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Masasa Beach - Paradise Lost

Since this writer liked the serenity of this beach, I decided to go back there and stay a bit longer to feel more of the environment. It was just a month since I last went there and I was surprised with the changes that happened.

The environmental fee of P30 was now being collected and Anilao Port. It was before being collected at the beach so I had a lot of scenarios in mind when they changed it. The local government did not trust the village with the collection? Based on what the barangay folks tell me, they were getting an average of 4,000 people on weekends, multiply it by P30 each. Thats a lot of money coming in every week.  

They now have weekly clean up the beach. They do it every friday morning as I noticed. Before only a handful of people do this, but now, it seemed the whole village is into this cleaned up. Sadly, the clean up is still not as thorough as you might expect. 

Police presence is now available. Thursday night two of them were patrolling the beach. It was great knowing that security was increased since I last came. Good job for the people of Tingloy or Anilao.

Due to the Influx of visitors, the following also I noticed. The fishermen stopped fishing and instead are offering island hopping and snorkeling for P1,500 and P150 per person. A number of teenagers are offering guided tours to a hiking trail to the Rock for his wife for P100. The island hopping is for 4 persons for almost 4 hours so its a bit fine knowing you can swim and loiter around the islands you go into. The hiking trail offers a great view of tingloy and anilao at the top. The trail is well kept although I was hoping to have more for the price of the guide.

To bum out the experience they introduced a new ordinance - No Tents Allowed after 7pm and no more bonfires allowed. All guests must be billeted in homes transient.  

Bummer. This writer like the place before as I like the idea of ​​camping on the beach. Now with this rule made we look at a number of homes around transient. It costs around P250 per person and you get a non-airconditioned room with no wall finish. Meaning you can see blocks as walls. You will be lucky if they have an electric fan available for you. The island still have schedules for electricity and most of the time they do not have it. I cringe at the thought that they only have a few available transient homes available, and with a few boat trips back to Anilao from tingloy, I can not imagine what if I get stuck in tingloy with no room available. I can only surmise what will happen to the 4,000 guests if only 25% of that decided to stay in the island. Where would they go?

As for the bonfire, actually I am not a fan of it. Id rather see the stars above, but for groups going to the Island, most definitely want it. Due to a lot of people who do not have a care of the environment, the local government banned this practice for safety reasons.

I was ticked off with the camping ban so I asked around why they made such a rule. Due to the number of people who went there, drinking was a problem. Once drunk, there were a number of cases of 1) getting people into tents wrong 2) cases of groping in tents and 3) empty alcohol being broken on site. So instead of creating solutions to these, they simply banned camping after 7pm. Drinking was not banned so I do not know how they solve case number 3.

I love the following before and why I will not suggest this place anymore (for now).

1.) Serenity - no serenity during weekends. 4,000 visitors on a Saturday. enough said.

2.) Camping - due to the ordinance. no more tent after 7pm.

3.) No commercialization - Even Anilao Port stores are becoming tourist traps.  Bananas costs P70 per kilo, whereas its just P50 per kilo in Manila.  Transient homes charging an average of P300 for hollow blocked (no wall finish) rooms with province type bathrooms (no running water mostly) not my idea of stay.

I liked the rustiness of the place before and now its just a typical commercial beach now.  People are cashing in on the place and it somehow ticked off some of the visitors I have talked to.

Overall, this is paradise lost. The secret place is now a not so secret beach. I won't be coming back to this beach in the near future.