Now You Know – SIQUIJOR: ITS LEGEND, HISTORY, TRADITIONS, AND BELIEFS

Siquijor is an island province1 located in the Central Visayas2 Region (Region VII)of the Philippines. It has 6 municipalities4: Enrique Villanueva, Larena, Lazi, Maria, San Juan, and Siquijor (the capital, and yes, the same name as the province).

It is the smallest province1 among the provinces of the said region5, and the third smallest province in the Philippines, next to Camiguin6 and Batanes7 (the smallest).

THE LEGEND OF SIQUIJOR

Legend tells of a King (or Datu) Kihod as the source of the island’s name. Before the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines, this island was the home to the Kingdom of Katugasan, from the word tugas (the local name for the Molave trees that covered the hills found all over the island). The early Siquijodnons used tugas to make posts for their homes because of its strength and durability. It was also used for making wooden plows to cultivate the rocky soil for farming.

Archeological proof – in the form of pottery and old tools excavated in the island’s caves, as well as Chinese ceramics and other objects – substantiate the supposition that, prior to the discovery of using tugas as housing material, the island’s natives lived in caves, and, that they were already in contact with Chinese traders during the pre-colonial era. The art of traditional healing and witchcraft belief systems also developed during this time.

This island province1 is indeed mysterious! First is the origin of the island. They say the island surfaced from the depths of the ocean during a great storm which once engulfed the region5. This storm was followed by a strong earthquake that shook the earth and sea. Amidst the lightning and thunder, an island rose from the depths of the ocean and became Siquijor island. In fact, how can you explain that during modern times, farmers have unraveled giant shell casings under farm plots?

Siquijor is commonly associated with mystic traditions. It is widely believed since the olden times that the natives of this island were men of mystery and magic who can conjure and control spirits. There are folk healers whose practices include spiritualism, along with the preparation of brews and herbal concoctions for love and health problems. See traditions and beliefs below.

BRIEF HISTORY

This island was discovered by Esteban Rodriguez and Juan Aguirre of the Legaspi8 expedition in 1565.

During the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines, the Spaniards called Siquijor Isla del Fuego (Island of Fire) because the island gave off an eerie glow at night from the great swarms of fireflies that lived in the branches of the abundant tugas or molave trees.

Siquijor was founded in 1783 and was under the province1 of Bohol9, part of Negros Oriental10 (1854-1892), then a sub-province of Negros Oriental (1901), and eventually, an independent province on September 17, 1971 by RA 6396, with the municipality4 of Larena as the capital. A year after, the capital was transferred to Siquijor town, by Proclamation 1975.

The municipality4 of Siquijor was the first parish, established in 1783, under the administration of secular clergymen. In the years that followed until 1877, the parishes of Canoan (Larena), Tigbawan (Lazi), Makapilay (San Juan), and Cangmenlac (Maria) were founded by Augustinian and Recollect11 priests.

TRADITIONS AND BELIEFS

The Siquijodnons are predominantly Roman Catholic yet their island province1 is still known as the Mystical Island. Healers and herbalists all over the country annually come together in this island during Holy Week to perform healing, and to participate in the preparation of concoctions made from a variety of tree barks, roots, herbs, insects and other ingredients. These are gathered from the forests, sea, caves, and cemeteries during the 7 Fridays of the Lenten season. The resulting brews are deemed to have healing powers.

The Festival starts on Holy Wednesday with the gathering of the final ingredients. This day is known as pang-alap. Activity on Maundy Thursday is called pang-adlip, or the chopping of different tree barks and other ingredients, said to be more than 200 kinds. On Good Friday, healers and herbalists concoct amalgams for black magic or occult practices. This is part of the villages’ secret knowledge, and no outsiders allowed to observe.

In contrast, the Black Saturday activity is open to spectators. This time, the herbalists, healers, and spectators gather together in a circle, taking turns to produce mixtures that also include herbal potions. When the brews are ready, they are bottled and sold. This village tradition started before the 1930s, according to the people of San Antonio and Cantabon, and has been handed down from the predecessors of some famous healers.

Siquijor partly owes its famous mystique to its “traditional doctors” and their variety of folk healing and divination rituals, with the bolo-bolo as the most popular form. Bolo-bolo is performed with the use of a glass of water, a (magical black) stone, and a (bamboo) straw.

bolo-bolo session begins with the healer feeling the pulse of the patient to determine if the ailment is brought about by evil spirits or by natural causes. Some healers treat only patients whose illnesses are deemed due to supernatural elements, while others treat illnesses of both origins.

Notwithstanding popular belief in the curative powers of the bolo-bolo and other folk healing practices in Siquijor, these same practices have fanned so much speculation to the extent of becoming, in fact, the subject of several scholarly studies. Whether you believe it or not, one thing is certain, it has become one of the Siquijor’s major attractions.

The information was obtained from https://pia.gov.ph/provinces/siquijor and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siquijor

Please read related posts about my Siquijor tour: ENCHANTING 400-YEAR-OLD BALETE TREE AND FISH SPA, SIQUIJORTAKE A TARZAN-LIKE DIVE AT CAMBUGAHAY FALLS, SIQUIJOR!SERENE AND SPONTANEOUS SALAGDOONG BEACH, SIQUIJOR and GET BEWITCHED AT HAPITANAN, SIQUIJOR.

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you re Siquijor’s legend, history, traditions and beliefs. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post. Thank you.

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The following terms are defined for interested readers, especially non-Filipinos, those with “Senior-Moments”, and those too busy or lazy to Google such terms:

1A province is the primary administrative and political division in the Philippines. It is the second-level administrative sub-division of a region5. There are 81 provinces (called “lalawigan”) in the Philippines. Each province is governed by an elected legislature called the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and by an elected governor. In the Philippines, a province is divided into cities12 and municipalities4 (or towns), which in turn, are divided into barangays13, formerly called barrios. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Provinces of the Philippines.”14 See a related post: Foreign Seniors Ask: WHAT ARE PROVINCES IN THE PHILIPPINES?

2Visayas is one of the 3 major geographical divisions of the Philippines. It covers 3 administrative regions: Central Visayas3, Eastern Visayas15 and Western Visayas16. It consists of 6 major islands (Bohol9, Cebu, Leyte, Negros, Panay and Samar), mostly surrounded by the Visayan Sea, and is composed of 16 provinces1, according to Wikipedia page “Visayas”.17 See the 2 other geographical divisions of the Philippines: Luzon18 and Mindanao19.

3Central Visayas (Region VII) of the Philippines is a Philippine region5 located in the island group of Visayas2, with Cebu City as its regional center. It has 7 local government units20 (LGUs): Bohol9, Cebu, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Negros Oriental10, and Siquijor. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Regions of the Philippines.”21

4A municipality, or town, is a small, single urban administrative division, or local government unit (LGU)20, in the Philippines which has corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction, as granted by law. It is a unit under a province1, subdivided into barangays13. A town is locally called “bayan”. In the Philippines, a municipality is headed by a mayor, a vice mayor and members of the Sangguniang Bayan (legislative branch). It can enact local policies and laws, enforce them, and govern its jurisdictions. It can enter into contracts and other transactions through its elected and appointed officials, and can tax as well. It enforces all local and national laws. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Municipalities of the Philippines.”22

5A region in the Philippines is the first-order administrative division in the Philippines. There are 17 regions in the Philippines, based on geographical, cultural and ethnological characteristics. It is further subdivided in provinces1, composed of cities12 and municipalities5 (or towns), which in turn, are divided into barangays13. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Regions of the Philippines.”21 See a related post: Foreign Seniors Ask: WHAT ARE THE REGIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES?

6Camiguin is the second smallest province1 in the Philippines, both in population and land area, after Batanes7. This island province is located in the Bohol Sea, geographically part of the Northern Mindanao Region (Region X)23, and formerly part of Misamis Oriental province. The provincial capital is Mambajao, also the province’s largest municipality4 in area and population. It is famous for its sweet lanzones (see related post – Savoring Pinoy Delights: THE LUSCIOUS LANZONES) to which the annual week-long Lanzones Festival is dedicated, held every third week of October. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Camiguin.”24

7Batanes is the smallest province1 in the Philippines, both in population and land area. This archipelago25 province is the northernmost province of the country, and is located in the Cagayan Valley Region (Region II)26. Its capital is Basco, located in the island of Batan. The entire province is listed in the UNESCO tentative list for inscription in the list of World Heritage Sites27 (see a related post – Seniors, Now You Know: WHAT ARE THE WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN THE PHILIPPINES?). Seven intangible heritage elements of the Ivatan28 are undergoing a process to be included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists29 between 2018-2025. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Batanes.”30

8Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (1502-August 20, 1572), also known as El Adelantado and El Viejo (The Elder), was a Spanish navigator and governor who established the first Spanish settlement in the East Indies when his expedition crossed the Pacific Ocean, from the Viceroyalty of New Spain, in modern-day Mexico, and arrived in Cebu, in the Philippines. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Miguel Lopez de Ligazpi.”31

