Some guidance on do’ and don’ts. Here, you will find explanation on things that you may find odd or confusing.
Many people say that Port Barton is like El Nido 10 years ago. This claim expresses both nostalgia and a warning. El Nido ten years ago was a small village sitting at a beautiful ocean bay. Tranquil, simple and welcoming. It was difficult to reach (some 14 hours on a bumpy road) but still accessible for a few committed tourist who loved to go the “unbeaten path”. They did not mind the lack of electricity, water, ATM’s, restaurants and clubs but were thrilled to meet local people and admire the beauty of the place. Over years El Nido turned into one of the major tourist destinations in the Philippines. The beauty is still there but it is impossible to contemplate it. There are hundreds of people packed in the beach, the intimacy is gone and there is hardly any interaction between the local inhabitants and the tourist. If there is any, it is impersonal and very often hostile.
There are ways to make sure that Port Barton does not turn into El Nido and keeps its original character: a place where you are and live not just visit and leave. It requires certain behaviors from the local inhabitants, their local government and local tourist organizations. It also requires right attitude and behavior from tourists. This section has been designed to help you become a responsible tourist who respects local community and brings positive change to it.
There are three simple things that we believe you consider doing:
Smile and always show you are happy to be in Port Barton.
Local inhabitants smile at every tourist and greet them with a hello or hi. Most of the time, they do it out of simple satisfaction you came to their village or they would like to exchange a few sentences. Respond with the same. Show respect. If a sales pitch for a boat trip or any other service follows just say “thank you” if you do not want any of this and explain the reasons. Do not treat people like air and do not reply with no, thank you to how are you (that is neither English nor polite).
Respect local customs, norms and regulations.
There are not many of these and the Philippines is one of the easiest countries to visit in terms of things you should and should not do. The most important ones are: do not sunbathe topless, do not swim nude, wear some cloths when you leave the beach (pareo and a t-shirt for girls, shorts and a t-shirt for guys will do), do not go into beach bars and restaurants when you are soaking wet and take of your shoes whenever you enter your house, room or a restaurant.
Stay home if you want everything to be like back home.
Why would you think that when you travel to another country everything would be like it is back home. Just think that it is simply not possible. in Port Barton there are tourists from all over the world. How could we adjust to all of them. Instead of comparing and complaining try to immerse in local atmosphere and enjoy. You will be a happier person and your vacation will be so much better.