Boracay is truly the perfect tourist Mecca – peaceful, calm and laid back. But just like other tourist hot spots, Boracay is not immune to some glitches that disturb its general tranquility. Petty crimes are probably the worst misfortune that can befall visitors to the island, and you can dodge these with common sense, respect and general caution.
Aggressive crimes are close to nonexistent and very occasional brawls are invariably just caused by drunk vacationers and simple misunderstandings. Pickpockets seem to be a staple in most tourist destinations like Boracay, although losing your valuables to these opportunistic crooks can be avoided with due vigilance. Locals are very friendly and helpful, although you may want to watch out for those who seem too a little over-bearing to avoid being scammed.
Boracay safety concerns
Credit card fraud: Most hotels on the island accept major credit cards and these are generally safe to use, although there are occasional complaints about unauthorised charges. Then again, this can be easily prevented by regularly checking your account through online banking.
Drugs: Strict laws about drugs are applied in Boracay, as with the rest of the Philippines. Think twice before smoking a crafty joint on the beach as many undercover agents roam the island waiting for someone to bust. You may end up in prison once caught in possession, pay a hefty fine and even get deported.
Motorcycles: Only light vehicles are allowed on the island. Motorised tricycles are generally safe, minus occasional reckless and speedy drivers. If you are uncomfortable with the speed just tell the driver, but do so nicely to avoid upsetting him.
Hustlers and touts: Assertive vendors, boat operators and masseuse can be quite annoying. When you find yourself being pursued by persistent touts, a stiff ‘no thanks’ will generally get them of your back.
Scams: As far as scams, be careful of people who seem to be way too friendly as they may be cooking up some crafty scheme to con you. A lot of these people simply earn your trust only to rob you of jewellery or cash in the end.
Terrorism: International news concentrates heavily on terrorism these days, but fortunately Boracay is not a terrorist magnet. Issues on terrorism may plague some parts of the country, but Boracay has tight security and protection against such threats.
Violence: Filipinos are friendly and peaceful people, but violent streaks sometimes (although rarely) break out from uncontrolled situations, alcohol influence and flaring tempers. With Boracay’s bustling night scene, violent brawls are mainly caused by petty arguments under the influence of alcohol. To avoid being part of such violent scuffles or even causing one, lay off too much booze.