These days everyone is proudly flaunting their metal straws and those reusable spoons & forks but there is another bunch of products that could have more impact in the pollution problem if most of us gave it up. This is why at the start of 2019, I made this as my top resolution and here is why you should include it in yours too!
These days everyone is proudly flaunting their metal straws and those reusable spoons & forks but there is another bunch of products that could have more impact in the pollution problem if most of us gave it up.
What is it you ask? Give up shopping fast fashion products!
What is fast fashion?
It is inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.
In A Nutshell
In early 2018, the fashion giant H&M reported sitting on a huge pile of unsold clothes — $4.3 billion worth of inventory. They also incinerated 15 tons in 2017, which they claimed were clothes not safe to use. This shows the major problem the fast fashion industry has. Imagine if each one of the 7.5 billion people on Earth owned only one pair of pants and one shirt, that would make 15 billion items of clothing but of course we have more. In fact our consumption for fast fashion is growing at a crazy pace and it must stop. For over two decades, I have always been a fan of buying second hand clothes, in my country, we call it ukay-ukay. However, it was only this 2019 that I decided to completely avoid purchasing any new clothing for the entire year.
What if you just cannot cut down just as much as I can? Here are some suggestions:
Support eco-friendly brands that support long-term conservation projects.
Shift to eco-fabrics and support the development of agricultural residues like leftover straw as sustainable alternative for fabric manufacturing.
Buy clothes that last and reduce & recycle fabric to optimise the use of the product. Try doing Project 333 and be surprised how little you need for 3 months.
At a digital age, it is not an excuse to not know of sustainable alternatives. It is good though that for most Filipinos, ukay-ukay is popular but it is not really stopping the production of new ones which eventually end up in thrift stores. We have also become home to huge stores of fast fashion brands. The next time you shop, think about it. Is it really necessary?
If you want to know more about the growing problem of fast fashion, check out these resources:
The difference between Oslob and Pintuyan is quite huge in several aspects.
Less Crowd. Far from them park feeling you get when in Oslob, Pintuyan is a remote place that is not frequently visited by countless of Korean and Chinese tourists. Compared to hundreds in Oslob, in Pintuyan, you will probably have 20 other people the most.
Longer Interaction for Lesser Cost. In Oslob, you only get to be in the water for 45 minutes and pay more while in Pintuyan, it will be for a three-hour long sea-based adventure. Since they do not feed the whale sharks, you will have to wait it out for a bit and have several chances in interacting with them.
Directly Supporting Local Community. In Pintuyan, when you pay the fees, you are paying a small portion to the local government while directly supporting the local fishermen who are advocates of conservation, for a disadvantaged community this is helping them a lot unlike in Oslob where the government is earning millions per month without full transparency where the money is going.
See Raw Nature and Real Local Life. Oslob has already gotten touristy while Pintuyan has remained simple and raw. You can sit back and watch the sunset from their port and enjoy local priced food and drinks in town.
Taking An Ethical Stand Against Animal Exploitation. As travelers, it is easy to not think of our impacts when we support local destinations and activities. Saying No to Oslob is changes the perspective of tourism to a more sustainable approach and it is empowering communities that are opting to be more eco-friendly in their approach.
Getting to Pintuyan:
Traveling to Pintuyan involves several transfers but the scenery is worth it. Southern Leyte being a less frequented place has a lot to offer. I would suggest leaving Cebu at night and arriving early in the morning in either Hilongos or Maasin.
To reach Pintuyan, you can either go on a fast craft or overnight boat to Hilongos or Maasin (closer) which can take 3-6 hours. Check out Roble Shipping Lines, Gabisan Shipping Lines or Weesam Express. You can then take a van or bus to Sogod where you can take another ride to Pintuyan. From Hilongos to Pintuyan takes about 3 hours and costs around 180PHP. You can also fly to Tacloban and then take a bus to Southern Leyte, however, this will cost a lot more money.
You can take a local boat called Leopard Shipping Lines from Ubay to Maasin and from there to take a van or bus to go to Sogod Bus Terminal and then catch a van or bus to Pintuyan.
How Much Will The Whale Shark Interaction Cost?
Before you could swim with the sharks, all tourists must undergo briefing before given trip tickets to engage in whale shark interaction. Then you’ll need spotters and tour guides and KASAKA will provide that.
Charges are collected from persons engaging in Whale Shark Watching and Interaction. Interactions can be done from morning until early afternoon.
