Call me cynical, but aren’t Boracay’s new no-drinking zones (to combat litter, apparently… seriously?) just another ploy by the most overrated part of the Philippines to grab more money from dumb drunk foreigners?
As the manager of GNTours, a stag and bachelor party operator in the Philippines, Boracay is probably our second most popular destination for stag tours… but I have to say, that every time we get an enquiry for there, a little part of my soul dies, and my brain thinks ‘why?’
Yes, Boracay is a beautiful island, and I’m sure that before it got discovered by the masses, it was a great place to party… but these days? It’s overpriced, packed, and feels like you are in a police state.
The police, we are told, exist to protect and serve. But, in the Philippines, it’s not always unreasonable to think their main job is to extract money from you.
One of our guests was caught peeing in a bush (there are no public toilets) and was offered a 300 peso fine by a security guard. He declined, so was taken to see a policeman. The case was reiterated, by which time the fine was 500…
But he was not alone, there were maybe a dozen other foreigners who had been caught by the piss police, so that’s 5,000 pesos we had witnessed in 10 minutes. How much goes in pockets (we asked for a receipt) and how much piss tax goes to the government is anyones guess, but it’s certainly a nice little earner.
Now perhaps you may call me cynical, but I can foresee poorly, or not at all, marked zones surrounded by police (or other uniformed entities) lying in wait to pounce on unwitting tourists to administer an “on the spot” fine.
It works wonders with the piss tax, after all. Or perhaps I am wrong, and it will all be done on the up-and-up. We shall see.