyway, I do hope that you find other destinations in our country that you would truly enjoy. I still hope that you could still say that it’s indeed more fun in the Philippines. Have a safe trip always 🙂

  194. dude tasyo
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:03 pm

    well said, boracay is overated unlike before, if you are going back here in the Philippines , i highly recommend to you Coron, Palawan and cagbalite, quezon

  195. Burt
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:03 pm

    Boracay was never like this. With revenues pouring in yearly and tourist flocking rapidly i guess its an unstoppable progressive island. Station 1 at the far end of boracay is the best well maintained spot. No vendors allowed, no parties as well. Normally i despise walking along station 2 and 3. You should explore more of the island aside from the white beach.

  196. Edgat
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:03 pm

    hello Anna….
    …very enlightening write up you have here ..and it’s nice to hear what other readers have to say. I’m pinoy (FIlipino) who is currently residing and working in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania..
    but during my time in the Philippines, I was employed by the government’s Department of Tourism (DOT) and, quite incidentally, Boracay fell under our area of jurisdiction and responsibility as far as the implementation of relevant government rules are considered. Unfortunately, however, the local government has taken over the “regulatory” powers of the DOT since 1991 and what you experienced there is more or less the result of such turnover…
    Having first visited Boracay in the early 80s when it was still pristine, until my last visit in November of 2013, I can tell you that a HUGE difference has evolved and developed over the interim years.. this definitely included the highly COMMERCIALIZATION of the Island, unfortunately or otherwise.
    Some of the “inconveniences” you mentioned are TRUE! …but –like the vendors, hawkers, rowdy drunken crowds that you mentioned, they actually make what the image of Boracay is like.. I believe your trip was worth it after all.. you were able to note certain aspects of the place that would be of valuable information for others..
    In the event that you get another opportunity to discover yourself heading back to my country, let me know of your own fields of special interest so that I could probably recommend to you where you could go.. among others, try to check the southern part of the Island of Negros in the Province of Occidental Negros …get on a non-stop bus trip to the little “mining” City of Sipalay for its caves, jungles (or whatever is left of it), and the deep blue waters of the Sulu Sea.. all the best for now! 🙂

  197. Harvey
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:06 pm

    I would have to agree with you. Boracay will not be anytime in my list soon. But as a backpacker, i think it’s pretty normal to have bad experiences along the way, you just need to adjust as you go. There are a lot of nice places to go but for me boracay isnt. Try Siargao, Apo Island, Siquijor, etc. those places do have relatively less tourists than boracay.

  198. john
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:06 pm

    Bora is a beautiful and peaceful place to have a vication. well its used to be. if your looking for some place witg nice and peaceful place to rest and enjoy try other provinces here in the philippines. like panggasinan palawan and batangas.

  199. Torik
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:07 pm

    I definitely agree with everything you wrote about boracay. the original owners of the island are actually indigenous peoples called aetas. you can find them at the corner of the islands often times driven away. most of the owners of the big establishments are wealthy filipinos with foreign blood, or foreigners. over all the culture built in boracay is towards the majority of tourists going there -and you are right the party people type who don’t mind around except to satisfy their urge to party. the social gap became wide between the local and the outsiders who have money to build their business there so the effect is for the local to compete at a hook-or-by-crook options. so that is what happened to your experience at the pier, to the baggage boys, and the vendors.

    well, the advertisement for boracay is really a tourist ruse. i suggest you can visit next time palawan, touristy yet you can still feel the filipino hospitality. lake sebu and meet the t’boli tribe. camiguin island. pagudpud beach of ilocos norte. bohol. agusan del sur mystical lake. or here in our place the Cordillera Region for action packed adventure.

  200. Jin
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:08 pm

    I agree with everything, although i did enjoy my trip there because I intended to party during that time. Haven’t read all the previous comment if this was already mentioned but Palawan is way better than Boracay. I went to Coron and loved it (given a chance I would move there).

  201. Bien
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:09 pm

    It’s sad that while some Filipinos try their best promoting the country being tourist-friendly and travel-worthy and all, it is also our fellow Filipinos that make it otherwise.

    I am a Filipino, and a pround one at that. But I can’t help but agree with you Anna. I’ve been to Boracay for 7 times already. I love the place and the vibe because of one reason, a sad one actually: Because I am Filipino. Being Filipino for 33 years, I am used to all of those things you’ve mentioned (plus the commercialization-sh*t and all). I am also not a fan of those and if I had a choice, I would also want Boracay and all other destinations your way. But sadly, you really can’t have everything.

    And just to be fair to everyone, tourists and fellow Pinoys, the local government already attempted to remove some of the stores near the beachfront. Loud sounds also were minimized with their time limit directive. Smoking was also banned in the beachfront with attempts to minimize small trash buildup. But then again, these are just small efforts. Maybe invisible to some, but for a frequent Bora-traveller, I am a witness of these minimal changes.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion Anna. I commend you for your honesty. And unlike the rest, I see that though you “hate” your stay in Bora, you still took time looking for other ways to love our beach. You stayed for days. And by reading your other comments here, you still are interested in trying other Philippine destinations. You even recommended El Nido. Thank you!

    Lastly, please continue writing blogs. It is my first time to see your blogsite, and I am a fan already.

    Again, I’m sad that you had a bad experience in Bora but please continue discovering some other beautiful places in the Philippines. Try Calaguas and Caramoan islands. Four seasons of Survivor were shot here. Thanks.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:05 pm

      I know… a lot of potential visitors got scared by some rude comments by some Filipinos… 🙁

  202. Charisse Andersen
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:09 pm

    Hi Anna,

    I am saddened to hear about your experience in Boracay. I have a few things to say though…I am a Filipino, a proud one at that. I grew up abroad and have travelled extensively and much like yourself, I also love the beach and I’m constantly in search of paradise lost. Unfortunately, Boracay is not that tranquil paradise you were in search for. I’m not quite sure what you were expecting since you clearly said you were not much of a party person but went to the island anyway. In what part of the world has a party destination been a tranquil, isolated place? If you visit places like Bali, Thailand and even Ibiza, these are all beautiful beach destinations that loads of party-goers frequent. I don’t think you managed your expectations properly. You mentioned you also felt a lack of Filipino culture. Part of our culture is hospitality and the friendliness of the people. You’re right in saying Boracay is a tourist trap but that’s only because travelers like yourself have come and destroyed it weather by over crowding the beach or writing generalized negative blogs about it. There are so many positive sides to Boracay. The sand itself is like no other, sure it may not be as white and pristine as it used to be but the sugar quality it has is un-matched. The crystal blue water and amazing sunsets are just as beautiful. So next time, if there is a next time you visit the Philippines, I suggest you find the good in where you travel and most of all do your research, manage your expectations and travel with an open mind and heart.

  203. IC Mendoza
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:10 pm

    You are not a credible source for Boracay travel because from this pathetic excuse for a “blog entry” You haven’t experienced it. You didn’t mingle, party, tried new things etc. You just basically complained about shallow solvable things and minor activities that are forgettable. And the quality of service you’re getting is from what you paid for. Don’t expect to be treated like a princess if your budget is just for a maid. Hahahaha! And yet you knew that boracay is branded as party Island so why complain about it when that’s the number 1 thing it has to offer and no one forced you to go there? A Lot of peaceful quiet places In boracay but did you make an effort to see Or stay on those places? You just focused on what you hate and that’s a very sad trait. If you don’t understand things, be humble enough to ask or be smart enough to just shut up. You’re so stupid that it’s almost funny.

  204. queerania007
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:11 pm

    I used to work in the Department of Tourism before I left for the US in 2001. Our agency prepared the tourism master plan for this island before I left but sad to say the local government unit did not follow the tourism master plan so there goes the result. I was there during the holy week of 2012 and was so frustrated with all the hassles I had been through going to the island. I promised myself never to go back to this island again. The first time was in 1994 and the island was so awesome and so tranquil because there was not a lot of tourist. At present its just like a huge flee market by the sea. I would rather to Palawan in my next visit.

  205. borg
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:13 pm

    Well i think thats are few of the wrong thingking and attitude of the people who is not appreciative, well then you are not all welcome to our country if that what you say…if you think every places on earth is worst every time you will feel annoy, then just go home stay home and lock yourself in the closet…Arrogant!!!!, Perfect, High races , First class or everything elegant…so that’s it thats what you want to hear right!

  206. Vhia
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:13 pm

    When I went to Boracay the 1st time I have this huge expectation of great beach, partying, and water activities. I guess I only enjoyed the Water activities. We never stayed in the island during the day so we escaped the hussle, we go back tothe hotel and rest and then find a restaurant to eat dinner. I like parties but during our stay in Boracay I just slept it off, its definitely not the party I expected. So in summary I still enjoyed the vacation by putting my attention to other things and just ignore the crazy. Its just sad you didnt enjoy there.

  207. gabrielle
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:14 pm

    Sorry to hear that. I’m from the Philippines and yes, I share your sentiments about Boracay. The better beaches (and more wildlife and culturally filled places) are in Palawan or in the Visayas region. Boracay is over rated, and I really don’t like the environment the people created.

  208. Gab
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:15 pm

    Boracay really is a place only for partying. It’s where you go to get drunk and have casual encounters. The Philippines though have a lot of beaches where you can simply enjoy the beach. there are plenty of secluded areas. Kookoo’s Nest for example in Zamboangita, Dumaguete is one of the most secluded resorts I have ever been to. it’s also a great area if you’re into scuba diving. Anyway, we have like, tons of beaches. Just make sure you read the reviews and ask around before you go somewhere so your trip won’t be wasted. I hope next time you get to enjoy the Philippines. 🙂 Palawan and Dumaguete are my favorite places in the Philippines, just for future reference. 🙂

  209. Patty
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:15 pm

    Hi, i’m a Filipino and have been to Boracay once and i swore to never go back there again. If you’re looking to giving the Philippines another chance, come by the beaches in Cebu like Bantayan Island or Badian or somewhere a little off like Camotes Island. You’ll get your peace and quiet and non commercialized Filipino culture there.