9Bohol is a province1 located in the Central Visayas Region (Region 7)3, consisting of the island itself and 75 minor surrounding islands, and considered the 10th largest island in the Philippines. Its capital is Tagbilaran. To the west of Bohol is Cebu, to the northeast is the island of Leyte, and to the south, across the Bohol Sea, is Mindanao19. It is known for the Chocolate Hills, its beaches and resorts, and the smallest primate in the world called tarsier (see a related post – Short and Simple: THE PHILIPPINE TARSIER). The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Bohol.”32

10Negros Oriental, Oriental Negros or Eastern Negros, is a province1 located in the Central Visayas Region (Region 7)3 of the Philippines. It occupies the southeastern half of the large island of Negros, and borders Negros Occidental, which comprises the northwestern half. It also includes Apo Island, a popular dive site for both local and foreign tourists. Its capital is Dumaguete City, the seat of government and the most populous city of the province. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Negros Oriental”.33

11The Recollects were a French reform branch of the Order of Friars Minor created at the end of the 15th century, commonly known today as the Franciscans, best known for their presence as missionaries in various parts of the world. They wore gray habits and pointed hoods, took vows of poverty, and devoted their lives to prayer, penance, and spiritual reflection. In 1897, Pope Leo XIII officially dissolved the Recollects order and integrated it as a part of the Franciscan order, officially changing their name to Friars Minor. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Recollects”.34

12A city in the Philippines is the local government unit20 in the Philippines headed by a mayor elected by popular vote. A vice-mayor serves as the presiding officer of the city’s legislative body – the Sangguniang Panlungsod (city council). Congress is the only legislative entity that can incorporate a city in the country. Upon receiving its charter, a city also receives a full complement of executive departments to best serve its constituents. There are 145 cities, as of 2016, in the country. All these were obtained from Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines.”35See a related post: Foreign Seniors Ask: HOW MANY CITIES ARE THERE IN THE PHILIPPINES?

13A barangay in the Philippines is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines, headed by a barangay captain, aided by a Sangguniang Barangay (Barangay Council). It is the native Filipino term for a district or village. It was formerly called a barrio. In a metropolitan area, a barangay is an inner city neighborhood, a suburb, or a suburban neighborhood. The word barangay originated from the term “balangay”, a kind of boat used by a group of Austronesian people who migrated to the Philippines. A number of barangays grouped together is called a district. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Barangay.”36

14“Provinces of the Philippines,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinces_of_the_Philippines

15Eastern Visayas Region (Region VIII) is a Philippine region5 located in the island group of Visayas2, with Tacloban as its regional center. It has 8 local government units20 (LGUs): Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Ormoc, Samar, Southern Leyte, and Tacloban. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Regions of the Philippines.”21

16The Western Visayas Region (Region VI) is a Philippine region located in the island group of Visayas2, with Iloilo City as its regional center. It has 8 local government units20 (LGUs): Aklan, Antique, Bacolod, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Iloilo City, and Negros Occidental. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Regions of the Philippines.”21

17“Visayas,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visayas

18Luzon is one of the 3 major geographical divisions of the Philippines. It is the country’s largest (ranked 15th largest in the world) and most populated island, as well as its economical and political center. Luzon is composed of 8 regions5: Bicol, Cagayan Valley, CALABARZON, Central Luzon, Cordillera, Ilocos, MIMAROPA and the National Capital Region. The 2 other geographical divisions of the Philippines are Visayas2 and Mindanao19. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Luzon.”37

19Mindanao is one of the 3 major geographical divisions of the Philippines. It is the second largest island of the country and covers 6 administrative regions: Caraga Region, Davao Region, Northern Mindanao, SOCCSKSARGEN, Zamboanga Peninsula, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). It is composed of 22 provinces1 and 33 cities12 (27 provinces and 33 cities, if associated islands are included). The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Mindanao.”38 See the 2 other geographical divisions of the Philippines: Luzon18 and Visayas2.

20A local government unit (LGU) in the Philippines is divided into 3 levels: provinces1 and independent cities39; component cities40 and municipalities4; and, barangays13, according to Wikipedia page “Local government in the Philippines”41

21“Regions of the Philippines,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regions_of_the_Philippines

22 “Municipalities of the Philippines,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Municipalities_of_the_Philippines

23Northern Mindanao Region (Region X) is a Philippine region5 located in the island group of Mindanao19, with Cagayan de Oro as its regional center. It has 7 local government units20 (LGUs): Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, Camiguin, Iligan, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Regions of the Philippines.”21

24“Camiguin,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camiguin

25An archipelago, island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster, or collection of islands, or sometimes, a sea containing a small number of scattered islands, according to the Wikipedia page “Archipelago”.42

26The Cagayan Valley Region (Region II) is a Philippine region5 located in the island group of Luzon18, with Tuguegarao as its regional center. It has 6 local government units20 (LGUs): Batanes7, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Viscaya, Quirino, and Santiago. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Regions of the Philippines.”21

27 A World Heritage Site (WHS) is a unique landmark, or geographically and historically identifiable place, which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific, physical or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. UNESCO mandates a nomination process. It starts when a country lists its significant cultural and natural sites to form a Tentative List. It can then place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File which is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. These bodies then make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee. The Committee meets once a year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List, and sometimes defers or refers the decision to request more information from the country that nominated the site. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “List of World Heritage Sites in the Philippines”.43 See a related post: Seniors, Now You Know: WHAT ARE THE WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN THE PHILIPPINES?

28The Ivatans are a Filipino ethnolinguistic group predominant in the islands of Batanes7 of the Philippines, known for their stone houses of coral and limestone, designed to protect against the hostile climate in Batanes7. Their origins remain untraced among scholars, but they are known to be an Austronesian group, i.e., a group of various peoples in Southeast Asia, Oceania and east Africa that speak Austronesian languages. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Ivatan people”.44

29The UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists consists of important intangible cultural heritages45 worldwide, established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to ensure better protection for these treasures and the awareness of their significance. The list was established in 2008 when the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage took effect. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists”.46

30“Batanes,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batanes

31“Miguel Lopez de Legazpi,” accessed January 29, 2019,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_Lopez_de_Legazpi

32“Bohol,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohol

33“Negros Oriental,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negros_Oriental

34“Recollects,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recollects

35“Cities of the Philippines,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_of_the_Philippines

36“Barangay,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barangay

37“Luzon,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luzon

38“Mindanao,” accessed January 29, 2019,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindanao

39An independent city is a type of city12 in the Philippines which is administratively and legally not subject to a province1 so it does not share its tax revenues with any province. The national government and its agencies serve such a city through sub-offices of the region5 it belongs to. It is subdivided into 2: highly urbanized city47 or independent component city48. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines”35

40A component city is a type of city12 in the Philippines which does not meet the requirements of a highly urbanized city47. It is under the jurisdiction of a province1. If such a city is located along the boundaries of 2 or more provinces, it shall be considered part of the province of which it used to be a municipality4. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines”35

41“Local government in the Philippines,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_government_in_the_Philippines

42“Archipelago,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archipelago

43“List of World Heritage Sites in the Philippines,” accessed January 29, 2019,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Heritage_Sites_in_the_Philippines

44“Ivatan people,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivatan_people

45An international cultural heritage (ICH) is a practice, representation, expression, knowledge, or skill, as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts, and cultural spaces that are considered by UNESCO to be part of a place’s cultural heritage. The Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was drafted in 2003 for its protection and promotion. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Intangible cultural heritage”.49

46“UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNESCO_Intangible_Cultural_Heritage_Lists

47A highly urbanized city (HUC) is a type of city12 in the Philippines with a minimum population of 200,000 as certified by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), and with the latest annual income of at least 50 million pesos, according to Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines”.35 There are currently 33 such cities in the Philippines (see link – Foreign Seniors Ask: HOW MANY CITIES ARE THERE IN THE PHILIPPINES?).

48An independent component city (ICC) is a type of city12 in the Philippines which is autonomous from the province1 in which it is geographically located and has a charter that explicitly prohibits its residents to vote for provincial officials (unless allowed to do so). It does not meet the requirements of a highly urbanized city47. There are 5 such cities in the country: Cotabato, Dagupan, Naga, Ormoc, and Santiago. The information was obtained from Wikipedia page “Cities of the Philippines”35

49“Intangible Cultural Heritage,” accessed January 29, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intangible_Cultural_Heritage

Seniors, Now You Know: S.E.A. MOVEMENT – FIGHTING TO PRESERVE SIARGAO!

S.E.A. stands for Siargao Environmental Awareness Movement, a non-profit organization that is “a collaborative effort to help preserve the natural resources and beauty of the island which the local and the travelling community rely on for a simple, yet beautiful, life. It acts as a hub to connect networks of people with unique skills – surfers, artists, writers, journalists, IT experts, policy-makers – to contribute in solving the island’s environmental problems.”

The Movement wants to instill in everyone a sense of responsibility and ownership of the growing environmental problems, starting with young surfers.

BeFunky-collage-2               All photos were obtained from the Facebook account SEA Movement

A Brief History of S.E.A. Movement

The surfers behind the Siargao-born surf brand, Kudo Surf, started this movement as their “answer to the pressing issue in climate change, increasing tourism, and the need to educate local communities about the importance of ecological diversity. Protecting the environment is protecting their livelihood and their future.” Starting the brand allowed them to merge their passions – surf traveling, environmentalism and commerce – together.

