Archive for Boracay

The Boracay Initiative Beckons-a serious call for conservation

Posted in Boracay, Clean Blue Asia, Good Governance, Green Hotels, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Events, Sustainable Tourism with tags , , , , , , , on July 23, 2010 by Sustainability Guru

 

My first Boracay trip, circa 1989. This area is now Discovery Shores Hotel

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.  I first went to Boracay Island, Philippines (voted as one of the best beaches in the world) in the late 80’s and we had a most fantastic experience in paradise. We travelled in the typhoon season; the trip was from Kalibo on a Fokker 50 aircraft, a one-hour flight from Manila and another 70 kilometer road trip from Kalibo to Caticlan, jump off point to Boracay. There were no air-conditioned buses for the long, dusty and grueling overland ride with the locals and chickens alike; no jetty port – we had to wade in shallow waters to board a motorized small banca, across the strait in rough waters. Boracay was not affected by typhoons then, however during this period they have what they call the “habagat”, southwest monsoon winds. Due to monsoon season we had to land on the other side of the island (Bulabog) and hike all the way to our resort located on White Beach, our luggage, transported by a water buffalo-pulled cart.  There was no electricity, no air-conditioning and no hot water showers in those days, but the whole stay was pure and simple pleasure. We had the time of our life!

1991 – Boracay Beach Club Hotel, one of White Beach’s “premier” resorts

WORK AT WHITE BEACH. Little did I imagine that just after two years, I would return to the island and work for one of the pioneer resorts, and stayed further on for 10 years to manage two small properties, tour operations and transport company.  Within this period, I also handled three small airline companies that serviced Caticlan, two were defunct and the ultimate one was Seair, which I had to persuade convincingly to fly there. The rest is history.

From rustic BBCH to glass and concrete Astoria Boracay now

PARADISE LOST- WELL, ALMOST. When I left in 2001 after 10 years of working for Boracay, I felt that it was excessively crowded, over-developed in a destructive sense and regrettably deteriorating due to lack of eco balance. I ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Now, returning exactly 21 years since I first came, with over 500 hundred resorts of all shapes, sizes and prices, there is hardly a trace of the pristine, peaceful and perfect paradise that I first saw. It is just chaotic congestion of lodgings, restaurants, bars, stores crowding with vans and tricycles, with no regard for proper zoning, maximum carrying capacity, value for natural environment, nor conservation and ecological protection not to mention the global climate change risks, most especially on White Beach’s spectacular shoreline.

Stakeholders must be aware of their responsibility to the environment and community to protect and conserve

FULL CIRCLE. It is perhaps the hands of fate that made me return to Boracay last April as a Guest Speaker at Events Asia 2010 and as luck would have it, talk about Sustainable Events ManagementWith my experience at Inkaterra, Peru’s Eco pioneer and Conservation leader, I shared my knowledge and experience in Sustainable Tourism and Environmental Protection. In 1975, Inkaterra opened a lodge for scientists to study Peru’s rainforest long before eco tourism was trendy. With 33 years of experience in sustainable tourism initiatives, it is the first to be carbon neutral in the country, doing reforestation projects in a total of 17,000 hectares in the Amazon.

PLEDGE. At a Social Media workshop at Events Asia, I met Roselle Tenefrancia, Environmental lawyer, activist, travel writer and consultant of Boracay Sun, the island’s monthly paper and Maria Tajanlangit, Editor in Chief of 7107 Islands Magazine, whose family were pioneers in Boracay. After the event, I thought of a  framework for a new Boracay Conservation, Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development, ready for stakeholders to embrace and implement.

Conservation Mission: rescue, restore and recover Boracay Island

 THE BORACAY INITIATIVE®.   International environmental design activist PJ Aranador  with his flagship green lifestyle boutique on the island, Nautilus and  Ms. Jane Chua, founder of www.gogreenphilippines and “A Piece of Green” Boracay boutique owner pledged their support to the Initiative. I also met with Boracay Young Professionals whose advocacy is about preserving the island.

A CALL FOR UNITY AND SUPPORT.  A challenging task of organizing, implementing and monitoring of the The Boracay Initiative© is being worked on, with hopefully, voluntary efforts from the private stakeholders  and support of the new local government officials.