  210. Rein Enerio
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:16 pm

    Hello Ms. Anna,

    It’ kind of sad to but we have to admit it, Boracay is not as nice as what it was before. For people who likes to party, I think the place would be perfect, but not for those people who prefers relaxation. We also have other beaches which are less ‘populated’ than the Boracay; yet, pristine, peaceful and beautiful as Boracay. You may check out Calaguas Island, Coron, Pagudpud, Batanes, and many more. By the way, I’m a Filipino. 🙂

  211. Jan 10, 2015 / 8:18 pm

    Hi! I am a filipino and I usually go to boracay every year on the day of it being super crowded. It saddened me that the place is now like that. About the beach, how I wish you have stayed in the station 1 or near shangrila because private places like that cleans their beach front while in station 2 they don’t. Also, filipinos in boracay are really not the same anymore and how other girls and guys go there just to get drunk and have sex. Now on behalf of filipinos, I would like to personally say sorry to you and thank you because I am sure your blog will make a difference.

  212. Sylver
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:20 pm

    try going to Palawan in coron it’s really beautiful there I highly recommend it..

  213. JayR
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:22 pm

    There’s different types/categories to travel to.

    Boracay is an adventure beach party island for the young and the brave. You go to the island to experience flying fish, jet-ski, jump off from a cliff to the sea, beach party with your friends etc.

    I think its not the islands fault nor the culture
    but you selected the wrong type/category of island you wanted and envision to visit.

    If your looking for ‘paradise you should have went to Palawan, Philippines. 🙂

  214. shirls
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:24 pm

    Anna, did you explore all the beaches in boracay before writing this blog??? Did you read reviews about boracay naking a lot of jobs yo loca filipinos before you write your stupid blog??? If you want to be “ALONE” in the beach, you should have gone to “AMANPULO”. You know where this place is??? Thr make a thorough research. One more wring thing you say about Boracay, the island sdhuld declare you “PERSONA NON GRATA”!!! People like you have no place in the philippines!!!

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:03 pm

      If you want to place a comment learn not to use caps lock an write with a correct spelling. Everyone will appreciate it. Thank you.

  215. zang
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:24 pm

    Well if you’re looking for just a peaceful amazing beach and no people to bother you. you should have done your research right. Philippines has a lot of different places sorrounded with beautiful islands and beaches that is not crowded, like caramoan group of islands,coron and el nido of palawan,magalawa and potipot of zambales, pagudpud, camiguin, moal boal, bantayan island and many more. to say the least. try to get to any of that i mentioned and let’s see what you have to say. and next time you travel miss, make sure you pack enough patience and positivity with you.

  216. Mark
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:26 pm

    I am a Filipino and I share your observations. What Boracay is today is definitely a farcry from the Boracay I first set foot on way back in 1999. The only vendors then were those selling local streetfood, fruit vendors and fishermen plying their catch. There were no fastfood chains nor concrete mid-rise hotels. There were only cottages and some bungalows or two-storey bed&breakfast accomodations.

    Boracay suffered from poor management, if not mismanagement, from its municipal as well as provincial government, specifically with respect to land and business regulation. I’m no longer excited to go back to Boracay. In fact, I’ve lost my liking for the island. I’d rather go to Coron or maybe try the beaches in the Bicol region.

    Thank you for this write-up. I hope Boracy suffers a tourist slump so that the people concerned do something about its present state to make it a truly relaxing and invigorating visit.

  217. Fini
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:31 pm

    Ok Im all freaked out now. I am coming home with my husband who has never been to the Philppines. I am taking him to Boracay since we did not really had a chance to have our honeymoon when we got married and this is our chance. We are staying at Asya Premiere Suite which according to Expedia is in Station 3. Shangrila was just too expensive and this was the next best thing. Please advice hoepfully I will not regret this. When I took my husband to Mexico, he got really sick so he is a bit apprehensive. Any advice.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:59 pm

      According to Filipinos here station 3 is the worst location to stay in Boracay. Hmm… where did you go in Mexico? I got extremely sick in Boracay actually, so be careful 🙁

      • Jan 11, 2015 / 7:38 am

        NOT STATION 3! haha! (I repeat, NOT STATION 3!) hahaha

        Try Station 2.

        BUT, Station 1 is the best. Try Discovery Shores Hotel. But there are other cheaper and affordable hotels along Station 1. The best area.

    • Randall Parker, MBA
      Jan 11, 2015 / 1:09 am

      Anna has no idea about which she speaks. Asya is at the very South end of the West Beach, well past the end of Station Three.

      Asya is one of the finest hotels on the island, and I am sure you will have a great time. It is also very expensive, so you will want to take some time to venture-out to other places.

      Asya has its own vans, so you can easily get to D’Mall, which is in the very center of the White Beach. You will have a great time here.

      Do not let the opinions of a wayward traveller get in the way of your good time.

      Congratulations on your Honeymoon!

  218. Ivy
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:31 pm

    I’ll recommend EL NIDO PALAWAN.
    I’m a resident here in Palawan. I went there 5x but insted of saying ” ah I already went there 5x and the travel is 5-6hours by van very long trip”
    I probably say that ” I LOVE EL NIDOOOOO, I LOVE SMALL LAGOON, BIG LAGOON, SECRET BEACH, HIDDEN BEACH, SNAKE ISLAND”.
    and if you want diving go in Port Barton or San vicente.
    You will love my place. Esp. island hopping.

  219. Jan 10, 2015 / 8:32 pm

    It’s the people, not the place. Replace all the ‘weird’ people there and Boracay will be very different from what you see now.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:53 pm

      I totally agree with you!

  220. KGD
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:33 pm

    Terrible blog! Full of negativity. Like they always say, “To each his own foot”. Bet the beaches in your place are twice as terrible you think Boracay is that you have to travel across Asia…only to bash.

  221. Slipstream
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:36 pm

    Hey Anna. Next time you visit the Philippines, hit me up. Ill bring you to a very very very very local beach on my province. NO TOURIST. NO PESKY VENDORS. FAR FROM THE CITY. the sand is not that white but the view is pretty good. AND WE HAVE LOADS AND LOADS OF GOOD FOOD. All you need to pay for is your plane ticket from wherever you’re staying to Manila. We’ll pick you up. I’ll let you stay in our house for free. Not in some crappy hostel. Email me! alroyceavorque@yahoo.com

  222. Pamy J
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:37 pm

    I love the Philippines. It is my home. I’ve been to the lesser visited places, and have met the nicest people in the archipelago. I have to say, Boaracay was paradise on earth 20 years ago. I will always look back, and feel bad about what it has become now. Anna, did you go to Malapascua when you went to Cebu?

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 11:01 pm

      I tried, but it was raining all the time and it wasn’t that easy to get there…

  223. Sander
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:38 pm

    Anna, you said you went during low season, but somebody commented you went around December 20 (date on a sand castle). Why did you say you went during low season?

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:52 pm

      According to what they told me in Boracay right before Xmas is a low seasons – especially since it was right after the hurricane.

  224. Rex
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:38 pm

    you might want to try Palawan, Camiguin, Siargao (but try not to visit there during its peak season, that’s from sept. to nov. I think.), also samal island in davao.=)

  225. Jc
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:39 pm

    Hi ms anna. Thats an honest blog and i appreciate that. Im one of those people who frequented boracay like twice in a year im there… Hehe.. And everything you said were just about the reason why i like going back there. That’s boracay, there’s nothing that needs to be changed thats what people should expect when they go there…the party, the noise and the crowd, or if youre lucky enough hehe the sex. But not necessarily. All u have to do is find the right spot for your thing. The island is big enough for you to find ur quiet or noisy place…u just have to be very keen in finding it…should always be positive when your exploring a place… Hehe… I felt sorry for your experience though but all these had been written in the past maybe on you next visit to other destinations try checking out other blogs ahead so you wont be expecting too much. Because for me boracay means party, with the tourists, the locals, the vendors, the midgets and the like, all thats there… Hehe 🙂 just saying 🙂

  226. Neil Joffrey Salme
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:42 pm

    I’m from Boracay, I was raised there 🙂 i just want to say on the part where you go to the island and the teenagers playing a loud music, if you hate boracay partly because of that then it’s invalid, hate on the teenagers not on the island and if you wanted a private or peaceful trip to Boracay, then you should’ve rented a Van for yourself. And it’s a PUBLIC beach, that’s why there are many people, and have you been to Puka Beach? 🙂 i think no, cause the things you have been saying about the crowded beach it’s because you were on the LONG BEACH. It’s just annoying on how you hate on Boracay for not even seeing the whole island, i agree that there are bad parts of Baracay, i saw everything change because I grew up there, but I could say that the changes brought bad and good things. Station 1, Station 2 and Station 3. Just make sure you went around the island and went to all those stations and went around the whole Island. And about the mermaid lessons, you partly hate boracay because of that? 🙂 hate the one who rescheduled or whatever, don’t hate the island. Again, if you ever want to visit Boracay again, visit Puka Beach get a private Van, try to stay at Station 3 or Station 1 and explore the whole island first before you judge my hometown again 🙂

  227. Nico Sean Martinez
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:43 pm

    Hi Anna, thank you for your honesty. I am Filipino and dis travel to Boracay for 3 times already. And I agree to what you have said and observed about island. I was surprised too the first time I went there because the hotels were just along the shoreline. I felt sad that you have this not so good experience with the island but I hope that you would consider going to other places in the Philippines like the island of Palawan. If you wanted to experience nature I recommend you to visit Coron or Mindoro. But thank you for giving these observations and I hope that you would take time to visit other places for you to experience what Filipino culture is all about.

  228. Anonymous
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:45 pm

    May I recommend:
    1. Subic – plenty of sports/action activites…..and you can take the JEST camp (Jungle Environment Survival Training). Very interesting.
    2. Batanes – Stay at Fundacion Pacita high atop a hill. Explore WWII guerrilla tunnels, beach, etc.
    3. Carlos Celdran Tour- take ANY of his tours! Crowded Quiapo, or of the Old, historical Intramuros when you are in Manila. Very witty, fun, educational. But you have to do it soon as Mr. Celdran is currently facing “criminal charges” from the church for disturbing a Mass, in protest of the church’s position in the “reproductive health law”.

  229. Sander
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:48 pm

    Hi Anna, I agree. To make it short, Boracay sucks. But you said you went during low season, however somebody commented you went around December 20 (date on a sand castle). Could you react to that. Thanks.

