BALESIN ISLAND, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – First it was Boracay Island that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered closed for rehabilitation. Now it’s Balesin Island.
The closure order came just hours after yet another Filipino celebrity wedding was held on the island — that of television host Billy Crawford and model/actress Coleen Garcia.
For tourists and Filipinos unfamiliar with Balesin Island, it is a tropical island paradise with 7.3 kilometeres of pristine white-sand beaches. It is located off the eastern coast of Luzon in the Philippines.
The island and the unique, members-only, private leisure getway — Alphaland Balesin Island Club —can be reached through a 25-minute plane ride from Manila.
The unique, members-only, private leisure getaway — Alphaland Balesin Island Club
Master-planned by EcoPlan of Miami, Florida, USA, Balesin Island Club was designed with the environment uppermost in mind and to be in perfect harmony with its natural surroundings. Water harvesting, 80% water recycling, a reverse osmosis plant, on-site eco-friendly transportation, organic farming, and alternative sources of energy reduce the amount of waste and ensure sustainable development on this beauty of an island—without scrimping on luxurious, top-notch facilities. The club aims to enhance everything in its environment: the lushness of the large forest sanctuary and the promulgation of the surrounding marine sanctuaries.
Duterte’s closure order had nothing to do with the environment. Rather, it was closed because it represents the opulence, hypocrisy and arrogance of the Philippines’ top one percent —oligarchs and filthy-rich Filipinos who exploit the country’s natural beauty to cling on to their power and influence.
Sources close to the President said that he is planning to include Balesin Island part of his Administration’s land reform program.
MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – There will be no new casino built in Boracay despite the “provisional license” granted to a Chinese gaming firm, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Wednesday
In a press conference in Hong Kong, Roque said that President Rodrigo Duterte was clear in the interview he gave on Monday that he would not allow a casino in Boracay.
In addition, Roque said that when Boracay re-opens after rehabilitation, there will also be no karaoke or videoke bars.
”The President wants to restore the serenity of the beach resort, not to mention that videoke bars could be deadly for both tourists and locals.”
It has been proven that fatal shootings occur in many videoke bars in the Philippines, especially after patrons sing Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way.’
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Baguio Bureau) – First, it was Boracay that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered closed for rehabilitation. Next up is Baguio City, the summer capital of the Philippines.
The annual Holy Week trek to this mountain resort has begun. Thousands upon thousands of lowlanders go up to Baguio to escape the summer heat and to experience a breath of fresh and cool air that the city is famous for.
But alas, many visitors may not find what they’re looking for. Gone is the scent of pine trees. Gone are the sunflowers that adorn the facade of the city’s mountains and hills. Traffic has become a nightmare, and pollution has become an everyday occurence. Visitors can expect a short supply of water and electricity. It’s an environmental disaster.
So today, Holy Monday, President Duterte ordered the closure of Baguio City and gave local officials 60 days to rehabilitate this once-upon-a-time R&R haven for the U.S. military.
The closure begins Monday after Easter Sunday.
So if you’re in Baguio now, make the most of it. Unless you’re a city resident, this may be your last chance to go horseback-riding, shopping for fresh vegetables and strawberries, and wearing the sweater that’s been kept in your closet all year round.