LESS CONVERSATION, IT’S TIME FOR ACTION. Indeed, fate brought me back to the island, which we had come to love and cherish, but it is high time for us, to take action, less conversation! We must put all our efforts and resources to restore, conserve and protect Boracay Island, its beauty and natural resources for the future generations to come.

The Boracay Initiative is designed to work with both private and public sector of Boracay Island: the  Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility frameworks  Boracay Island with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels & Clean Blue.

Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs for communities and destinations  include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Prevention and Management. Educational programs will be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community in general.

Zero Carbon Resorts helping SMEs in the tourism industry reduce carbon footprints

Zero Carbon Resorts helping SMEs in the tourism industry reduce carbon footprints

ZERO CARBON RESORTS  is our joint project with GrAt for the SMEs in the Tourism Industry to reduce carbon footprint by switching from use of fossil fuel to renewable energy sources especially solar energy and green technologies.

 

Green Hotels Asia Pacific our network of reliable eco-responsible hotels

Green Hotels Asia Pacific our network of reliable eco-responsible hotels

GREEN HOTELS ASIA PACIFIC is our network of the most reliable eco responsible hotels around the world. It works to help the hotel industry embrace sustainability by integrating innovation and added value with environmental actions in a vibrant global exchange of green hoteliers, operators and responsible clients.

Clean Blue Asia-Sustainable Beach management for public & private beach operators

Clean Blue Asia-Sustainable Beach management for public & private beach operators

 

CLEAN BLUE ASIA is thenew industry standard for beach management and safety – ISO 13009

 - the “Clean Blue Industry Standard” CBIS – to help provide beach operators with the information and guidance to effectively manage the beaches of Asia – Pacific.

 For more information visit: visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

Boracay Island Buzz: Events Asia 2010

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Cultural Scenes, Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, MICE Meetings, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism with tags , , , , on May 30, 2010 by Sustainability Guru

Last April 28-30, 2010, the beautiful island of Boracay in the Philippines played host and set the stage for Events Asia 2010 Conference and Trade Show, with its theme “The Future is NOW! The Future is WOW!”. Participants converged at the Boracay Eco Village Resort & Convention Center at the Meetings which presented an array of vastly interesting subjects by international event industry experts. Delegates learned the latest trends, as well as innovations to the craft in the highly creative world of exhibitions and events.

CONFERENCE. Participants were privileged to listen and network with experts in events industry worldwide to include Mr. Steven Hacker, as keynote speaker with his topic, Global Exhibition and Events Trends in the 21st century;  Mr. Mark Cochrane from Hong Kong who talked about Asian Perspectives, the Power of Exhibits and Events; Mr. Eduardo Braniff, expert on Brand Activation from Los Angeles, U.S.A.;   Ms. Lara McCulloch-Carter from Canada who did a cool workshop and talk on Social Media Strategies;  Mr. Robert Rogers, who awed the audience with 10 Cool New Things to WOW Events; Mr. Brian Slawin, from Missouri, U.S. did his spiel on Events Latest Tool –getting the best Lead in Events; Mr. Jeffrey Soh, of Thailand  shared his tips in Organizing Events with a shoestring budget;  Mr. Steve Tait, emphatically advised delegates on Event Safety and Security; and Mr. Jojo Ajero, CEO of High Traffic Ads.

SUSTAINABLE EVENTS MANAGEMENT. I had the pride and pleasure to talk on a topic very close to my heart, Sustainable Events Management with Corporate Social Responsibility, a very timely and significant issue for the conference as more events professionals are now conscientious in conservation and in trying to help protect the environment. With my experience with Inkaterra, Peru’s eco pioneer, Carbon Neutral & Conservation Leader, I hope I was able to share the knowledge and concern for the need to be more responsible and sustainable in events organization: the call to Rethink, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle and Report, in order to meet the needs of the present while preserving and enduring the provisions for future generations.

FUTURE WORKSHOPS. Learn this topic substantially and ideally in comprehensive workshops or seminars where participants can fully understand, assimilate and implement their own best practices to sustainable events, according to the business they are engaged in, whether they are event planners or suppliers, in hospitality, entertainment, sports, publication, media, technical production, corporation, government agency, venue,  and other related endeavor in the Events and Exhibition industry. So the next time you are planning to organize conferences, you might like to include a Sustainable Events Management workshop in your agenda.  

 My own take in Events Asia 2010: the future is wow, but we have to protect it now!

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