  230. Mon
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:49 pm

    I live in the Philippines and I have to agree with your post. I happened to visit Boracay last year and if it weren’t for the fact that we were staying in a nice hotel with its own private beach, I wouldn’t have enjoyed my stay there. That said, I hope you get to visit El Nido, Palawan. That place is definitely paradise! I met so many people there – locals and foreigners alike! The mood in El Nido is more chillaxin’ than partying – it was definitely nice to relax there. 🙂

  231. Neil Joffrey Salme
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:49 pm

    Make sure you explored the whole boracay first, have you been to Puka Beach? 🙂 and about the transport to Boracay with Teenagers playing loud music, and if you hate the island partly because of that then hate the teenagers not on the island!!! I do agree that there are bad parts of the island, but i also know that there are good parts. And yes Boracay is not a place anymore for Family Trips but for Group of friends already for the party, but I assure you that the Long Beach that you have visited, it’s just part of Boracay not the Whole Boracay don’t judge the island because part of it is not good for you. Station 1, 2 and 3, i hope you wrote this after going to all those stations and that you went around the whole island. I’m from Boracay, I grew up there and I know there are changes in the island but it has a good and bad effect on the island 🙂

  232. Leo
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:50 pm

    Wow. I’m a Filipino and I’ve never been/don’t want to go to Boracay and the reason for this is everything that you mentioned in your blog. Yes, the island WAS beautiful and I wish that it could return to how it was. Thank you for giving your honest opinion about Boracay and the Philippines in general.

  233. Alffred Santos
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    Anna,

    You obviously stayed in station 3, the cheapest in Boracay island so don’t expect much

    I feel that you are a racist and just want to make silly and stupid comments about the Philippines and not just to Boracay

    You are only one of the very few and stupid tourists who did not like Boracay.

    If Boracay is the worst for you, then no other place is good enough because Boracay has been voted to be the BEST in the world

  234. CYRIL
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:53 pm

    Boracay is too mainstream now that’s why it’s crowded even on regular days and worst during holidays. Lucky to say that I was able to enjoy boracay before it was commercialized to the public and huge ass establishments are building to your left and right. Sorry to hear your experience but I guess what you can read about wonders of boracay nowadays probably haven’t been updated to the present and that may be referred to the old boracay. I still often times go to boracay to party because I am a party animal myself but I do miss the old boracay where you can just have peace and relaxation with the sun, white sand, the blue waters and the breeze. You should have went somewhere else instead like Palawan. It’s pricier than boracay and not easily accesible by a lot of local tourists that’s why it is not as packed as boracay. Palawan is a legit away from the urban life where you just reunite with nature. I am a Filipino and this is so sad to hear from a foreign tourist. I hope you can come back and visit somewhere else instead and that probably our country can redeem somehow a better reputation than your first one.

  235. Alffred Santos
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:55 pm

    Please don’t go back to the Philippnes

    You are racist and very subjective!

  236. Charmaine Ong
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:56 pm

    I’m Filipino and I agree. I started travelling around the Philippines after I finished school and migrated to the States. Everytime I go home on vacation I would pick a list of islands I would go and travel just to see them since I never got to travel my own homeland when I still lived there. I never included Boracay because it was too touristy for me and I don’t prefer the party atmosphere though others would. I would suggest Bantayan(been here) and Malapascua(haven’t been but hear about it a lot) they take hours to get to from the city but lesser tourists and you really get the island feel. Camotes also in Cebu is easier to get to and also beautiful. White sand too but not as fine as the other 2. Samal island in Davao is amazing and easier to get to. Palawan is amazing too though it’s getting a lot of tourists too but its still worthwhile. Siquijor has amazing beaches too and waterfalls and caves and spring. It’s not crowded and you can experience all this in one day though i wish i had more. I have yet so many places to go to in the phils but once I read that it’s a party atmosphere I don’t prioritize it. I hope you go back and experience the other less crowded islands so you can see there’s more to the Philippine beaches. 🙂 have so much more on my list haven’t been to yet.. 🙂

  237. DL URB
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:56 pm

    Im a Filipino and definitely staying here in one of the town in Aklan where Boracay is. I’ve been in boracay maybe 5 years ago. The new boracay is now very different. I agree with what you said. Maybe the most worst thing now in boracay is that criminals, snatchers and even drug dealers are staying there. It is very sad that a beautiful paradise like Boracay is destroyed and not preserved. I want to apologize for what you had experience in our Province. But thank you for visiting the place.

  238. Fred
    Jan 10, 2015 / 8:58 pm

    im a shame to all what you have said…but i know it is true…all i can do is to do my part as a citizen of Philippines, is to protect our nature, culture, and personality as a true hospitable and happy people…i just hope you will re-consider visiting here again, but try Palawan… God Bless…

  239. Red
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:00 pm

    The Philippine Islands cater to all kinds of tourists. Tourists looking for beach parties, quiet peaceful place, adventure, surfing sites, natural wonders, and so on.

    Boracay is just not for you. I suggest you go to Palawan, El Nido or Coron.

    Do more research so you’ll find the right place for you, okay! Thanks!

  240. Ivy
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:01 pm

    I am a Filipino. Try to go to Palawan.
    Visit dos palmas, coron, amanpulo, port barton/san vicente and El nido 🙂
    love my place.
    Hope you’ll visit Palawan someday.

  241. Red
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:01 pm

    As for me, Boracay is the Best Party Beach!

    Find the place that suits you!

  242. Toto
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:06 pm

    I got tired from reading all the comments. Anyway, if you plan to visit the Philippines again, please visit the Province of Antique. It’s a coastal province so you can experience all the beaches you want. We even have different colors of sand on our beaches from white to cream to golden to black depending on where you want to go. We also have different textures of sand from fine to rocky and everything else in between. We also have mountains and rivers which are clean. Since we are fairly new to tourism, don’t expect too much on tourist services and facilities (like Shangri-la). Let’s just say it’s like tourism in the islands during the 70s and 80s. We try our best to provide good services to our visitors though. You can create your own adventure when you visit our province and you can experience the eclectic mix of the locals: most are hospitable while others are not, most are nice, others are not that nice, some are aggressive and some are not, some are funny while some are corny and most are shy. Like I said before, you create your own adventure, don’t expect too much! By the way, I’m not a tourist guide and I’m not working in the Provincial Tourism Office. I’m just a local who loves my province. I haven’t even explored the entire province myself but based on my experience I love it! Oh, and almost everybody understands english and try to reply also in english but some usually reply in broken english. Whatever it is, your visit will be an awesome experience! So, Welcome to Antique!!!

  243. Andro
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:07 pm

    anna, i respect your opinion. Try to visit Carabao island that is north of Boracay island. It is more peaceful there without the Hobbits and beach vendors you hated. Carabao island is highly suggested for the adventurous tourist who hates parties. heck, Carabao is yet to have all-day electricity but the beaches there can very well rival boracay.

  244. Yel
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:09 pm

    Hi, Anna! I would like to recommend you this place in Cebu. My father is from this place called Bantayan Islands. It’s just off coast of Cebu. I must admit though that the trip is quite far as you have to take a bus for a few hours to the port, then at least an hour to the island. But I can guarantee you that there’ll be no vendors interrupting your stay at the beach.

    I can tell you this because I visit the place when I have the chance.

  245. Marlon
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:11 pm

    I cannot agree more with your observation. I’ve been to Boracay so many times since 2006 and quite frankly, the island deteriorates as each day passes. Me and my hubby tried to walk 2kms to station 1 where there are few people to interact with and where the water is much nicer than in station 2 where we usually stayed. I love Boracay because this is ours but people in Boracay see tourist as either Peso or Dollar. Since I was a local tourist, I felt that the level of service and entertainment being accorded was being measured as to how much tip one can give or how much a person can spent. I personally hate the service rendered by severals bars that I’ve been to. I hope this serves as a wake up call to the island.

  246. Ronald
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:11 pm

    Good thing I was born much earlier than you. I got to travel to Boracay a few times in the early 90’s. Before the “mall”, big hotels, mobile phone shops. etc.

    It was awesome.

    Also go to go back around 2007 to accompany a friend. Big difference.

    It was not awesome.

  247. master_sharetea
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:15 pm

    Dear Anna,

    I agree to most of your observations, as a person who regularly visits boracay, it hasn’t been the same as to my younger days (90’s).. the island has been so commercialized and designed to maximize tourist revenue as it is the main source of income. The things I learned when you want to schedule for a boracay is that, if you want to party, get wild and enjoy the crowd go in the peak season (some prefer it that way), if you want a little laid back and relaxing better take off peak or decide another destination (palawan, bohol,camiguin) coz boracay is really packed throughout the year. And try to look into the web regarding discussions “boracay guides from casual tourist etc” as to have some key points to remember, I usually do that before going on a trip.
    Nonetheless, your blog may upset some, some may find it constructive criticism but everyone is entitled to their opinion. Goodluck and try visit Philippines more, there are a lots of places better than Boracay trust me.

  248. Duh
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:15 pm

    I’ve been going to Boracay for 10 years and even got married there. The trick is not to backpack, stay at nicer places, get your own private transfers. Not even expensive to do that. As with anywhere you go, you get what you pay for. Boracay is no exception to that. You’ve only been traveling for 10 years dear. I’ve been traveling for 21 years.

  249. Jethro Pangalangan
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:16 pm

    Hi there,

    My apologies as you have not found your trip to Boracay to be pleasant. Although I’m Filipino I do recognize that while the Philippines is publicized as a friendly place when it actually isn’t. It is ridden with corruption, capitalism and consumerism on top of religious hypocrisy. But I’m glad you enjoyed Bohol.

    Thank you very much for your honesty Anna.

  250. Amel
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:16 pm

    Sad but its true…. Try visiting Hannah beach resort in Ilocos,Elnido and Coron in Palawan,Malapaskwa and Bantayan island in Cebu and Apo Island in zamboanguita Negros Oriental…Surely you willl love these places. Philippines has a lot to offer.

  251. sheila
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:19 pm

    I still love Boracay despite the pestering vendors and the ubiquitous “Sir, Ma’am massage!” Those are the main things that annoy me whenever I go to the island. But the key to enjoying it is knowing when to visit and where to stay. Top tips: 1) Go there anytime between late June and August. It’s monsoon season, so the beach will be all yours most of the time. 2.) Stay in Station 1 or on the back side of the island. Never in Stations 2 and 3, these are the backpackers’ favourite spots! 3.) If you must travel during peak season (between October and May), refer to point number two. Boracay’s sand and waters are still worth the hassle of traveling.

  252. Johnny
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:19 pm

    It’s true, Boracay is a nightmare. Born and raised here in the Philippines and i’ve never recommended it to anyone. Sure if you wanna drink and hook up, i guess it’s alright, but the Philippines is an absolute treasure and there are better places to head to. Palawan is gorgeous, and so is Mindoro. Zambales is pretty near to Manila, and as you’ve mentioned, Bohol is lovely as well. Sorry you had this experience.

  253. Timmy Pocong
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:20 pm

    It’s a fair and honest review. I went to Boracay with my wifr last year and everything you said is true. But I hope this does make you think less of the PH as a tourist destination. We still have other beaches, y’know.

