BORACAY ISLAND - Bikini-clad diners are making a beeline for burgers and burritos sold for half the price here as restaurants scamper to sell all perishable goods two days before tourists are barred from this island for a six-month cleanup.
"Last week pa lang naka-sale na kami. Pinapaubos na lang namin ang stocks, magsasara na kasi," Paula Padalhin, who works at a popular fast food joint here, told ABS-CBN News.
(We've been on sale since last week. We're just finishing up our stocks before we close shop.)
Fine dining establishments also marked down their prices by up to 10 percent and scaled down their menu as they catered to "very few" customers.
"Dati 20 kilos each of pork, chicken, and beef nauubos namin in a day. Ngayon nasa 2 kilos of meat na lang ang nagagamit namin in a day," Willy's Rock Bar and Restaurant supervisor Ronald Marquez said.
(Before, we consumed 20 kilos each of pork, chicken, and beef in a day. Now we're down to about 2 kilos of meat in a day.)
"'Yung mga steak, mga ribs, 'yung mga mahal na items, hindi na kami nagse-serve. Mga sinigang, adobo, sisig, mga ganun na lang. Inuubos na lang namin kung ano na lang nandiyan para mabawi man lang namin 'yung kita," he said.
(We no longer serve steaks, ribs, and other pricey items. We just offer sinigang, adobo, sisig, and dishes like that. We just want to use up what we have left so we could at least recover some losses.)
Marquez said food and beverage businesses here are set to "lose a lot" as food stocks would either go to waste or be given away to workers.
"Sobrang dami ng nasa stock namin pati beer at softdrinks. Kapag hindi naubos, ipapakain na lang sa staff kasi hindi naman namin puwede i-serve 'yun after 6 months," he said.
(We still have a lot of stock left, including beer and softdrinks. If we can't sell all of those (before the shutdown), we'll have to give it away to our staff because we can't serve those after 6 months.)
Remaining tourists on the island also flock to some souvenir shops as Boracay shirts are now sold at P100 each, a big markdown from the original P300 price tag.
"Kahit na non-perishable siya, gusto pa rin namin mabawasan 'yung stocks namin and para na din may mauwi silang keepsake before they say goodbye to Boracay," Franco Dacillo, a storekeeper at Island Souvenirs, said.
(Even if we sell non-perishable items, we still want to reduce our stocks. We also want tourists to bring home keepsakes before they say goodbye to Boracay.)
Earlier this month, government announced Boracay's half-year shut down to give way to rehabilitation. This followed President Rodrigo Duterte's threat to temporarily stop tourism activities on the island in February, calling it a "cesspool" for its sewage woes.
ONE Boracay, a group of stakeholders here, earlier said that about P56 billion in tourism revenues would be lost due to the total ban on tourists.