“We are grateful to Mother Earth for giving us great waves and the raw materials to make our products. We just gotta do our business and live our lifestyle responsibly. We believe that businesses should be more eco-conscious and we do our part by contributing to the improvement of environmental issues in Siargao, where our headquarters is.”

Projects of S.E.A. Movement

1. Monthly Beach Clean-Up and Placard Posting – This project started on October 2015. Volunteers are asked to clean up the beach.This shows the locals how much garbage is thrown carelessly all over the island. The local municipal office helps in the monthly beach clean up by providing a garbage collection truck.

The Movement also makes placards set up in public areas where people can be reminded: “Ayaw Paglabog Ug Basura” (Don’t Litter), “Barura Dili Marajaw” (Garbage is Not Good), and “Plastic is Not Fantastic”.

2. Plastic Bottle Campaign – S.E.A. encourages Siargao business owners to provide water stations and re-usable water bottles to reduce, and eventually, eliminate the use of single-plastic bottles in the island.

3. Her Planet Earth for the Women of Siargao – This is an environmentally-conscious program which “aims to train and equip underprivileged women with the tools and skills to sell bags and other fashionable items made with recyclable materials gathered from the sea”.

“This project simultaneously provides the community with a livelihood opportunity and reduces plastic waste and pollution in the oceans, thus, empowering the community of warm and friendly people by creating awareness around gender equality and visibility of men and women’s contributions to society and teaching responsibility towards environmental preservation.”

This program is the collaborative effort of S.E.A. Movement, Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), the local government of General Luna, Siargao Masaya, and other partner agencies and NGOs.

4. Solid Waste Management Localized Videos – S.E.A. has created, and will create, videos aiming to help educate and teach people, especially children about Solid Waste Management (SWM) and how important it is to segregate wastes.

So, for the techie readers of this post, why not volunteer to create fun/animated and educational videos!

5. S.E.A. Movement Awareness Campaign – It would be awesome to help spread the word about this Movement and the campaigns they are working on. Calling on experienced marketing professionals or social media experts, your help or advice would be very welcome.

6. Other Projects
a. Read-Aloud – In 2016, a US-based NGO, Bagong Kulturang Pinoy, donated eco-awareness-specific children’s books so volunteers read aloud to groups of children in their classrooms, or at the beach, for the latter to learn about the environment, how to love reading, and how to have more meaningful relationships with buddy volunteers.

b. Segregation and Recycling Stations – A big project of the Movement so there will be a proper waste disposal system in the island, leading to zero-waste management.

c. SEA and Public Schools – General Luna public schools have opened their libraries to house the SEA Movement’s eco-books. They also initiated tree-planting and a clean-up drive with the students.

d. Short Film on Eco-Awareness – The Movement plans to make an entertaining and educational short film that will inform the local community of Siargao and its business and government sectors about the importance of eco-consciousness.

e. Fund Raising – The Movement is a non-profit organization so it needs to generate funds for their projects. Some activities are: SEA Movement Shirts and Canvass Shopping Bags to help spread the Movement’s agenda and reduce the usage of plastic bags; Let’s Get it OM! (Benefit Yoga), a by-donation yoga session led by volunteer yoga teachers; and Crowd Funding, i.e., the acceptance of donations of any kind from kindred souls.

I hope I did my small share by writing this post in my blog.

Let us all help to preserve the natural resources and beauty of Siargao Island!

The information was obtained from http://www.seamovement.ph and http://www.mylifeonboard.net.

Contact information: Facebook account: SEA Movement; Tel. No. 0945-837-9202; Instagram: @s.e.a.movement

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Now You Know: THE MANILA ZOO IS CLOSED IMMEDIATELY AND INDEFINITELY

Dearest Filipino readers, when was the last time you went to the Manila Zoo? Personally, I have not visited that place for decades. Why? I got feedback from those who went there about the miserable state of the animals, how dirty and smelly the surroundings are, the condition of the facilities, even the toilets – all these and more, which break my heart because I only have fond memories of this zoo when I was in elementary. My father even taught me how to fish and distinctly remember catching a lot of tilapia in the lagoon which we brought home, cleaned, cooked and enjoyed as a family.

Well, it seems that the Manila Zoo will be indefinitely closed starting today, January 23, 2019. 1, 2, 3,4,5  This was ordered by Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, weeks after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) tagged it as one of Manila Bay’s major pollutants1, 2, 3 as it has supposedly been draining untreated sewage into one of the estuaries leading to that body of water.2, 3

In a one-page memorandum issued on January 21, Mayor Estrada ordered that “full support and cooperation be extended to the national government for the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.”1,4

Mayor Estrada said the temporary closure would allow the city government to conduct a proper assessment and study of the zoo in preparation for its rehabilitation, upon the recommendation of the Office of the City Administrator and Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW).1,3,4

The management of Manila Zoo explained that way back during its opening, in 1959, the zoo was not required to have a sewage treatment plant.2,3

Two weeks earlier, the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), one of the agencies tasked to rehabilitate Manila Bay, said that the zoo and 16 other establishments around the bay had not complied with the 1997 concession agreement signed by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and two concessionaires, Manila Water Company Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc., requiring all enterprises in Western and Eastern Metro Manila to put a wastewater treatment facility. Jas Garcia, the officer-in-charge of the public operations bureau of Manila Zoo, said the zoo only had septic tanks which remove contaminants in wastewater.5

Manila Zoo is connected to the Estero de San Antonio Abad which DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said had coliform level of 1.3 billion per 1,000 ml per most probable number (mpn), higher than the bay’s 330 million. These fecal coliform levels are way above the standard of 100 ml per mpn.5

The city government of Manila vowed to fully support the government’s move to rehabilitate the nearly 2,000-square-kilometer Manila Bay. Mayor Estrada directed the city and zoo officials to address the problem.3

The mayor also ordered the DEPW and the Department of Public Service to submit a program of work for the construction or installation of water treatment facilities or sewage plants in the zoo and other city facilities,1, 2, 3,4,5 which according to the DENR, will take a couple of months.2

City Administrator Jojo Alcovendaz earlier said that two water treatment plants might be installed in Manila Zoo within three to four months, after Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu accused zoo officials of dumping untreated water into Manila Bay. The DENR gave the city government four months to construct a wastewater treatment facility.5

The zoo’s employees will not lose their jobs because the zoo will only be closed to the public but will remain in operation for them to take care of the animals.3  

Personally, I agree with the closure of Manila Zoo, not only to comply with the required water treatment plants to save Manila Bay, but the next three or four months would be an opportune time to improve the state of the zoo in terms of animal care, facilities, cleanliness and sanitation of the premises, among others. I am still hopeful that the zoo will reopen, with the proper water treatment plants and cleaner, well-maintained, and improved facilities.

Did you find this post informative? Have you been to the Manila Zoo before it was closed? Can you share what me your experience there? I would like to hear from you. Simply scroll to “Leave a Reply” and enter your comment in the box. Please scroll and click the “Like” tab and “Facebook” to share this post. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your device.

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1https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1076213/manila-zoo-closed-indefinitely

2https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/metro/682356/manila-zoo-to-be-temporarily-closed-starting-january-23/story/

3https://www.philstar.com/nation/2019/01/23/1887315/manila-zoo-shut-down-indefinitely-due-untreated-sewage

4https://news.mb.com.ph/2019/01/22/manila-zoo-closed-in-view-of-manila-bay-rehab/

5https://www.manilatimes.net/manila-zoo-shuts-down/500599/

Now You Know: EL NIDO TOUR PACKAGES THEN AND NOW

To all those who plan to have a vacation in El Nido, did you know that there are changes in their standard tours? Well, Tita S wrote this post to compare the tour packages before and after November 27, 2018.

First of all, what I like about El Nido1 is that the tour operators agreed to standardize the types of tours, destinations therein, and cost per person. Thus, the tourist need not haggle nor feel shortchanged wondering if s/he paid more than other tourists did. Our resort even gave us a 20% discount for booking two tours with them.

You can either join a group tour (and find new friends) or charter a private boat (and enjoy the tours with family/friends on your terms, as to what spots to visit and the length of stay therein, as well as what food to eat).

The Eco-Tourism Fee2 is PHP200 and is good for 10 days. No worries, when you book your first day tour, this will be included already. This is a one-time payment for most tourists (who only stay for 10 days or less in El Nido). See a related post. Short and Simple: EL NIDO’S ECO-TOURISM DEVELOPMENT FEE

I wish Coron Island, a beautiful destination located in northern Palawan, would be able to follow suit. We had to haggle during our trip there last month to get the best deal for our tours (a difference of PHP100-200 per person among competitive tour operators there). I was told that there are still Coron tour operators who do not want to cooperate on a standardized rate. Let’s hope someday soon they will.

Back to El Nido1: most boat trips last about 7 hours, usually starting at 9:00 am and ending between 4:00-5:00 pm.

A beach towel and mask/snorkel are included in the package tour, so you need not bring either, unless you are very particular about using your own towel/swimming gear.

