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Boracay as a cultural treasure

 

 

JOHNNY DAYANG

AS expected, the recent reopening of Boracay has elicited mixed reactions from various sectors. Aside from doubts raised on the sustainability of certain measures designed to protect the environmental integrity of the island so its rehabilitation will not go to naught, some concerns have also been aired on whether adequate and sound policies have been formulated and installed to ensure Boracay will remain as a cultural treasure.

Boracay, known the world over for its powdery white sand and rustic beauty, faces an uncertain future due to risks confronting it that come largely from simple and mindless bureaucratic oversights and neglect.

The government has promised to adopt workable safety nets to secure its pristine beauty from further degradation, but certain obvious efforts to transform the island into an exclusivist enclave for the rich and wealthy only are afoot and must strongly be opposed.

Beyond tourism and revenue, Boracay needs to be appreciated as a cultural arena and heritage, a home of the indigenous Aetas, an icon of ecological sustainability, and spawning ground of some of nature’s unique and beautiful flora and fauna.

Boracay is not just about its aquamarine waters and hospitable people; it must also be a place for people who prefer tranquility and freedom from the flurry and chaos of the urban jungle. Noisy parties that deprive other people of sleep must be isolated so the island can remain as a subliminal haven.

Boracay is not about sex, sand, swig, and silt; it must be propagated as an area that respects and promotes indigenous ethnicity in various spheres including sports, cuisine, industry, arts, etc. It can, in fact, be an epicenter of performances that tourists will remember for a long, long period. That may sound utopian, but the island’s charm primarily resides on its people.

To warrant that this perspective is not endangered, the government must be firm and committed to ensure Boracay’s sustainability as a tourist haven and a cultural treasure.

Atty. Lovel T Mationg, 68, a candidate for Aklan’s newly-created 2nd congressional, died last Friday, of undetected prostate cancer. Aklan’s leading advocate for social and political reform and good governance, Atty. Mationg has strongly opposed making Boracay an exclusive paradise only for the rich and wealthy business players.

Our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. Farewell, my good friend Lovel.

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