Globetrotting Benjamin K. Yong gives his opinion on the pros and cons of buying an apartment in Boracay.
Text and Photography by Benjamin K. Yong.
It was a rather long break for me at the internationally renowned Boracay Island at the end of August, so after spending some time exploring the famed White Beach, I took a stroll from Crown Regency Resort near Boat Station 2 all the way to Diniwid Beach. Upon arriving there, it was the perfect timing to settle in for drinks at the Nami Resort Restaurant for sunset viewing. Nami is located just next to its more famous neighbour, the Spider House. Both are built right on the side of a cliff and attracts many visitors for its great sunset views.
I however found the quieter Nami Resort more to my liking – the award-winning resort even has a manually-operated lift made of wood for the convenience of its guests who would otherwise have to walk up the many steps to go up. Due to its higher elevation, the view of the sunset is even more glorious from the vantage point of the restaurant.
During my entire trip, the wind was very strong on the White Beach side (west side), but when I walked across about 1km to the other side of the island to Bulabog Beach (10-minute walk), there was no wind at all. The sea was calm and I even managed to snorkel right by the beach. Although I only managed to spot five different species of fish (very small sized), it was still a gratifying experience as the water was crystal clear despite many boats anchored there.
Bulabog is acknowledged as the top wind and kitesurfing beach in Southeast Asia. It is especially busy during the windy season which runs from November to April. It runs parallel to White Beach, on the opposite side of the island.
Back at White Beach, as I walked along Boat Station 2 of the White Beach (the entire length of Boracay is 7km), I spotted a signboard that says: “Own a Property in Boracay!”(see pix). That intrigued me as I note that despite some misgivings over its supposedly overcrowded and commercialised state, Boracay is still surrounded by crystal clear turquoise water and uninhabited virgin islands which are just a boat ride away. Best of all, it still receives hordes of visitors all year-round – an excellent state of affairs for anyone thinking of doing business there or renting out their property.
The law, as it stands, allows foreigners to own condominium units as long as the total foreign ownership does not exceed 40% of a condo corporation. Land ownership for foreigners however is out of the question except if the land is inherited in the absence of a will.
Upon enquiring with the sales person, I was invited to tour the Boracay Newcoast township the next day. As promised, a car picked me up at my hotel and dropped us off at the golf clubhouse the following day.
Units at Oceanway Residences come fully-furnished (except you have to supply the linen and curtains). On the sea-facing side of the apartment, you have views of the Sibuyan Sea and the Fairways and Bluewater golf course from the balcony.
There is a swimming pool in every block and the apartment sits on a slope right opposite the golf course. The only golf course on the island, the 18hole Graham Marsh-designed green stretches across 6,600 yards and is suitable for both amateurs and professionals.
Residents of the township can access two private beaches located on the left and right side of the golf clubhouse which is perched on higher ground.