With the reopening of Boracay happening just today, several questions have come into play. The beachfront is as pristine as it was in the 60s, but behind the scenes, it looks to still be a half-howling wilderness. ANCX traces the government’s progress on several fronts—from progress reports from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Tourism (DOT), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). Numbers have always been key to any project’s progress, and we present them below. For mainstays at the island, government restrictions on the number of tourists allowed on the island, as well as activities permitted on the beachfront, make it appear that the government might be “killing the goose that lays the golden egg,” in the words of one of the island’s most powerful scions—which is to say that if Boracay has been earning revenues from weddings by its powdery sands and turquoise waters, New Year’s libations under the boom and light of magical fire displays, or even endless happy hours enjoyed by tourists and locals fronting glorious Boracay sunsets, bringing a sudden halt to the festivities might dampen the island’s earning power. In place of this, we have a veritable virgin paradise that’s waiting for a party—but who, and how many exactly, are permitted to attend?
Boracay by the numbers
1,273: the number of pipes needed for the Boracay Circumferential road which begins from Cagban Port all around to the Hue hotel.
20: number of kilometers encompassing the Boracay circumferential road
55: number of rainy days since the start of the project 107 days ago
1,438: number of buildings demolished since its closure
30: number of environmental enforcers sent by DENR to check on Boracay’s water quality
68: number of establishments in the list of accredited accommodations approved by government
19,200: number of tourists allowed on the island at any one time upon reopening.
*3,519: total number of rooms that will be open to the public upon reopening.
3: number of kilometers away from the shoreline where a government-imposed ban on ‘no floating structures’ has been implemented.
18: number of cases filed against erring local government officials due to negligence and mismanagement of the island.
*last figure presented but subject to change as more establishments get clearances to open.
Photographs by Jeff Canoy