Whaleshark Interaction Fees:
Conservation Fee: Php250.00 per person
Boat Rental (Good for 3 people): Php700.00 boat tour within the Municipal Water of Pintuyan Proper.
Php800.00 boat tour within the Municipal Water of San Ricardo.
Tour / Naturalist Guide: Php350.00
Shark Spotter: Php300.00
For more questions: Mr. Virgilio Plazon Flores KASAKA Collector and also one of the P.O.’s Tour Guides Mobile Number: 09359296626
Whale Shark Interaction Guidelines:
Make sure to strictly follow the guidelines before and after entering the interaction area.
Also important to remember that you SHOULD NOT WEAR SUNSCREEN as these chemicals can affect the whale sharks.
Accommodations in Pintuyan:
You might want to go a day before the whale shark interaction to have enough time to rest before the interaction as it will be an action filled interaction involving a lot of swimming. Whale sharks seem like they swim slow but trust me they can swim fast! Pintuyan has only three options for you should you choose to stay for the night:
They have twin rooms at around P5,000+ You can use my code to get a 10% discount in Booking.com:
Located near the parish church of Pintuyan Address: Barangay Poblacion Ubos, P.S.L. Care Taker’s Name: Mrs. Emmylou Banol Contact Number: 09069372486
La Guerta Lodge I and II:
I would suggest staying at Lodge I as it is closer to the local food places, more spacious and Municipal Hall where you pay the conservation fee. A room there costs P 600, it has aircon and an own toilet but no hot shower. You can share one room with two other people though it is quite a tight space and one has to sleep on the floor with a mattress while the two has to share a double bed.
La Guerta Lodge I (In front of the Municipal Hall) Address: Barangay Poblacion Ubos, Pintuyan, Southern Leyte
La Guerta Lodge II (In front of the Pintuyan District Hospital – P.D.H.) Address: Barangay Poblacion Ubos, P.S.L.
Care Taker’s Name: Mrs. Lynrie B. Guias (for La Guerta Lodges I and II) Contact Number: 09261426986
6As’s Owner: Amy Tandayag – 09173211024
Staying in the Town:
Ayen Sari-sari Store
Lucky Seven Trading
Roselyn’s Sari-sari Store and Lotto Outlet
Venus Sari-sari Store – BBQ, Vegetables and Fruit Stand
Rucat’s Sari-sari Store
Alice Store Sari-sari Store
Cade’s Sari-Sari Store – Meat and Vegetables
Cebuana Lhuiller Express
Surigao Sari-sari Grocery
Ramos’ Store – Photocopy/clothes/house supplies
Lelot Store – Fruits and Vegetables
San Juan “Ubos” Barangay Hall
Ariane Jee Lechon Manok
La Guerta Lodging House
Basketball Court Gym
Pintuyan Central School
Pintuyan National Highschool
DJ BA Pharmacy
La Guerta Lodge II
Pintuyan District Hospital
Ginell’s JenielJunJames Gen. Merchandise and Eatery
Another tip is to catch the sunset from the port, grab your beer and just chill. When sunset comes, you will be able to see the local fishermen head out to the sea. It is like seeing the boat version of Bagan’s air balloons. It is quite a sight to see. Also, remember that everything closes early in this place so make sure to buy dinner by 7:00PM as all stores pretty much close after. You can also use the dirty kitchen in La Guerta and cook, you can borrow the pans from the caretakers they are very helpful.
Other Activities You Can Do When in Pintuyan:
Hike Son-ok Peak
Located within the Panaon Point of Barangay Son-ok near Pintuyan Ecotourism Park, you will get a bird’s eye view of the bay.
Explore Pintuyan Ecotourism Park which has an area of 22,729 sq. meters, home to the Philippine long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis philippensis.)
A series of five waterfalls that stretch along 4.5 kilometers of river flows of Barangay Catbawan seven kms. Northeast of the town proper.
The site boast of its unique features thru different shapes of waterfalls. The 212 hours of river trekking along the stretch is worth an adventure as one will hurdle each falls using roots and hanging “Bagon” leaving behind memories of hard knock efforts while enjoying what nature can offer. S
Snorkel or Dive
Pintuyan has several Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that boast beautiful coral coverage and an abundance of reef fishes: Dan-an, Manglit, Son-ok, and Balong-Balong. But there are also interesting spots just along the coast like right in front of the Brgy. Sta. Cruz Pier or the sandy area in Brgy. Punod for muck diving. Before you swim or indulge in any water activities, especially in the MPAs, please contact or visit the Tourism Office first to settle conservation fees, suggestions on where you can rent gear (mask, snorkel, fins) if you do not have any, and instructions on if and where inside these areas is allowed for recreation.
