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Inside Boracay: Week 5

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Inside Boracay: Week 5

Boracay Sunsets during closure May 2018
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Cover photo courtesy of ‘Nuckie’ Sacapano

Inside Boracay: Week 5 Rice By-Product Training by Department of Agriculture

A quick throwback to Week 4 and an event which was missed from the last update.  22-24th May a three day training session was held at Tindahan Boracay, on Rice By-Product Processing, Packaging and Marketing.  This was organised by the Department of Agriculture, Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service Division (AMAD) and Remnant Institute Inc.

  • Inside Boracay: Week 4 Rice By-Product Training. Photo Courtesy of Desiree Segovia
  • Inside Boracay: Week 4 Rice By-Product Training. Photo Courtesy of Desiree Segovia
  • Inside Boracay: Week 4 Rice By-Product Training. Photo Courtesy of Desiree Segovia
  • Inside Boracay: Week 4 Rice By-Product Training. Photo Courtesy of Desiree Segovia

The training covered the numerous ways in which by-products from Rice Production can be used.  Desiree Segovia of Panay Boracay explained that the co-operative already uses rice milk in their organic Shampoo Products, and look forward to expanding in to the production of Sara Sara, Boracay’s native rice coffee, and some indigenous rice wine.

Inside Boracay: Week 5 – 23 more weeks to go

Week 5 feels to have the theme of Community Heroes and volunteering; so much work going on, on Boracay and in Malay. 

The National Program; Brigada Eskwela fell within week 5, and a number of activities have taken place. Brigada Eskwela aims to bring together education stakeholders, to contribute their time and efforts, to help public schools prepare for the new school year, and is orchestrated by the Department of Education.

Inside Boracay: Week 5 – 24 May Brigada Eskwela in Manoc Manoc

Volunteers from Boracay Island Water Company Inc visited Manoc Manoc Elementary School to carry out repairs to some of the schools water pipes and siphon the septic tanks.  Whilst there, the team cleaned and repainted the CR’s (Comfort Rooms) and wash areas, ahead of the start of the new school year. 

Adel Lumagod, advised that Boracay Water would be visiting Yapak and Balabag Schools to carry out similar volunteer work.  On the 26th May, volunteers from Civil Disturbance Management Charlie Company joined in the efforts at Lamberto H. Tirol National High School and Yapak Elementary School.

  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Boracay Island Water at Manoc Manoc Elementary School. Photo Courtesy of Adel Lumagod
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Boracay Island Water at Manoc Manoc Elementary School. Photo Courtesy of Adel Lumagod Comment View full size 960×540
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Boracay Island Water at Manoc Manoc Elementary School. Photo Courtesy of Adel Lumagod
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Boracay Island Water at Manoc Manoc Elementary School. Photo Courtesy of Adel Lumagod
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Boracay Island Water at Manoc Manoc Elementary School. Photo Courtesy of Adel Lumagod
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Boracay Island Water at Lamberto H. Tirol National High School and Yapak Elementary School. Photo Courtesy of Ervin Jade Laurete Villa
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Boracay Island Water at Lamberto H. Tirol National High School and Yapak Elementary School. Photo Courtesy of Ervin Jade Laurete Villa

Inside Boracay: Week 5 – 24th May Real Coffee & tea donates to Boracay Fire Rescue

Real Coffee & Tea, along with Boracay Yoga made a donation to Boracay Fire Rescue and Ambulance Volunteers (BFRAV) today.   BFRAV lost a significant chunk of financial assistance from the LGU on the 16th May. 

Real Coffee has been hosting twice weekly yoga classes, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in conjunction with Boracay Yoga. Contributions collected from this months classes were donated to the BFRAV.  Next months recipients of class contributions will be given to Animal Rescue Boracay by AARC (Aklan Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre)

Real Coffee & Tea have been regularly hosting events, meetings and groups since the closure, offering a central focal point for residents.

Real Coffee & Tea and Boracay Yoga raise money for BFRAV
Inside Boracay: Week 5 Real Coffee & Tea and Boracay Yoga donate to BFRAV

Inside Boracay: Week 5 – 24th May 3 Day Medical/Dental Mission

Metroplitan Doctors Medical Clinic and Laboratory (MDMC), in partnership with Boracay Foundation Inc, completed a 3 day Medical and Dental Mission.  Nearly one thousand people received treatment or procedures including; 382 circumcisions, 522 tooth extractions and 37 dentures.   

