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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

BRIAN GRUBB's Wakeskating in Banaue Rice Terraces Video exposesCongressman's Hypocrisy and Irrelevance

BRIAN GRUBB's Viral Video Skateboarding in Banaue Rice Terraces elicited comments from many hypocrites including one from a local Congressman who should have known better.This is an irrelevant politician trying to be relevant with an irrelevant argument.

Nakakatawa lang that people make a lot of fuss about the supposed disrespect to nature. What brain do we have?

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photo by: Red Bull Team

My take on this as a blogger:

"Basta walang namatay na hayop (other than yung manok na inalay), walang halamang nasira (dahil tinatanim palang nila) at walang terraces na natibag (dahit di naman naragasa) I don't see the point of opposing this video. They were respectful to ask permission from the villagers and the village priest as well as DOT Cordillera. They conducted themselves accordingly, they were all praises for the place, and they gave justice to the amazing beauty of Banaue Rice Terraces by coming up with an excellently made video. This is brilliant. 

This is a win for our tourism efforts deserving of everybody's support.After all, this is what we bloggers do, we write about the places we visit so as to tell people they exist and in the process, we entice them to also experience the joy we experienced. Tourism means jobs to locals.We have to support it then. This video would generate more exposure to Banaue Rice Terraces in a few months time than me (for example) blogging about it my whole lifetime. I can delete my blog in exchange of this video. The "this promotes the product and not Banaue" argument is sick. Of course one is promoted because of the other.

And why haven't we thought about it?
Yun ang tanung. Bakit nga ba?I think we need to be more creative."

Watch the Viral Video Again:

And what about the Interview of Abs-Cbn on some locals?

>>>That Environmentalist is obviously out of touch with reality. Walang kwenta (senseless) ang comment that's why it was cut by Abs-Cbn. haha!
>>That Shop Owner should know better, that when tourists come, sya unang makikinabang. Isara nalang ang Banaue sa mga Turista. Para #nganga sya.
>>>And that Congressman?, gusto lang nyan dapat dumaan sa kamay nya. Kailangan ng lagay? Buti nalang di nya natunugan. He might have made everything more difficult for the Red Bull team and they might have packed their bags at the soonest opportunity. Imagine the pain of traveling halfway around the world and agonizing over the long ride to Banaue and still go through the bureaucracy.

And Ifugao Province's Congressman Teddy Baguilat Jr.
didn't stop there.

“Since it’s an indigenous community, it’s also a heritage site, the process of consultation is more tedious. It requires, to me, the free prior informed consent [of the community]. It’s not just a matter of getting the approval of, perhaps, the barangay officials, the barangay captain or the municipal tourism officer, but it’s an assembly where you present all the pros and cons, the objectives of the activity, what it is leading to, and give time for the community to reflect whether they’d like wakeskating to be part of their lives.
I’ll first inquire what was the process, the exact nature of the process [of getting permits]. Was it just a mere presentation to a few elders, or does it include the officials, or was it an assembly that decided? And secondly, I’d ask the Department of Tourism whether they gave the permit or approval to the activity.” --Cong. Teddy Baguilat Jr

GOOD NEWS: The Philippines is the most improved in Asia in "Ease of Doing Business" jumping 30 notches from 138 to 108. Source

BAD NEWS: WE have congressmen and politician like Mr. Baguilat who exist to threaten further improvement in the ranking.

Note: Elect more of his kind and we will surely go down the list again.


IPUGAW AD BANNAWOR  writes ---"excuse me,Fukuda, tga-banaue ako mismo at lahat ng tao dun lalo n mga may-ari ng palayan,nag-agree cla dhil walang ginagawa ang mga politiko!! FYI,mga foreigners ang madaming tulong s amin ,helping send our children to school,,have some food on our table,helping us go abroad to find greener pastures and they helped us regain our DIGNITY In behalf of the peope of BANAUE,we don't give a damn of your negative comments because that won't give us anything."

I have been to Banaue and I was shocked at how settlements at the base of Banaue Rice Terraces has become uncontrolled. Poorly constructed concrete houses slowly crawling up the terraces. Yung bandang taas nalang ang maayos. This pose a greater threat to the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE. What are local politicians doing to address this issue? And this wakeboarding activity, did it damage anything? Nope!

Poverty is a greater threat because starving locals will think of how to fill their empty stomachs first before they can even care for the environment. I never heard of somebody starving himself to death so as to care for the environment first.

And what are local politicians doing on these more pressing issues?

