PETITION: Keep the Beauty of Batanes Untouched

Do you love the beauty of Batanes? We definitely do. That aside, we also have a contributor who comes from there, so Batanes holds an extra special spot in our hearts. Well, it turns out that a 100-room hotel is being planned to be built in the province and the developments are said to start soon. Unfortunately, the locals aren’t happy about it.

Our writer Aileen Adalid shares more:

While building a hotel in these islands may seem good for tourism, we, the Ivatans, beg to differ:

Batanes is on its way to being nominated by the Philippines as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due mainly to its natural and environmental features, and for sure, once this big corporation comes and ‘commercializes’ the island, it will impact the islands as a whole: the inhabitants way of life, the environmental situation, and so much more.

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Batanes is truly underdeveloped, but it’s a rural area for a reason — that’s where its charm lies and the Ivatans are happy with that. In fact, we’d like to keep it that way! The level of tourism is fine now and we don’t want a sudden huge influx of tourists to come flocking to the islands and break the peace.

It will impact the local market a lot: there are already Ivatans who offer accommodations and treat them as their source of income, so if an opportunistic businessman comes along and sweeps in to change the ‘system’, it could hurt a lot of people. Certainly, the hotel ‘can’ hire Ivatans but then again: please revert back to my previous points…

There’s a lot more to take into consideration but these are the top 3 points that I can think of. Now this petition might not stop it fully — it’s not guaranteed, but we want to take our chances. We want to be heard and we hope that you could help us out. It will help a lot! THANK YOU!