Calamansi muffin, chorizo burger-makers hope to weather Boracay closure

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 26 2018 01:41 PM | Updated as of Apr 26 2018 10:23 PM

Jonah's store sells the famous milkshakes on the island of Boracay. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

BORACAY ISLAND - Junray Tampos will keep on grilling chorizo burgers by the beach, banking on local support instead of tourists, as sellers of the island's signature eats prepared to weather its 6-month shutdown that started Thursday.

Tampos, who had been helping out in the family business for 2 decades, saw daily sales halved to P4,000 from P10,000, even before the closure was enforced.

"Walang sarahan kasi wala kaming pagkukuhanan ng income. Kung saan kami nakilala, dito pa rin kami," he said.

(We will not close down, we have no other source of income. We made our name here so we'll stay.)

An estimated P56 billion in tourism revenues could be lost during the closure as Boracay accounts for 12 percent of the country's total tourism receipts, a group of business owners earlier said.

The makers of Boracay's calamansi muffins will also continue doing business on the island.

"They're the delicacy of Boracay. We have repeat customers. People come here over and over again," said Lee Rosaia, who has been making desserts on the island since 1996.

Should sales on the island be insufficient, Rosaia said she would try to find business partners in Cebu, or accept orders online.

Real Coffee restaurant and its renowned Calamansi muffins are a favorite of visitors on Boracay island. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

Jonah's Fruit Shakes will scale down operations but products will still be available in 2 branches, said officer-in-charge Nazareth Madrideo.

"Kung dati lahat ng 6 na air-con namin dito sa shop nakabukas, ngayon baka 2 na lang o baka mga electric fan na lang," she said.

(When before, all 6 air-conditioners are running when the shop is open, now it may be reduced to 2, or we could just use an electric fan.)

Jonah's owners are also considering opening kiosks at the Caticlan airport or in front of universities in Manila.

The island was shut down to tourists Thursday after President Rodrigo Duterte in March flagged pollution caused by inadequate sewage. He likened the effects to a "cesspool".