El Nido in Palawan is known as one of the Philippines’ ultimate beach destinations, which is why netizens were shocked when one viral post showed it inundated with trash.
Netizen Ianna Reyes posted a video yesterday showing plastic rubbish floating in Secret Lagoon, considered one of El Nido’s must-see destinations.
“Although I enjoyed our tour today, I was disappointed with one part of the tour,” Reyes wrote in her post. “This is Secret Lagoon. Please, please, please let us TAKE OUR TRASH with us and throw it in the PROPER garbage bins!!!”
The first video has received more than 900,000 views as of writing.
She also shared a photo of her posing before the floating garbage. Another video shows her helping a man, presumably her tour guide, clean up the lagoon.
In her post, she wrote: “My point is, we should do our part to maintain the places we go to as [be] clean as when we got there, if not even cleaner.”
She adds: “If these [garbage] were due to huge waves or previous storm, it’s all still because we are undisciplined, dirty individuals,” she said. “This is not meant to ruin the booming tourism of Palawan but to raise awareness to THROW YOUR TRASH IN THE PROPER GARBAGE BINS or else, it will come back to bite us in places we least expect it to.”
Many netizens reacted to the post, including El Nido resident Sharmaine Dela Cruz.
In a Facebook message sent to Coconuts Manila, Dela Cruz said that the southwest monsoon might have brought the garbage to the lagoon.
“We consider this a yearly problem during this time of the year,” she said. “This is washed up garbage. Habagat or the southwest monsoon is the major culprit.”
According to Dela Cruz, some of her friends have found water bottles in the water which they think were produced in other countries. However, they have also found plastics used in Philippine-made products.
She said that single-use plastics have been banned in El Nido since December so “we [people in El Nido] have reduced our plastic garbage tremendously.”
She added that the locals organize clean-up drives as often as possible, but they get canceled due to inclement weather because the Philippine Coast Guard prohibits people from traveling in the waters.
Have you seen Palawan in a less-than-pristine state? Tell us by leaving a comment below or by tweeting us @CoconutsManila.