a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Monday, August 25, 2008

Explore Not Exploit

Traveling and backpacking seems to be the "in thing" these days in our beloved country. I think, of all the years that I've been going to places, local tourism is so much better than it was. I remember having a family vacation in Puerto Galera, early 90’s and most of the people in the resort were foreigners. Now, traveling around the Philippines is much more affordable and easier for us who really grew up here, there are cheap inn’s everywhere and varied choices. Ang galing din ng campaign ng Wow Philippines which worked on targeting local tourists – diba they have this – Tara Na Byahe Tayo and the music video with local celebrities which showcased the places around the Philippines… their website could use some updating though..

As travelers, some have evolved from family picnics and group excursions. They have deviated from the usual tourist route and have become explorers. Blogging tremendously helped. It’s so nice reading about other people’s experiences and looking at their pictures. It serves as inspiration for novice backpackers like me to travel more. Blogs are my favorite sources when looking for a new place and directions. My second favorite source are the locals in the area.

The other face of local tourism though – is the problem with waste management. I am appalled with people who write on boulders, making marks that they’ve been there especially people who just throw their garbage around (especially the candy wrappers!) as if the entire place is a one big trash can. The girl-boy forever signs, the tropa so and so plus the year that they’ve been there. How appalling.

I really hope and pray that we can all be responsible travelers and locals. The Leave No Trace (LNT) policy which most mountaineers adhere to is really something everyone should keep in their hearts and minds even if they’re not in the wilderness.

"Take Nothing but Pictures

Leave Nothing But Footprints

Kill Nothing but Time"

Going to new places is really a great experience but we have to keep in mind that we came to Explore, to learn, to share, to discover, not Exploit.


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