Hidalgo: Every Filipino's duty

YEAR 2012, Boracay was 3rd of the 10 best beaches in the world with an 89.67 score. There was a year that it was named the best Island in the world. The first is the Provinciales in Turks and Calcas Island. Boracay is the most highly rated beaches by the officers in Trip Advisories and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc.

Boracay Island is a 1,092 hectares island. President Duterte ordered DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, to destroy establishments in the island which violate environmental and health regulations. It was these impulsive remarks which sparked these uncalled for complains of the public. The President warned the people to keep off Boracay which is a cesspool (wrong choice of term). Boracay from afar is beautiful but you may be swimming in the waters that stink of shit. This is so exaggerated. Think of what happened to Kuwait OFWs. With an impulsive remark again he declared a total ban of all OFWs from working in this country. Now he wants to amend his own proclamation.

The president said that he might order Boracay to be closed. Does he know what will happen? Billions of capitalists business ventures which provides tax money for our coffers will be lost just because of the fault of a few businessmen. He ordered Secretary Cimatu to warn businessmen who pollute and leave garbage 25 meters from the shores to be closed. He found 51, yes 51 only, of the hundreds and hundreds of successful law abiding business men in the 7 stations of the Island. Close the 51 and leave all the rest of Boracay's thriving business go on. A report from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) show that the water quality in bathing areas was safe for swimming and water sports. The water quality for polluting germs passed the test. Monthly sampling and analyses are done.

The president's remarks should have been more inspiring if he suggested better measures or praise what I had just mentioned above. The 7 stations in the Island boast of businesses at their best, wholesome, fresh, unpolluted and inviting to one's rest and relaxation of local and foreign guests. With the president's remarks many reservations have been cancelled.

I had been to Boracay when a family friend from Aklan gave me and my husband a 1 week vacation all free. I will never forget this. My favorite was a souvenir photo of the Grotto with the blue seas as background. The natives were very hospitable. The vendors of souvenirs were busy selling beads as necklace, earrings and rings. Meals, picnic style, in hotels were fun.

Back to the stations, along the West coast white beach is backed by palm trees, bars, restaurants; East Coast with its strong winds is ideal for water sports; the observation deck is at Mount Luho with a panoramic view over the whole Island. Off shore are coral reefs, home to diverse marine life. Long stretches of powdery white sands and the clear blue waters are what people like here. Friendly natives and foreign visitors met in the beaches are fun to be with. Restos, lodges, hotels of prestigious companies abound. Boracay is unforgettable. Let us all help in keeping its prestigious titles as a vacation resort of the world.

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