I was reflecting during the breezy boat ride from San Antonio to Victoria, and in the silence (of the 4 passengers, me included), I got to thinking… did I like this 3D2N trip to the islands? Immediately I told myself “Capul, was an unexpected wow I must go back there for a longer visit”! As for San Antonio, well, I may still go back there – when on the way to Capul hahaha! But, I am curious about Lagbangan and what else I may enjoy especially their attractions at the lagoon surrounded by mangroves.
Or maybe I’d be curious if that runway and airport that most everyone are so proud about as coming soon 'would' materialize. As of now, I say, ows?! Guiuan, Borongan and Catbalogan nga all already have runways and airports pero di makakuha ng market, how much more an island that is still a ho-hum in many a tourist's mind. Sus! Remember: Boracay was already a worldwide craze long before Caticlan Airport came!
Or maybe I’d be curious if anything as lovely will come about that defunct “Flying Dog Resort”. Yeah, it started down the drain after that unfortunate death of 2 Italian divers who were dynamited by a fisherman some years ago. He purportedly thought they were fish! Hay ignorance! And they want to build an airport?! Duh!
Or maybe I’ll go back if I get resolved inside me, if I should actively make an advocacy about that rampant encroachment of beaches by resort owners that is happening in too many places all over this country. I really hate it, as it impedes the free enjoyment of visitors to an otherwise contiguous PUBLIC place. And although not as ugly as it is in Mactan, GenSan or many other beaches, I did see some lousy beginnings of this wrong AND ILLEGAL ways in San Antonio.
Here are some examples…
Lagbangan fenced off the beach at that point in front of their perimeter...
They are so confident about this they even laid out nets down to the depths of the water. Like hello, you might want to extend that net all the way across to mainland?!
There’s a fence between Puro and Seashore Spring Beach Resorts.
Haven of Fun thinks they are more clever by building this structure:
Here’s a clearer view of that structure they built. May grotto pa kunwari...
Here's the same area... would have been a fantastic morning view of a long beach
Here’s the northern end of Haven of Fun...
There’s another structure, A HOUSE even, to the left of Francisco Beach Resort
There are more residences/resorts further south from Francisco Beach Resort.
And San Antonio thinks it can be the next Boracay. Hello?! Where on the more than 4 kilometers of white sand on Boracay do you see a fence or a structure dividing their beach? Aber? THAT is what makes people go visit Boracay. The barangay officials and resort owners there have learned their lessons and heeded the law. It can be done!
How am I sure those structures are against the law, and should be removed? Ah, I just txtd some of my lawyer-friends and environmentalist-friends. And some of these lawyers are environment lovers who say they are guardians of our earth. They peppered me with references that are even available on the web, like these:
- The Public Land Act
- The Civil Code of the Philippines
- The Fisheries Code of 1998
- The Water Code (yes, I laughed, but indeed there is such a thing!)
- The Spanish Law of Waters of 1866 (many sections here have not yet been superseded by new laws, therefore still enforceable)
There are even more that these friends are sending me all titled with either PD, RA or jurisprudence (X versus Y) whatever those are (nose bleed na ako!). I haven't read them (yet). But it is clear, no one can "own" the foreshore or shoreline - "the beach" to us mere sons of beaches - therefore no one may build permanent structures on them, or temporary structures that get in the way of the using public. Da!
Now now... granting that San Antonio will get educated and remove those illegal structures... there is another blunder that they ought to attend to if at all they want to attract tourists. The dogs. YES, MONGRELS! Free of obstructions your beach walk might be, those animals (am sure many, if not all, are rabid) are there not only to snarl or bark, but even attack you. My proof? I saw some 5 or 6 of them wildly run after a passing motorcycle on the road (south of Francisco Beach Resort). Of course, I did not go that way. Ayaw!
Anyway, I had to snap out of this reflective analyses when my boat arrived at Victoria.
Okay, 9:51AM, I thought I’d roam around this town. So, let’s do just exactly that, next!
For a chronology of this trip's stories, click these numbers: