Eco Travel Diary: Philippines

Eco Travel Diary: Philippines

Note: This letter was originally published in our weekly newsletter and is being republished here.

Hey guys,

I’m writing this from our hotel room in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. It’s overlooking the Mayon Volcano, the most active volcano in the Philippines, and Legazpi City which is located at the foot of it. 

My mum is from this province region (before she escaped to Manila) and travelling here and observing the hardworking locals helps me better understand and appreciate mum’s work ethic, her strength and resilience and her devout Catholic faith. Philippines is considered a matriarchal society and it’s normal for women to play huge roles in managing household and business affairs, leading the family, playing an active role in government and politics. Since I’ve been alive, Philippines has had two female Presidents and many female government officials. Contact any business and it comes as no surprise if you’re dealing with a female manager.

As much as I adore my cultural roots, there are many issues here too. 

The beautiful islands of the Philippines. Photo by Cris Tagupa on Unsplash.

Human trafficking, inequality and the growing gap between rich and poor, religion as the only source of morality (it seems), zero divorce laws that mean battered women remain in dysfunctional relationships with violent men, imprisonment for women who undergo abortion (abortion is strictly illegal which in some ways help to perpetuate the cycle of poverty), limited recycling facilities and pollution just to name a few. I won’t even go into President Duterte‘s War on Drugs.

There’s also issues that stem from centuries of colonialism when the Spanish invaded in the 1500s and ruled until 1898. The United States beat them in war and ruled over the Philippines until World War II, when Japan occupied the country. True independence was only gained after World War II so cultural identity issues, subservient attitudes and colorism affects the community too.

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Related Post: SoulSpeak Soul Discovery and Yoga Retreat at Masungi Geoserve (Philippines)

Now I am here in a business capacity, on a mission to find ways to marry what we do at Eco Warrior Princess with how to help my people. It’s a daunting task to wade through the issues and choose our areas of focus, but I’m determined to use our media brand for good and find ways to create positive social impacts. Privilege often comes with much hedonism, but in my world, privilege should be used to fight for others who aren’t or can’t fight for themselves. 

So my question for you today is this: How are you using your privilege to improve the state of our world? 

Peace, love and all that jazz,

Jen xx

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Feature image by Camille San Vicente on Unsplash.

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