Lunch is also included in every tour, usually consisting of grilled fish/seafood, pork/chicken, rice, vegetables and fruits (banana, pineapple, or watermelon). A designated boatman grills the meat/seafood/vegetables at the rear of the boat, so you will get these freshly cooked and artistically presented/decorated just in time for lunch. For sure, you will want to eat a lot after swimming and snorkeling all morning!

Single-use plastic water bottles are banned from all tours nowadays and the MARINA (Maritime Industry Authority)is strict in ensuring that boats do not carry them. Tour operators have insulated containers with ice to chill reusable plastic water bottles/jugs with potable water. Tumblers are provided for each member of the tour. In one of the day tours we took, the operator also offered chilled small (glass) bottles of Coke but we declined. Definitely, no single-use plastics during island hopping in El Nido!

I personally brought my own eco-friendly reusable water container and filled it up with mineral/distilled water for every day tour during my December 2018 El Nido vacation. Why don’t you too? This way, you will be sure about the quality and safety of the water you drink while island hopping.

Anyway, there were only 4 standardized tour packages in El Nido1 before November 27, 2018:

  1. Tour A – PHP1,200/person – This was the most popular tour package of El Nido, and it showcased some of the area’s beautiful lagoons. Destinations included: Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island or Payong-payong Beach (for lunch), Entalula Island and 7 Commandos Beach. Snorkel/Swim all you want, subject to the schedule set by the tour guide and the conditions of the waters.

Take note, I used the past tense since this tour package was changed, effective November 2018. I will discuss that below.

This group tour was priced at PHP1,200 pesos; a private boat tour was PHP4,000-6,000, depending on the size of the group/boat. A kayak could be rented for PHP200 in the Big or Small Lagoon. If you notified your boatman when you arrived there, they would have arranged the kayak rental for you.

2. Tour B – PHP1,300/person – This nature-tripping package tour consists of the following stops: Cathedral Cave, Codugnon Cave, Pinagbuyutan Island (a very good snorkeling spot), Snake Island (the long narrow sandbar connecting mainland Palawan to Vigan Island is the main attraction), and sometimes, Entalula Island or Pangalusian Island.

3. Tour C – PHP1,400/person – This is another popular tour package as it features some of the best beaches of El Nido, perfect for swimmers and snorkelers. This is a long tour since Matinloc Island is one of the farthest limestone islands from the town proper.

Please take note that Matinloc Island faces the West Philippine Sea (which is prone to big waves), so ask your tour operator if the weather will be ideal for your selected date.

Other destinations include: Helicopter Island, Matinloc Shrine (you need to pay PHP100 entrance fee), Star Beach, Secret Beach, and Talisay Beach.

4. Tour D – PHP1,000-1,200/person – This package tour includes four beaches and a lagoon, mostly in mainland El Nido: Bukal Beach, Natnat Beach, Paradise Beach, Pasandigan Beach, and Cadlao Lagoon.

An inland tour is also offered in El Nido and is good for tourists who do not want to go island hopping. You can rent a motorcycle (PHP500 per day), tricycle (PHP1,500 for four persons), or a van (PHP3,000 for up to 12 persons). The main attractions are Calitang Twin Beach, Nacpan, and Nagkalit-kalit Falls. You can also go to Las Cabanas (for a memorable sunset) and/or Marimegmeg Beach. Do not forget to bring your own food/drinks.

Other tours could be arranged, like Overnight Camping, Combo Tour, Private Tour, or even an El Nido-Coron Adventure. It would be best to book ahead of time any of these tours, especially during peak season (December till March/April).

Take note that the tour guide/boatmen can make changes, depending on the number of people in a stop, the tide, or how calm the waters are. The MARINA personnel need to approve all boat trips prior to sailing.

Bottomline, if you only had 2 whole days to spend in El Nido, taking Tours A and C is suggested. But that was prior to November 27, 2018.

What happened on November 2018?

El Nido1 was rehabilitated but was not closed off, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT). There were many establishments that abided by government requirements and the local government took initiatives to address the town’s problems, so total closure was not necessary. Hurray to those who booked a vacation to El Nido starting November!

El Nido Municipal Administrator Dela Calzada said authorities would limit the number of tourists visiting key island destinations to preserve the area. The local government has set the tourist limit at the island’s Big Lagoon to 60 per hour with kayak trips at 30 per hour; and, for the Small Lagoon, at only 30 tourists and 15 kayak trips per hour.Oh no! Tour A, one of my favorite day tours, was affected!

The government has yet to determine the carrying capacity of El Nido as a whole, but funds for the study are already on standby, according to Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat.4

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said the government will make sure that thousands of tourist boats will not spill wastewater nor oil into the bay.

Tour packages will also be redesigned to regulate the number of tourists. El Nido used to offer 4 standard tour packages, with 5 to 6 attractions per package; soon, there will be 7 tour packages with fewer destinations per package.4

In early 2018, single-use plastics, particularly water bottles, were banned from tour packages. Coast guard personnel shall inspect boats and confiscate plastic bottles before they are allowed to sail.4

Personally, I noticed that some (hard-headed?) tourists still bring single-use plastic water bottles. I think the tour guide should announce/remind beforehand that this is banned and reassure everyone that the operator’s chilled water is safe. To the tour operators, just be sure that your containers/tumblers are clean/sanitized and your source of water is safe. We don’t want any upset stomachs, do we?

So, what are the November 2018 package tours in El Nido?

There is a slight change in the tours but the stated price still includes lunch, mask/snorkel, and beach towel. We got the information below from our resort staff during our December 7-11, 2018 stay:

The Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon were separated in Tour A since a cap was made on the number of persons and kayaks that can enter per hour. Thus, there are now two Tour As:

TOUR A – Big– PHP1400/person – Big Lagoon, Simizu Island (lunch), Secret Lagoon, 7 Commandos Island, and Papaya Island. (inclusive of the P200/person entrance)befunky-collage-tour-a-enido-text

TOUR A – Small– PHP1400/person – Small Lagoon, Payong-Payong, Entalula Island, Papaya Island, 7 Commandos Island – inclusive of the P200/person entrance in the Small Lagoon and the PHP200 eco fee good for 10 days – see a related link: (I will place the link here)z-tour a - small - text

Tours B, C and D remain the same:

TOUR B – P1300/person – Snake Island, Codugnon Cave (lunch), Cathedral Cave, Entalula Island, Pinagbuyutan Beachz-tour b - el nido - text

Tour C – P1400/person – Matinloc Shrine, Secret Beach, Star Beach (lunch), Hidden Beach, Helicopter Islandbefunky-collage-tour-c-enido-text

Tour D – P1200/person – Pasandigan Beach, Bucal Beach, Natnat Beach (lunch), Cadlao Lagoonz-tour d - el nido - text

Again, please take note that the guide/boatmen can make changes, depending on the number of people in a stop, the tide, or how calm the waters are.

During my December revisit I availed of only 3 tours, since I had first-time El Nido tourists with me. I will write a separate post about this visit.

Bottomline, if you only have 2 whole days to spend in El Nido, take Tour A-Big and Tour C. If you arrive in the early afternoon and still have some energy left after the 6-hour ride from Puerto Princesa, take the inland tour, to at least enjoy Nacpan, and savor the sunset (and even zipline) at Las Cabanas.

To the authorities who will finalize the tours, please make sure that the destinations are different for each package.

I will write another post should there be an official announcement regarding the 2019 tours of El Nido.

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you. Have you experienced El Nido package tours before and/or after November 2018? Do you have immediate plans to revisit El Nido? Do share your comments about the tours you took. Simply scroll to “Leave a Reply” and enter your comment in the box. Please scroll and click the “Like” tab and “Facebook” to share this post. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your device.

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These footnotes are specially made for foreign viewers and those who want more information about the terms below:

1El Nido is a first class municipality5 in the province6 of Palawan7, in the Mimaropa Region8, in the Philippines, known for its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and awesome landscapes.9 It is considered the country’s last frontier, with the nickname “Heaven on Earth”. It was founded in 1916, has 45 islands10 and 18 barangays11, according to the Wikipedia page “El Nido, Palawan”.12

2El Nido’s Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF), or simply eco fee/tax, is PHP200 and is required to be paid when you go on an island hopping tour, valid for 10 days. It was established in 2008 and is used to finance the Eco-Tourism Development Fund geared towards environmental and tourism-related projects.13

3The Philippines’ Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) is an agency of the Philippine government under the Department of Transportation. It was created on June 1, 1974, and is responsible for integrating the development, promotion and regulation of the maritime industry in the Philippines. See www.marina.gov.ph

4www.news.abs-cbn.com

5A municipality is a small, single urban administrative division, or local government unit (LGU), in the Philippines that has corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by law. It is a unit under a province6, subdivided into barangays11, and is locally called “bayan”. In the Philippines, a municipality is headed by a mayor, a vice mayor and members of the Sangguniang Bayan (legislative branch). It can enact local policies and laws, enforce them, and govern its jurisdictions. It can enter into contracts and other transactions through its elected and appointed officials, and can tax as well. It enforces all local and national laws.

