Saturday, December 15, 2012

Catholic Church in Boracay, ready for “simbang-gabi”

The Catholic Church in Boracay is now ready for the 9-day early morning masses or “simbang gai.”

In fact the Holy Rosary Parish Church in Balabag has already produced a schedule for the “misa de gallo.”

According to Rev. Fr. Arnold Crisostomo, Parish Priest at the HRPC-Boracay, it will start on December 16 and that the daily masses will be at 4 in the morning.

Moreover, to those who wish to attend the “Santo Rosario,” this will be done before every mass.

Meanwhile, on the 24th of December, a few hours before the birth of the Messiah will be celebrated, a 9:00 p.m. mass will be held at the Balabag church.

While the masses at Yapak Chapel and Manoc-manoc on the same date will be celebrated at 6:30 in the evening.

Friday, December 14, 2012


The beach in the village of Yapak is almost gone and its village Captain, Hector Casidsid, is having problems because of this.
Add to this the predicament that there are a very few accessible beach lines in Yapak Village since the village is mountainous and rocky.
These prompted the Village Chairman to ask for help from the Town Council of Malay at noon time, Tuesday, December 11.
The assistance sought is for whatever the Town Council could render to protect Yapak’s beach against the occupation by private individuals.

This is allegedly because the beaches of Yapak are for everyone and not just to be owned by a resort or establishment which is near the area.
In relation to this, Casidsid mentioned big resorts at the area wherein fishermen and ordinary citizens at the area, allegedly, are no longer allowed near the beach since they are no longer allowed to enter by guards, and the areas have been intended for the resorts’ guests.
Aside from this, Casidsid is worried since there is allegedly a plan at Puka Beach by some private individuals and Corporation to put up large establishments at the area. This has made the Village Captain worried that no shore will be left since all of the shores will be occupied.
He emphasized the importance of the problem saying that Puka Beach is the only beach left for Yapak Village, and therefore, the protection for the environment is their request from the Town Council of Malay.

Stakeholders in Boracay aware of the planned demolition of illegal structures

The stakeholders in Boracay have knowledge about and are ready for any demolition of illegal structures and or establishments in the island.

This is what Boracay CENRO Officer Merza Samillano believes.

This is with regards to the issue that the DENR has ordered to begin the demolition of structures within the 25 meter area from the beach line and 5 meters from the road or what is called the 25+5 easement.

According to Samillano the inventory of structures in the island and those who violated the Presidential Proclamation 1064 particularly the implementation of the 25+5 had started way back in 2009.

This was followed with giving out of Notice of Violation from the EMB or the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR to inform the stakeholders of their violations.

She also added that this issue is also already known to the mayor of Malay since he was one of those who were present during which this dilemma was discussed.

Meanwhile as President Benigno Aquino had formed the National Task Force who specializes with this issue on the island, the Department of Justice, Tourism, DENR, and DILG are coordinating for its implementation.

However any implementations to be carried out still are under the mandate of the local government.

Samillano, on the other hand refused to comment when asked about the number of establishments that may be affected if this will be started.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


By Rodel J. Abalus

An old man of about 50 years old, and a husband and wife of about 70 years old were seen begging on Saturday evening, December 8, in Boracay Island.

They were sitting along the path of the main road of Balabag.

The MSWD Office of Boracay was contacted to report the matter.

During the interview with Jessica Candolita, the Social Welfare Officer 4 of the Local Government of Malay, in the afternoon of December 11, it was learned that their Office just started a roving which was named “Operation Mendicancy. ” The operation was in coordination with the Island Administrator, Glenn Sacapaño and Balabag Village Captain, Lilibeth Sacapaño through the cooperation of the BTAC, and the MAP.

The operation started on the same day.

It was learned in the interview that three possible actions could be made during roving operation. One is rescue of minors, if minors were at risk, another is to apprehend, and reprimand beggars.

This was the second instance that the 50 year old man was seen begging at the same place. The first instance was in the evening of December 6, in which he was told to contact the MSWD Office of Boracay the next day. However, according to Candolita, there was no report of a 50 year old man contacting their office.

Although the 50 year old guy was not seen by the MSWD during their first roving operation, the 70 year old husband and his wife were seen separately in different locations and were reprimanded and told to go back to Caticlan.

The pair claimed that they were temporarily staying at Caticlan and that they were reportedly from Basilan and that they were Badjaos.

Candolita added that the case of the husband and wife would be referred to the Village Captain of Caticlan.

Pre-judging for MTO’s Beautification of Barangay Contest, conducted

The Municipal Tourism Office of Malay had conducted the pre-judging for their program: Beautification of Barangay: Caticlan, Manoc-manoc, Balabag and Yapak Contest

Held on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, the program is one of the MTO’s ways of maintaining the established name of Boracay in tourism, as well as the promotion of the mainland as a tourist attraction.

This is by instilling to the community the significance of their awareness and cooperation through the beautification contest.

