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  1. #26
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    Same as Phi Phi really. The rush to overbuild and cram as many fucking tourists in as you can, and it's all done in a hurry without the appropriate infrastructure; you then end up dumping the shit, piss and rubbish somewhere nearby.

    They should demolish what shouldn't be there and control what should to ensure a sustainable environment. Shutting it down for a six month cleanup is just kicking the can down the road.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza View Post
    I remember reading about Boracay in a newspaper supplement article in 1983. No electricity and the only accommodation were straw huts for
    a few US$ per night.
    Funnily enough that was Phi Phi the first time I went there.

    The last time you could see from one side of the beach to the other was after the tsunami cleaned the fucking lot out.

    It didn't take them long to trash it again.

  3. #28
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    On another note...

    Not just Boracay: Banaue Rice Terraces also need help | ABS-CBN News

    Accdg to that article, it's not just Boracay that needs help - the rice terraces in the north need help too. Destruction is mostly due to erosion - many rice fields/ terraces have been abandoned since the younger ppl do not want to be farmers. Pics of hill tribe women in native costumes in the link, if anyone's interested.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    On another note...

    Not just Boracay: Banaue Rice Terraces also need help | ABS-CBN News

    Accdg to that article, it's not just Boracay that needs help - the rice terraces in the north need help too. Destruction is mostly due to erosion - many rice fields/ terraces have been abandoned since the younger ppl do not want to be farmers. Pics of hill tribe women in native costumes in the link, if anyone's interested.

    I was there in 1979. It was in good shape back then. Beautiful and impressive. But who can blame the young people that they don't want to do this work any more? Nothing that can be done I think.

  5. #30
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    Mass layoffs in Boracay even before the April 26 scheduled closure...

    Mass layoffs start on Boracay Island | Inquirer News

    A colleague is in Boracay now. She said in an FB post (as answer to a query from a friend) that the water in White Beach still has algae. Relatively lots of tourists now accdg to her, since it was a 3-day weekend. Will ask her for more updates.

    @takeovers - I haven't been to Banaue, but I've been to Sagada where there are also rice terraces. Along the way to Sagada, some rice fields have been converted to veggie farms. Sagada is now a popular destination among locals (esp among yuppies), ever since it was featured in a local movie. I went there 2 years ago & posted pics (but pics are gone due to Photobucket). Most memorable (for me) was the cave exploration and the sunrise among the clouds.

  6. #31
    or TizYou?
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    I was in Banaue and Batad in 2015.
    Its pretty easy to see why the young people don't want to continue there. It's a tough life.
    We were there on market day. The villagers had been into town to buy whatever they needed and were returning home.
    Due to the terrain, the only way to transport everything that they require is to carry it by hand.
    It is spectacular to walk across the terraces to the waterfall on the other side, but I couldn't imagine having to do it every day.
    Last edited by TizMe; 10-04-2018 at 12:35 AM.

  7. #32
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    ^yes, a life of farming is a hard life. In many of those mountain communities, whether in the north or elsewhere, stores and schools are few. Kids have to walk several kilometers just to get to a public school. I once went with a mountaineering group in Marinduque island to trek and distribute school supplies - it was a trek + community outreach event. Kids in the mountains looked poor and they were glad to see/ receive our group (and the school supplies). My group's organizers had coordinated with the school teachers in the mountains. Kids lined up to receive the supplies. That hike was done in May, so that the kids would have notebooks & stuff for the opening of classes in June. I think we went to 5 different schools/ barangays in the mountains. Some areas didn't have electricity. It's not surprising that the kids want to escape the mountains & farming when they grow up.

    Back to Boracay, most of the workers there are transplants - just there for work and not native to the island. The massage ladies in the spa that I went to were mostly from Bulacan, Pampanga or Tarlac (Central Luzon), since the owner was from Bulacan and hired ppl from her area. Those workers will be displaced when Boracay closes...

  8. #33
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    Update to this thread - had a chat with the colleague who was in Boracay last week. Accdg to her, Boracay will indeed be closed to tourists by April 26. By the 18th, boat tours will be stopped. Many beachfront establishments are/will have their facades destroyed because they violate the space needed (easement?) before the beach. The plan is to build a road near the coastline. So it's to be hotel, road, trees, beach then sea.

    By April 26, only those living in the island (official residents) will be able to go enter by boat. The plan is to give ID cards to the residents. Flights to Boracay will be stopped. Many places are already closing/ planning to close since they cannot maintain their businesses during the 6-month closure.

    From the grapevine: there were lots of resorts/hotels which don't have permits to operate but paid up to 100k pesos (~2k USD) as tea money. These were also the businesses which didn't have proper sewer facilities.

    Re: those who had pre-booked, they were advised by the establishments to have their vacation earlier, prior to the 26th.

  9. #34
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23 View Post
    Re: those who had pre-booked, they were advised by the establishments to have their vacation earlier, prior to the 26th.
    Oh my. Hurry up. Get your slice of paradise before it closes to clean up beaches, stop raw sewage running into the water, build a new road and some new hotels.

    Certainly will be right up there for "best tourism promotion award of the year".


  10. #35
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    Reads like another paradise lost to tourism with everyone wanting to touch paradise as the world continues to get more accessible and connected.

    (Wondering - did Johannesburg run out of water yet ?)

  11. #36
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    Cloudy days ahead for Philippine tourism

    President Rodrigo Duterte's order to close Boracay island in the name of reform has raised questions about his true intentions

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to shut down the country’s leading tourist destination, Boracay island, threatens to put the crucial foreign currency-earning industry into a tailspin.

