10.32 square kilometers and is located in the Western Visayas island-group also known as Region 6 of the Philippines, 2 km north-west of Panay Island and 315 km to the south of the capital city of Manila on Luzon Island.
Before outsiders discovered Boracay Island it was already inhabited by people called the Ati who belonged to a Southeast Asian ethnic group labelled Negritos by the Spanish.
Negritos share features that suggest, like the Australian Aborigines, a more direct migration from Africa than most other Asians.
In the Ati’s dialect, the old word borac, meant cotton in reference to its sand, which was cotton like in color and texture. Another version of the island’s naming came from an alternative meaning of borac (bubbles) and bocay (white), as the Atis elders were amazed at the resemblance of the white sand to water bubbles. The locals eventually became known as Boracaynons or the people of the Boracay.
The Atis first depended on fishing supplemented by coconut, cassava and potato plantations until the 1940’s and 1950’s on this small but beautiful island. Until a few decades ago, there was no electricity, nor was it known for its culture, art or architectural monuments. Then it was discovered by backpackers and popularized by a travel book published by the German writer Jens Peter that described Boracay’s history and called it the most beautiful island in Asia. He took photos from all over the island and made postcards from them, which contributed to Boracay’s development into a backpacker’s hangout in the 1980’s and eventually one of the major tourist destinations in the Philippines.
The main attraction for tourists on Boracay is its beautiful beaches with powder-soft, white sand and cool, clear blue-green waters. Its longest stretch of beach is 3 - 5 kilometers in length on the west coast.
The seas around Boracay still contain a large variety of marine life due to its extensive coral reefs although they have been impacted by tourism and the use of dynamite for fishing.
Despite its popularity, Boracay still offers a serene ambiance to relax and some semblance of privacy too. Boracay is comprised of three main communities- Yapak in the north, Balabag in the middle and Manoc-Manoc in the south, in addition to numerous small communities.
Boracay also has many caves like Bat cave, Crystal cave and Buslugan cave. These caves are located along the rocky eastern coast of the Yapak region of the island. Kalikugan cave is located between Baling Hai and Punta Bunga beaches. Many of these areas contain lush, tropical jungle.
It has developed a large number of modern resorts and recommended hotels with all the amenities for tourists. Boracay is a place to keep you busy exploring day and night. With its magnificent beaches, its majestic sunsets are a natural wonder. White Beach is the most popular beach and worth visiting to watch people playing volleyball, jogging and building sandcastles. Boracay now offers modern facilities and comforts such as fancy, air-conditioned bungalows, shops, discos, bars and restaurants with nightly buffets of fresh local foods.