I've been invited to go to Boracay over Chinese New Year. Generally I've avoided Boracay as it is a tourist spot and that really isn't my thing. I also know a lot of tourists head there over Chinese New Year. I don't want to dish out cash to get there if it is going to just be shoulder to shoulder people. Has anyone been to Boracay over Chinese New Year? Is is completely crowded? Are things significantly more expensive during this period?
Boracay is nice, but yes - it's highly commercialized. You won't be able to walk 20 meters on a beach without someone approaching you and trying to sell you something. Chinese new year is a very popular holiday, so yes - it's going to be quite crowded and extremely loud. Remember, you can buy fireworks here legally, and quite cheaply. During the celebration, you won't see many cars due to the explosions in the streets.
That being said, it depends on where you stay. A lot of the resorts own a portion of the beach front (basically, the hotel's back yard) and it is quite private and roomy. You can go island hopping during the day (REALLY FUN!), and do some shopping at night. There's lots of great places to eat. You'll also notice a huge green 'net' separating the commercial area from the beach. This is due to the wind and sand (or rather, keeping it under control). At a first glance, you'd think most of the beach was private and fenced in. That's not the case.
As for the price, resorts due charge a bit more during holiday peak times. It depends on where and how you book. AsiaTravel (in our experience) has the best deals, they reserve a lot of rooms well in advance and can sell them at a discount.
Local 'street' prices are always subject to change. If you look, talk and act like a tourist .. yes, many vendors will up the price. I'd recommend picking up an introduction to conversational Tagalog, so that you're able to negotiate a bit, as well as communicate with cab and trike drivers. But, this applies year round, vendors don't really increase prices for food and merchandise just due to a holiday.