How the Boracay Shutdown Changed Tourism by Gigi E. and Bella E.

Updated: May 10, 2020

"My sister and I decided to create this documentary on a family trip to the gorgeous island of Puerto Galera. Our family had fallen in love with the island and it’s people when we first visited it in 2017. The local people were so welcoming and the views were absolutely breathtaking.

Gigi and I created this documentary because we were curious about the lives of people living in popular tourist destinations. I've always wondered how they felt about tourism and the many changes that have occurred in their hometowns because of it. Did they welcome tourists with open arms? Did they ever feel that foreigners or the government had encroached on their lives and the environment? It was these questions that drove us to interview a few of the many wonderful people we met. In truth, we didn't know exactly what to expect in for our responses; we merely had a conversation with them about their lives growing up on the island. It was only after compiling footage did we find one common theme in what all four said: the importance of responsible behavior in maintaining the environment. After reflecting on this, we believe it's because coastal communities are more vulnerable to natural disasters, plastic pollution, and climate change. This is why more people need to realize that just because an environmental issue might not affect your part of the world, it doesn't mean that it doesn't affect someone, somewhere else in communities like Puerto Galera. Overall, I’m proud of this little project that my sister and I collaborated on. We’re happy that we got to do our part in spreading awareness about unsustainable tourism in the Philippines. We definitely felt a stronger connection with the island and its people after filming this documentary. We’re thrilled to have people watch it and understand their role in protecting the environment. Hopefully, our documentary gives justice to the beauty of Puerto Galera so others can fall in love with it as much as we have." - Bella E.