Updated (June 12) – Ten days after posting these photos, the Town Mayor ordered Boracay West Cove closed.
Island hopping is just one of the popular activities in Boracay. My husband and I are right now in Boracay so just like any tourist as we cruised off the shores of Boracay in a local Bangka boat checking out beaches, snorkeling and just enjoying the rock formations, the corals under the clear pristine waters. Of course we wanted to see the whole island. My friend, Dave Ryan Buaron, told me to take photos of the Boracay West Cove. Nestled near our hotel in Station 1 is Boracay West Cove. I cannot really spot it from my hotel but since we were in a boat, we would have a chance to see the resort. . It “hugs the seaside mountain terrain of Boracay’s Diniwid beach area and is accessible only either through a tricycle ride from Boracay’s Stations 1, 2, and 3, or by boat. Clients are given free round-trip speedboat transfers to and from Caticlan Jetty Port.”
I read reports that Manny Pacquaio is just a co-owner of this beach resort. “Manny partnered with his friend, businessman Crisostomo “Cris” Aquino to purchase, in 2006, a cove in the seaside mountain terrain from a former developer.
My guide says it is Pacman’s Boracay Resort. I heard about this resort from locals and they are quite proud that Manny Pacquiao owns a resort in the island.
Well, well. I don ‘t know about you but I find the resort’s architecture is an abomination. It is so tacky and hideous and worst of all destroyed the ecological balance and natural beauty in that area. Never mind if the architecture is reminiscent of a Dr. Seus house. Perhaps I can even ignore that Manny Pacquiao is a co-owner.
From this beautiful rock formation:
Before rock formation was cemented. Photo via pep.ph
During construction in 2008. Photo Via Katrina Ludwig in Flickr
To this abomination:
After cementing the beautiful rock formation
What troubles me is someone just cemented over age-old rock formations of the island and turned it into a lounge. They call this abomination as the “Pacman rock”.
Have you heard of the three cemented rock formation? Most of the news on Boracay West Cove talks of a paradise experience. What paradise? It boasts of the age-old rock formation but is silent that cement completely covered the rock formation.
A poster with his photo in it is plastered in the middle of the Boracay West Cove. What does that say, Manny? Why allow this resort to cement on an age old rock formation for what? To lounge around and sip wine?
What happened to no build zone law?
A lot of controversy surrounded in the construction of this Boracay West Cove such as “the resort does not have a building permit, occupancy permit and business permit” and environmental clearance. I won’t be surprised if they constructed over a sea bed of corals.
News report showed “The resort also violates a municipal ordinance because it is located in a no-build-zone area.” So why was then Malay Mayor Ciceron Cawaling unable to stop the construction of the resort? Oh I forgot, he is facing graft charges “for his failure to control the construction frenzy on Boracay Island”.
Whatever happened to the coastline shoreline setback required by law (see page 27) ? And why was this resort exempted from the setback rule?
Destruction of natural beauty
The DENR has blamed the worsening environmental threats to development projects that have violated laws, policies and ordinances. It cited the building of resorts and tourism facilities along easement areas, hampering of public access, destruction of the natural beauty of the coasts, indiscriminate development of areas, illegal reclamation of wetlands and clearing of forested areas for building construction.
Rock formation is beautiful in its natural form. I cannot begin to imagine the damage to the sea bed and corals below those other structures just before the 3 cemented rock formations.
Is this so-called “Pacman rock” something to be proud of, Rep. Manny Pacquiao? My friend adds , “because this country and this planet is not over populated, then we can afford to destroy its natural beauty. Is that it, Congressman Pacquiao? ”
I believe we should never allow natural environment to be destroyed for selfish reasons. If one can destroy natural rock formation, corals may be next. No one is above the law. Not even a “hero”.