In celebrity videographer’s new work, we hear from Boracay’s ‘bottom’

April 5, 2018 - 7:42 PM
Wedding videographer Jason Magbanua tries to "Save Boracay" with a new web documentary. (Inset: Jason Magbanua via official Facebook page)


  • Celebrated wedding videographer Jason Magbanua turns his attention from those tying the knot to those closing doors.
  • Some support the popular tourist destination’s closure, but those “at the bottom” ask for compassion.

The beloved island of Boracay will finally have its much-needed rehabilitation after years of clamor for it, but at great cost.

On the same day President Rodrigo Duterte declared the six-month closure, a video titled videographer Jason Magbanua released a video titled “Save Boracay” in an attempt to show how Boracay at “ground level” is affected by Duterte’s hasty decision.

“Guys, here’s the lowdown of what’s happening in Boracay from ground level. Please share it if it connects with you—we need this to reach the decision makers,” Magbanua said on his Twitter post of the video.

Magbanua, a celebrated wedding filmmaker, told Interaksyon that he was inspired from a Facebook post of one of his friends early in February, when he first heard of Boracay’s possible closure. The post read, “Close it. Just close the damn island.”

“I felt unnerved by the post’s callousness and ignorance. I’ve made many friends who live in Boracay over the years and I felt that they had the weakest voice in this conversation,” the videographer said.

Magbanua released the video on YouTube, and then posted it on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The eight-minute video featured people who live on the island—such as a local vendor and a resort owner. They said they asked for the government’s help to solve issues on the island, but they never intended to have it closed it completely.

“We fought for years and no one was listening to us. And now they came, we finally got their attention. But the attention is too much. They want to wipe us all out,” Normeth, a kiteboarding school owner said in the video.

Not all are moved

While the video gained views and likes, it also received a few negative comments from viewers.

“So who’s at fault here? And what’s the best solution that will benefit everyone? If everything and everyone has to be considered, kailan pa masosolusyunan ‘yung problema ng Boracay? I find this a little bit one-sided, and I didn’t see any solid solution presented, that will justify the caption ‘Save Boracay.’ I may be wrong, but that’s just my opinion,” a viewer on YouTube commented.

Some Facebook users also criticized people interviewed in the video and said the rehabilitation is for the good of everyone in the long run.

Closing doors

The Boracay closure, which will take effect on April 26, will render at least 36,000 people jobless and a revenue loss of P56 billion.

Magbanua observed that the “loudest” opinions on this crisis are the people who only know Boracay because of the popular LaBoracay festival, a beach party event every summer.

“They should think about us who are at the bottom, what would it feel if this happens to them?”

“They should think about us who are at the bottom, what would it feel if this happens to them?” chef Jon Micheal said in Magbanua’s video.