Boracay Listed on Time's World's Greatest Places of 2022
TIME Magazine just released its "World's Greatest Places of 2022," and out of those 50 slots, only one Philippine location made the list. It's none other than our "paradise lost" Boracay Island.
"It had become known as 'Paradise Lost,' or a 'cesspool,' as former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte described it, after it was tainted by sewage. The once brilliant white sand and clear waters of Boracay Island were choking on the trash and traffic that comes from two million annual visitors," Charlie Campbell writes in the Time feature. "It reached a nadir in 2018, when Duterte closed down all tourism on the island for six months—an emergency Band-Aid for decades of ecological abuse."
The list was compiled through solicited nominations from an international network of correspondents and contributors. In the 2021 list, TIME recognized Siargao in Surigao del Norte, best known for being a surfing capital in the country, as the only Philippine entry.
TIME's description also noted how Boracay was affected by the borders closing during the pandemic, which ravaged the island's local economy. It nevertheless pointed out how resorts like Crimson Resort and Spa are aiding its recovery and new tourism boom. The writer emphasized the perspective of locals, saying that they reported "the return of flora and fauna, like sea turtles, and hospitality has come back just as spectacularly."
It was only in February 2022 that international tourists were welcomed again to the island. This came after the first stages of the rehabilitation of the area. The Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force was on track for the completion of the rehab mid-2022, according to a statement released by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in late 2021. Four years after the announcement of the revamp, on June 22, 2022, the DENR announced that the restoration was finally complete.
Among the other travel destinations on the list are the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Bali in Indonesia, and the Arctic and the International Space Station. Cities like Copenhagen in Denmark and Bogota in Colombia also made the rankings. Old reliables like Miami in Florida and Marseilles in France are part of the list, as well.