There’s a sale in Boracay
BORACAY ISLAND, Aklan — This usually expensive island-resort has suddenly become more affordable to lesser mortals.
But only for a few days.
The posh D’Mall commercial complex at the heart of the long beach here had been transformed into a bagsak presyo (marked down) center as shops offer discounted prices since Tuesday or two days before the island is closed to tourists, possibly for six months.
The walkway of the complex had become littered with displays of clothes and accessories with marked-down prices.
50 percent off
Along the long white beach, branded Boracay shirts originally priced at P199.75 were being sold at P100 per piece.
Restaurants were offering a 50-percent off on selected items. Sunglasses, a highly demanded accessory on the island, were also sold at half the original price.
Some bars along the beach offered local beer at P60 per bottle from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Hotels and restaurants were also offering discounted rates to dispose their food stock. But many shops were already closed even days before the closure.
Several resorts had also lowered their room rates to up to 50 percent.
Others upgraded the accommodations of their guests for free.
A hotel near Boat Station 1 at the northern end of the island offered fruit shakes at buy-one-take-one prices.
Many items on the food menu were unavailable as many restaurants and hotels were clearing out their stocks and had not ordered new supplies.
Tens of thousands of residents and property owners would lose their livelihood and could give up their businesses with the closure of the island.
Taking the greatest challenge
While many residents and business owners were resigned that the closure was inevitable, some were facing the greatest challenge of the island in high spirits.
The owners and employees of the Sea Wind Boracay resort were set to hold a “boodle fight” on Wednesday evening, the eve of the closure.
The boodle fight is a military-style of dining where food is placed on a long table, usually covered with banana leaves, and with all those present eating with their bare hands.
The tradition is an expression of solidarity and camaraderie.
“We would be with our employees because they are like family to us. And we didn’t want to be gloomy because this was also an opportunity to make Boracay better,” Ruth Tirol-Jarantilla, Sea Wind owner, told the INQUIRER.
‘Part ways in a positive note’
Hayden Bandiola said he would bring his 40 staff members to a spring resort in Antique province for a fun trip on April 28 or two days after the closing of the island to tourists.
“Many of us will not be seeing each other for several months and I would like us to part ways in a positive note and with no ill-feelings,” he said.
Several resident expatriates and business owners were having dinner and drinks until midnight Thursday to mark the closure.
Several locals, including expatriates, also needed to meet up with friends on the island when Boracay is cleared of tourists./lb/ac