Now that you have a better option than Oslob, please spread the word and help promote Pintuyan, a hidden gem in Southern Leyte.
Christmas is coming fast! Most of you are probably scrambling for gifts to give. While it is convenient to buy those usual gifts like money, clothes or tech products, you should fall into the trap. I have rounded up options for a more sustainable gift- giving.
Here are 10 gift items that are proudly Filipino made and environment friendly.
Nature based, organic skin care products is 98% botanical based. The company uses state of the art manufacturing facilities, and with the approval of the Bureau of Food and Drugs, Aromacology Sensi’s products are carefully crafted from all naturally-based raw materials like herbs, flowers, and fruits extracts; a true perfect blend of nature and science. They offer a wide-array of skincare products which are designed to fit Asians’ sensitive skin.
I am a big fan of basil but there are times when it is impossible to find fresh ones at the supermarket. This is a perfect choice for those friends who are into cooking. Although, there are many dried herbs available in supermarkets, fresh is always best. The company offers a wide variety of herbs from basil to lavender and they even sell lettuce and strawberries!
Similar to the potted herbs, mushroom is a popular ingredient for many dishes. Also, if you have a vegetarian friend, these oyster mushrooms are good alternatives (think mushroom burgers). This kit is easy to grow, all you need is to cut-out the box and moisten the kit daily.
Grapes in a tropical country? Yes! While most people do not think about this but grapes actually can grow in the Philippines. Take it from Gapuz Grape Farms, their family has been growing, harvesting & nurturing high-quality grapes now for 30 years! Their grapes have a California pedigree and locally grown with a pinoy twist of planting method.
Looking for adorable plushies to give to kids or to those who are young at heart?
“Conservation Sew Mates” was inspired by, and established with the aim to support wildlife conservation efforts. As a livelihood supplement project, Sew Mates workshops were organized to teach fishermen community to make and sell the toys to tourists.
Your purchase is helping the sustainable development of responsible ecotourism in the Philippines. All proceeds will be donated to support Physalus (a non-profit conservation group)’s whale shark research project in the Philippines.
If you are running out of creativity on what to give an artistic person then Craft2Go craft kits is a sure hit. They offer unique, one-of-a-kind, creative craft kits for children and adults which are locally produced.
Backpacking around for more than a decade, avid back packer couple and artist-designer Lyndon Ecuacion and Clarice de Villa found alternative solutions in inner tube and tire rubber as a suitable material to protect gears in the adventure travel lifestyle. It is sustainable so long as humanity use wheels.
Since there is no known disintegration rates for tire rubber to decay, upcycling this material implies durability that can outlive our generation. It then evolved and blossomed into an advocacy geared towards socio-economic solutions while inspiring green initiative for our only planet and its entire inhabitant. Hence, Siklo Pilipinas was founded.
It is difficult to miss out on karaoke when in the Philippines. Without a doubt, music plays a big role in our country. You hear music everywhere, but who would have thought that a common grass like the bamboo can be used for getting the music out.
The ‘Zen Speaker’ is an innovative bamboo dock for your Smartphone; it also amplifies the music from your Smartphone. Make it more personal by costumizing the design with their favourite colour and name.
Cycling is getting more and more popular in the Philippines and why wouldn’t it be? It is a great cardio workout and is good for managing carbon footprints.
Bambike is a socio-ecological enterprise based in the Philippines that hand-makes bamboo bicycles with fair-trade labor and sustainable building practices. Their bamboo bike builders (aka Bambuilders) come from Gawad Kalinga, a Philippine based community development organization for the poor, working to bring an end to poverty. They have programs that include scholarships, sponsoring a preschool teacher, and a weekly feeding program for children, as well as a bamboo nursery for reforestation. Bambike is a company that is interested in helping out people and the planet, dedicated to social and environmental stewardship. Their goal is to do better business and to make the greenest bikes on the planet. Bambike Revolution Cycles: People-Planet-Progress.
No matter what budget and preference, there is always a more sustainable gift option for you. Be a more environmentally aware shopper and support Filipino products!