There are almost 1,500 municipalities in the Philippines and there are 6 income classes of municipalities in the Philippines: first class municipality (with at least 55 million pesos annual income; second class municipality (between 45-less than 55 million pesos annual income; third class municipality (between 35-less than 45 million pesos annual income; fourth class municipality (between 25-less than 35 million pesos annual income; fifth class municipality (between 15-less than 25 million pesos annual income; and, sixth class municipality (at most 15 million pesos annual income). The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Municipalities of the Philippines”.14

6A province in the Philippines is divided into cities and municipalities5 (or towns), which in turn, are divided into barangays11, formerly called barrios, according to the Wikipedia page “Provinces of the Philippines”.15

7Palawan is a provincelocated in the Mimaropa Region8 of the Philippines, founded in 1818. It is called the Philippines’ Last Frontier and its capital is Puerto Princesa, according to the Wikipedia page “Palawan”.16. It was chosen as the “World’s Best Island of 2017”17and of 201618 as well as of 2013 by Travel + Leisure travel magazine19. As early as 2007, National Geographic Traveler’s magazine chose Palawan as one of the best travel destinations in the world.20

8The Mimaropa Region is an administrative region of the Philippines which is an acronym for its constituent provinces6: Mindoro (Occidental and Oriental), Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan7. It was designated as Region IV-B until 2016. It is now also called the Southwestern Tagalog Region. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Mimaropa”.21

9www.gmanetwork.com

10www.philstar.com

11A barangay is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines, headed by a barangay captain, aided by a Sangguniang Barangay (Barangay Council). It is the native Filipino term for a district or village. It was formerly called a barrio. In a metropolitan area, a barangay is an inner city neighborhood, a suburb, or a suburban neighborhood. The word barangay originated from the term “balangay”, a kind of boat used by a group of Austronesian people who migrated to the Philippines. A number of barangays grouped together is called a district. The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Barangay”.22

12“El Nido, Palawan,” accessed November 2, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Nido,_Palawan.

13www.elnidoparadise.com

14“Municipalities of the Philippines,” accessed November 2, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Municipalities_of_the_Philippines.

15“Provinces of the Philippines,” accessed November 2, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provinces_of_the_Philippines.

16 “Palawan,” accessed November 2, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palawan.

17https://philnews.ph/2017/07/12/travel-leisure-magazine-ranked-palawan-worlds-best-island-2017/

18https://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/islands#palawan-island-philippines

19https://issuu.com/filjapmag/docs/filjap_issue__10

20https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/lifestyle/content/71504/palawan-listed-among-world-s-best-tourist-sites/story/

21“Mimaropa,” accessed November 2, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimaropa.

22“Barangay,” accessed November 2, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barangay.

Seniors, Now You Know: WHAT ARE THE WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN THE PHILIPPINES?

We have always heard of the term World Heritage Site, but do we really know what it is all about and how it is selected? And, do we know the World Heritage sites in the Philippines? Well, look and wonder no more!

WHAT IS A WORLD HERITAGE SITE? HOW IS IT SELECTED?

A World Heritage Site (WHS) is a unique landmark, or geographically and historically identifiable place, which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific, physical or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties.

Sites are demarcated by UNESCO as protected zones. The list is maintained by the International World Heritage Program administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 state parties which are elected by the General Assembly. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund.

As of July 2018, there are a total of 1,092 World Heritage sites across 167 countries (845 cultural, 209 natural, and 38 mixed properties). The top countries with the most sites are: Italy (54), China (53), Spain (47), France (44), Germany (44), India (37), and Mexico (35).

But how is a site selected? UNESCO mandates a nomination process. It starts when a country lists its significant cultural and natural sites to form a Tentative List. It can then place sites selected from that list into a Nomination File which is evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. These bodies then make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee. The Committee meets once a year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List, and sometimes defers or refers the decision to request more information from the country that nominated the site.

Wow! Sites are well screened.and countries should be really proud of their World Heritage sites and protect/preserve them!

There are 10 selection criteria and a site must meet at least one of them to be included in the list:

CULTURAL CRITERIA:

  1. It represents a masterpiece of human creative genius and cultural significance;
  2. It exhibits an important interchange of human values, over a span of time, or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning, or landscape design;
  3. It bears a unique, or at least, exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition, or to a civilization which is living, or which has disappeared;
  4. It is an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural, or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates a significant stage in human history;
  5. It is an outstanding example of a type of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture, or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
  6. It is directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literally works of outstanding universal significance;

NATURAL CRITERIA:

  1. It contains superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
  2. It is an outstanding example representing major stages of Earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
  3. It is an outstanding example representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems, and communities of plants and animals; and,
  4. It contains the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

All information were obtained from the Wikipedia page “World Heritage site”.1

WHO CAN NOMINATE SITES TO BE WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN THE PHILIPPINES?

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts, National Museum of the Philippines, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and other heritage agencies, are the prime nominators of the Philippines. The permanent Delegation of the Philippines to UNESCO, universities and NGOs can also nominate sites in the Tentative List.

I am just wondering why it took so long for the Philippines to have sites declared as such. Here is what I found out: in the 1990s, Filipino architect Augusto Villalon represented the Philippines in the UNESCO Committee and drafted the nomination dossiers of five heritage inscriptions, and all of them were declared as UNESCO World Heritage sites from 1993 to 1999 (see list below). However, after Villalon retired, the country had a 14-year drought in UNESCO World Heritage designations. Since 2014, six sites have been on the World Heritage site list, spanning nine locations: three are cultural and three are natural. In 2015, 28 sites in the Tentative List were revised, with 9 submissions for possible nomination in the future.

All information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “List of World Heritage sites in the Philippines”.2

WHAT ARE THE WORLD HERITAGE SITES IN THE PHILIPPINES?

Filipinos, be proud, we have six World Heritage sites and I will list them in order of recognition:

  1. 16th century Baroque Churches of the Philippines: San Agustin Church (City of Manila), Santa Maria Church (Ilocos Sur), Paoay Church (Ilocos Norte), and Miagao Church (Iloilo) – inscription: 1993; minor boundary modification: 2013, based on cultural criteria 2 and 4 (see previous topic). All four churches have been declared National Cultural Treasures of the Philippines3.

BeFunky-collage(l-r): Miagao Church, Paoay Church, San Agustin Church and Santa Maria Church (photographers: Wowleology and Patrick Roque, featured at http://www.en.wikipedia.org)

2. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Palawan) -inscription: 1993; extension: 2009, based on natural criteria 7, 9 and 10 (see previous topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4. It is one of the New7Wonders of Nature5, an ASEAN Heritage Park6, and a Ramsar Wetland Site7. It is also located within the Palawan UNESCO Biosphere Resesrve8.

BeFunky-collage Tubbataha Reef (photographers: Nikswieweg, Ron Van Oers and Jun V Lao, featured at http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tubbataha_Reef)

3. Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras – inscription: 1995, based on cultural criteria 3, 4 and 5 (see previous topic). It is located in the Ifugao province of the Cordillera Region and dates back to 100 BC. The inscription includes 5 properties: the Bangaan Rice Terraces, Batad Rice Terraces (both in Banaue), Hungduan Rice Terraces (in Hungduan), Mayoyao Rice Terraces (in Mayoyao), and Nagacadan Rice Terraces (in Kiangan). These rice terraces have been declared as National Cultural Treasures of the Philippines3.

BeFunky-collageBatad Rice Terraces in Banaue and Nagacadan Rice Terraces in Kiangan (photographers: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas and Shubert Ciencia, featured at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_Terraces_of_the_Philippine_Cordilleras)

4. The Historic City of Vigan (Ilocos Sur) – inscription: 1999, based on cultural criteria 2 and 4 (see previous topic). This 16th century site is one of the New7Wonders Cities9. The Mestizo Section, House of Father Jose Burgos10 and Leona Florentino11 have been declared as National Cultural Treasures of the Philippines3.

Calle_Crisologo,_Vigan_City-wikiCalle Crisologo, Vigan (photographer: Joelaldor,  http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigan)

5. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Palawan) – inscription: 1999, based on natural criteria 7 and 10 (see previous topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4. It is part of the Palawan UNESCO Biosphere Reserve8 and a declared Ramsar Wetland Site7.

puerto-princesa-underground-river-wikiPuerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan; photo from http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Princesa_Subterranean_River_National_Park

6. Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (Davao Oriental) – inscription: 2014, based on natural criteria 10 (see previous topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4. It is declared as an ASEAN Heritage Park6.

mt-hamiguitan-wikiMount Hamiguitan inDavao Oriental; photo from http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Hamiguitan

Perhaps, if you have not yet visited the aforementioned sites, why don’t you include these in your 2019 bucket list?

