BORACAY ISLAND ONE MONTH AFTER CLOSURE

The world famous island of Boracay was closed from the public upon the order of Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.  From April 26 up to the time this article was written, a multi-sectoral group have joined efforts to clean up the island.  This video provided by RTVM or the Radio TV Malacanang, a government media agency, will give you a bird’s eye view of what has happened on Boracay since the time it was closed to the public.  Here’s Ms. Margaux “Mocha” Uson, Assistant Secretary, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) for the report.

Source:  RTVM, Radio TV Malacanang Facebook Page.

Map of Boracay.   Source: http://www.travellers.com   or  https://images.search.yahoo.com

Source:  images.search.yahoo.com  or allboracay,ru

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Geography of Boracay Island

(Source: wikipedia)

Boracay Island is located off the northwest corner of Panay Island, and belongs to the Western Visayas island-group, or Region VI, of the Philippines. The island is approximately seven kilometers long, dog-bone shaped with the narrowest spot being less than one kilometer wide, and has a total land area of 10.32 square kilometers.

South-facing Cagban Beach is located across a small strait from the jetty port at Caticlan on Panay island, and the Cagban jetty port serves as Boracay’s main entry and exit point during most of the year. When wind and sea conditions dictate, east-facing Tambisaan Beach serves as an alternative entry and exit point.[34] Boracay’s two primary tourism beaches, White Beach and Bulabog Beach, are located on opposite sides of the island’s narrow central area. White Beach faces westward and Bulabog Beach faces eastward. The island also has several other beaches.

White Beach, the main tourist attraction is about four kilometers long and is lined with resorts, hotels, lodging houses, restaurants, and other tourism-related businesses. In the central portion, for about two kilometers, there is a footpath known as the Beachfront Path separating the beach itself from the establishments located along it. North and south of the Beachfront Path, beachfront establishments do literally front along the beach itself. Several roads and paths connect the Beachfront Path with Boracay’s Main Road, a vehicular road which runs the length of the island. At the extreme northern end of White Beach, a footpath runs around the headland there and connects White Beach with Diniwid Beach.

Bulabog Beach, across the island from White Beach, is the second most popular tourist beach on the island and Boracay’s main windsurfing and kiteboarding area.

Boracay is divided for land use and conservation purposes into 400 hectares of preserved forestland and 628.96 hectares of agricultural land.[35][36][37][38][39][40]  (Source: Wikipedia)

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Tourism

(Source: Wikipedia)

Partly because of its wind and weather patterns, tourism in Boracay is at its peak during the amihan season (which starts in September or October and ends sometime in May or June). During amihan, the prevailing wind blows from the east. Boracay’s main tourism area, White Beach, is on the western side of the island and is sheltered from the wind. During the Amihan season, the water off White Beach is often glassy-smooth. On the eastern side of the island, hills on the northern and southern ends of the island channel the Amihan season wind from the east onshore, onto Bulabog Beach in the central part of the island’s eastern side. This makes the reef-protected waters off that beach relatively safe[52] and ideal for scuba divingwindsurfing, and kiteboarding / kitesurfing.

In June 2011, it was reported that Megaworld Corporation, a real estate development group led by Andrew Tan had earmarked PHP20 billion to develop tourism estates “featuring an integrated, master-planned layout and world-class resort offerings and amenities” in Boracay and Cavite. The planned Boracay project, Boracay Newcoast, involves four hotels with 1,500 rooms, a plaza, and an entertainment center.[53] 

Leisure activities available on or near Boracay include horseback riding, scuba divingdiving helmetsnorkelingwindsurfingkiteboarding, cliff diving, parasailing.

Boracay is the site of an 18-hole par 72 golf course designed by Graham Marsh.[54] In addition, as of 2010, Boracay has in excess of 350 beach resorts offering more than 2,000 rooms ranging in quality from five-star to budget accommodation.[55] In addition, Boracay offers a wide range of restaurants, bars, pubs, and nightclubs.

landmark natural rock formation, Boracay’s Rock, juts prominently directly in front of Willy’s Beach Resort. (Source: Wikipedia).