  254. Tess
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:21 pm

    Go to Coron or El Nido Palawan, Bantayan Island, or Malapascua Island.

  255. Ken
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:21 pm

    Im a filipino, but couldn’t say if i can agree to what is stated above (but i agree on the annoying vendors) haven’t been there (thankfully). I think its really better to try Palawan instead of Boracay these days as they say.

  256. Jan 10, 2015 / 9:22 pm

    Boracay is HEAVEN and HELL, depending on what a traveler needs or wants. My impression is you have visited far more countries than most hence, you should have done your share of research.

    Philippines is a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY so people will always find ways to make money or earn a living. That annoying boatman offering you a tour or that nerve-wracking masseuse offering a massage — are all people working under the sun, day in day out just to bring food to the table and you being just who you are, getting annoyed, expecting a paradise all to yourself in a well-known party island is being a little selfish and more of stupid.

    Sorry for not making you happy but I hope you do a little more reading before going to a place; at least, to manage your expectations.

    We have alot more beautiful islands, but you will surely find something negative to say — either the pier is crappy or there will be luggage boys bugging you for tip or the airport sucks — again this is a Third World Country; if you don’t have the spirit or the no-fuzz vibe kinda traveler, stay in and enjoy your four seasons or whatever your country has to offer which I’m sure — there is no white sand, coconut trees and tropical warmth that we Filipinos are so proud of.

  257. Alvin Rex Lucero
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:23 pm

    Hello Anna,

    I am a Filipino and I completely agree with your points. I hope that this article should be an eyeopener for everyone most especially to the government that Boracay shoud be taken seriously in terms on tourist handling and environmental management.

    I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of the Philippines. The country has more to offer besides Boracay.

    Best regards!

  258. Timmy Pocong
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    It was a fair and honest review and I see nothing wrong with what you said. I went to Boracay with my wife last year and everything that you said is true. But I hope this does not make you think less of the PH as a tourist destination. We still have a lot of beaches, y’know.

  259. Dyne
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:25 pm

    Sad but true. I’m a Filipino. After I’ve read your blog, i felt so ashamed for my fellow. Unfortunately, now a days, I keenly observed that this is what you’ll see on some of the famous destinations here. Most foreigners are getting abused by them taking advantages (i.e. overpriced taxi fare), even the native tourists experience this.

    I sincerely apologize to what you have had experienced. Some of us where already colonized by an ambition to get profits. Some of us already forgot those Filipino ways of being humble, selfless, and hospitable but, one thing is for sure, there are just few of them who do those things.

    I hope, despite of what you had experienced, you’ll get to still visit and get to know more the other wonderful and beautiful places in the Philippines.

    Salamat and Mabuhay ka! 😉

  260. redmond
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:26 pm

    I understand what you say about boracay being overcrowded at times. but when did you go? you must have gone on a peak season where it is packed with tourists. i go there almost every year and have not had any problems with having too many people at the beach. i have just been to phuket a few days ago and literally you could not even walk on the beach as all the old white guys along with their 20yr old thais are tanning all day. and the white beach is not the only area boracay has to offer. there are so many other parts of the island like puka beach which is a lot quieter that the main white beach. clearly, you did not stay long enough to explore the island. as for vendors bothering you, if you had booked in a good private resort that provides sun beds for tanning, they have a staff or security that prevent vendors to come near their guests. that is the problem if you don’t have a budget for a decent hotel and would opt for a hostel instead. anywhere you go in the world, hostels are always trashy what do you expect? booking a private resort also includes a very efficient airport to hotel transfers where you have a car and boat all to yourself and have 3-5 people carrying your luggage for you. tip them 50 pesos (1$) and they will be happy. and seriously? the hobbit? is that the only bar you went to? there are more by the hundreds.

    boracay has a stunning beach, best so far i have seen and i have traveled to so many places as i am a flight attendant. i like it as it has everything i want in one place and everything is so affordable. where in the world can you go parasailing for 25$ only? or get a massage for 7$? they offer buy 1 take 1 for cocktails on happy hour at 3$. food is ridiculously cheap and good.

    i think you should learn a good lesson here. if you want to enjoy a holiday, don’t travel on a tight budget. booking a ticket alone to kalibo airport is silly when you have caticlan airport that’s 20 minutes away from the island. staying in a hostel and complaining about having so many people in it is silly.

    boracay did not make your experience horrible. you did.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:43 pm

      Who said I went to the hobbit? I saw it and didn’t want to go there.
      I’d be more than happy to tip people if they weren’t demanding a tip.

  261. Jeremie
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:29 pm

    I went to boracay twice but for me everything was good experience. 🙂 nothing to say against of what you had written. you must also understand the whole economic state of the Philippines. we are one of the third world countries and being one of them, Tourism is one of the source of income in the Philippines. and the vendors thing is real. i am sorry about it but you can not blame them because that is the only way for them to have money. and the yelling part of the vendors or the tip takers, it is not really they meant to yell at you but as you said the crowd is very loud so they thought you can not hear. and one thing again the teenager in the bus, they are just really having fun like when you have with your friends but they still have respect to each other. plus Boracay is a party island so you must understand there would be people who drunk so hard. by the way you must try the private place in the Boracay there you can have real peace. 🙂

  262. Jeorge Philip
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:29 pm

    Too bad. Station 1 and 2 are not nice, it’s already dirty because of tourists and locals who act ignorantly on the surroundings. I’m a Filipino btw, and if you want some private time in Boracay, try Station 3 and Shangri-la Hotel, although it may cost you some. Next time try go to Zambales or Batangas, they have good private resorts with affordable prices and great services. 🙂

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:34 pm

      I heard people recommending Zambales a few times – I should go there next time 😉

  263. Jan 10, 2015 / 9:30 pm

    Haven’t been and no plans in the future of going there. If you want the beauty of Boracay without the asphyxiating throng of people, try visiting Calaguas Island in Bicol. Now that is one place I always recommend my friends to visit. Happened there once by accident. Harrowing 2 1/2 hour trip to the island but was well worth the scary boat ride. The place is just indescribably beautiful!

  264. Sabrina
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:31 pm

    Sorry about that if you had a bad experience in boracay. Next time If you want to relax in peace go to PALAWAN, and in Davao…

  265. Chris
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:32 pm

    For the experience you wanted you should have gone to boracay in the early 90s it was heaven and pretty secluded. Now that its 2015 boracay isnt such a secret anymore. If you want the experience you where expecting you have to pay a little more for it. Theres lots of private resorts/5 star hotels to the north of the island past station one. A bit less people, plus they will pick you up in a private speed boat or make proper arrangements to even meet you right off the plane.

    As for the vendors, kargadors, etc. its more of the vibe you give off. Dont be shy to tell them off and be stern. If they are really persistent just threaten to call the police or security around the area.hehe specially if they are extorting you for cash. Also try to learn a few key words or sentences in the local language makes them really back off.

    If your there for the party then station 2 and 3 is where you should be.
    If you want just the beach experience stay past station 1 as north as you can.

    I totally believe your experience, its something that will happen to you on boracay as a foriegn tourist if you let it.

    Hope your next visit isnt so bad.

    I highly recommend Palawan though. Boracay is more of a place you go these days for a asian “spring break” experience.

  266. Lalaine
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:33 pm

    Coron, Palawan or Isla de Gigantes are one of the nicest beaches i’ve been in Philippines. There’s nothing much interesting in the mainland but the island hopping’s great.
    Koh Rong Island- Sok San beach in Cambodia is amazingly beautiful too. You should check them out.

  267. Mia
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:33 pm

    Here is what you should have done if you weren’t on a budget
    1. Get a flight going to Caticlan instead of Kalibo
    2. Book a hotel in station 1 such as Discovery Shores, Two Seasons or Shangrila
    No crowds in this side of the beach and barely any vendors plus the food is also amaizing! (Ive been to Boracay several times and enjoyed it every time!)

    You get what you pay for and paying more is definitely worth it

  268. Jan 10, 2015 / 9:35 pm

    The ugly thing about a famous tourist spot is its definitely gonna be crowded because people would want to see and experience it. Plus being in Boracay is way cheaper compared to being at El Nido Palawan. I strongly suggest that you visit El Nido in Palawan and rent a villa there. Not everyone can afford to stay there for a long period or like a week because its rather expensive and therefore you’d expect a fewer people and then you can relax and enjoy the beach like the experience you were trying to find at Boracay Island.

    You can blame the vendors, the tourist guides or even the travel agency that sold you the travel package because they gave you a poor trip experience. I guess you should read more reviews before you buy from the certain travel agencies. Because not all travel packages and agencies does the same. There are other travel agencies that sells packages to a better port (Station 1) but a bit expensive than station 2 and I’m pretty sure they told you the difference from all stations.

    And about those people that want to get drunk from morning to late at night, do they bother you? If not then why are you even thinking about them getting drunk when they practically don’t care what you are doing. Maybe they’re having a good time in their own way. They’re paying the equal amout you are paying because they are also considered tourists.

    But one thing I really felt sorry about are those people trying to carry your luggages even if you don’t want them to help you and for forcing you to give them tip for that. Maybe those people are really unfortunate and needs money plus its the only work they know since they grew up in a small Island like you said. Yeah, sorry for that.

  269. Jan 10, 2015 / 9:35 pm

    Boracay is definitely very commercial now. Very well said. If you’d like the true Filipino experience and beautiful beaches do visit Cebu. The south of Cebu is lovely. Check out ravenala-resort-moalboal.com

  270. Lala
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:36 pm

    I like your review Anna, it is very straight forward. I totally agree with you, Boracay has once been a paradise Island but now, after all the attention it has gotten, it has turned into a money making area for the province. The commercialization of the area has helped the locals live better, due to the services they are offering. They also do premium pricing on services, which in my opinion is totally understandable since it is one of the biggest tourist spots in the country. Boracay today, is mostly now known by most Filipinos as a party spot: where elites gather and have fun over overpriced drinks and food.

    I highly suggest that you explore other islands if you want to get a better glimpse of serene and untouched beaches. From the looks of your blog post I think you would want to try visiting El Nido, Palawan, which is a much much peaceful place to go to. Coron Palawan would be a nice place to visit too. This is because Palawan is a place that is well maintained due to the rare wildlife present there.

