Boracay Island although very beautiful is completely now over developed and suffering from terrible congestion and over crowding.
Like all others who have witnessed the phenomenal growth of tourism in the island nearby, majority of the local officials of Carabao Island have almost the same observations in common, that is to correct the wrongs committed that practically negated all efforts in preserving the idyllic settings of the islands tourism that currently its downtrend condition is apparently felt by the players and stakeholders in the island’s tourism sector.
However, Carabao is not Boracay or vice-versa. In fact there is no basis of comparison between the two contrasting islands. Consider these points: Boracay has lost its aura as a tropical island. It is of no difference to any of the highly urbanized metropolis. It does not anymore reflect the tagline of being the island paradise. In contrast, Carabao stayed and remained undisturbed by the over-eager developers that dwindled every inch of Boracay’s natural resources. And, while others envied the unprecedented tourism growth of Boracay that it has been coined the gem of Philippine Tourism, Carabao does not feel the same., simply because, what Boracay’s strengths three decades ago, now become its weaknesses, and the latter’s weaknesses now becomes Carabao’s strengths and opportunities.
Furthermore, what Carabao Island has in terms of natural tourism resources remained to be its own that never was there any threat of over exploitation and virtual degradation. Consider these points:
1) Carabao has a larger land area very much prime for gradually systematic and well-controlled development;
2) It has unlimited source of potable fresh water from springs and waterfalls that can easily sustain the island requirements;
3) Its underwater marine resources in the form of lively corals amidst sea-grasses are abound with a variety of fishes to delight the seasoned snorkelers, divers and ordinary swimming enthusiasts;
4) The current officials absolutely have learned the lessons of Boracay’s misuse of natural resources and relative abuse committed to both natural, human and material infrastructures;
5) The natural beauty of Carabao in/on land and underwater are just simply more astounding than the ones that are found in Boracay. In fact these natural attractions are now being used as the come-on for island hopping operators in Boracay in selling their services to Boracay tourists;
6) The inhabitants of Carabao are more receptive to tourism education than that of Boracay, and the local leadership pride to wear the mantle of political authority and well-power in leading the advocacy for the institutionalization of the culture of tourism in governance and the local inhabitants;
7) The inhabitants are being continuously trained and their capability enhanced to be more involved in development process;
8) Poverty Alleviation and Livelihood development are given first priority to benefit above all, the locals while the conduct of study to prepare them in the formulating their island’s Tourism Strategic Action Development Master Plan to reflect their very own sentiment on what the want of the island to become the process. This is a total departure from the traditionally observed practice of hiring expensive outside consultant to write/formulate the same master plan;
9) Both the local government leadership and the inhabitants believed as they adhere to theory that says: “where poverty exists, sustainable development of tourism is a myth”, for no tourism maybe locally developed if poverty exists in midst of the socio-economic conditions of the populace;
10) Service providers operating in Boracay are now slowly recognizing the importance of Carabao’s natural attractions more useful for their tourism services offered to visitors while in Boracay. This is the reason why some if not most of them are now slowly egging to transfer operation in the latter.
Simply said with its extraordinary natural attractions, by twist of fate Carabao Island is now acknowledged the must-see attraction for nature and sea lovers, environmentalists, and unstoppably soon , shall be the major destination in the region.