Grateful thanks to the Doctors and Dentists who provided their time and skills for the people of Malay, and for the supporters of the Mission.

  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Dental & Medical Mission (MDMC) Photo Courtesy of Dr Maria Teotico
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Dental & Medical Mission (MDMC) Photo Courtesy of Dr Maria Teotico
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Dental & Medical Mission (MDMC) Photo Courtesy of Dr Maria Teotico
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Dental & Medical Mission (MDMC) Photo Courtesy of Dr Maria Teotico

Inside Boracay: Week 5 – May 25th Identifying illegal Waste Water Pipes

Work goes on, on the identification of illegal pipes, expelling Waste Water in to the Government Drainage Pipe, along White Beach.  Workers have increased their activities along the beach, digging up the sand covering identified pipes, ahead of testing.  The 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, stationed on Boracay, have been recruited in to assist with unearthing the identified pipes, to keep the Opening Date on track.

Secretary Cimatu has spent considerable time on Boracay during Week 4 & 5 , meeting with Stakeholders and the Boracay Interagency Taskforce.  Secretary Cimatu has inspected the works being carried out, and worked with the various departments to adjust plans to fit new findings or alternative routes.  Media reports that establishments identified tapping into the drainage pipe to expel waste water could be fined from P10,000 to P200,000 per day.  This will certainly be a deterrent to business who think polluting the island in such a way is an acceptable cost cutting exercise!

Week 5 of Boracay's closure sees the Army assisting with uncovering pipes taping in to a Government Drainage Pipe
Inside Boracay: Week 5 Army assisting with uncovering pipes taping in to a Government Drainage Pipe – Photo Courtesy of Bong Arban

Inside Boracay: Week 5 – May 25th DENR Sec Visits Evacuation Center

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu and Malay Mayor Ceciron Cawaling, visited the newly constructed Malay Evacuation Center at Barangay Balusbos, Mainland Malay. The Evacuation Center will temporarily house Boracay’s displaced settlers, who illegally built their homes over protected wetland areas in the Island. Statements have been made continuously that no demolitions will be undertaken in occupied properties without relocation.

Inside Boracay: Week 5 Malay Evacuation Center Photo Credit Malay LGU
Inside Boracay: Week 5 Malay Evacuation Center Photo Credit Malay LGU

Inside Boracay: Week 5 – May 25th DSWD release Education Aid program

The Department of Social Welfare and Development initiated the release of Education Aid to 361 affected residents and workers. 716,000PHP has been issued for children who will attend Elementary, Secondary and Tertiary level schools, and who were assessed as qualifying for the Aid, as part of the agency’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS).

Inside Boracay: Week 5 DSWD Updates on Programs and Projects - Photo Credit to Boracay Rehabilitation Monitoring Operations
Inside Boracay: Week 5 DSWD Updates on Programs and Projects – Photo Credit to Boracay Rehabilitation Monitoring Operations

A further 8,601 people have received a total of 20,910,810PHP in Transportation Assistance, so that they could return to their home provinces, during the closure.  And 198,000PHP has been issued to 53 people for medical assistance.

Profiling of potential beneficiaries for  the Sustainable Livelihood Program have been undertaken across Boracay’s three barangays.

May 25 – One Resident, Raffy Cooper has been trying to address the very real problem of Professional Squatters/Squatting Syndicates and received notification of his success today, with an Executive Order, No. 08 or “an order creating the Local Committee against professional squatters and squatting syndicates of the Municipality of Malay, Aklan defining its composition, powers and functions and for other purposes”.  This EO has already been signed by Mayor Cawaling and passed.

Raffy advised that he started pushing this issue to be addressed back in August 2017, after an alleged “professional squatter” claimed ownership of part of his land, having secured an unlawful Certificate of Ownership.  Having looked in to the issue further, Raffy discovered that there were a number of Squatting Syndicates, actively collecting money from people in Malay, in exchange for fake land titles, which resulted in unnecessary court battles and land disputes for the genuine owners.

Initially, Raffy was advised to take his matter through the Courts as well.  But with a bit of research he was able to discover the Republic Act 7279 also known as the “Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 – Section 27”. Section 27 states:-“The Local Government Units (LGU), in cooperation with the PNP, PCUP, and PCUP- accredited urban poor organizations in the area, shall adopt measures to identify and effectively curtail the nefarious and illegal activities of professional squatters and squatting syndicates, as herein defined { (in Art.1 sec 3 par (m) and (s)}. Any person or group identified as such shall be summarily evicted and their dwellings or structures demolished, and shall be disqualified from availing the benefits of the program.’

