"This is the Boracay We All Fell in Love With 30 Years Ago," Says DOT Sec. Berna Romulo Puyat
Today, October 26, marks the long-awaited reopening of Boracay—which, despite having been closed to tourists since April this year, nevertheless managed to make it (again) to the Condé Nast Traveler list of Best Beaches in the World.
Boracay's rehabilitation isn't 100 percent done—reports say that there are only about 5,000 hotel rooms ready to accept visitors as of today, and that we might have to wait till at least April 2019 to see the tourist hotspot operating at full blast. Needless to say, our pasty-white skins are excited to experience the new Boracay's glorious rays and see a revitalized beachfront.
"The Boracay experience is the ultimate lesson in balancing development and protecting the environment," said Department of Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat at today's reopening ceremonies. "The lessons learned here are not for Boracay alone but also for the other island destinations around our beautiful country."
Hear, hear. Now, as we all as a nation open another tab in our browsers and book our tickets back to our regained island paradise, here's the next best thing—the full text of Sec. Puyat's reopening speech, along with glimpses of the new Boracay as seen through the Instagram photos of the island's first few visitors:
Welcome back to Boracay! Or would it be better to say, 'Welcome back, Boracay.'
During the dry run, about a week ago, people would come up to the members of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force or BIATF and tell us, this shoreline, the beachfront we are seeing now, this is the Boracay we fell in love with 30 years ago.
Hats off the DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, the chairpeson of the BIATF, to DILG Secretary Ed Año, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, DOTR Secretary Arthur Tugade, and DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi, and to all the hardworking mena and women of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force who made what seemed impossible, possible.
Compliments as well to our DOT Regional Director Helen Catalbas and the DOT Boracay Field Office.
Congratulations, everyone, for a job well done. Our concerted efforts have proven once again that change is indeed possible with strong political will and eagernes to work together for the love of country.
I would also like to acknowledge and thank our stakeholders for their patience, support, and cooperation during the 6-month rehabilitation. For our accredited establishments, and those who are working hard to be 100% compliant with the DENR, DILG, and DOT, thank you for your efforts to ensure the highest quality for hospitality and the environment.
As we welcome a Better Boracay, the Department of Tourism urges everyone to be responsible tourists. It is the key to the preservationof this national treasure.
The Boracay experience is the ultimate lesson in balancing development and protecting the environment. The lessons learned here are not for Boracay alone but also for the other island destinations around our beautiful country.
The reopening of Boracay is not the culmination of our journey on sustainable tourism—it's just the beginning.
Together, let us ensure that generations from now, our children's, children's children will still say that it's more fun in the Philippines.
On behalf of th Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force, Boracay is now official declared open to the public,