No first-time visit to Boracay’s White Beach would be complete without taking at least one picture of the famous Willy’s Rock. You can either just take a photo of the intriguing rock formation from afar, or up close (like at the Marian grotto), or with yourself in the picture either in front of the rock or standing on top of it. However you take it, a photo of Willy’s Rock is an informal badge that, yes, you have indeed visited the Philippines’ famous beach paradise.
Willy’s Rock is arguably the most-photographed object in Boracay. And how can it not be? Willy’s Rock stands alone as a single dark spot on kilometers of white sand beach, a bit like a mole on an otherwise unblemished fair face. So why is it called Willy’s Rock? Well, the rock formation was named after the founder of Willy’s Beach Club Hotel, which sits right across Willy’s Rock. What I haven’t learned yet is how this rock formation may have been created and why this landmark is alone. Also surprising is the fact that trees grow on Willy’s Rock despite being quite rocky.
Willy’s Rock is normally separated from the shore by shallow blue waters. So you may need to get a bit wet to reach it. But if you prefer not getting wet, just wait for the low tide during which you can simply walk up to the rock formation. I actually think low tide is the best time to visit Willy’s Rock since you get to explore the bottom structure that is normally submerged under water.
Anyway, one attraction of the rock is a man-made religious grotto featuring a statue of the Virgin Mary that is built on top of the end closest to the shore. While some may think that the rock should have remained untouched, I think most Filipinos would not think much of it. In addition, I also think it shows one typical aspect of Filipino culture and that is the Catholic devotion to the Virgin Mary, especially the building of grottoes in honor of her apparition as Our Lady of Lourdes.