Crown jewel of Philippines, Boracay island, to re-open in October

The white sand and crystal clear waters of Boracay Island in the Philippines (AFP pic)

BORACAY: After a six-month closure, the Philippines will re-open one of its crown jewels, Boracay island, at the end of October.

In April, the government shut down the beach on the direction of the Philippine president who famously called the resort island a “cesspool” after seeing the sewage and environmental damage caused by overcrowding and mismanagement.

But following an intense clean-up and rehabilitation program that began in April, the government has announced plans to re-open the holiday destination officially on October 26.

The country’s Department of Tourism also announced that an initial 2,063 hotel rooms at 25 hotel resorts across the island have complied with permit conditions and have been cleared to re-open.

Over-tourism was also blamed for closing another popular beach destination in Southeast Asia. The Thai beach famous for its starring role in the 2000 film “The Beach,” Maya Bay, was closed earlier this spring in a bid to save its dying coral reefs.

Also last year, Indonesian officials called the plastic garbage and debris choking the shores of Bali a “garbage emergency.”