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Palaw’an tribespeople living in Sitio Sabsaban, Barangay Aribungos, Brooke’s Point, Palawan pledged to promote and adhere to sustainable tourism in managing their Sabsaban Falls.
The Palawan Young Sustainable Environment Advocates (PYSEA), on Sunday, December 8, conducted a sustainable tourism-related activity empowering Palaw’an natives who manage the tourist spot.
Supported by the local government unit, the pro-environment youth group held a capacity-building activity entitled, “Be Frontliners Improving Tourism (Be FIT) Brooke’s Point,” which aims to increase the knowledge of Palaw’an natives on sustainable tourism principles and practices.
The group also partnered with the Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape Protected Area Office.
“We believe no other people can better manage this eco-tourism site than the Palaw’an natives themselves because they have been embedded since time immemorial in this place which is covered by their ancestral domain,” said Be FIT project coordinator Keith Anthony Fabro in an interview.
Be FIT project believes that tourism destinations should switch into using a sustainable tourism approach in managing local spots in a bid to encourage ecological conservation and enhancement for the benefit of both the community and the natural world.
“In sustainable tourism, both the people and the planet win. It’s the way to go because it gives a steady stream of income, especially to marginalized indigenous communities, all while ensuring that their rich culture is preserved and their irreplaceable biodiversity is protected,” Fabro said.
The one-day tourism symposium was attended by an estimated 20 Palaw’an natives who showed interest and gained further knowledge and tips on how to effectively handle the local Sabsaban Falls.
Speakers, including Fabro, representing Be FIT project, held talks on how the indigenous tribe can acquire sustainable tourism benefits for them and their community in the long run.
“Sa sustenableng turismo, lahat tayo ay panalo, walang maiiwan. Nagbibigay ito ng patuloy na daloy ng kita para sa komunidad habang pinoprotektahan ang kalikasan at pinahahalagahan ang kultura,” Fabro said.
Meanwhile, YSEALI’s speaker Jenevieve Hara provided a discussion on how the Palaw’an people can help in saving the ocean by promoting the use of recyclable materials and maintaining segregation within the tourist spot compound.
“Kailangan nating isalba hindi lang ang kalikasanbkabilang ang karagatan. Imbis na plastik ang gamitin natin, matuto tayong sa maliliit na paraan gumamit tayo ng mga bagay o kasangkapan na recyclable. Kasi lahat ng basura natin sa komunidad, maaring hindi lahat masesegregate, marami ang napupunta sa karagatan na nakakaapekto sa mga lamang-dagat,” Hara said.
Meanwhile, Nelson Landuan, one of the tribe leaders, stressed that they wish to take part in more tourism-related workshops in the future. He also said that they will start adhering stricter rules in managing the tourist spot in able to contribute to saving both the community and the environment.
“Ang sa amin lang, mas lalo namin pagbubutihin ang pag-maintain dito sa Sabsaban Falls. ‘Yung mga hindi sumusunod sa patakaran natin dito talagang dapat mas lalo naming kulitin,” Landuan said.
“Nagpapasalamat kami kasi mas lalong napalakas at lumawak at nadagdgan ang aming kaisipan sa mga itinuro nila. Sa abot ng aming makakaya sisikapin naming gampanan ang sustenableng turismo,” he added.