All information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “List of World Heritage sites in the Philippines”.2

THE TENTATIVE LIST FOR THE PHILIPPINES

There are 19 sites that are included in the Tentative List for the Philippines for the Philippine government to nominate as WHSs in the future:2

  1. Apo Reef National Park (Sulu Sea), based on natural criteria 7, 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4. This site is the second biggest producer of juvenile marine fishes in the world, next to the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.
  2. Baroques Churches of the Philippines (extension), based on cultural criteria 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 (see criteria topic). – Boljoon Church (Cebu), Guiuan Church (Eastern Samar), Lazi Church (Siquijor), Loboc Church (Bohol), and Tumauini Church (Isabela) – All five 18th to 19th century baroque churches have been declared as National Cultural Treasures of the Philippines3.
  3. Batanes Protected landscapes and seascapes (mixed criteria, see criteria topic) – It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epochand 100 AD. The Mahatao Church of Batanes is a declared National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines3.
  4. Butuan Archeological Sites (Agusan del Norte), based on cultural criteria 3, 4 and 5 (see criteria topic). This 10th century site showcases the pre-Hispanic Rajahnate of Butuan12 as a nation with great expertise in boat-making, seafaring, and gold manufacturing.
  5. Chocolate Hills Natural Monument (Bohol), based on natural criteria 6 and 7 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4and is the focal property of the proposed Bohol Global Geopark Reserve.
  6. Coron Island Natural Biotic Area (Palawan), based on cultural criteria 3 and natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is part of the Palawan UNESCO Biosphere Reserve8.
  7. El Nido – Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area, based on natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4 and is within the Palawan UNESCO Biosphere Reserve8.
  8. Kabayan Mummy Burial Caves (Benguet), based on cultural criteria 1 – 6 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since 100 AD and has been listed by the World Monuments Fund13 for immediate international conservation. It is also declared as a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines3.
  9. Mayon Volcano Natural Park (Albay), based on natural criteria 7 and 10 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Pleistocene Epochand is the central property of the Albay UNESCO Biosphere Reserve8.
  10. Mounts Iglit-Baco National Park (Mindoro), based on natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4and is a declared ASEAN Heritage Park6.
  11. Mount Malindang Range Natural Park (Misamis Occidental), based on natural criteria 7, 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Pleistocene Epochand is a declared ASEAN Heritage Park6.
  12. Mount Mantalingajan Protected Landscape (Palawan), based on natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4 and is part of the Palawan UNESCO Biosphere Reserve8.
  13. Mount Pulag National Park (Ifugao, Nueva Viscaya and Benguet), based on natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4 and is the third highest point in the Philippines.
  14. Neolithic Shell Midden Sites in Lal-lo and Gattaran Municipalities (Cagayan), based on cultural criteria 2 – 5 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Neolithic Period14 and is the largest shell midden15 zone in the Philippine archipelago.
  15. Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park and outlying areas inclusive of the buffer zone (Isabela), based on natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4 and is the largest national park in the Philippines.
  16. Paleolithic Archaeological Sites in Cagayan Valley – Awidon Mesa Formation Paleolithic Sites of Solana in Cagayan Province and the Callao Limestone Formation Paleolithic Sites of Peñablanca in Cagayan Province, based on cultural criteria 2 – 5 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Paleolithic Period16 and includes the location where the bone fragments of Callao Man, the oldest hominid17 found in the Philippines, was located.
  17. Petroglyphs18 and Petrographs19of the Philippines – Alab Petroglyphs of Mountain ProvinceAnda Peninsula Petrographs of Eastern BoholAngono Petroglyphs of Rizal, Peñablanca Petrographs of Cagayan Province, and Singnapan Caves Petrographs of southern Palawan, based on cultural criteria 3 (see criteria topic). These multiple sites have been in existence since the Paleolithic Period16. The Alab, Angono and Singnapan sites have been declared as National Cultural Treasures of the Philippines3. The site in Angono has been listed by World Monuments Fund13.
  18. The Tabon Cave Complex and all of Lipuun (Palawan), based on cultural criteria 2 – 5 (see criteria topic). This site has been in existence since the Paleolithic Period16 and is a declared National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines3 due to the Tabon Man20 discovery in the area. It was listed by the World Monuments Fund13.
  19. Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary (Tawi-Tawi), based on natural criteria 9 and 10 (see criteria topic). It is said to have been in existence since the Pleistocene Epoch4 and is a major green sea turtle breeding and hatchery zone in the Asia-Pacific.

Another wow! These are 19 possible additions to our local travel bucket list!

The information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “List of World Heritage sites in the Philippines”.2

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you. Have you ever been to any of these sites? Simply scroll to “Leave a Reply” and enter your comment in the box. Please scroll and click the “Like” tab and “Facebook” to share this post. Do not forget to follow me by clicking “Follow” on the lower right corner of your device.

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The following terms are defined for interested readers, especially non-Filipinos, those with “Senior-Moments”, and those too busy or lazy to Google such terms:

1“World Heritage site,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Heritage_site.

2“List of World Heritage sites in the Philippines,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Heritage_sites_in_the_Philippines.

3A National Cultural Treasure (NCT) of the Philippines is a unique tangible (movable and immovable) or intangible cultural property found locally, possessing outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value which is highly significant and important to the country and nation, declared by the National Commission for Culture and Arts and other cultural agencies such as the National Museum of the Philippines, National Library of the Philippines, and National Archives of the Philippines, authorized under the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 and recognized within the Cultural Properties of the Philippines by the Philippine government. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “List of National Cultural Treasures in the Philippines”.21

4Pleistocene Epoch, or Ice Age, is the geological epoch from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world’s most recent period of repeated glaciations, according to the Wikipedia page “Pleistocene”.22

5New7Wonders of Nature (2007-2011) was an initiative led by Bernard Weber who organized the New 7 Wonders Foundation, and attracted 100 million voters worldwide to create a list of seven new natural wonders:  the Amazon Rainforest and River (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuaodr, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela), Halong Bay (Vietnam), Jeju Island (South Korea), Iguazú (Argentina/Brazil), Puerto Pricesa Subterranean River National Park (Philippines), Komodo Island (Indonesia), and Table Mountain (South Africa), according to Wikipedia page “New7Wonders of Nature”.23

6The Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Heritage Park is a project of the ASEAN Ministers of Environment to list heritage parks in the region of particular biodiversity importance or exceptional uniqueness among member states, to implement regional conservation and management action plans. Thirty-seven ASEAN Heritage Parks have been designated since the last inscription in November 2015. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “ASEAN Heritage Parks”.24

7Ramsar Wetland Site is a wetland recognized for its economic, cultural, scientific and recreational value, based on the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, signed in the city of Ramsar, in Iran, in 1971, according to Wikipedia page “List of Ramsar sites in the Philippines”.25

8Biosphere Reserve is an internationally recognized area comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems, nominated by a national government to the Man and Biosphere Programme, an intergovernmental program, launched in 1971 by the United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), according to the Wikipedia page “Man and the Biosphere Programme”.26

9New7Wonders Cities (2011-2014) was another initiative led by Bernard Weber who organized the New 7 Wonders Foundation, and attracted voters worldwide to create a list of seven cities which best represent the achievements and aspirations of our global urban civilization: Beirut (Lebanon), Doha (Qatar), Durban (South Africa), Havana (Cuba), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), La Paz (Bolivia), and Vigan (Philippines). This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “New7Wonders Cities”.27

10Fr. Jose Burgos (1837-1872) was a Filipino Catholic priest who was accused of mutiny by the Spanish colonial authorities, underwent a mock trial, and was executed in Manila, along with two other clergymen, according to the Wikipedia page “Jose Burgos”.28

11Leona Florentino (1849-1884) was a Filipino poet in the Spanish and Ilocano languages, considered “the mother of Philippine women’s literature” and the “bridge from oral to literary tradition,” according to the Wikipedia page “Leona Florentino”.29

12The Rajahnate of Butuan (before 1001-1756) was an Indic polity30 centered on present Mindanao island in the modern city of Butuan, in southern Philippines. It was known for gold mining, gold products, and its extensive trade network across the Nusantara area31, with trading relationships with the ancient civilizations of Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Persia and Thailand. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Rajahnate of Butuan”.32

13World Monuments Fund is a private, international, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic architecture and cultural heritage sites around the world through fieldwork, advocacy, grantmaking, education, and training, according to the Wikipedia page “World Monuments Fund”.33

14The Neolithic Period (around 8000 – 2000 BC), or New Stone Age, is the period of the Stone Age which started in the Middle East, characterized by the development of agriculture, pottery, and the making of polished stone implements.34

15Shell middens are places where debris from eating shellfish (clams, oysters, whelks, mussels) and other food has accumulated over time, found on the coast, inland lakes, swamps, and river banks, indicative of Aboriginal activities in the past. They can contain: shellfish remains; bones of fish, birds, and land and sea mammals used for food; charcoal from campfires; and, tools made from stone, shell and bone.35

16The Paleolithic Period, or Old Stone Age (2.6 million – 10,000 years ago), is the period in human prehistory distinguished by the original development of stone tools, with humans living a nomadic lifestyle in small groups, and their survival depended heavily on their environment and climate.36

17A hominid is a primate of a family (Hominidae) of erect bipedal primate mammals that includes humans, their fossil ancestors and some of the great apes (the orangutan, gorilla, chimpanzee and bonobo).37

18Petroglyphs are images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, or abrading, as a form of rock art, often associated with prehistoric people, according to the Wikipedia page “Petroglyph”.38

19Petrographs are drawings, writings, or inscriptions on stone, as a painting on a cave wall.39

20Tabon Man refers to collective remains discovered by Robert B. Fox, an American anthropologist of the national Museum of the Philippines, in the Tabon Caves in Lipuun Point in the municipality of Quezon, in the west coast of the province of Palawan, in the Philippines, on May 28, 1962. The remains, the fossilized fragments of a skull and jawbone of three individuals, were believed to be one of the earliest human remains known in the Philippines which date back to 16,500 years ago. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Tabon Man”.40

21“List of National Cultural Treasures in the Philippines,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_National_Cultural_Treasures_in_the_Philippines.