Raffy also provided further citations from Executive Orders; EO 129, EO 178 and EO 153 Series of 2002, which includes establishing a Local Council Against Squatting Syndicates and Professional Squatters (LCASSPS).  This last Executive Order was further supported in 2012, when the DILG issued Memorandum Circular 2012- 04 requiring LGU’s across the Philippines to create LCASSPS.

There are a number of areas on Boracay, where squatters have built homes and micro-businesses. Certainly land owners and/or neighbours, have also received the advice to take the matter to Court and in some cases are still going through the Courts.  Frustration has arisen when, in particular, the squatters have built on to other people’s property walls or have built in an area with narrow access, creating significant fire risks for them, and their legitimate neighbours.

Raffy said: “Let me tell you this, always fight [for] what you believe in. We need more people to stand up with the courage of their conviction. And to demand the rule of law from the government, even it is unnecessary to do, is always valid.

Raffy will meet with the Council at their next meeting, to discuss his case and others.

Inside Boracay: Week 5 Page 1 of the new Executive Order 8
Inside Boracay: Week 5 Page 1 of the new Executive Order 8

Inside Boracay: Week 5 Beach Vegetation Regrowth

May 26 – For four weeks islanders have marveled at the beauty of White Beach, viewed in all its stunning glory now it’s clear of tourists.   In week 5 a new marvel has been revealed.   Healthy, strong vegetation is emerging between the Palms, lining the beachfront, causing those who lived on the island in the 80’s and early 90’s to reminisce:-

“Those creepers get bright, cerise coloured flowers”

“I remember the flowering plants around the palm trees, I had forgotten all about them. Back in the days of walking everywhere barefoot, with little tourism. Boracay heaven”.

  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Island Regrowth Photo Credit Bong Arban
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Island Regrowth Photo Credit Trudy Allen
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Island Regrowth Photo Credit Bong Arban

Comments have been made about limiting the numbers of restaurant tables on the beach, to fully allow for the restoration of the beach vegetation.  Or to introduce higher fees for those restaurants who wish to have tables and chairs on the beach.  Whilst many islanders support the idea of allowing the beach to restore itself, there have been a number of beachfront businesses that have had to set back.  They’ve already lost a lot of their indoor seating space, and may rely on using the beach area in front of them to make up the reduction in inside capacity.   It’s a tough decision to take, should the comments become concrete plans ahead of the re-opening, and a ban or reduction on tables and chairs on the beach be enforced.

May 26 – Medical Mission supported by Rotary Club Boracay and Boracay Red Cross

Another medical mission, and feeding program took place today in Malabunot, Manoc Manoc, in conjunction with the Rotary Club Boracay and Red Cross Boracay Chapter.  Island Doctor Howell Javonillo, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Boracay, visited Malabunot to undertake general health checks on 71 residents and their children, alongside volunteers from the Boracay Chapter of the Red Cross, and representatives from Boracay’s Rotary Club.   Medicines were kindly donated by Vice Mayor Sualog.

  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Medical Mission Malabunot. Photo Courtesy of Doc Howell Javonillo
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Medical Mission Malabunot. Photo Courtesy of Doc Howell Javonillo
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Medical Mission Malabunot. Photo Courtesy of Doc Howell Javonillo
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Medical Mission Malabunot. Photo Courtesy of Doc Howell Javonillo
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Medical Mission Malabunot. Photo Courtesy of Doc Howell Javonillo

May 26 – What Islanders have been doing in the first Month of Closure

Inside Boracay: Week 5 - Thoughts from Janna M, Boracay Islander
Inside Boracay: Week 5 – Thoughts from Janna M, Boracay Islander

Inside Boracay: Week 5 May 27

Station 1 roadside properties are beginning with the set-back process.  A total of 579 properties are required to set-back or demolish along the Main Road. Many had previously started this process but the priority was Station 3 initially, in order to lay the replacement Sewage Pipes and connect to the Sewage Treatment Plant.

Those in Station 1 that had started, prior to Week 5, were mostly affected by the 25+5 Beach set back.  DPWH advises that 241 properties have set-back or been demolished at Week 5.