1.drop in tourist arrivals in the area 
2.uncontrolled settlements at the base of Banaue Rice Terraces 
3.Worsening poverty in the area

Is this the case of "let's keep them in the dark so that we can exploit them" politics?

I'd like to quote my friend Rex Romero, a young photographer based in New York
on his private conversation with me re: the matter

"Kaya nga dapat talaga bisitahin muna ung lugar bago magcomment e. I love Banaue so I took time to visit it and actually talk to its people. Promise bro madodown ka sa mga kuwento nila.. They dont own any of the lands and the LGUs are all rotten they don't have better choices there."


"THE tourism industry of Ifugao is slowly sinking as indicated by statistics. Ifugao Board Member and chairman of the committee on tourism James Frederick Dulnuan said around 81,000 tourists visited the province last year. He added Banaue catered around 50,000, while Batad in Banaue had 9,000 tourists in 2011.Dulnuan revealed records show the number of tourist arrivals last year declined as compared to the previous years, 2009 and 2010.He said some of the reasons of the decrease on tourist arrivals are weak promotion and marketing.He urged the media to help promote the province which is home to a lot of tourist spots." --


“We’re all for tourism promotion. But at the end of the day, the rice terraces is an agricultural land. It’s meant for food production, not for extreme sports or leisure. Although we have trekking in the area, we have camping in the surrounding areas, wakeskating is something extreme because the paddies are not really wide, they are narrow. And as I saw the video, it’s quite dangerous having planting and agricultural activities simultaneously with wakeskating.” ---Cong.Teddy Baguilat Jr

Is there anybody in the local government who collects the trash of those who are allowed to trek and/or camp in the terraces? They are the one's who collect taxes so do you use the money to sustain tourism or it simply go straight to their pockets?  Why can't the village folks decide for what they think will help boost tourism in their terraces? Perhaps they are taking matters on their own hands because their politicians are useless.

If he said it in another way, perhaps: We support the video and we think it will help our tourism efforts but we will be coordinating with municipal government, the barangay and the local DOT office to come up with safety rules for future related requests so as to ensure the protection of the Unesco World Heritage Site....... --eh di sana humanga pa ako.

Perhaps we should ask the Congressman to show if any of his PORK BARREL allocations has been channeled towards the promotion of tourism in his district.

I go for tourism. It means jobs for locals and food on their table.This video will go a long way in promoting Banaue Rice Terraces and the Philippine Tourism Brand as a whole.

Bottomline is: They asked permission from the villagers, No harm was done to the paddies, this was a one-time promotional event. What is all these ruckus all about then?
Why can't we just celebrate and be thankful?



    1. i like the way you write about this issue, para sa akin kung wala naman nasira o natapakan go for that, beside bilang isang heritage advocacy maganda ang ginawa nila to promote the place lalo na ngaun na mga outsiders pa ang tumutulong to promote and improve the place...

    2. ok lang sa akin yan... wala namang problem eh... dagdag attraction pa yan sa mga turista... bobo lang yung congressman... makasarili kasi xa... baka gusto nya sya lang may pera dahil sa mga nakurakot nya...
      pasenxa na... sa totoo lang ang lupet ng video! super ganda ng shots nila sa rice terraces,,, kung maging tourist attraction ito as bagong gimik sa lugar, ok sa akin, wag lang sana may masirang part ng terraces,,, hehehe...

    3. The reported numbers of tourists visiting Banaue and Batad are startling. Maybe this stunt can really create publicity so that people will start to visit, explore, and appreciate the Ifugao Rice Terraces. But of course, I'd love to hear from our government leaders about their conservation programs as well as socio-development projects in and around the rice terraces.

    4. i got your point....but i do really hope this would be a 1 time situation because not all of us have the same thinking. some may think Banaue would offer this kind of sports in the future, if that would happen a UNESCO Heritage Site would be on risk, i know you have the idea and some of us may think it would boost tourism for Banaue. But the bottomline, i would still go for tourism but not in this way that using wakeboarding on a Heritage Site eventhough with all of the permissions been approved! I would love to see the beauty of Banaue just the way it is and not turn into a next extreme sports area....^_^

    5. Ok, napagbigyan na ang request ng mga thrill-seekers. nakapag-wakeskate na sila sa Rice Terraces. Good job! Whoopidoo!

      Sana naman di ma-convert and Rice Terraces sa isang xtreme sports scene. Green tourism is all about preservation and having minimal impact on the environment.

      Yes, wakeskating may attract tourists and probably liven the the tourism in the area, but at what cost?

      Foreigners do help our IP's (that's, indigenous people) a lot. But I hoped they could have helped them in other ways than using the terraces in a totally different way.

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