22 “Pleistocene,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleistocene.

23“New7Wonders of Nature,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New7Wonders_of_Nature.

24“ASEAN Heritage Parks,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASEAN_Heritage_Parks.

25“List of Ramsar sites in the Philippines,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ramsar_sites_in_the_Philippines.

26“Man and the Biosphere Programme,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_and_Biosphere_Programme.

27“New7Wonders Cities,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/New7Wonders_Cities.

28“Jose Burgos,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jose_Burgos.

29“Leona Florentino,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leona_Florentino.

30Indic polity refers to traditional Southeast Asian political formations, such as federation of kingdoms under a center of domination, according to the Wikipedia page “Mandala (political model)”.41

31The Nusantara area, or Maritime Southeast Asia, is the local Malayo-Polynesian name for the region which consists of what is now Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Timor Leste. This information was obtained from the Wikipedia page “Maritime Southeast Asia”.42

32“Rajahnate of Butuan,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajahnate_of_Butuan.

33 “World Monuments Fund,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Monuments_Fund.

34www.ancient.eu and www.yourdictionary.com

35www.environment.nsw.gov.au

36www.diffen.com

37www.merriam-webster.com

38 “Petroglyph,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroglyph.

39www.en.m.wiktionary.org

40“Tabon Man,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabon_Man.

41“Mandala (political model),” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandala_(political_model).

42“Maritime Southeast Asia,” accessed October 16, 2018, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritime_Aouthwast_Asia.

Seniors, Now You Know! – BORACAY: UPDATED LIST OF DOT-ACCREDITED ACCOMMODATION ESTABLISHMENTS AS OF OCTOBER 25, 2018

The Department of Tourism (DoT) released the October 25, 2018 list of accredited accommodation establishments, for a total of 157 establishments, accounting to 7,308 rooms. These establishments have complied with all the requirements of the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) as well as the Department of Interior and Local Government(DILG) andwere accredited by the DoT.  They are therefore allowed to accept booking reservations and operate as of October 25, 2018.*

  Name of Accommodation Establishment  

Location

Number of Rooms
1 357 Boracay Resort Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 10
2 8 Colors Beach House Resort Station 2, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Balabag 8
3 A-Rock Beach Resort Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 16
4 Alice in Wonderland Beach Hotel Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 21
5 Aloha Boracay Hotel Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 61
6 Alta Briza Resort Brgy. Balabag, Main Road 108
7 Alta Vista de Boracay Brgy. HagdanYapak 408
8 Amable Suites Hotel Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 18
9 Astoria Current Resort Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 205
10 AV Seven Resort Station 2, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Balabag 7
11 Azalea Hotels & Residences Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 284
12 Bamboo Boracay Resort Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 60
13 Bans Beach Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 27
14 Bei Kurt Und Magz Inn Angol, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 4
15 Beachcomber Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 14
16 Best Western Boracay Tropics Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 64
17 Boracay Amor Apartments Diniwid, Brgy. Balabag 18
18 Boracay Sunset Beach Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 9
19 Blue Coral Resort Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 5
20 Blue Lotus Hotel Boracay Station 2, Main Road, Brgy. Balabag 14
21 Blue Marina Boracay Station 2, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Balabag 12
22 Blue Waves Beach House Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 5
23 Bora Sky Hotel Brgy. Balabag, Main Road 13
24 Boracay Haven Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 63
25 Boracay Haven Suites Station 1, Main Road, Brgy. Balabag 82
26 Boracay Holiday Beach Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 69
27 Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 52
28 Boracay Sands Hotel Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 52
29 Boracay Summer Palace Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 48
30 Boracay Travelodge Beach Resort Station 2, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Balabag 40
31 Boracay White Coral Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 5
32 Calypso Resort Hotel Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 22
33 Canyon de Boracay Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 31
34 Casa Fiesta Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 5
35 Casa Pilar Beach Resort Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 84
36 Chateau de Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 18
37 Club Manila East Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 13
38 Coast Boracay Isles Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 59
39 Coco Loco Beach Resort Angol, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 17
40 Crystal Ocean Resort Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 7
41 Crimson Resort & Spa Boracay Punta Bunga, Yapak 192
42 Culpepper Lodge Station 2, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Balabag 5
43 Dave’s Straw Hat Inn Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 11
44 Diniview Villas/Dinview Management, Co. Diniwid, Brgy. Balabag 20
45 Discovery Shores Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 99
46 Dee and Timmy Side Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 27
47 El Centro Beach Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 39
48 El Moro Beach Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 9
49 El Puerto Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 21
50 Eriko’s House Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 50
51 Ernest’s Place Resort Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 21
52 Escurel Inn Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 15
53 Eurotel Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 104
54 Fairways & Bluewater Resort Station 1, Brgy. Yakap 700
55 Faith Village Gardens Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 34
56 Fat Jimmy’s Resort Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 16
57 Frendz Boracay Hostel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 8
58 Frendz Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 19
59 GT Hotel Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 19
60 Gracia’s Inn Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 6
61 Green Monkey Resort Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 6
62 Greenyard Inn Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 5
63 Hampstead Boutique Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 8
64 Hannah Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 15
65 Hey Jude Resort Hotel Station 2, D’Mall, Brgy. Balabag 24
66 Hey Jude South Beach Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 19
67 Hotel Soffia Brgy. Yakap 58
68 Hostel Avenue Brgy. Balabag 3
69 Hue Hotel (Luana Hotel) Main Road, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 127
70 Il Mare Sakura Resort Balabag Plaza, Brgy. Balabag 34
71 India Boracay Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 10
72 Isla Azul Boracay Hotel Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 14
73 Isla Gecko Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 16
74 Island Inn Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 26
75 Island Nook Hotel Brgy. Balabag 13
76 Jeffrey S Hotel Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 15
77 Jejsellends Garden Cottages Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 14
78 Jony’s Beach Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 21
79 Jony’s Boutique Hotel Station 1, Main Road, Brgy. Balabag 22
80 Jung’s Resort Station 3, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 24
81 La Banca House at Boracay Station 3, Sitio Angol, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 11
82 La Bella Casa de Boracay Brgy. Balabag 20
83 La Carmela de Boracay Hotel and Convention Center (Main) Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 202
84 La Fiesta Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 5
85 Lady Jean Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 7
86 Lanterna Hotel Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 6
87 Lishui Beach Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 9
88 Lime Hotel Boracay Main Road, Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 46
89 Lugar Bonito Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 6
90 Luxx Boutique Hotel Boracay Station 2, Sitio Manggayad, Brgy. Balabag 11
91 M. N. Boracay Lodge Inn Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 8
92 M. R. Holidays Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 15
93 Mad Monkey Boracay Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 30
94 Madid’s Inn Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 13
95 Maja’s Place Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 15
96 Maxima de Boracay Hotel Station 2, Main Road, Brgy. Balabag 8
97 Mecasa Hotel Brgy. Bolabog 19
98 Microtel by Wyndham Boracay Diniwid, Brgy. Balabag 51
99 Miliflores de Boracay (JinjiangInn) Station 1, Main Road, Brgy. Balabag 10
100 Moreno’s Cottages Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 6
101 Moreno’s Lodging Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 6
102 Movenpick Resort & Spa Boracay Punta Bunga, Yakap 312
103 Namaste Guesthouse Main Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 2
104 Nigi-NigiNuNoo’s ‘e’ NunuNoos Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 37
105 Nirvana Beach Resort Station 2, Main Road, Brgy. Balabag 32
106 Ocean Breeze Inn Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 7
107 One Crescent Place Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 20
108 Paradise Garden Resort Hotel & Convention Center Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 463
109 Piccolo Hotel Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 60
110 Pinjalo Resort (Jade Hill Project Property Development, Inc.) Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 24
111 Punta Rosa Boutique Hotel Sitio Sinagpa, Brgy. Balabag 12
112 Quoalla Hotel Boracay (Blu Reef Café Resort) Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 11
113 Ralph’s Place Boracay Bolabog 29
114 Real Maris Resort & Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 43
115 Red Coconut Beach Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 50
116 Reef Retreat Beach Resort Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 12
117 Residencia Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 23
118 Residencia dela Torre Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 10
119 Roligon Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 12
120 Roy’s Rendevous Resort & Bungalow Station 3, Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 10
121 Royal Park Hotel Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 30
122 Sanders White Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 35
123 Savoy Hotel Boracay Newcoast, Brgy. Yapak 559
124 Sea Wind Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 55
125 Shangri-la Resort Brgy. Yapak 219
126 Shore Time Hotel – Annex Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 12
127 Sol Y Sombra Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 5
128 St. Vincent Cottages (Vicente Aguirre Rooms) Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 27
129 Sulu Plaza Lodge Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 12
130 Sulu Sea Boutique Hotel Diniwid 11
131 Sunshine Place Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 9
132 Sur Beach Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 46
133 Surfside Boracay Resort & Spa Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 14
134 T-Three Apartment Station 2, D’Mall, Brgy. Balabag 15
135 Tan’s Guesthouse Main Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 14
136 Tan’s Guesthouse Annex Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 14
137 Taj Resort and Spa Main Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 11
138 Taj Resort and Spa Annex Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 18
139 The Blue Veranda Suites at Boracay Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 7
140 The District Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 48
141 The Club Ten Beach Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 20
142 The Ferra Premier by JG Hotel Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 36
143 The Lazy Dog Cottages Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag 26
144 The Lind Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 119
145 The Orchids Resort & Villa Station 3, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 23
146 The Orient Beach Boracay Sitio, Hagdan, Brgy. Yapak 11
147 The Rose Pike Boracay Station 3, Sitio Angol, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 6
148 The Strand Boutique Hotel Sitio Sinagpa, Brgy. Balabag 13
149 The Tides Hotel D’Mall, Brgy. Balabag 60
150 Touristers Homeland Apartelle Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 18
151 Two Seasons Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 34
152 Villa Caemilla Beach Boutique Hotel Station 3, Sitio Angol, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc 39
153 Villa de Oro Beach Resort Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 55
154 Villa Simprosa Station 2, Brgy. Balabag 24
155 Villa Sunset Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 8
156 White Beach de Boracay Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 5
157 White House Beach Resort Station 1, Brgy. Balabag 30

