Boracay Island, Philippines
Boracay is an island of the Philippines located approximately 315 km (200 miles) south of Manila and 2 km off the northwest tip of Panay Island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. In 1990, it was voted by the BMW Tropical Beach Handbook as one of the best beaches in the world and again in 1996 by British publication TV Quick as the world’s number one tropical beach.
The island comprises the barangays of Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak (3 of the 17 barangays which make up the municipality of Malay), and is under the administrative control of the Philippine Tourism Authority in coordination with the Provincial Government of Aklan.
The island was originally home to the Ati tribe. Boracay is part of Aklan Province, which became an independent province on April 25, 1956. Formerly undiscovered, it wasn’t till the 1970s that tourism began to develop in Boracay, and the island became popular with backpackers in the 1980s. Years ago, Boracay Island was a well-guarded secret, almost possessively so that only a few knew of its existence. It was only in the 70s when, it is said, a foreign movie crew accidentally “discovered” this island paradise. Others maintain that it was the German traveler, ‘Jens Peters’ book, which included rave reviews of Boracay that changed the island’s pace from that of being a quiet secret to eventually being voted as having the best beach in the world. Whichever story is true, it was around this time that Boracay Island slowly ceased to be a private travelers hangout and eventually became one of the major tourist destinations in the Philippines.