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How it all began…

Picture of Ray Dela Rosa sat at a bar

Many years back, about 16 of them if my memory serves me well; I was living and working between Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Manila publishing magazines and newspapers, amongst other things.

I regularly spent very long weekends on Boracay and had been doing so for around 10 years. I absolutely adored the place as it made such a great escape from my busy city life.

On one of those balmy Saturday afternoons I was drinking with a few friends up at Crafty’s Rooftop Bar, which sad to say, no longer exists.

Crafty’s was a super fun and popular open air bar at the rooftop of Crafts Supermarket; which unfortunately is no longer there either after the long time British owner Dave Craft passed away a few years back.

The bar was a favourite hangout and meeting place for much of the local and expat crowd who loved being in good fun company and enjoyed a drink or two.

Anyway, on that particular Saturday afternoon, one of our group of friends, a colourful and super friendly guy named Rey dela Rosa, who I’d known for many years back in Manila, started complaining to me about why there was not a decent Boracay newspaper. Rey knew my background and business well, and was really badgering me to start one.

Despite my efforts to assure Rey that I only came to Boracay purely to rest (well, party back in those days), he was persistent to the point of getting the rest of the bar group to join his cause. San Miguel has a point of doing that to people sometimes - especially after a long Saturday afternoon…

Rey was very well known on the Island and knew just about everyone. At the time, he was the Undersecretary for Tourism-Boracay. His history here dated back to the olden days and at one time he had a small bar over at Bulabog side I believe, called The Hump. Some old timers may recall it. He was also extremely well travelled and had lived and worked in several countries around Europe as well as the US before returning back to his homeland, and then back onto his beloved Boracay home.

Apparently, Rey’s father was a famous heartthrob actor and film star celebrity, and Rey had inherited his dad’s good looks and many of his habits…

As dusk was approaching, the famous Boracay sunset was clearly visible from our rooftop barstools, and it set the setting for me to think that maybe starting a newspaper for the Island might not be such a bad idea. San Miguel does that to you also…

Rey won the battle

The next morning I awoke to a text message from Rey saying, “Lets get some Bloody Mary’s and set the plan for the newspaper - you’re leaving on Monday and we’ve got a lot of work to do…”

I barely remembered…

What had I done…

The Boracay Sun was born

For me, at the time, launching a new publication anywhere in Asia was pretty straightforward. I’d already done it so many times; many times in fact - in nine different countries to be precise.

My office in Manila was prepped for the launch, one of the graphic designers started putting layout concepts together, several writers, both on Boracay and in Manila began composing the editorial calendar, news and feature stories. All that I had to do was put everything in place and pay for it all… Cheers Rey.

We had a super pre launch party up at Fairways and just about everyone came along to see what was going on, what we had planned, and to give us their support - and, they still do so today. Wonderful people. Many Salamats.

Boracay Sun News is our community newspaper that tells us the story the way that it is, and thanks to Rey’s persuasive (albeit alcohol driven at the time) manner; we launched it six weeks later - and after all of these years and pulling through the six month enforced closure and surviving two years of Covid nightmares, we are still here -  and thanks to the wonderful current team, we are still going and growing stronger than ever.

As Rey always used to say to everyone: “Many Salamats bogs”.


~ Rey dela Rosa sadly passed away in March 2014. 


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