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Great Travel Tips to Boracay, Bohol, Palawan and the Whole Philippines You Many Not Want to Hear

Exploring the Philippines these days is absolutely a great experience for travelers like you – maybe not when you read this whole article. With all these beautiful tourism spots and unexplored places with amazing wonders, giving it a try visiting the country is absolutely one of a kind – but can also be the reason for stress.

So how do you find the Philippines so far? Good? I hope it is.





This blog article, sorry, is not meant to please you. Here, I am going to expose some unusual stuffs happening around the country and that you, as a traveler, should be wary about since this has something to do with your comfort, safety, and overall well-being. By all means, I want to be clear that this is not written to serve as a travel ban. You may proceed with your bookings, follow your itineraries, and calm yourself down. Caveat is, for as long as you know or understand what’s going on, there is nothing much to worry about.

First, let me try to explain the political situation in the country and why it affects the tourism business in many areas in the land - in a very bad way.

Here in the Philippines, it is as clear and loud as the morning news that you’re hearing or reading if it’s about politics. Yes, it is very muddled yet still under control I could say as an observer. When speak of politics, this goes to all levels of the government – from the top posts to the bottom positions in the localities. Political rivalries, misinterpretations of laws, and abuse of power are among of the top issues causing stirs to public order and safety. Having said that, this claim of mine will be hearsay if I don’t cite specific examples. So for your awareness, as a traveler, let me go over a few places and expose the underlying truths.

The links below, I believe, would be too much enough to convince you that big problems are going-on in this beautiful paradise island of Boracay in the Philippines. While it would possibly take you some time to read and find out the stories behind each link, let me briefly discussed them for you in advanced.


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/959040/groups-call-for-real-action-to-address-problems-in-boracay-boracay-tourism-aklan-environment-cleanup-dot-teo

https://www.rappler.com/nation/51635-ati-tribe-security-threat-ancestral-domain

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/952279/boracays-ati-tribe-seeks-help-vs-ejection-from-ancestral-land

http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/12/20/17/baha-sa-boracay-saving-island-paradise-takes-political-will-dot

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/931657/boracay-dtalipapa-market-fire




Environmental issues are putting Boracay and its people into serious troubles. Building infrastructures in forested areas without the valid permit from the local government is not only bringing future harms to the wildlife but is also endangering the lives of the communities. While there is no question that the demand or need for newer business establishments is rising, trimming down trees, mangroves, and native plants in the island is a clear threat to the island’s magnificent beauty. If this is not stopped and regulated, in ten or twenty years, there will be no more Boracay of its kind on earth. I hope I am wrong with this analysis.




Another big issue is the growing population of the island because of the booming economy. Construction workers and employees are rapidly increasing, inhabiting the land. While this is a good sign for the tourism sector, this is a bad indication for the overall health, security, and orderliness matters. Some news states that waste disposal is now becoming a headache. Local government, to be fair, is doing its role in controlling the migration of people to the land. But are their actions enough? Imagine the case if the current estimated 50,000 population doubles or triples in the coming years. You would no longer feel the same enjoyment you’re having today, I predict. Again, I hope I am wrong for I do not want to ruin your travel plans to Boracay.



Flooding in Boracay during typhoon season is a bit alarming. Flood! What? Sewerage system seems to be clogging every now and then. This must be fixed asap, otherwise, Boracay would be like Metro Manila in the not so distant future. And about this fire incidents, whatever happens to the fire safety protocols being implemented in a tiny island surrounded by millions of gallons of water? Fire, really? This is a major tourist destination and if incidents like this will prevail, tourists might think twice going here. Tell me. I’m dead wrong in that assumption, right?



Look how lovely Boracay is in these photos. I bet many of you whom have already been to this place were amazed with the crystal-clear water and delighted with the pure white sands. But there is another problem you may not know yet, problem the media is seldom airing on their news. Don’t get upset but theft, burglary, and indecent acts – yes, they are rampantly happening in Boracay.





How many times I’ve seen posts in social media related to theft - oh, a lot of times. Incidents of burglary on rented apartels or transient houses, I bet this is not new to you. Night life is lively here but many of us are completely unaware of what’s happening under the moonlight, inside disco bars and in hi-end VIP rooms. We do not know. Well maybe these articles will tell a bit of this spice:

https://www.rappler.com/nation/152918-foreigners-sex-boracay-beach

http://www.philippinesredcat.com/nightlife-and-filipina-girls-in-boracay/


What’s going on with Boracay? I think my brief explanations are enough to say Boracay is a bit going out of the norm.

Okay. Let’s leave Boracay alone!


This time, let me further discuss other places in the Philippines that have become different in many ways over the recent years – and politics could have been the culprit.

