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March 15, 2018


At the two-day Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) – The Philippines Forum, international speakers hope to share best practices from all over the world in sustainable resorts and hotels, in particular.

Take the case of Inka terra in Peru and resorts in Bali and Mexico which will be discussed by the speakers.

And it’s not just cleaning the shore infront of your property. It involves 47 checks or points to consider before getting a stamp of approval from GSTC. If that seems too stringent at first, we can start with the basics:
Are you built on marshlands ? Is your property legally constructed on private land?
Are you using environment- friendly materials and equipment?
When in operation phase, do you have waste water treatment?
Do you encourage green practices for your guests?

These are just some of the indicators that “common sense” dictates. Many of the resorts were built on public property, built with substandard materials, and also operated with wild neglect of waste water treatment and waste disposal as well. The community must also discourage use of plastic sachets for shampoos and soaps, sugar and cream portion packs, plastic water bottles, and the like.

In the end it’s political will, like Negros Occidental did when it turned organic where all GMOs and GMO suppliers were banned from entering the island. Boracay can do the same. No more plastics, like how Baguio just passed an ordinance on ban of plastics, and like how Makati back in the day stopped styrofoam packaging and plastic bags including plastic drinking straws!

So what will happen to Boracay? All the residents wish to make it the Boracay of 20 years ago.

I remember having to carry a flashlight as we walked the back streets or the shoreline in the balmy evenings. We only had ceiling fans in our lodge. There were no aircons.

We took a boat to buy fish and then had them grilled at the lodge. No fast food. No tricycles. No pollution. That’s the Boracay I knew 20 years ago. This is why I’m concerned about the recent developments and wish we could just go back to when Boracay was really a paradise.

Just this first step of aligning everyone with global standards may be the hope we all can hitch our dreams on.

Let’s save our paradise together.



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