    I really do hope your next visit to the Philippines would be better! There are numerous other beaches you could go to here that would fit the experience you are after 😉

  271. Jon
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:36 pm

    you forgot the native people from the island sleeping at the beach,
    your expecting a paradise with this boracay trip but at the first place
    you’ll be upset if your a nature lover, bcoz instead of having all native
    filipino foods, the island is full of establishments, lots of moss in the beach
    and yeah right with the annoying souvenir vendors and hotel agents around
    the beach front. try Palawan and you will not regret.

  272. Ram
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:37 pm

    Hi, I suggest you visit Palawan. Especially Puerto Prinsesa. People there are very polite. But of course there are still SOME annoying vendors, at a minimal level. The place is quiet and not crowded. Here’s a tip. Don’t book a trip on pick seasons, expect tons of people

  273. XP
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:38 pm

    Hello!

    I agree with most of what you said, but I hope that you have not felt the same for the Philippines as a whole. I was also very disappointed when I went to Boracay but other places here in the Philippines are far from being like that.

  274. Jan 10, 2015 / 9:39 pm

    Hey there. I am a Filipino and to be honest I have never been to Boracay. It has become a mainstream tourist spot that those owners their will find ways to impress tourists which was the other way around instead. You can come here in Cebu and visit Kawasan Falls, I’m not sure if you will love it since there are a lot of people there but it’s really peaceful most especially at night. There are lots of nice beaches here in Cebu and Lapu-lapu. Hope you will have another trip in the Philippines.

  275. Riri
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:39 pm

    I do recommend you visit Camiguin Island next time you come back to the Philippines if you’re into learning more about Filipino culture. ^^

  276. Hazel
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    You should’ve stayed at Shangri-La Boracay 🙂 you can definitely relax there cause it’s isolated; far from all the partying & drinking

  277. leejen
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:40 pm

    sad to hear about your experience here in our country., well if its any consolation i recommend that you visit raymen or alubihod beach resort in guimaras island. since you’re not the party type of a person the place suites you best and its much affordable and not as crowded as boracay., 🙂 hope this could ease your bad experience in bora.,
    btw guimaras got the sweetest mangoes.,

    visit this link to know more coz ive been to guimaras many times and its worth an adventure itsmorefuninthephilippines.com/guimaras/

  278. Jan 10, 2015 / 9:41 pm

    Sad but true but you should have read more. If you really wanted a quite place where you can relax and enjoy the beach there are other sides of boracay you can stay in but it will be a little costly. Next time go to Palawan or go to Bohol. Boracay is always crowded. It is not a beach where you can go alone and be peaceful. But Boracay is a very beautiful beach next time bring friends!

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 9:48 pm

      I went to Bohol and I liked it!

  279. Jan 10, 2015 / 9:41 pm

    I’m so sorry if you had a really bad experience in boracay.

    I stayed there last summer for 5 days and most of the time, I preferred to be inside our hotel room. I only swam in the beach once because I also noticed that its really not that clean. I also agree with you about those vendors selling those stuff in your face and offering boat rides and other water activities ( though I do understand that they’re just doing that for a living but damn, they should know their limitations.) And it feels like everything is overpriced.

    Can’t even walk in your swimsuit without being harassed by their eyes. (Vendors)

    Zambales is really much better or batangas ( club balai isabel) or Palawan (el nido) no annoying vendors.

    You know that feeling where you just want to relax and enjoy the beach but you can’t because you are being bothered every 2 minutes.

    I did enjoy the sunset in Boracay too, but I guess the experience really varies to people.

    And also let me apologize if other Filipinos will start bashing you, not all Filipinos are like them. Some of my countrymen are close minded that’s why this country is still not developing at its fullest.

    So yeah, just ignore them, and keep on traveling!

    -Your friendly Filipino traveler.

  280. Tony
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:42 pm

    Check out the thread from sharing your blog on FB, basically yes there are areas to improve in Boracay , however some of the amenities we enjoy in the islands are available only in better places. I can make observations like you made in Boracay with other places like St Thomas, South Beach, places in Thailand, Mexico , Hawaii etc… Come back and get a better lodging and tour arrangements and rediscover Boracay

  281. Janne
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:42 pm

    I think you didn’t research well before going to Boracay. Most of the foreigners I know who went to Boracay would love to live there after visiting the place. If you really did a good research you will read a bad feedback about southwest. I’ve been to Boracay many times and I have never encountered any locals who are rude and willl rudely demand for a tip. You should have stayed in Station 1 which is a bit expensive compared to where you stay (let me guess, your a backpacker?). All the cheap hotels and lodges are in station 2 iwherw you stayed. If you are looking for a less crowded beach in boracay you should have stayed in Shangri la , they have their own private beach and you would enjoy it like I did but I would recommend Asya premier because they have a lovelier sand and nicer view. Regarding the sea weeds that you can see from the sand, locals from Boracay cannot stop it from going to the shore and to the sand specially on rainy days (they don’t have super powers to stop the sea weeds lol). And you went to Boracay on peak season so expect a very crowded beach. If you are a wise traveler you will do a research about the good and the bad side of boracay. 🙂

    • opinionated woman
      Jan 11, 2015 / 7:06 am

      I totally agree on this one. And to also add. Most of the teen ager to early 20s profile stay in station where you haved stayed. This is the demographic of people who goes to Boracay to experience the ‘thrill and coolness’ of being there. They stay there to get wasted and have the teenage experience of their lives. Just to give others an advice, older demographics who still want to experience the party crowd but would still want their time to relax, dont stay in that station, it will be as wild it can be. Go to station 1 and book an exclusive hotel. If you travel to relax, dont go to an island which you know at first hand is a party island. Hope you have chosen to stay longer in Bohol which I think definitely fits your taste of vacation. And hey why only blog your bad experience? You had a good time in Bohol, right?

  282. Jan 10, 2015 / 9:43 pm

    Hi Anna,

    Good Day to you…

    It is always happening on all tourist spots in the world… maybe your day on that day is not that good…

    Please dont say any bad comments regarding boracay as you are only once reached there. Only small piece of experience you had there, and yet your blog is telling boracay is a piece of shit. LOL

    as for your information, all tourist spot in the world which is 20+ years visited by foreigners will be hell as shit also… tell me which tourist spot in the world is like el nido, underground river? no right? because that spot i mentioned were new in the head of someone is thinking for vacation.

    i want to say more but i my nose is now bleeding as hell… haha!

    sorry for my english.. #okthanksbye!

    Alexis

  283. Christine
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:43 pm

    Boracay is still the best for me.

  284. Mon
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:44 pm

    I’m from Manila and I agree with you SO MUCH. I recommend that you go to Paoay in Ilocos Norte. Not only is the area saturated with culture and history (we took a tour from Fort Ilocandia and it focused a lot on the former warzones, the centuries old structures, the places our national heroes came from) but the beaches are to die for. This is the area with the best English speakers too. And the food! Don’t even get me started on that.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 9:47 pm

      Thanks for the tip! I’ll try to go there next time 🙂

  285. E.G
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    Sorry for ruining your vacation… maybe next time i suggest Island Garden City of Samal in Mindanao… they have wide variety of resorts that will suits your mood but not like Boracay… or try Davao Oriental or Siargao Island. (y) i am confident you’ll get probably not the BEST, but not the least of peace and tranquility, chillaxing time you’ll gonna get…

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 9:47 pm

      Thanks for the tip!

  286. Lawrence
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    Boracay is over rated.. It is not one you should go to if you are looking for quiet beaches..

    You have a great opinion here but going to Boracay for something like a beach is not advisable..
    It is famous because of beach party not because of relaxing beach..
    Palawan and Bohol are way better option..
    I heard Siargao is great..

    Anyway its a shame to say, yes some of us are just making a living but the way they shout for a tip is really rude. So much for our hospitability which we are famous for.

  287. Andrei
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:50 pm

    Hi Anna!

    Next time you visit the PH. Try going to the mountain province especially SAGADA rather than going to the beaches. It’s a very nice place to go if you want to be kept away from commercialized establishment. You get to meet the Ifugaos and other tribes and locals as well. You get to see the beauty of the mountain province and the warm people up there. Weather there ranges from 10-15 degree Celsius. Activities include spelunking, trekking, you get to see falls and even the sea of clouds overlooking the Banaue Ricec Terraces at the Kiltepan Peak! 🙂

  288. wapski
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:50 pm

    Hi! Great article. But beware though, butthurt Filipinos are going to rage about your blog post. You know, people who cant accept any criticism. Apologies in advance. Have a nice day! 🙂

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:22 pm

      I saw that coming haha!

  289. Jan 10, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    1. When you ride southwest, if the other passengers are throwing chips with each other, this is normal. If you felt irritated with it, you should have hired a van so that you will not be disturbed). I bet you can’t afford to rent.

    2. People assisting from caticlan port is paid by the local government, it is indeed your option if you would like to give a tip or not. You’re a journalist, you should have known that in the first place. Giving “tip” is not mandatory that why it’s called “TIP”! And i don’t believe you that they are demanding for a tip..

    3. If the island was designed to attract tourists, you’re correct! That’s business. And that’s why Boracay is one the best island in the world. Take note of that and do more research.

    4. I beg to disagree that there were no filipinos in the island. Are you crazy? Or you’re just a big jerk? You’re in the philippines, all the workers are filipino’s and local residence.

    5. If you are mad seeing Koreans in the island, do you blame them if they are doing good business here? Think again…

    6. I do not agree that the island is full of drunken people in the seashore during night time, there are auxiliary police doing rounds 24/7.

    7. Regarding hobbit restaurant, those midgets waiters or servers are also humans, we should thank the owner despite of their disability, they are being respected. They have descent job. If you are not happy with their burger, you should have complain it right there and then. ( maybe you have had your burger for free).

    8. With regards to your mermaid swimming lesson, you should have complain real time and not just write it in your blog? Are you that coward?

    9. Asking for a massage in the beach? You should have plug an earphones for you not to be disturb by them!!!

    10. Each and every one has our reasons why we travel or visit a place, how sure are you that all the tourists just come to boracay to party? Where’s your common sense dear? You were in the island because you’re a journalist. You write blogs for a living. Don’t you???

    11. Lastly, Boracay is not worth it? Mind you, “Boracay” is a place that you can never say goodbye. If you want a quiet place? You may try to do your sunbathing in cemetery because I assumed you can’t afford to buy an island.. Because with just simple burger you’re already complaining that it is expensive.