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Fauna   (Source:  wikipedia)

At least three species of flying foxes has been recorded to inhabit Boracay namely the giant golden-crowned flying fox (Aceradon jubatus),the giant fruit bat (Pteropus vampyrus), and the small flying fox (Pteropus hypomelanus). Their population is concentrated on the northern side of the island in Barangay Yapak where the hunting of bats was made illegal through a local ordinance.[47]

According to the Coastal Ecosystem Conservation and Adaptive Management (CECAM), a study led by the Japan International Cooperation Agency conducted from 2010 to 2015, noted a 70.5 percent decrease of Boracay’s coral cover from 1988 to 2011. The study attributed the worse drop in coral cover from 2008 to 2011 to the 38.4 percent increase of tourist arrivals combined with poorly monitored snorkeling activity in coral rich areas.[48][49]The Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI) made efforts to remedy the situation by launching a “refurbishment” program for the corals. In 2017, the BFI claims the number of corals in Boracay increased from 15 to 20 percent since 2015 due to its project.[50]

According to the Department of Tourism of the Philippines, there are a recorded 1,725,483 visitors to Boracay in 2016. In 2015, there were 250 thousand people who visited the island. Assuming the average length of stay of tourists to Boracay is 3 days, there are 14,182 tourists in Boracay daily as of 2016 adding to the 33,109 official population of the island.[56] According to Malay municipal records, more than 2 million tourists visited the island in 2017.[51]  (Source: Wikipedia)

Sanitation  

Source:  (the Wikipedia)

Boracay has been experiencing an increased coliform bacteria population since the 1990s which contributed to a 60 percent decline in tourist arrivals in 1997. Although a potable water supply system, a solid waste disposal system, as well as a sewage treatment plant which began operation in 2003,  were installed to remedy the insufficient sewage and septic conditions in the island, environmental concerns regarding coliform bacteria persisted due to noncompliance of some business establishments in the island.[30]

In 2004, only 51 percent of hotels and restaurants in Boracay, and 25 percents of all households were connected to the island’s central sewage system. In 2005, Boracay was declared a “special tourism zone”. In April 2006, Arroyo gave the PTA administrative control over Boracay, to be exercised in coordination with the provincial government. In 2009, Boracay Island Water Co. (BIWC), won a contract to improve the supply of potable water and install an efficient sewerage system.[30]

Boracay has experienced abnormally high algae growth since February 2015, due to sewage being dumped into the waters surrounding the islands.[30] In early 2018, 50 to 60 percent of all establishments in Boracay were compliant to the Clean Water Act of 2004 according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.[51] 

 

 

2018 Closure  (Source: Wikipedia)

Due to worsening environmental conditions in Boracay, President Rodrigo Duterte in February 2018 said he plans to close the resort island which he described as a “cesspool”. He has instructed Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu to resolve the issue.[32] In a cabinet meeting, President Duterte ordered the full closure of the island, for six months effective April 26, 2018, to rehabilitate and resolve the environmental issues surrounding Boracay.[33]  (Source:  Wikipedia) 

 

Acknowledgment:

Earthniversity would like to thank the Radio-TV Malacanang for their video about “Boracay: One Month After Closure” which is reported by Assistant Secretary of PCOO, Ms. Margaux “Mocha” Uson.

We would like also to acknowledge our sources of information about Boracay Island, the Wikipedia.  Complete citations were made regarding the Facts and Figures about Boracay as taken from The Wikipedia.

Disclaimer:

Earthniversity does not own the video posted here as it is the property of RTVM, the Radio-TV Malacanang, a Philippine Government office under the Office of the President.  The Facts and Figures stated herein have been taken from the article about Boracay published at The Wikipedia.

* * * * * * * * * * *

As of this writing, Boracay Island is still undergoing rehabilitation.  This activity includes cleaning up, removal of illegal structures, improvement of roads and waterways, as well as constructions of water treatment facilities and other requirements needed for a more sustainable island-resort tourism project.

* * * * *

Photos of Boracay were provided by Henry Libo-on, Blogger at Touristang Pobre blog site.

 

 

 

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WHAT IS BIODIVERSITY? Lecture Series #2

In observance of the International Day for Biological Diversity, we are sharing this article with you.

Earthniversity

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Suyac Island Mangroves Project, Philippines.

In celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May 2018, we are focusing our discussion on Biodiversity which is an important topic to preserve and conserve our flora and fauna to reach a more sustainable development.

Biodiversity is the second in a series of lectures that I will be conducting here.  This is aimed at getting basic knowledge that will enable us to better understand what Biodiversity is all about.  There are several definitions of the word Biodiversity.  Initially, the term is a combination of two words Biology and Diversity.   In this discussion, we are going to adopt the definitions coming from The Free Dictionary From Farlex.

1.  Biodiversity refers to the number and variety of organisms found within a specified geographical region.  For example, the forests of Yosemite National Park.  For centuries, thousands of organisms lived in the park, from…

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The Wow Island of Madagascar

If there is any place on Earth that catches my imagination, it is Madagascar.  I wish I could visit it before I die.  In the meantime, let me share this video from “Stop Over (Documentary, Discovery, History) entitled Madagascar : The Routes of the Sea, directed by Alain Dayan and published on You Tube.

Madagascar is one of the islands in the world with a very rich Biodiversity.  It is home to unique species of flora and fauna on planet earth.  Hereunder is a video entitled,  Madagascar: An Island’s Last Stand (Condensed Version) by Ryan M. Bolton, published on You Tube (4/17/2013).  Bolton presented the different species of animals endemic on the island of Galapagos but threatened of extinction.

Earthniversity is therefore sharing this video from Stop Over (Documentary, Discovery, History) and Ryan M. Bolton, for your viewing pleasure.

(Earthniversity does not own this video.  Recognition of the source of materials had been cited.)

The Magic of Two: How Two Surfers Cleaned The Ocean Floor.

This is a brief story of how two (2) surfers cleaned the ocean floor of garbage.  Their story will surely inspire us.

Earthniversity considers this initiative as one of the World’s Best Practices which other local government units globally can practice in their local levels.  As what we used to say here on Earthniversity,  “Everyone Thinking Globally And Acting Locally”.

Thanks to Hashem Al-Ghaili for sharing this video on youtube.  Most importantly, thanks to 4Ocean for sharing this idea of concern to clean up the oceans of the world.  Cheers!

Balaring Mangrove Park

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Located in the city of Silay, Balaring Mangrove Park is a coastal reforestation program of the city government of Silay in cooperation with the Japanese group called “Ikaw-Ako Japan – Negros Partnership for Environment Protection”.

The partnership was made possible through Professor Yorihisa Goto of Nihon Fukushi University and Lieutenant Yunichuro Doi an officer of the Japanese Imperial Army during the second world war.  Doi escaped to Patag at the height of the American campaign to free Negros from the Japanese forces.

This mangrove forest park is managed by the local residents of Balaring specifically the Mangrove Planters Association who also worked closely with the city government of Silay.  The members oversee the planting, protection and maintenance of the mangrove forest park.

If you tour the place, you will be able to see those mangrove trees growing abundantly from the entrance of the mangrove park up to the coastal area of Balaring facing the Strait of Guimaras.  Species of mangroves like Bakhaw, Pagatpat, and Bungalon are abundant in the park.

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The bamboo bridge that starts at the entrance of the mangrove forest park, extends up to the coast.  The bridge gives the visitors an opportunity to appreciate the mangroves when they begin navigating the whole area using the bamboo bridge.

Along the way, there are rest houses that visitors can use to relax.  A restroom is also available in the area.  A lookout or a tower made of bamboo and lumber had been constructed to enable the visitors to see the expanse of the whole mangrove forest park as well as appreciate the view of the Strait of Guimaras. An entrance fee is collected by the management of the park.

For those who are planning to visit the area, please be advised to bring a black plastic bag for your rubbish.  Let us keep the mangrove forest park free of garbage.

On my first visit, I had to rush to reach the coastal area but the rain stopped me when I reached the curve portion of the bridge.  I decided to return to the entrance where there are houses so I can stay out of the rain.

My visit to Balaring Mangrove Forest Park was brief, very brief, but it gave me an idea that when the community and local leaders unite to protect the coastal areas as well as provide shelter and spawning area for all aquatic life and even provide sanctuary for the birds, then the whole project can succeed.

Balaring Mangrove Park is located at Barangay Balaring, Silay City, in the province of Negros Occidental. Continue reading