“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, the natural resources, the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” —Theodore Roosevelt
I first time visited the beautiful Island of Boracay way back in the late 90’s, there was something about that place that has made me come back whenever I can, although not every year. To date, I have been there for six times already. The most recent was when my family and I celebrated the coming new year together with our friends some three years ago. However, it seems that the beauty of Boracay island has been increasingly on the wane.
According to Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) the Island coral reef ecosystem has been seriously degraded by tourism-related activities. Adding to that, a study made by Filipino scientist Miguel Fortes of University of the Philippines said that the water quality in the eastern part of the island has been deteriorating, making it “unsafe” for swimming and to do other activities.
This is sad because Boracay is our pride and has been voted many times as one of the beautiful islands in the world due to its pristine beaches. Yet despite so many regulations developed, the island beauty seem to continue to deteriorate. Hopefully, the government can step in and impose all of the relevant regulations to recover its beauty and so that people may learn to take care of it before it’s too late.
More Calaguas Photos here
On the other hand, another beautiful Island in the country is budding, and it is in the Island of Calaguas in Camarines Norte. The Mahabang Buhangin’s 1.27- kilometer powdery white sands welcomes guests and showcases a relatively untouched beauty of Philippine nature. It can capture not only the eyes of the locals but also of international travelers. It is promising to the tourism industry. I hope that the resort owners will work hand in hand and formulate regulations to protect the natural beauty of this Island.
Things to do in Calaguas:
- Swimming and snorkelingin green, clean and clear waters of Mahabang Buhangin. Calaguas is a future diving place of the Philippines since it was blessed with beautiful newly discovered coral garden and reefs. (Contact Waling-Waling Eco Village for following diving package)
- Trekking — it is one the adventures you can do in the Island. Some are trekking to find their cellphone signal but most would like to conquer the hills of Tinaga Island as it can amaze anyone with its spectacular view of the whole Island.
- Island hoping — it is one of the most important things to do in the island, although I missed that while I was there. It would be great to visit the other beautiful nearby Islands in Calaguas. Those are places where most tourists would love to take their selfies.
- Photo walking – There a lot of beautiful sceneries to photograph in the Island. One day to explore the island to take photos may not be enough.
- Bird Watching – I am not sure if travelers always do this but during our stay in the Island, we could hear these birds chirping for the whole day,aside from the waves of the sea. The back area of Waling Waling Eco Village where we stayed is covered by a big trees and there are still little forests in the Island. It is no wonder that from early morning till night, all we heard were more than five different sounds of the birds. The types of birds we saw were maya, (sparrow), crow, eagle, woodpecker and egret.
- Collecting Garbage — you can help maintain the cleanliness of the Island by picking up trash in the shoreline. During our stay, we would see trekking foreigners picking up garbage and sights like this defininitely insipiring
- Interacting with the locals — they are so friendly and you can see them smiling always, and every time you will meet them during your trekkingspree
The most beautiful thing that the island can give is to detoxify you from the usual world that you live in. Expect to have no internet and cellphone signal to help you maximize your three days and two nights’ stay in the island with fully-packed activities.
There’s also a lot of promising activities that you can do in the future, such as APV’s, ziplines and other water sports. But hopefully the popularity of the Island especially during summer will not damage the peace and serenity of the Island.
More Calaguas Photos here