Monday, March 8, 2010

White Island Critique

It’s still the same. Would it change anyway? Well, some folks tell me, this sandbar do change a bit, depending on how the waves push the white sand around.

Oh, that tent? Our boatman told us it is owned by Paras (also?!) and they do have drinks and food for sale there. Now that is what I call ‘progress’ hehe! Wanna bet what will happen next? Oh yes, others will also want to sell there and they will also have friends in the powers that be, right? Wait and see!

Entrance. There is an entrance? Well, entrance fee I mean. So all boats must 'land' in front of this signage. As if they won’t get to you if you landed elsewhere, right?! Asuus, and take note, this entrance thing is operated by the government!

As I keep saying in other stories, this entrance thing is part of the Filipinos’ Jackpot Mentality. Yep, as if they will become the next Makati for charging entrance fees to an otherwise PUBLIC place. Say a hundred people come to this sandbar each day. What can P60,000 a month do for a municipal government? Instead of collecting an entrance fee, they should actively drive their residents to engage in livelihood products/services that would sell well to visitors.
Eh, let us not debate about that. But take note that my guide, Ray, was also charged the P20 fee despite his protestation and despite him being personally known to the "entrance guy" as a driver/guide. So I gave P60 (for me, Ray and boatman). But Mr. Entrance Guy said the boatman was free of charge. Okay, fine – because they are probably separately collecting another fee from boatmen but paid elsewhere. I just think so.

Ah, while we’re at this, fellow Filipinos might want to reflect on that entrance fee with me. What the hell have they erected on this island for them to charge visitors a fee? That tarpaulin signage?

Well, let’s read what it says… they created a municipal ordinance charging visitors so.
Just like that? Just because they wanted to? Which means, the Quezon City government can also decide to charge a fee for passing by East Avenue; for entering the circumferential road around the memorial circle; for passing via EDSA; for entering Cubao; for passing by Commonwealth Avenue and so on? Ganun? Well, at least on those places, QC has built things like roads. But what with this white island where they did not do anything? Jackpot Mentality!

They are forgetting about definitions of public places, private properties, toll or tax. Aren’t people already being charged 31% of their salaries so that these government people can protect marine life or clean a tourist spot?

And one thing else, do you see those souvenirs being sold beside the guy collecting entrance fees? That should be what they ought to be cleaning out of this place. Marine life protection my foot!

Ah, anyway. And what’s next? Wala lang! I just wanted to see the island. After exactly 11 minutes, there we were, going back to the big island!

At least I learned something again. That wherever you go in this country, you pay – even if that is just the very bare nature that it is. That is aside from all the kinds of taxes you pay. So who is dreaming of "Domestic Tourism"? Yeah, dream on!

Let’s get moving!

To read the chronology of stories on this trip, click the following article numbers:
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42
43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52


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