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The Malas on Boracay

By Jobeth Regius

While it is often considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world, the locals of “Boracay” consider this island to be cursed because of recent events over the past two years. What has changed and I will ask the question; have we lost the respect for traditions and the ways of our Papa Lolo and Mama Lolo and now have Malas on this island.

It is very important for every individual to respect his/ her elders. It is also important to note that elders were not born elders they were kids like you and have now grown up to be old. A few years hence and you will also grow older.

If today you will respect your elders, your present and future generations will carry those values and will learn to respect you as well when you will grow old. Deuteronomy 27:16 “Cursed is anyone who dishonors their father or mother.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

You may ask what happened or did not happen for the island people to believe in malas and arrive at such a conclusion. The island for the past two years has not celebrated or welcomed in the New Year.

What did your Lolo’s do for you on New Year’s eve? – I bet they put money in your pocket as a child so you would welcome the New Year and have good luck. Right? At midnight, Mama Lolo would ask you to jump up and down so you would grow taller in the new year. There are also many other very beautiful traditions of this island. Your Lolo’s would take you outside for the highlight of the tradition, lighting the fireworks and welcoming the New Year.

Welcoming the New Year has been a Boracay tradition for many years. Welcoming the New Year brings good luck to the people and the island. In the last two years we have witnessed the worst bad luck (Maras) and devastation on this island in living memory. Many islanders (myself included) believe that the past two years on the island have been cursed.

There is very little to love about the Philippines’ premier beach playground these days. Ruled by petty governance that prevent even local elders and kids to swim. Have we lost respect? Have we lost tradition?

Question? What has happened over the past two years for the local people to draw such a conclusion:

  1. Boracay has been silent for the New Year’s Eve celebrations for the past two years, Fireworks are banned breaking years of tradition and causing a curse on the island.

  2. Forced closure of the island for six months.

  3. 25th Dec 2019, the Christmas day hurricane that ripped this island apart

  4. The dragon boat disaster with the loss of eight lives.

  5. Volcanoes that stopped flights to Boracay because of falling ash.

  6. Covid-19 and its disastrous effects upon the economy and people’s lives.

  7. Business’s closing daily as we continue with little way forward.

The real question is “do you want this to happen again next year?” and continue the maras on the island.

In the past few years, Boracay Island and mainland Malay [have] welcomed the New Year with spectacular midnight fireworks shows. New Year in Boracay isn’t complete without the dazzling display of fireworks.

Visitors flocked here in the thousands to join the local community in welcoming the new year. The Chinese welcome their new Year with dancing dragons and fireworks - China is still prosperous even in a pandemic they are all working, why are we not working? Because this island is cursed, and we do not welcome in the New Year.

The question needs to be asked again, “do you want this curse to continue into 2021?

What can we do about it; for starters, stop the nonsense and open this island for two months in December and January, let’s get back to normal for just two months and allow the people to have hope and get rid of this curse, save the people and this island. Welcome back the tourists - and now is the time to act. It’s called declaring an “Amnesty”. By declaring an amnesty for two months brings up questions, will it affect the environment? Will it affect the planet? or nature? I very much doubt it. However, it will give hope to a depressed people on a depressed island. Welcome the New Year with firework and celebrations and get rid of this curse.

Declare an amnesty for Boracay Get rid of the local bylaws that prevent tourists from coming here for a two-month period. Tourists come here to enjoy the island, to watch our beautiful sunset with a glass of wine and dinner on the beach like they used too.

This proposition is put forward in the interest of all people of this island. Stop this curse of the last two years, give hope, save the people and save this Island.


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