Just asking, why is 7 Stones Boracay Suites, located in Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag, with 31 rooms, not included in this updated list? It was included in the list dated October 12, 2018 – see my post: Now You Know! – BORACAY’S DRY RUN: 68 ACCREDITED ACCOMMODATION ESTABLISHMENTS

This list will continue to be updated since the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) will continue to accredit existing Boracay hotels and resorts. But for now, only deal with these 116 establishments.

I will give updates on this matter.

See related posts: Say, Say, Say – BORACAY: PARADISE CLOSED TO BREATHE, TO HEAL! (April 26 – October 25, 2018)Say, Say, Say: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT DURING THE REOPENING OF BORACAY ON OCTOBER 26, 2018?, Short and Simple: WHAT IS THE TOURIST CARRYING CAPACITY FOR BORACAY’S 2018 RE-OPENING? and Short and Simple: OATH FOR A BETTER BORACAY

Did you find this post informative? I would like to hear from you regarding your comments about the reopening of Boracay. Simply scroll and click “Leave a comment”. Do share this post with your Facebook friends, follow me by clicking on the bottom right corner of your device, and do not forget to like this post.  Thank you!

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Now You Know! – BORACAY’S DRY RUN: 68 ACCREDITED ACCOMMODATION ESTABLISHMENTS

After 6 months, BORACAY will finally reopen for both local and foreign tourists on October 26, 2018!

But first, a dry run is scheduled from October 15 – October 25, 2018. It will be open to local tourists, with priority given to Aklanons, in order to assess what else needs to be done before the island is reopened to all tourists.1

I finally found the official list of the 68 accredited accommodation establishments allowed to operate as of October 12, 2018, representing a total of 3,519 rooms3. Expect environmentally-friendly changes in these rooms, like the use of bulk dispensers (instead of shampoo sachets), and the use of refillable glass bottles in bedrooms since single-use plastics water bottles are discouraged.2

So, excited visitors planning their return or first time to Boracay, deal only with these establishments that have complied with the requirements of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF).

Remember, the Department of Tourism (DoT) announced that only accredited establishments are allowed to accept bookings for the reopening of the island. All online promotions and other related collaterals of non-compliant hotels and resorts are to be deleted or put on hold until complete compliance with government regulations have been accomplished. DoT authorities warned that violators will face the full force of the law.2

Here is the list of compliant establishments as of 12 October 2018, plus their respective locations and number of rooms3:

  1. 357 Boracay Resort – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 10;
  2. 7 Stones Boracay Suites – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 31;
  3. Alice in Wonderland Beach Hotel – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 21;
  4. Astoria Current Resort – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 205;
  5. Azalea Hotels & Residences – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 284;
  6. Best Western Boracay Tropics – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 64;
  7. Blue Coral Resort – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 5;
  8. Boracay Haven Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 63;
  9. Boracay Haven Suites – Main Road, Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 82;
  10. Boracay Holiday Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 69;
  11. Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 52;
  12. Boracay Travelodge Beach Resort – Sitio Manggayad,Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 40;
  13. Boracay White Coral – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 5;
  14. Calypso Resort Hotel – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 22;
  15. Canyon de Boracay – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 31;
  16. Casa Pilar Beach Resort – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 84;
  17. Dave’s Straw Hut Inn – Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 11;
  18. Discovery Shores Boracay – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 99;
  19. El Centro Beach Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 39;
  20. Ernest’s Place Resort – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 21;
  21. Fairways & Bluewater Resort – Brgy. Yapak, Station 1 – 700;
  22. Frendz Boracay Hostel – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 8;
  23. Frendz Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 19;
  24. Greenyard Inn – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 5;
  25. Hampstead Boutique Hotel – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 8;
  26. Hannah Hotel – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 15;
  27. Hey Jude Resort Hotel – D’Mall, Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 24;
  28. Hey Jude South Beach – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 19;
  29. Hue Hotel (Luana Hotel) – Main Road, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc – 127;
  30. Hotel Soffia – Brgy. Yapak – 58;
  31. Isla Azul Boracay Hotel – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 14;
  32. Isla Gecko Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 16;
  33. Island Inn – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 26;
  34. Jeffrey S Hotel – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 15;
  35. Jony’s Beach Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 21;
  36. Jony’s Boutique Hotel – Main Road3, Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 22;
  37. Lady Jean Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 7 ;
  38. Lanterna Hotel – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 6;
  39. Lugar Bonito – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 6;
  40. Luxx Boutique Hotel Boracay – Sitio Manggayad,Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 11;
  41. Milflores de Boracay (Jinjiang Inn) – Main Road, Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 10;
  42. Moreno’s Cottages – Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 6;
  43. Nigi-Nigi Nu Noos’E NuNuNoos – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 37;
  44. Nirvana Beach Resort – Main Road, Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 32;
  45. Ocean Breeze – Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 –7;
  46. Paradise Garden Resort Hotel & Convention Center – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 463;
  47. Pinjalo Resort (Jade Hill Project Property) – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 24;
  48. Red Coconut Beach Hotel – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 50;
  49. Reef Retreat Beach Resort – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag– 12;
  50. Roy’s Rendevous Resort & Bungalow – Sitio Ambulong, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 10;
  51. Shangri-la Resort – Brgy. Yapak – 219;
  52. Shore Time Hotel-Annex – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 12;
  53. Sol Y Sombra – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 5;
  54. Vincent Cottages (Vicente Aguirre Rooms) – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 27;
  55. Sulu Plaza Lodge – Brgy. Manoc-Manoc, Station 3 – 12;
  56. Sunshine Place – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 9;
  57. Tan’s Guesthouse Main – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 14;
  58. Tan’s Guesthouse Annex – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 14;
  59. Taj Resort and Spa Main – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 11;
  60. Taj Resort and Spa Annex – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 18;
  61. The Club Ten Beach Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 20;
  62. The Ferra Premier by JG Hotel – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 36;
  63. The Lazy Dog Cottages – Sitio Bulabog, Brgy. Balabag – 26;
  64. The Strand Boutique Hotel – Sitio Sinagpa, Brgy. Balabag – 13;
  65. Villa Simprosa – Brgy. Balabag, Station 2 – 24;
  66. Villa Sunset Boracay – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 8;
  67. White Beach de Boracay – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 – 5; and,
  68. White House Beach Resort – Brgy. Balabag, Station 1 –30;

The “no compliance, no operation” policy for establishments will be enforced not only during the dry run period, but beyond Boracay’s formal reopening. Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, head of the BIATF, said that “We will not hesitate to close hotels and other establishments that would operate without clearance from the BIATF.” He also warned tourists who are planning to visit the island to make sure that they book their accommodations only with compliant hotels and establishments.2

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat assured tourists that more hotels will be added to this list as soon as they comply with all government-required policies. She recommended that tourists should check on DoT’s Facebook page to confirm if the establishment they are booked in is accredited.3

So, book ahead of time and only with the right establishments because, according to Undersecretary Sherwin Rigor of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), only a daily tourist entrance of 6,405 (who are presumed to stay for only 3 days and 2 nights) is allowed.See my other related blogs: Say, Say, Say: WHAT CAN WE EXPECT DURING THE REOPENING OF BORACAY ON OCTOBER 26, 2018? and Short and Simple: WHAT IS THE TOURIST CARRYING CAPACITY FOR BORACAY’S 2018 RE-OPENING?

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1www.denr.gov.ph

2www.philstar.com

3www.news.abs-cbn.com

Featured Image credits: Top (l-r): http://www.boracaytropics.com/photo-gallery.php; https://www.fairwaysandbluewater.com.ph/gallery/; Bottom (l-r): http://www.casapilarboracay.com/gallery/; http://www.redcoconut.com.ph/gallery/