The panel of judges who later where invited for a deliberation included Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator, Alma S. Belejerdo, Department of Tourism Malay-Director Tim Ticar, BFI Executive Director, Ms. Pi Miraflores and a representative in behalf of Yes Fm and Easy Rock Boracay Station Manager Mr. Alan Palma.

Lead by Municipal Tourism Officer Felix Delos Santos Jr. the pre-judging started off at Barangay Caticlan, where some of the MTO staff and Barangay leaders accompanied the judges.

The judging of barangays in the island of Boracay followed thereafter.

Courtesy calls to all Barangay captains were also made before each inspection was started.

Also present during the deliberation were Brgy, Captains Hon. Julieta Aron of Caticlan, Hon. Hector Casidsid of Yapak, Balabag Brgy. Secretary Jinky Salazar in behalf of Hon. Lilibeth Sacapano while Brgy. Manoc-manoc also sent a representative in behalf of Brgy. Captain Abram Sualog.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The proposed rate increase for water and waste management services of the BIWCI was peppered with questions by the attendees during the public hearing held by the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

The attendees of the public hearing disagreed with the rate increase of Boracay Island Water Company Incorporated (BIWCI), while Town Council Member Rowen Aguirre questioned why there were only few who attended and wondered if the few number of attendees had an effect on the decision of TIEZA.

In response, Atty. Marites Alvarez said if there were only few attendees, TIEZA did not fall short in inviting to attend and informing the public of the planned rate increase amount.

The lawyer added that the public hearing could be considered legal since quorum was not needed.

Meanwhile, town Council Member Esel Flores pointed out that he believed the BIWCI business did not run at a loss in the past year despite the developments made by the company, because of this, he wondered why BIWCI has to make a rate increase.

Aside from the mentioned Council Members of Malay, all the attendees of the public hearing disagreed to the planned 35.4% rate increase. Especially that aside from asking questions on the rate increase, there were also some complaints expressed related to the operation of the BIWCI.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


After more than a year of service to Malay and Boracay teaching Life Saving, Surf Life Saving Development Officer, David Field will temporarily leave Boracay.

He will temporarily leave on the 19th of December since he is being told by the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) to go back to the PNRC’s Head Office.

Nevertheless, according to Marlo Schoenenberger, the Administrator of the Red Cross Malay-Boracay Chapter, it is expected that Field will be coming back to raise the skill level of the Life Guards of the Local Government (LGU) in the island.

Field’s target is to raise the Level 3 training of the Life Guards into Level 5.

Regarding this, the Town Council of Malay has proposed to pass a resolution to express gratitude and to recognize the help rendered to Boracay by the professional Australian Life Saver.

Mentioned in particular by the Council is the raising of the skill level of the Life Savers of Boracay, including the Life Guards of the LGU, and establishments, also the Coast Guard, Red Cross Volunteers, and the youth from different schools in the island.

The Red Cross instructors taught by Field will be teaching when Field leaves.

Meanwhile, it was learned from Schoenenberger that while Field was in the Philippines, he had been going back and fort to Phuket, Thailand and Boracay Island to teach.

Schoenenberger added that Field was sent by the Australian Red Cross to the PNRC, which in turn sent Field to Boracay in the Month of October 2011.

TIEZA answers why water in Boracay is costly

Since Boracay is an island and is surrounded by water, therefore the water supply service is expensive.

This is one of the reasons that the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) have cited relating to the topic that, under the Boracay Island Water Company (BIWC), Boracay has the most expensive tariff in water service charges.

This is the response of Atty. Marites Alvares, Officer In-Charge of TIEZA Regulatory in Boracay.

This was one of the identified causes for the increased rates as the water source is quite distant and they have to dig to set their pipelines to Boracay from the mainland, particularly the Nabaoy River.

For this reason, she said, TIEZA and the BIWC needs to invest for the project in order to deliver quality service and clean water to Boracay, which is the center of tourism not only for Malay and Aklan but as well as the whole country.

Alvares added that Boracay is not even or just a plane area, and there are higher grounds where they need to put up a pumping station.

The explanation was stated by the Lawyer in front of the BIWC consumers during the Hearing yesterday.

This is in relation to the company’s planned increase in water service tariff which has reached up to 35.4%.

Monday, December 10, 2012


The red flags seen at the beach line of Station 1 of Boracay do not mean swimming is prohibited.

What the red flag means is - the area from the shore to where the flags were posted is the swimming area. The move is to ensure that the swimming public is safe.

This is unlike what Boracay has been accustomed to that when red flags were raised, it meant swimming was prohibited.

Life guard Supervisor Miguel “Mike” Labatiao, explained that the red flags mean that boats or speed boats are prohibited to enter the area since the area is only for swimmers.

There had been incidents reported in the past wherein swimmers were hit by boat or had been disturbed when now and then anchor is set at the area.

The Lifeguard Supervisor explained that the raising of red flag when there is bad weather, to give warning to swimmers, is done at their post at Station 2.

Labatiao further added that there are also signages or signboards at critical areas or places where drowning usually occurs.