Concerns are growing for the work going on, on Bulabog Beach.  Bulabog Beach has been plagued by dirty water issues since anyone can remember, but remains a big draw for Kitesurfers from across the World.  DENR is locating a pipe out in to the ocean, as part of the ongoing rehabilitation work.   Local Kitesurfers are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of this development on Boracay’s No 1 Kitesurfing beach.   The platform being dug for the machinery to access in order to lay the pipes is likely to impact on the wave structure, and formation, but this should hopefully be just temporary.  However the concrete blocks being located out in to the bay, through which the pipe will be fed, are jutting out above the waters surface, creating an obstacle that will be dangerous to new kitesurfers.  The area, which will be intersected by the pipe is commonly used for teaching kitesurfers.  It is hoped that further dredging will take place before the concrete blocks are laid permanently.

Work on Bulabog Beach filmed by Rhinna Palmer

Inside Boracay: Week 5 Turtle Releases

With few tourists and boat traffic around, now is the perfect time to release turtles which have been rescued and restored to health.  25th May – two baby Hawksbill Turtles that had been nursed back to health were released.   Friends of the turtle nurse attended the release, to wave goodbye to the babies, as they took their first steps in to the water and a return to their ocean home.

28th May – An adult Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys Imbricata) which had been kept as a pet for two years, was released in to the ocean, having been tagged and vital data gathered first. 

Pia Carmela Boracay Foundation Inc (BFI) Executive Director , and a keen environmentalist, was at the scene and shared photos and a video of the release.  The rescue was conducted by Haron Deo, Marine Biologist from the LGU Environmental Management Services Unit. 

Whilst the turtle was fit and unharmed, the ‘owners’ were advised that keeping a Hawksbill Turtle, a critically endangered species, is illegal under Philippine Law (RA 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code mandates the protection of threatened and rare species as specified on Section 11.), and willing handed over the Turtle for a health check, prior to her release.

See the release here (Video Credits Pia Carmela):

Inside Boracay: Week 5 – May 28th and Time for Brigada Eskwela

May 28th was the first day of Brigada Eskwela, for the Coastguard Auxillary Squadron and the Philippine Coastguard Caticlan.  The Coastguard Auxillary Squadron and the Philippine Coastguard Caticlan, both of which include members from Boracay, worked together to tidy, clean and paint Caticlan Elementary School.  Their efforts continued on May 29th at Yapak Elementary School.

  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Brigada Eskwela at Yapak Elementary School – Photo Courtesy of Desiree Segovia
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Brigada Eskwela at Yapak Elementary School – Photo Courtesy of Desiree Segovia
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Brigada Eskwela at Caticlan Elementary School – Photo Courtesy of Desiree Segovia
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Brigada Eskwela at Caticlan Elementary School – Photo Courtesy of Desiree Segovia
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Brigada Eskwela at Caticlan Elementary School – Photo Courtesy of Desiree Segovia
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Brigada Eskwela at Yapak Elementary School – Photo Courtesy of Desiree Segovia
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Brigada Eskwela at Yapak Elementary School – Photo Courtesy of Desiree Segovia
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Brigada Eskwela at Yapak Elementary School – Photo Courtesy of Desiree Segovia
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Brigada Eskwela at Yapak Elementary School – Photo Courtesy of Desiree Segovia

Inside Boracay: Week 5 & More Unsung Heroes

28th May – Jovan and Anita own and run a hotel in beautifully quiet Ilig-Iligan Yapak, called Oasis Resort.  They have, over the years, formed strong bonds with the residents of the nearby village and run a range of programs to help their local community through their Strong Roots Mission.

Programs include Onsite Hotel Training; resulting in many local people being employed at their hotel and other hotels on the island, Feeding Programs and a big Christmas event where gifts and food are handed out to the villagers.  They also run a number of sports programs for the children and open up their IT room for the Children to use the computers for their school work.

Currently, Jovan and Anita are running regular feeding programs for the villagers, to help them through this period of closure. 

The Red Cross Boracay Chapter provided hot meals to the villagers and were on hand to assist with a delivery of school supplies from donors from Canada.  Red Cross Boracay have also assisted 1,000 children with school supplies, on the condition that the children enrolled at a school.  The Red Cross also encouraged the children to be mindful of their trash by encouraging them to return disposable cups, plates and cutlery, in exchange for chocolate.

