The New Vision for Boracay – the Boracay Tourism Master Plan
According to the Hon. Ceciron Cawaling the Municipal Mayor of Malay and its Chief Executive Officer (which includes Boracay) 2018 will be the year of ‘beautiful beginnings’. The mayor’s vision is to establish Malay as a ‘Resilient Municipality’. Resilient, of course, means able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions, it is, therefore, a quality to be admired and a state to aspire to, but it must be remembered that many of the difficult conditions Boracay (and the wider Malay mainland area) have suffered (to its detriment) have been caused by human elements – bad planning, lack of concern, lack of vision and short-term opportunistic exploitation. Clearly, this situation must not be allowed to continue. Clearly, there is a need for a Boracay Tourism Master Plan.
With this in mind, the mayor has contracted the ‘world renowned’ Felino Palafox, an urban planner, to develop a Malay Development Plan/Malay Tourism Master Plan. Now, the Philippines is not exactly a world leader when it comes to urban planning but Felino Palafox, the founder of Palafox Associates and Palafox Architecture Group does seem to have impressive credentials, 40 years of experience in both the private and public sectors and genuine international credibility, indeed it is difficult if not impossible to find a better, more qualified person to do the job.
The Master Plan includes provision for a new Commercial and Transport Terminal Complex, A new Road Network Plan (with inevitable re-routing, road widening and ‘beautification’ in both Boracay and the mainland), a Malay Harbour City, a Malay-Boracay Bridge (regulated, of course) Boracay Beach Walk Beautification Plan, Boracay Tourism Renewal Plan, improvements to the docking area at Tambisaan and Bel-At and a community-based, Eco-Tourism Plan to develop and enhance mainland tourism sites such as Pangihan Cave, Agnaga Mini-Falls, Argao Eco-park, the Ati Village, the various Nabaoy river resorts and the wonderful Motag Living Museum.
The mayor sees these projects and others as part of his ‘legacy’ to Malay. He wants to put Boracay and the mainland on the same level as other international tourist destinations and it will take international thinking to do it.
The mayor and the Malay LGU need to get all Malaynons behind this initiative. We wish them well and look forward to the continued development of sustainable and well-supported responsible tourism in the region