a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Monday, May 12, 2008

Behind the Beauty of Anawangin - A Different Perspective


*got the inspiration for the title from Omar's blog. :) pahiram po..


A lot of people are passing emails about the dangers in Anawangin but more than the strong current in the part of the ocean near the river which has already caused a life, we also have to consider that the influx of visitors in our beloved Anawangin Cove has caused a problem in waste management in the area.


This is really embarrassing. We are supposed to be civilized after all. Most of the people who go to Anawangin Cove have money to spare but don’t even have the decency to take care of the waste they brought it. Tsk tsk. A lot of us forget that when we visit a place, even how much we pay to get there, we are not entitled to deface it in any way. We're all travellers seeking our own paradise. Let's take care of our resources. We are already suffering from economic crisis, let's not degrade our ourselves by destroying the beautiful things we still have.


I was guilty of letting the caretakers get my garbage twice but now I know we shouldn’t leave the trash to them. It is our waste after all and we have the responsibility to dispose of it properly.

If you have been to Anawangin and has appreciated its beauty, kindly take time to read this. This was writted by Christian Ragasa. I personally don't know him but he has echoed the feelings that have been nagging me for some time. I love Anawangin cove, I love camping there even if I have no company and I would like to keep visiting it but if the abuse continues, we may have to say goodbye to it soon.

Spread the word. :)


This is the link to the original post :

http://tiantiantian.multiply.com/photos/album/88/Save_Anawangin_Cove_--_UPDATE_Sen._Richard_Gordon_Replies...#

Pictures - care of Christian Ragasa


Save Anawangin Cove -- UPDATE: Sen. Richard Gordon Replies...

I recently went to Anawangin Cove, off the coast of Zambales, for a variety of selfish reasons. First, I wanted to get away, and with the line-up of office people who were scheduled to go that day I was awfully sure Chase and I were in for a lot of fun. And I got to tell you, the trip was as unique an experience to me as Anawangin is as a place to visit. We got to sleep out on a tent (thanks to Mari & Nina), cook the best chicken adobo using gathered wood, roast marshmallows over a bonfire (which in my 28 years have never ever done), climb up a mountain to see the glorious sun set, and trek inside the pine forest looking for giant snails and wild carabaos which according to Tin, exists within the woods!

I also hastily packed my bag to join the trip because I wanted to check the place out myself. I've seen Anawangin and its numerous beautiful angles only in pictures and blogs describing how wonderful a trip there can be. And it did not fail to amaze. The pictures I took on my previous posts are proof that even if you don't carry an expensive dSLR, there's always gonna be a spot for that picture perfect, postcard-worthy shot. Anawangin is a haven for photographers, amateurish as they may be.

But then there's big trouble in paradise. What annoys me the most is the irony that slaps you right in your face once you pitch your tent and start to gather your wits from the shore's hypnotic bliss.

There you are (in what my boss in the U.S describes as an "absolutely beautiful and stunning" place) admiring a spectacle of creation, only to be confronted with the typical utter disrespect for nature that only Filipinos can conjure. Well that may be a bit of an exxageration, but by golly! An unfinished cake left under a pine tree?! Messed up plastic plate with the fork and a cherry? Then there were the beer bottles, plastic cups, 1.5 L Coke bottles, Ginebra San Miguel bottles, Red horse bottles, abandoned sacks full of garbage, plastic bags floating down the river and an abandoned lotion bottle by the beach. I even saw a used up condom inside the forest for crying out loud! It's the typical Filipino attitude and mentality that someone out there, someone they don't even know, MIGHT eventually take notice and pick up their junk. Yes, you should pick up their garbage, tuck it away for them while they soak up on tanning lotion and sunbathe by the beach. I don't know about you, but that just cracks the sanity out of me. It makes me mad as hell.

So I figured its not helpful ranting about it without doing anything about it. And I promised Tin, my beautiful colleague and a big fan of the place, that I'm going to write about it somewhere. I took some pictures of what I saw with the limited battery life my digicam had, just to prove to everyone what I mean.

Its absolutely unforgivable if we all allow this place to become a mess just like all the rest of the tourists spots we have in this country. Its absolutely an affront to God (whoever you choose to believe) to ignore what is happening to his creation and not do ANYTHING about it. Its absolutely shameful for the owner of this place, the local government of Zambales even, not to have safeguards to protect what should've been a uniquely pristine paradise for campers. But most of all, its absolutely horrifying and mind boggling, it defies logic even, that SOME people continuously choose to ignore a simple lesson we all must've learned back in kindergarten: YOUR GARBAGE IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!

I went to Anawangin for selfish reasons. But went away feeling that I MUST do something and share what is happening.

Save Anawangin and places like it from destruction. Most importantly save it from neglect and your own APATHY. Clean up. Speak out. Write about it!


UPDATE: I emailed several Senators (Gordon, Zubiri and Pia Cayetano) about the problem, and I'm mightily satisfied with Sen. Gordon. His good office replied to me thru email and this is what the email says...
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Senator Richard Gordon to Edgar, Liezl
show details 10:15 PM
Reply

Edgar/Liezl,
Kindly ask the Governor and Vice-Governor to look into this as with the concerned Mayor. The advent of increased tourism arrivals in Zambales brings about problems like pollution. Kindly, revert to Mr. Ragasa who has so kindly brought the matter to our attention.
Thanks,
Louis
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At least I can feel a little better knowing that my effort to save the place is going somewhere. I did my small part. Now i'll wait and see.

And now I know that emailing a trusted Senator's office works! My taxes is paying someone who actually listens to a concerned citizen like me. Just like how public officials should. I know there's a lot more to be done to save Anawangin, but this I think, is a good way to start.

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