THE Philippines is rich such that tourist attractions never fail to amaze tourists.

Some of these are the Chocolate hills located in Bohol, the Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City, the Mayon Volcano and the ever so famous among foreigners - Boracay.

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Out of the so many popular and scenic places that our island possesses, there are a many more that are still unknown to many. Their beauty yet to be explored and be dazzled about.

Last 2008, tourism in the Philippines was rated higher than the past years starting from 1999-2007. The Department of Tourism (DOT) expects the number of foreign visitors to increase even more but the Quirino Grandstand incident happened.

The hostage-taking of Hong Kong visitors at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila City last August 23 put in question the efficiency of our police officers, specifically our Swat.

With this show of inefficiency, Chinese investors and tourists are now having second thoughts in investing and visiting the country.

The common concern of the Philippine government and the civilians is how to make peace with our neighboring countries. The whole world was brought into an emotional state upon having to witness the gruesome act of a fellow Filipino who was holding the banner of the protectors of the people, him being a former police officer.

But taking a good look at the situation: If people all around the world, especially our Chinese fellowmen, will sulk about the situation, no one can ever take part in looking at the other side of life - the beauty that we still have yet to discover, the warmness of our country's weather and of its people.

Even the most cold-hearted foreigner could be put in awe when he or she witnesses the natural sites that our country possesses, and the Filipinos should not worry about it. We are bountiful with our natural resources and this is something worth treasuring and to be proud of.

Although we are wounded now, time can heal the wounds.

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Sunday Essays are compositions by third year Masscom students of Ateneo de Davao University for their journalism class. (Angel Lou P. Dillera)