Dear friends in Boracay,
I understand your outburst of emotions regarding my recent article, posted on The Asian Parent Philippines website. I would feel hurt as well if I were in your shoes. In fact, that was what I felt when the ‘title’ was suggested to me by my former editor, on an effort to arise action from the government on the problems surrounding Boracay.
Three months ago, after careful thinking, I came up with the article, citing comments I had heard from others and carefully considering Dr. Miguel Fortes’ published article on Philippine Star in 2012, entitled ”In Boracay, Lessons Unheeded are Foreclosing the Island’s Future”, as well as initial studies made by the Coastal Ecosystem Conservation and Adaptive Management (CECAM) – which was also reported online in CNN Philippines on Jan 5 of this year, entitled “Bye-bye Boracay? Island ‘highly endangered’ — JICA”.
As a writer, it was to echo socio-ecological issues that have been prevalent in the island, as related to me by passionate locals who had erred their frustrations after exerting their own efforts and by former island residents/dwellers (mostly parents) now living in Manila who have found the current situation there hopeless.
As a mother, it was stemmed from a dream of bringing my child to a more peaceful, cleaner and lusher Boaracay.
As a former resident, it was a wish to to see an improvement on the island that I cherish, which issues I have come to perceive from an off-the island point-of-view as critical matters that are in dire need of action.
Two months after my article was written, and a month after I left the Asian Parent, the said article was published without my consent. And the very careful tone I imparted there was edited to fit their style, reducing it to a mere rhetorical statement, rather than a call for action from a concerned writer.
I would have stood against publishing it. But since it was published and has reached several readers, I apologise for the offence that it has created. I have asked them several times to delete it.
I still think that Boracay is one of the best islands in the world and I always promote, to families or otherwise, to visit the island and bask on its sparkling white beach and swim in the clear sea and meet its vibrant community so they could experience the magic that I was able to experience there.
Once again, I apologise for this and I wish that you see the real purpose that has been laid down on the article despite the style of its writing; that proper actions are critical in nurturing the island’s ecosystem and in preserving its innate beauty for now and the future.