    –claire Ang

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:22 pm

      Responding:
      1. And why do you assume I can’t afford it…? A lot of assumptions here.
      2. You don’t believe they demand a tip? You should look more carefully then.
      3. Do you really believe that changing the island into a tourist wonderland is good? Thanks god Filipinos like you didn’t have a place like Galapagos for example.
      6. I know there’s police. They had to charge some drunken Dutch people from my hostel when they destroyed some cars and got into a fight… and I can go on what else was happening there…
      7. A) Who told you I ate there? Assumptions again. B) You call being short a disability?! Poor people if you treat them this way and call being a tourist attraction a decent job…
      8. I did complain. They didn’t bother LOL!
      9. I did. Didn’t work!
      Not even gonna bother to respond more…

  290. Laira
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    Hi Anna,

    I agree with you and I’m sorry to know youhad a bad experience during your visit in Boracay. I remembered when I was around 12 years old, Boracay was still peaceful and relaxing. (I’m about to turn 27).

    Boracay has changed a lot… Parties, sex, drugs. ㅠㅠ

    I think Bohol or Palawan would be a better fit if you wish to have a nice, relaxing vacation. It’s best if you can seek suggestions from Filipinos who will give you their honest opinions regarding places here.

    I hope your next visit will be able to give you a better experience.

  291. Christine
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    I think you need to spend more money to satisfy your expectation. Upon checking your pictures, it shows that you spent your time at station 2- the place that is crowded (where bars and stores are located).

    If I were you, you stay at station 1.

    If you just stayed there, you will love the island.

  292. Bee
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:52 pm

    Sounds like you really went through a lot of unfortunate events on your visit. I can understand where all the hate is coming from, but I think it’s better to say that you hated the experience rather than the island itself. I stayed there for 7 days during the peak season last summer, and I enjoyed every bit of it. The weather was nice, there were a lot of activities to choose from, and if you look hard enough, you’d discover the hidden secluded beaches. I went to Central Europe for a few weeks and the weather was horrible for a couple of days, but I didn’t let that and a few rude locals ruin my adventure. It’s really more of how you’d want to see and experience a place, rather than how you’d expect it to be as per your friends suggestions. Still respect your opinion though, just hope you understand how some of the locals and foreigners who love the island react to your article, as they have a completely different perspective on things as well 🙂

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:15 pm

      I didn’t say it’s the ugliest 😉

  293. Roland Lee
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:56 pm

    I’m a Filipino. Me and buddies view Boracay as a place to go wasted with water and sand. A place where party people will look cool at the start and will soon disintegrate, but of course, there’s a lot of other places here that we really consider beautiful and not commercialized.

    Feel sorry for the local people of Boracay, paradise lost because of profit.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:12 pm

      Exactly 🙁

  294. Kat
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:57 pm

    Hi Anna! It terrible that you didn’t enjoy your stay here in the Philippines that much, I hope you can find time to come back and enjoy some other destinations. I love travelling as well but I’m only starting my adventures now, I decided to travel around my home country first before going somewhere else. I would recommend Coron,Palawan or El Nido, Palawan if you enjoy the beach, it’s great there a bit pricier than Boracay but totally worth it. If you want some peace and quiet I might consider going to Batanes. It’s up in the North. Maybe I can post the link some of my blog post here if I ever find the time to post them, hope that gives you an insight to the other places here in the Philippines 🙂

  295. Jimmy
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:57 pm

    You must also try in Siargao Island if you’re willing how to surf. 😀

  296. Ven
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:58 pm

    I’m sorry about your experience. But when I read your post, your tone even from the start is a little bit grudgy. You already anticipated the worst from everything in the first place. And it seems to me that you are a rude traveller yourself from what you wrote. Maybe the next time you travel try to embrace everything, all good and bad, not all places are the same ofcourse. It’s just a matter of choice in you how you see things. And you chose to see it in a negative perspective.

    God bless you and your journey.

  297. Jan 10, 2015 / 9:59 pm

    I loved my trips to Boradise. I have been to Boracay 3times— and to the Philippines 6 in total (first 3 only stayed in Manila)—

    For whatever its worth, I loved Boracay, and stayed in Diniwitz Beach with the guys at the Legacy Gym, which really helped meeting ‘the locals’

  298. Jm
    Jan 10, 2015 / 9:59 pm

    Come on guys. Why go on a vacation having all the negativity in you. I know you’re a blogger but it doesn’t mean that you can ruin the image of this island just because it does not fit your selfish mind. You should have bought yourself an island instead or post a blog that describes the island and separate the people that you have encountered. Most of the time it depends on ones personality on how people would treat them. I’m pretty sure you are acting like a bitch and You don’t deserve boracay. Its way more beautiful than your disgusting personality.

    ps: I hate that some of the filipinos agree with this small creature.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:11 pm

      You do realize that a blog expresses person’s individual opinion, right? 😉 Take some criticism!

  299. blax
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:01 pm

    Locals who truly love the amazing beaches in the Philippines almost NEVER go to boracay—it’s way too saturated with tourists and consumerism. Go to Coron or El Nido in Palawan or Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte and even Cauayan in Negros.

  300. valerie
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:01 pm

    If you want peace & quiet.. try Sipalay, Apo Island, Islas de Gigantes

  301. Sean
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:02 pm

    I like how you see boracay cause it is the same way i view it. Gone are the days of just enjoying the beach. For me, it is destroyed, kapooof.. A thing of the past. People have
    Forgoten to take care of it. I hope u can visit coron islands in palawan before it follows boracay.

  302. Leo Washington
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:04 pm

    Thanks for the Heads up, I’m going to Thailand instead right on Phi Phi Island
    I even heard it from some other Tourist Americans they say it was the Worst Vacation they
    have. Vendors and other Local People constantly coming to you like Parasites bugging you all the time it was a total nightmare

  303. vhia
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:05 pm

    Hi Anna,
    When I first went to Boracay I expected great beach, water activities and partying. I guess I only enjoyed the water activities, since its peak and there are really a lot of people in the beach. We usually left in the morning for island hopping and snorkling among others and return in the afternoon to take a nap in the hotel and just go out to find a restaurant in the evening for dinner. I use to love partying but during our stay in boracay I choose to slept it off, and gives me time to rest. Overall thats our routine and i think its peaceful. Its our decision to avoid the hassle of the beach by planning activities, and not join the crazy of party people. Well its really not what I expected from Boracay but I still enjoyed it and I still found the good from the worst. I just hoped you had that experience, wish you could give it a chance. 🙂

  304. Mabel
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:06 pm

    Hello, i am filipino and i would like to say sorry for your bad experience in Boracay. But please try to have an understanding mind, those vendor that you almost curse for behaving like that are trying to make their living. They have families to support and that’s the only thing they know to survive. Seeing a person (especially a foreigner) gives them a hope to earn more than usual. We all know that Phillipines is not a rich country as the others. But we are hard working. You are very lucky for having a chance to travel around the world. But please don’t forget that there are people who need to work 24/7 just to survive, who almost beg to others just to give them a penny to buy a piece of bread. You travel to different country with different people so don’t expect that every happenings will meet your expectations. We cannot blame you for commenting on the reality, but we can ask you to have a heart for those who are in need. Isn’t it good to travel and help others at the same time? Helping is much more important than your own satisfaction. I am thankful for your visit here in the Philippines, because you have given a chance to witness how other people strive to survive while others are hating them for doing such thing. I dont mean to offend you or something about what i said. I just wanted to give the other side. I am very proud to be a Filipino.
    (Sorry for my english, it is not perfect. Filipino is my language)

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:09 pm

      Hi Mabel! I don’t want to discourage people from going to the Philippines! Quite the opposite, but I don’t want tourists to destroy the natural beauty of your country just because it’s an easy money. Philippines are beautiful and let’s keep it that way and don’t commercialize it too much 🙂

  305. dante
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:08 pm

    You should visit Ilocos Sur next time. . .northern part of the philippines. Nice beaches and very peaceful. People are hospitable and kind .

  306. AC Climaco
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:08 pm

    Filipino here and I totally agree with everything stated here. It’s an overrated island and I do hope they do something about the sand thing. It was already banned before now it’s back?

  307. Jan 10, 2015 / 10:09 pm

    The fact that you said it’s the worst island ever you had visited made me upset. I am a Filipino and it doesn’t mean that I’m disagreeing with what have you stated. Just to clear things up, we have different opinions and the way we should announce especially this is a public website that everyone can actually see it is our own responsibility. You said you’ve been to different places and I think that’s enough for us to know you’re an open-minded person. I can say too that there are lots of Americans or any western citizens that may have the worst attitude ever as well. You are complaining for a thing that you’re just an asshole visitor in the country and for that you yourself should know how to adjust and it’s a fact. I myself don’t complain for my wasted time in Las Vegas which was the same thing you are complaining of. It’s NORMAL and you can’t do anything about it. It’s their own living so if they are putting you in a bad trap kindly respect them for you are just a FOREIGNER.

  308. Simon
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:11 pm

    Everything you stated above was true, but DIDN’T happen always. You are a traveller and a blogger, then you should have known that every ‘paradise’ could turn to ‘hell’.

    Well, i agree most with the vendors, yes they are really annoying. They only think how to earn money without realizing the result of there doings. Maybe because they don’t read blogs like this? LOL. and seriously, they won’t take time listening to someone like me who is always concern about the image of the island. They just got some manner issue. Most crowded tourist getaways in Asia were always filled with those stubborn people.

    Talking about Filipino culture, most of the well-known establishments in the island were not owned by a Flipino citizen. Maybe that’s the reason why you indicated above – we lacked of it.

    I bet, you had more likely five blog/review references about the island. I’ve seen the changes of the island for almost a decade and a half. Been woking on a travel agency, so i am kinda aware of the worst and best side of it. Please consider the season and the resort location if you want a lesser crowd, avoid Holidays.

    More importantly, history repeats itself but nobody knows when. You’ve just learned what this place could offer you. So why not give another shot. Who knows, the Boracay Paradise you were expecting of is waiting for you now.

    Overall, this a great blog. By the way, there’s a lot of paradise island in the Philippines aside from Boracay, Bohol, Palawan and Cebu. I am sure you’ll avoid the crowd if you discover those on your own. Good luck!!

    Cheers Anna! 🙂

  309. Kyle
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:11 pm

    Yes, Boracay has truly degraded and it’s not the place to go to if you want a quiet, serene holiday getaway with super fine white sand and sunsets. It’s completely commercialized and it’s best if you go there with other people — to socialize and have a good time. Also, the algae in Boracay during summer (March to May) is very bad and some might find it disgusting to go swimming in the beach.

    Solo travelers who want to escape from the modern world are better off in Palawan or Bohol. Coron in Palawan should be noted because it’s unscathed and the beaches are much better than Boracay’s. I’ll vouch for that. Closest thing to paradise though would be Amanpulo, also in Palawan. But divas and superstar athletes alike such as Mariah Carey and Maria Sharapova go there, so I can only imagine how expensive Amanpulo would cost. Probably no more expensive than going to the Maldives.

  310. mmg
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:12 pm

    I guess you had a bad experience because of bad planning or lack of research. First of all, you should have taken the flight that lands in Caticlan ( that means no more 2 hour bus ride). Second, you should have stayed in Station 1, where hotels are more higher class (therefore no vendors)

    Having said that, I find your photo comparison funny, coz when you said the beach was crowded, it shows only about 10 people in the beach. That’s not crowded. Also, I find it hard to believe that the guy demanded a tip??? because it’s not in the culture of the Filipinos.

    If you did your research, you should have skipped the place when you found out that it was a “party place” and you were not a “party person”.

    Don’t malign the place just because you did not “enjoy” your stay there. Maybe it’s you, not them.

    • Jo Ann
      Jan 10, 2015 / 11:05 pm

      Anna is expecting a five star experience but was willing to spend for a 1 star budget lol.

      Hi Anna, I supposed you did your research before you went there and booked your hotel (you’re a travel blogger), so you ought to know the differece amongst stations 1, 2 and 3 and the corresponding budget. I have so many things to point out but I’ll give you the benifit of the doubt and won’t think that you are stupid. I will just think that you are not willing to spend a lot and your experience there is what your budget allows you to have. Thanks for visiting the Philippines, am sure you will come back here 😉 c’mmon if you’ve been to other SEA countries, no doubt you will consider Philippines again and next time bring extra budget 🙂

  311. Jeff
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:16 pm

    Hi Anna! I’m not going to say anything more because I think everyone has already had their share of saying what you said wrong and what you said right. As with everyone else who share your frustration over what you had experienced over at Boracay, I just feel really sad. I’m not going to be like any other Filipino who would brag and lie about the Philippines being a beautiful place because just any other country, we do have our bad sides as well. Though I will have to agree with one of the comments that you should have researched more about what you will expect in Boracay. Never been there myself but I sure know that that island’s already been exploited too much and if you are looking for a more serene place to stay at, Boracay is not really the place for you. I’m a local of Siargao. I’m not gonna brag about it. Beach may not be as beautiful as Boracay, but I think it’s exactly the place you are looking for. I’m not gona try and get your hopes up, coz you won’t really know what to expect unless you really get to experience the places yourself. If you do decide to come back to the Philippines, come and visit Siargao. I have some friends who works at the local tourism office and I can help you get whatever you need or whatever you’re looking for.(of course as long as it’s possible. lol) and I’m not saying this coz I want to make up for your bad experience in Boracay. 🙂

  312. Sherwin
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:18 pm

    I’m very sadden to hear that you had a very bad experience in Boracy. I will not deny everything you said, as it is really the sad reality of the island now. The 1st time I went to Boracay was in 1993 where there are only a handful of resorts and establishments. Most of which were made of local materials and native designs. Electricity was only supplied by generators for most of the populated area, so usually after 10 pm the only light source you have are the stars and moon in the sky and a few bonfires by the beach. No fast food chains nor vendors selling their wares on the beach. It was, back then the perfect getaway from the hustle of the city.

    From then on, I would go back to the island ever so often, sometimes once a year, sometimes 3 and I personally witnessed the transformation of this once prestine getaway.

    The last time I was there was 2 years ago, after a 3 year sebatical from the island and I was surprised with how everything changed. The island that I once loved was almost unrecognizable. And I though it was over commercialized already from the last time I was there. It was very sad. Though there are still some “quiet” spots on the island but they are now reserved to high end hotels:(

  313. Jan 10, 2015 / 10:19 pm

    I love Boracay but I couldn’t agree with you more. I visit there every year, and every time I do there is something new – a new hotel, a big construction site, etc. I’ve been to several beaches around Asia but I still prefer Boracay BUT I adore and love El Nido Palawan. It’s one place I also vowed to visit all the time. I suggest you go there and I hope it doesn’t get too crowded. It’s a beautiful place.

    Boracay is too crowded, too many people, too many businesses. It’s quite sad to be honest.

  314. Roel
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:20 pm

    Thanks for the Feedback.

    I hope the Department of Tourism, commercial establishments, local vendors/service providers will learn something from your experience/perspective, and come up with a solution. I think they made the island like a party zone.

    I am a Filipino, although I haven’t been to Boracay yet, but I can compare the situation on a smaller scale with the Dahican beach at Mati (only thing I’m not sure is if there’s a lot of local walking beach vendors). Last time I was there was about 1996-97, and you can almost claim the whole fine white sand beach even in broad daylight, the residential subdivision was still being constructed during those times. Now there’s a lot of people there based on photos by friends and relatives who went there at 2014. I think it’s not that overcrowded yet compared to Boracay, because it’s still isn’t a famous foreign tourist destination. Back in 1996-97, I think it was still safe to go skinny dipping in broad daylight. Now, maybe you’d think a couple of times, because you might end up as a facebook status of a stranger.

    I wish you a better experience with our country next time.

  315. Jim
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:21 pm

    You went to that island ten years too late. So did I, and I found out that out the hard way. I went there during our Labor Day weekend, and what greeted me on that island was thousands upon thousands of yuppies and college kids intent on getting wasted in every imaginable way. And, as if trudging past that throng of sweaty bodies was not enough, I saw the beach littered with empty bottles of alcohol, cigarette butts, vomit, plastic bags, and the occasional couple having drunken sex. I had to endure three full days of that before flying out. Boracay wasn’t as advertised, and I will NEVER go back to that island.

  316. Jake Lewis
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:22 pm

    German expat living in the Philippines (Manila, Cebu, Makati now Iloilo) for 25 years here.
    I fell in love with my Filipina wife but not with the country. We have 2 more years before we move back in Berlin. The problem with the Philippines and most of the Filipinos is their intense capacity to DENY and be DEFENSIVE about any TRUTH told about them. If you tell the truth and say “Manila is the most polluted place in Asia”, they automatically say “then live somewhere else!”, yet they know their jeeps spew black smog and yet they do not seek their authorities to apprehend smoke belching vehicles. I f you tell the truth and say “Manila has the worst traffic in Asia”, they will pinpoint China and bash any other Asian country, yet they post on every social media site how the traffic situation is really bad.
    So, Dear Anna — EXPECT A LOT OF DEFENSIVE TROLLS TO BASH YOU FOR TELLING THE TRUTH.
    My wife and I would always give this country a chance. But every time we are disappointed. Each year, we try to look at the positive side of this country…but each year, we find none. The police system cannot even protect its own citizens. They do not apply forensics. There are hardly any solved crimes. So there is no guaranteed safety to live here. The government is corrupt. So fat chance that the government will look after the environmental concerns of Boracay.
    My wife and I are taking care of her ill parents and finally in a two years’ time I will be able to take them to Germany with us. From thereon we will say farewell and good riddance to this country whose citizens will always deny and be defensive about their faulty system which is actually rotting them to the core…and they know it.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:27 pm

      Thanks for the heads up. I receive a lot of harassment, but also a lot of comments from Filipinos apologizing for those who can’t accept any criticism….

      • gagagogo
        Jan 11, 2015 / 9:50 pm

        Hi Jake and Anna,

        I think you stereotype all Filipinos, Jake!? That’s so sad to know. I lived in Manila for almost 12 years. the reason most Filipinos would go to the big city is to seek employment. But yeah! we don’t deny that “Manila is the most crowded and populated city in the Phil/asia, the govt system is corrupt, it has the most traffic not only in Asia or if u think all over the world. So, if someone is suggesting you move to a country since the big city is crowded does it mean denying?? I guess denying is different from suggesting? I grew up and lived in a province which I like to live more than Manila. And now that I am here in a first world country it is so sad to see the big difference when it comes to all the system. Don’t pour it out to all filipinos because not all Pinoys are born the same. We don’t share the same thinking and opinions. If you knew how much most filipinos want to change the situtation of our country to make it a better place??! We want to have more employment so we don’t need to go overseas to support our families. I wonder why most foreigners like you Jake rant and bash filipinos but still want to live in the Philippines?!! I want to borrow this line from OZ people, “If you don’t like it LEAVE!” Sooo just zip your mouth and do this thing!!!

  317. lidice
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:22 pm

    Sometimes the problem is that you yourself don’t know who you are and what do you really want. If you only knew,you should have enjoyed everything. It’s not about the the place and people here,but the truth is, it’s all about You! An example of how do you feel when you feel nothing.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:26 pm

      So you’re saying you should enjoy everything just because it’s there? 0_o

  318. Ira Mayol
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:23 pm

    Hi Anna! you know what? thats so true, even my family, thats their comments,so we decide to not go there anymore….. try go to Palawan it is the most beautiful place in Philippines. Peace and quiet.

  319. Sophie
    Jan 11, 2015 / 6:23 am

    Hi Anna,

    Sorry to hear about your experience in the Philippines.

    I have a couple of points to make about your experience though.

    Whilst you’re correct about the touts, vendors and overcrowding, it does make me wonder why you were so surprised about it. You seem well travelled so surely you’ve been to somewhere like the south of Thailand or Cambodia, where the tourists and touts can be considerably worse.

    In the end people want the impossible, a beautiful beach, tons of activities and tourist amenities without any of the other tourists. It’s just not going to happen. While I totally agree that Boracay is overdeveloped, you have to understand that Filipinos from all over the country come here to work and to better themselves and their families financially, and who can really blame them? If they can make more money selling pearls to tourists in Boracay than working in the fields in the provinces or similar, then why not? It would be a good idea for you to see more of how the rest of the country live and you might feel a bit more compassion for some of the ‘annoying vendors’, a lot of whom live away from their homes and families for most of the year in order to make ends meet.

    Also I noticed you visited in December, near to the Xmas period. In Boracay, being a top holiday destination in the Philippines for Filipinos and foreign tourists, in a Catholic country, its going to be busy. If you want to avoid crowds here, travel outside the main Catholic holidays.

    As for the Hobbit House, whilst it may not seem fair or right compared to Western standards, you have to admit that its giving people, that might otherwise have limited employment opportunities, a way to earn a living.

    I just wanted to put one more word in for the friendly filipinos that you didn’t encounter. I’ve lived in Boracay and visited multiple times since and I have a lot of filipino friends that work in the tourist industry there, and they are some of the nicest people I have ever met, who when they barely knew me, invited me into their homes, shared food with me and expected nothing back in return except friendship.