    The surprise decision, announced earlier this month, has underscored the mercurial leader’s often erratic and unpredictable rule and underscored its growing impact on the economy.


    It has also sparked debate on the impact of mass tourism on the country’s natural environment, an issue plaguing many of the region’s seaside destinations with the recent surge in Chinese tourism.



    Boracay, a paradisian beach island with pearl white sands in the nation’s central region, will be closed to tourists for six months beginning later this month until October so the government can undertake a cleanup and land reform.


    As a result, more than US$1 billion in expected revenues as well as employment for more than 36,000 tourism workers now hangs in the balance, according to industry estimates.


    Some businesses have already started to lay off employees en masse in anticipation of the shutdown and dramatic drop in tourist arrivals during the peak summer season.


    A beach view at Boracay in the Philippines, April 9, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Erik De Castro

    The government has sought to justify the move by raising environmental concerns amid a recent surge in both local and international tourists, the latter coming mainly from China as well as South Korea.


    The decision came after a meeting between Duterte and government chiefs of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Tourism and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.


    Duterte earlier described the beach resort as a “cesspool”, though levels of toxicity in the area’s waters are relatively lower than other major urban centers and tourist spots.


    Many are thus questioning Duterte’s true motivation in light of reports that he is planning to give massive land rights to a Chinese casino tycoon who has offered to build a US$500 million gambling complex on the island. The government announced last week that the plan had been shelved.


    Concerned about a backlash, especially with growing public suspicion about Duterte’s cozy ties with Beijing, the Filipino president perfunctorily announced earlier that he plans instead to give the island to farmers.


    “It’s going to be a land reform area for the Filipinos. I will clean up the place then give the land back to them [farmers],” Duterte announced shortly before his departure for the Boao Forum for Asia in China, his third official visit to the country in less than two years.


    Then presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte stands in front of a campaign poster on November 30, 2015. Photo: AFP/Noel Celis

    Land rights are an issue on the island. Back in 2006, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Proclamation No 1064, an order which classified the island tourist destination into a mix of agricultural and forestland.


    Up to 400 hectares of Boracay’s forestlands were sequestered for “protection purposes” while the remaining 628 hectares of agricultural land, or 60% of the island’s terrain, were classified as “alienable and disposable.”


    Two years later, the Philippine Supreme Court upheld the decision despite opposition from some local residents who claimed ownership over some of the lands had been placed under state control.


    Duterte has also claimed that he wasn’t aware of plans for a mega-casino on the island. “There is no plan for any casino, since there have been too many [casinos] here and there,” Duterte claimed. “Consider Boracay a land reform area. I will give it to the farmers, to the Filipinos first…to the people who need it the most.”


    Duterte’s claims, however, don’t stand up to scrutiny. Pictures from the Malacanang presidential palace show the Filipino president met last December 6 with Lui Che-woo, chairman of Galaxy Entertainment, a Macau-based gaming company which has pledged US$500 million to construct a mega-casino at Boracay.


    A sand sculpture is seen in front of a restaurant along a beach at Boracay, Philippines April 9, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Erik De Castro

    During the presidential palace meeting, Philippine Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo as well as Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) chairperson Andrea Domingo were in attendance. Statements by the Pagcor chief confirmed the centrality of Galaxy’s Boracay investment during the discussions between Duterte and Lui.


    “I don’t think they would risk losing that investment by dumping filth in front of their property,” Domingo said in response to concerns over the environmental sustainability of building a mega-casino in Boracay.


    Many Boracay residents, meanwhile, question the wisdom of land reform, since much of the island’s public land has already been occupied by residential structures and small and medium scale enterprises. Any land reform would entail driving tens of thousands of people off the island for the conversion of land into farms.


    Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes has accused Duterte of blatantly lying to cover up his real motive behind the closure. “I don’t believe that Mr Duterte is an environmentalist,” declared the outspoken legislator.


    Tourists ride on a sailboat during sunset in Boracay in Philippines, April 8, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Erik De Castro

    Trillanes has called for a Senate inquiry into the shutdown and encouraged Boracay residents to challenge the executive decision in court by requesting temporary restraining orders (TROs) against its enforcement.


    “I suspect that the reason they shut down Boracay is to allow cargo in – cement or whatever – to build that casino. That’s my suspicion but we will validate that because it doesn’t make sense at all to close it,” Trillanes said.


    Senator Joel Villanueva has raised similar questions over Duterte’s “haste” to close the tourist island, wondering why “the rehabilitation plan and livelihood interventions for the workers has not been clearly set in motion first before the closure of Boracay.”


    The dynamics of the closure are still unclear, with different departments issuing contradictory directives on the exact date, parameters for limiting visitors and stopgap measures for those who will lose wages and business during the shutdown period.


    What is clear is that Duterte’s professed lurch towards environmentalism and land reform will not go unchallenged as an alleged conflict of interest that benefits big money over common Filipino interests.


    Cloudy days ahead for Philippine tourism | Asia Times

  12. #37
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    ^confirms what I said in a former post (#24) that there are talks of building a big casino-hotel, Chinese owned... my colleague heard it from the grapevine - probably from the boatmen.

    Still according to the grapevine: Manny Pacquiao's mansion (he has a big, white mansion in another part of the island. IIRC it's in BLD's thread) - Manny's mansion will be torn down, because it's too close to the sea. Oh well, he's got millions and other mansions...

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