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Ode To Our Islands

Ongoing ‘Earth + Lens’ highlights that, glistening in light and in darkness, the seas are bluer in the Philippines

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By Vianca Gamboa

Photos by Ronald G. Jayme and Manny Llanes

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No shade, but a landlocked place is a nightmare. A stifling sun can be much more bearable if you’re meters away from the sea or, if time permits it, in its waters. With our diverse marine ecosystem holding such wonderful things and life, there is nothing quite like the Philippines.

The 7,641 islands seem synonymous to heaven on Earth, but you get to decide what kind of heaven you’re having for your next getaway— every island is a hotspot. You can set foot on the revived shoreline of world-famous Boracay, dive deeper to the wreck wonderland of Palawan, surf the waves of Siargao, and explore thousands of remote pristine beaches that deserve a tick off your travel bucket list, too.

In full support of Department of Tourism’s #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines and #MoreFunForever, The Manila Bulletin and Huawei partnered with DOT to host the ‘Earth + Lens’ 2019 photo exhibit

The Philippines’ road to sustainable tourism is burning brighter than ever. The Department of Tourism has been very busy actively addressing issues that need support for the environment as well as campaigning for advocacies that will squarely benefit everyone in every locale such as running clean-ups, raising awareness, conducting trainings, and enforcing solid waste management. It was also their staunch passion for sustainable development that led to Boracay’s rehabilitation or redemption. DOT reported that in 2018, the Philippines scored a record of 7.1 million tourist arrivals, pushing it to promote high-value tourism with priorities set on environment preservation.

In full support of Department of Tourism’s #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines and #MoreFunForever, its newest campaign that aims to make the country the key driver in sustainable tourism in Asia, The Manila Bulletin and Huawei partnered with DOT to host the “Earth + Lens” 2019 photo exhibit of our vibrant sea scenery captured by photographers from Picture Perfect, Going Places, and the Department of Tourism using their advanced smart phone’s cameras.

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WAVES AND LENS From left: Operation Premier 3 senior AVP Perkin So, SM Supermalls Marketing and Communications senior VP Millie Dizon, The Manila Bulletin president Dr. Emilio C. Yap III, DOT Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, and The Manila Bulletin EVP Sonny Coloma during the launch of the ‘Earth + Lens’

“Earth + Lens,” on its third year, is up for a week at the S Maison atrium showcasing the marvels of the Philippine Islands and, at the same time, the riveting technology that can help immortalized them. They have found a place of pride on eco-solvent mounts for the first time, not as a backdrop to someone’s profile picture but their very own “portraiture,” the crème de la crème of our islands, in focus.

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SUSTAINABLE SEASCAPE ‘Earth + Lens’ photo exhibit showcased at S Maison to witness the Philippines’ marvelous islands in frames printed using eco-solvent materials

According to Dr. Sonny Coloma, The Manila Bulletin’s executive vice president, who graced the launch last May 20, sustainable freedom is defined as “tourism that respects local people, cultural heritage, and the environment. It seeks to provide people with exciting experiences that also create economic freedom.”

Sec. Berna Romulo-Puyat, who was also at the exhibit launch, discussed the collective efforts of the DOT and its many different organizations in sustaining tourism. She also emphasized that the preservation of our natural gifts was not the means to an end, but the end itself. “All these successes at present will be nothing in the future if we do not do our part in preserving the natural wonders that we have,” she said.

The exhibit ends today at the atrium of S Maison at Conrad Manila.

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