Workers head home, look for other jobs as Boracay closes

The cooks, hotel workers and other Filipinos who served tourists at the country's most popular beach were heading home and looking for other work on the first day of the island's closure to visitors.

Police guarded the empty beach Thursday and once-busy stores and restaurants stood closed. The island is being shut for up to six months while sewage containment and other work is done to clean up waters the president called a cesspool.

The work was already underway Thursday. Police and residents were collecting seaweed in a cleanup drive on the beachfront, pipes were being laid, and construction had begun to widen the island's main road.

Workers now out of jobs said they will look for other work to ride out the time the island is shut to tourists.