Everybody knows the beauty of Palawan – Coron, El Nido, and Puerto Princesa. According to this article from the link below, “There have been too many coastal resort developments, with no regard for the environment, and ripping out mangroves and using illegal timber for construction.”

http://www.travelsocialgood.org/the-perils-of-a-tourism-boom-palawans-popularity-problem/

Then here’s another article that says “Palawan’s three major health problems are: a high rate of teenage pregnancy, a high maternal mortality rate and a rapidly increasing rate of HIV. These issues affect us all.”

http://palawan-news.com/palawan-tops-the-lists-but-not-in-a-good-way/

And this one is quite alarming. I mean not quite, but indeed, aggressively alarming. Your safety in Palawan is being put at risk. While this happened long time ago, I believe safety and security in Palawan is still not that intact until now. Remember that Zamboanga and Sulu, where the bandits ASG are, are quite close to Palawan.

https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/ShowTopic-g294257-i10101-k3417911-SAFETY_Issue_in_Puerto_Princesa_PALAWAN-Puerto_Princesa_Palawan_Island_Palawan_Province_Mi.html

Speaking of ASG, this is something we should pay attention to.

In Bohol, tourism is facing imminent threats from terrorist groups, particularly the ASG. Also in Mindanao, the archipelago has been havoc by wars for many decades, the recent one of which is the Battle of Marawi. Not so long ago, it was the Zamboanga siege. Then a couple of months back, thousands of Philippine Armed Forces were deployed in Sulu, the hideout of the ASG. There is war going on there, up to now.

http://news.abs-cbn.com/business/04/11/17/resilient-bohol-tourism-hopes-to-weather-security-woes-after-asg-foray

How many amazing wonders do we have in Mindanao that remains closed to tourists because of the dangers pose by terrorism. As of this writing, Martial Law is still declared in the region because of the left and right threats from terrorist groups. This next article link lists down the places in Mindanao to avoid due to risks of terrorist attacks.

https://www.worldnomads.com/travel-safety/southeast-asia/philippines/areas-to-avoid-in-the-philippines

These are concrete proofs our political system lacks the capability to bring everything into good order. This is the reality, and this is a wake-up call. Traffic congestion, pollution, increasing HIV cases, poverty, drugs, crime, corruption, and so on and so forth – these are all but hazards for travelers like you in deciding for your next trip to the Philippines. While many politicians do their kind part, others do not care at all. I cannot argue any further on this. This is what I believe, really.

But I would not like to end this post that way. There must be something I could add to lessen your worries in traveling to the beautiful Philippines. What can we do about it? Here are my great tips.

Philippine police authorities assure us that it is still safe to travel in the Philippines, except of course on a few dangerous provinces or towns. Concerning security, I could say, there are good guys still doing their job to protect us. However, there are still many problems that has nothing to do with security and travelers like you have two options in facing them: mind them or just ignore them. My suggestion, do both and here’s how.


Plan you travels well. Research the places you want to go. Read reviews and examine articles that has something to say about that place. Sometimes, what we hear or see doesn’t exactly tell the real situation. Those are fake news. I mean, you can just ignore news that says you should not go to the Philippines. Travel bans issued by your country, of course, is something to really mind about. Philippines, in general, is still a safe travel destination.


Another thing I can suggest is that you give your travel goals a purpose. That is, aside from relaxing or enjoying the place, why not do a kind act of helping the community. Maybe talk to the local people and understand their culture and then offer some solutions to the problems they have at present. You can also offer your skills or talents in a more positive way. Educating them on a certain subject may work. Volunteering in a community service or mission may help as well. Or, you can write interesting articles like this that aims to promote a place.


What is obvious in the Philippines is that life is really difficult here. Filipinos are struggling in their everyday lives and if you would notice, many in the tourism sector are families who are less fortunate in life. They are the kids, mothers, fathers, and senior citizens selling you souvenirs. Sad to say, but if you don’t even care about the tourism issues we have here in the country, they are even more. What they just want is to survive. And to many politicians, this reality is not in their vocabularies to solve.


Final great tip: The least you can do as a traveler in the Philippines – just enjoy and don’t leave your trash on the ground.





I do not want to spoil your upcoming vacation. So to end this post in an engaging tone, let me say this to you: Enjoy your travel to the Philippines!

Note: Random photos of Boracay in this post is courtesy of my friends Joan and Philip. They traveled to this place sometime in 2014.

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About this Post
My name is Noriel Panganiban and I wrote this blog, a blog that exposes the negative side of things, because I want to help in my own little ways. For me, this is me reminding you that something wrong is going on and you need to be aware. On a higher level of my small ways, I am encouraging you to act in your own little ways as well. Your travel to the Philippines, whether you’re a foreigner or not, can make a big difference if you do it with a purpose.

You can get to know me more by visiting www.knowriel.com, my advocacy of providing free education.

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