    I’m definitely not saying your wrong and its good for people to hear different opinions about places in order to decide where to go, but I do feel that when you learn a bit more about the country and discover the reasons WHY things are how they are, it makes you more tolerant to those things that tourists might find annoying such as vendors ect. and enables you to enjoy your time there more.

  320. jen
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:26 pm

    Hi,

    I read your blog and I find it quite funny. I think you didn’t really made a good research prior heading to Boracay. Why will you go to Boracay if you are looking for a beach and the same time relaxation? You should have went to Palawan. Particularly in El Nido in El Nido Resorts if you want more private while enjoying your vacation. Dear, Boracay is NOW known for its beautiful beach and partying and more fun activities.

    I’d been there and I experienced some of you what you experienced like somebody will offer you a massage or water sports. Hence, I find yours exagerated. I didn’t feel annoyed at all when my friend and I were asked. We were asked once or twice only.

    Overpriced burger? I think any tourist spots do charge overprice. Its normal. U should know better since u travel more frequent (‘coz ur a travel blogger).

    Oh by the way, my friend and I enjoyed our vacation in Boracay and was even thinking to extend our stay that time. It is because we went there exepecting beautiful beach, party and fun water activities. We went there for the right reasons.

    • Jana
      Jan 10, 2015 / 10:36 pm

      Lots of contradictions next to your lots of bad grammar, Jen. Please stop being a typical defensive pinoy. Cheers.

  321. Rigo
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:28 pm

    There’s this Island opposite side of Panay. Try to visit it Maam before it turns into another “Boracay”. It’s called Isla Gigantes in the islands of Carles,Iloilo. This is coming from an Ilonggo, who’s been in Boracay a couple of times. Sad to say I’ve never been fond of Boracay. Overpriced! Not worth paying that much, without even feeling relaxed.
    You’ll never find the meaning of “BeachBum” in Boracay.

  322. Stance
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:34 pm

    Hey, Filipino here, I went to Boracay when I was young, probably 5 or 7 yrs. old, and I was amazed, Then by the age of 13, I got back there for vacation, and was also disappointed.. I am ashamed of my own country sometimes

  323. Deanna
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:37 pm

    Ummm….. I don’t know if you understand what “crap” that comes from partying is…. BUT I THINK THAT WHAT YOU HAVE IN THE PICTURE ARE SEAWEEDS…… ARE YOU SAYING THAT THOSE SEAWEEDS COME FROM PARTY GOERS? IF SO THEN YOU ARE EITHER RETARDED OR HAVE DOWN SYNDROME.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:48 pm

      Caps Lock is meant to be turned off when you write a comment… 🙂

  324. Rhea
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:38 pm

    Boracay is one of the most cleanest and beautiful island before, until people used the island for business and lots of marketing purposes. And now prostitutes are everywhere. A lot of hotels and restaurants are illegal (no permit) but the government is now taking actions and demolished illegal establishments. I’ve been to boracay several times and it’s like 6-8hrs land travel from our place. It’s just so sad they ruined the beauty of the island. I used to love the Boracay before but If u really want to see the beauty of our Mother Nature you go to Coron Palawan but I don’t think you gonna love the transportation but its quite an adventure though.

  325. ron
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:38 pm

    Dont go to any philippine,beach.. surely you will just check every single negative in our beaches…Go to other beaches its your choice

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:47 pm

      Assuming a lot, don’t you? 😉

  326. Jan 10, 2015 / 10:38 pm

    I’m from Guam, currently living in the Philippines for college, and I gotta say, I love the Philippines, but about 90% of the people here lack manners when in public. The way people act in the malls are just about comparable to the way they drive on the road. I’m lucky enough to live in a community where people are not like that. Btw, GUAM STILL HAS THE BEST BEACHES 😀

    • Chin
      Nov 27, 2015 / 7:00 am

      Where did you get that 90% from your feeble-minded brain’s study?

      Do you even know what Statistics is? If you want to highlight Guam, then don’t bash another country’s people.

      PS

      Don’t pretend that you’ve been to the Philippines. No one’s buying your shit. You are just claiming it so as to make your fallacious claim believable.

  327. ron
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:39 pm

    Dont go again here..or,any,beach in,the,philippines…

  328. Jan 10, 2015 / 10:40 pm

    I think you would enjoy the beache of matnog in sorsogon, it it so beautiful! No restaurants, no hotels, no bars, it is being with nature and natura alone

  329. Jo Ann
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:41 pm

    I heard bad things about this place too that’s why it took me a while before I visited this place. I hate crowded places and annoying vendors too! You should’ve stayed in Station 1. If you want a little privacy, a little research will go a long way. Stations 2 and 3 are the areas where most parties are happening. Of course this comes with a price. Boracay caters to all kinds of tourists. If you want a first class experience, be ready with a first class budget. 😉

  330. Gerson Medel
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:45 pm

    hey, you should visit siquior there’s a cliff diving spot there in a hotel near the beach. it’s not really an extreme cliff diving. probably, 50ft or maybe a little bit less but it was worth the experience. and the hotel is pretty cheap name of the place is salagdoong beach. and there’s this river with sky blue waters and they got rope swings the great thing about it’s for FREE!! the best things in life are free indeed. downside is there’s i think if my memory serves me right 130steps before you can reach the river. but, as a backpacker we’re always up for it! it makes everything a little bit more worth it. no pain, no gain right? aaaand there’s this fancy restaurant names coco grove a little bit pricy but i think it’s reasonable. they have like fire dancers i think it was during fridays? or wednesdays? anyway, it was scheduled. but i’m not sure if they still have it or changed it. plus, you can island hop from coco grove to guimaras to go and swim with the whales. BEST PART IS.. there are barely people going to that island. when you go there, it’s like you own the place. i hope you can go and try it there. and see the place for yourself. it’s one if the cheapest places and one of the “virgin” islands we got here in the philippines. and ohhh, bohol is awesome! totally worth it. i usually go there because i have family and relatives there. good to know you enjoyed bohol.

    • Jan 10, 2015 / 10:46 pm

      I tried but it was raining a lot and it wasn’t possible 🙁

  331. rick
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:46 pm

    Yeah, this is definitely true. It is sad though that the beautiful island is about to crumble down and headed to it’s demise. Sorry to hear about your bad experience.

  332. Adrielle
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:46 pm

    You should try in Elnido Palawan instead, there you can probably say that you’re in paradise. I’m a 100% you will love it there. It’s a virgin island that you can relax and have fun.

  333. Stella
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:47 pm

    Everything stated here is true.I’ve been there once just for experience but I didn’t like it.The water have a lot of dirt.Green thingy “lumot” when you go into the water.Prices of the goods are not fair because it’s too expensive.I suggest you visit Calaguas Island in Bicol been there like 3 times and wooohhh!It’s paradise!

  334. Ian Garcia
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:47 pm

    I am 100% Filipino living in Davao City in Mindanao, and I totally agree with you. Boracay has become a huge, crowded mall with a supposedly nice beach but littered with all kinds of tourists, vendors, and yes, litter. The last time I went there, I didn’t even bother taking a dip in the beach. Not going back there in the next couple of years. There are 7,106 islands more to explore in the Philippines. Boracay is just overrated and overly commercialized.

  335. Fiona
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:48 pm

    I’m a Filipino and I’ve been planning on travelling to Boracay this summer. Upon reading this post, though, I realize that I might not enjoy it as much because the reasons you’ve stated above are the things that I would never want to experience while travelling. I do recommend going to El Nido, Palawan. I’ve been to different beaches and islands and El Nido is definitely the most unforgettable place I’ve been to. The beautiful island isn’t the only reason you’d want to book a trip to the island, it’s also the accommodating and kind locals and the peacefulness that El Nido brings that will capture your heart. It’s a 5-hour roadtrip from the airport in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, but I swear, it’s worth the travel.

  336. Jan 10, 2015 / 10:49 pm

    You should try Bicol instead. Nice place, nice people. Also have the white sands (forgot the name of the beach tho but I will tell you ASAP when I remembered it 🙂 ) I admit that most Filipino people are becoming assholes.

  337. Lyle
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:51 pm

    I agree 100% – may I suggest Siargao Islands; way better; far better than Boracay. Stating that Boracay is a tourist trap; yup pretty much sums it up.

  338. Ann
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:52 pm

    You should really try to visit Coron, Palawan. everything you disliked in Boracay won’t be there 😀

  339. Bianca
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:53 pm

    Dear Anna, Sorry to hear about this. I’m actually a local of Aklan and I grew up in a small town called Buruanga, like 15mins drive away from Caticlan port. I couldn’t agree more with what you have experienced. Boracay was way, way, way different 10-15 years ago. It was a total paradise! Less crowd, less tourists, less commercial establishments. Anyway, I hope this experience won’t stop you from visiting Philippines again. I used to travel Philippine Islands for my work before and I tell you, there are islands / beaches in the Philippines just waiting to be discovered and they’re a total paradise. Way different from Boracay. True, Boracay is for party people. I recommend visiting Coron and El Nido in Palawan. It’s paradise for me! We stayed there for a more than a month and have lived the Local way. Would also recommend Caramoan Island, Bohol, Cebu and Siargao. Let me know if there’s anything I can help you with your future travels. 🙂

  340. RS
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:54 pm

    Im an American tourist travelling to Boracay in ten days. It sounds like your personality is negative/bitchy and arrogant at its best thats why your vacation failed. Put yourself in the same boat as those vendors, give them some slack. As a smart traveller Im flying to caticlan instead of aklan. On your blog you focus on the negative and writing one negative blog about boracay, you could also written a separate blog about your positve experiences in bohol and cebu. Your vacation failed due to your ugly biased/personality. I already know boracay will be busy and lively and thats what I expect when I get there.

  341. Ric Angeles L
    Jan 10, 2015 / 10:58 pm

    Try to stay in the resort to know the reality of BORACAY!
    We stayed in an exclusive resort in BORACAY for several days to enjoy Privacy and just got out of the street to get both worlds!
    I had visited Bohol,Puerto Galera,Batangas,Cebu,Pangasinan,Southern Caribean Beaches,Punta Cana,Cancun,Mexican beaches,Tobermory(to name a few) BUT still going back this year to Boracay!
    If you want a more Private stay,out from the crowd,try getting in the exclusive resorts_away from Public!
    We’re coming back for we know what we are missing from the rest of the world.
    _Filipino-Canadian ,Scuba Diver ,Pro-Photographer

  342. alex
    Jan 10, 2015