I bet it wouldn’t surprise you to be informed that travelling is expensive;and being a citizen of a third-world
“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land” -G.K. Chesterton
country doesn’t make travelling cheaper in any way.
“Travel is a luxury that only the rich can afford”, most Filipinos would say.
The Philippines has 7,107 islands, more than 20 ethnic groups, and more than 100 dialects. Can it be more obvious that the Philippines is divided as a nation?
(The Philippines divided by major ethnic group)
It is therefore absolutely necessary to make travel affordable, in order to bring unity to the Philippine nation. I know that such objective is hard to achieve in the real world. But it is especially difficult when some of tourism’s licensed big players try to hoodwink travelers (worse even their fellow countrymen) for money.
It is just depressing that most people (not only Filipinos) would not get the chance to see and know their country in its entirety.
If the big players would not budge from their bad practices, then we must rely on ordinary people.
Go to Ticao and meet Raul and Nilo (not their real name).
(Raul and Nilo local Donsol fishermen)
These fishermen would gladly bring you to Ticao, content from receiving gasoline as payment.
Not even being fatigue from fishing the entire evening would deter them from accompanying anyone to see Ticao.
Simple men they really are; interacting, sharing stories and showing off the beauty of their home province to travelers are their life’s pleasures.
But people like Raul and Nilo are rare gems. In a country plagued by poverty, it is understandable that almost everyone wouldn’t pass on a rare opportunity to make as much money as possible in order to put food on the table.
Making travel, just like education, affordable to everyone (local or foreigner) is one of the many solutions that can help the Philippines rise from its third world country status.
Aside from the obvious developmental impacts, travel would be able to change the perspective of Filipino and foreign citizens.
- Travel transforms a person to become a better human by teaching him how to be accepting of other people’s beliefs, culture and norms.
- Moreover, exploring one’s country eliminates naivety and ignorance which is the root of disunity and lack of nationalism.
Just imagine the Philippines full of travelers, how great would that be?
(A foreigner being also being toured by fishermen)
It should therefore be explicitly declared that:
“Access to affordable means of traveling one’s country is a basic human right”
It is necessary for you to go to Ticao, so that ordinary people like Raul and Nilo would be alleviated from poverty. This is in the hope that someday they too, would be able to exercise the right to travel their own country.
Because, YES, they still look beyond the horizon, dreaming of the day they discover what’s out there.
(Raul looking beyond the horizon)
(Nicco Lampa visited Ticao, Philippines on May 23, 2011)