A few weeks ago, we embarked on an 18-hour drive and sea journey to Boracay Island from Metro Manila. For our car (a gray 2022 Nissan Terra) the drive began from Quezon City to Batangas Port, then a roll-on/roll-off ferry to Calapan, Mindoro, then a drive to Bulalacao Port on the southern tip of the island, and another ferry to Caticlan.
During the video, we released the video of the drive (it's part of the Nissan Safe Trips Campaign) and we mentioned that our vehicle cannot actually go to Boracay Island and that we'd have to leave it in Caticlan. The reason was clear: the color.
We were informed that Boracay has a rule in place that only allows white vehicles on the island. At the time, we didn't know about the actual rule or ordinance, but we were informed that of all the vehicles in our convoy, only the white Nissan Leaf units will be allowed on the island.
Many viewers were surprised at such a rule, and to be honest so were we. So we did some checking and found the actual ordinance that the drive organizers were referring to. It is Municipal Ordinance Number 142-2001 by the Sangguniang Bayan (municipal council) of Malay, Aklan as Boracay is under the jurisdiction of Malay.
Ordinance 142-2001 is the local law of Malay that regulates vehicles and vehicular travel/operation on Boracay and states that every vehicle owner has to secure a Special Permit to bring a vehicle to the island. Under Section 2(a), the ordinance states that “All four or more wheeled vehicles shall be painted with white color”.
As to why white, we can only make the guess that they wanted the road to look clean and uniform, and given that vans used by the resorts on the island are white, that's not really a problem. Mind you, the restriction is only for four-wheeled vehicles, which is why the electric tricycles that now ply along the new and wider main road are in different colors (mostly blue).
Some would think that the rule is a new one that was put in place after Boracay's reopening, but that's not true. It is in fact a 20-year old ordinance, having come into effect in October 2001. But given that few actually bring their cars to Boracay from Manila or other nearby locales, many of us just didn't know about it.
So, if you have a white car, would you look at the possibility of bringing it to Boracay? Below is the Municipal Ordinance 142-2001 of Malay, Aklan.