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Party’s over: Boracay mass exodus of holidaymakers starts

/ 12:36 AM April 26, 2018

Tourists fall in line at the port area as they prepare to go out  Boracay. PHOTO/Aaron Favila, AP

BORACAY ISLAND, Aklan – “We’re coming back in November!”

Jane, a visitor from Russia made the promise before she and her partner James boarded the boat to leave Boracay as local officials implemented the shutdown of the resort island at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday.

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“We’re a little sad to go, but if it’s needed for the environment and the government decided like this, it’s okay.”

Jane and James caught the pump boat going to Caticlan at midnight that capped their “awesome” stay on Boracay Island.

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The world-famous Boracay, known for its powdery white sand and azure waters, drew millions of tourists annually. But the resort island has been closed to all tourism-related activities starting Thursday midnight for a six-month rehabilitation on the orders of President Duterte.

“It’s amazing place. It’s my first time here. I adore Boracay. It has good beaches and water. Amazing people, good people,” Jane said.

The couple were off to their next adventure in nearby Cebu, one of the top tourist destinations in the Visayas.

Promising to go back to the island when it opens in November, Jane hoped that the rehabilitation work would clean Boracay and the island would again become immaculate.

“I hope it will be more convenient and cleaner especially no more grass on the water. But I hope it won’t change so much,” she said./atm/ac

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TAGS: Boracay cleanup, Boracay closure
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