Jovan and Anita really are Unsung Heroes and raise funds from friends and family, as well as donating a % from every room booking they take at Oasis Resort.   If you would like to assist with any future Oasis Resort projects, you can contact them via their hotel website (link above)

Inside Boracay: Week 5 – MAY 28 Food Aid Program

More help was offered to some of the islands poorest residents at Boradise Hotel, with bags of essential food items handed out to them by SB Datu and Jason Yap Talapian, new Balabag Barangay Captain.  This community activity took place over two days, with further dates being set

Inside Boracay: Week 5 Jason Yap Talaian, Balabag Barangay Captain
Inside Boracay: Week 5 Jason Yap Talaian, Balabag Barangay Captain

Inside Boracay: Week 5 May 29 – The Beach Cleaning Machines have arrived!

After a long wait, after an initial request was made by Boracay Foundation Inc (BFI) 6 years ago, Boracay’s new Beach Cleaning Machines have been delivered.  These were financed through Boracay’s % of the Environmental Fee, charged to tourists and visitors at Caticlan Jetty Port.

Boracay's New Beach Cleaning Machine arrives May 2018
Inside Boracay: Week 5 Boracay’s New Beach Cleaning Machine – Photo Credit Bong Arban

Inside Boracay: Week 5 The Struggle is Real

We are in Week 1 of Month 2 of closure, and the reality is that the beauty of an empty White Beach is not enough to get us through this closure.  The day to day reality of closure is being felt by everyone, but most of all by those who had very little to begin with.

It’s wonderful to see the Boracay Community pulling together, to try to help each other and help those with even less, but the reality of the closing shops and businesses is being felt now.  Local Sari Sari Stores are struggling. With many owners allowing residents, friends and families to run ‘tabs’, they’re now struggling to re-stock, without the cash to pay for products and delivery upfront, and supplies of staple budget meals such as noodles, tinned meat and fish are becoming harder to find.

The Inquirer released an article today, which featured the heart-breaking stories of local residences struggling to feed their families.  The Cash-For-Work program being run by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), can help people through, with a regional daily wage of 323.50PHP, but people can only enroll on this scheme for 30 days.  Thereafter, the next batch of residents work for the next 30 days.  Whilst 30 days of work will bring in a total of 9,705PHP, this calculates as 1,617.50PHP per month if someone has only this source of money for the 6 month closure period.  Read the full article here:-  http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/995133/boracay-folk-deal-with-hunger-mounting-debts#ixzz5GqmrZnGF

Nestor P Burgos Jr posted a follow-up article on 30th May covering the plight of Boracay’s Ati; Up to 60 people from the Ati Tribe are without work, having lost hotel, restaurant or construction jobs when the island closed. 57 members of the community have signed up for the 30-day Cash-For-Work Scheme but have already calculated that this won’t be enough to see their children to school, and through the next 5 months.

“We are now dependent on government assistance but it is not enough for all of us,” Evangeline Tambuon, a member of the Bato council of leaders, told Nestor

Homes within the Ati Tribal Village are badly in need of repair, and will also be impacted by the 25+5 Set-back being applied to Bulabog Beach. If anyone would like to offer financial assistance, please contact Your Hospitality Hub and we will put you in touch with the relevant people.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/995527/boracays-native-ati-feel-pinch-of-island-shutdown#ixzz5GyRZK7v8

Inside Boracay: Week 5  A week in photos

  • Inside Boracay Week 5: Willy’s Rock Photo Credit Ging Salme
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Stunning Sunsets. Photo Courtesy of Nina Bustamante
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Stunning Sunsets. Photo Courtesy of “Nuckie” Sacapano
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Photo Credit Janna M
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Lone Footsteps – Photo Courtesy of Janna M
  • Inside Boracay Week 5: Photo Credit Ging Salme
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 “Nanay Nora”, famous for 24 years, for her Bibingka – Photo Credit Janna M
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Work starts on the beachfront Drainage Pipe. Courtesy of Michelie “Mitch” Sampane
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Work starts on the beachfront Drainage Pipe. Courtesy of Rhinna Palmer
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Work starts on the beachfront Drainage Pipe. Courtesy of Michelie “Mitch” Sampane
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Secretary Cimatu inspects the old Government Drainage Pipe. Courtesy of Michelie “Mitch” Sampane
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Work starts on the beachfront Drainage Pipe. Courtesy of Bong Arban
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Work starts on the beachfront Drainage Pipe. Courtesy of Bong Arban
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Work starts on the beachfront Drainage Pipe. Courtesy of Bong Arban
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Punta Rosa Beach DOLE Workers. Photo Courtesy of Janna M
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 Work starts on the beachfront Drainage Pipe. Courtesy of Bong Arban
  • Inside Boracay: Week 5 D’Mall

Check out Inside Boracay Week 15 to see how things have moved on 10 weeks later!

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