Archive for April, 2008


DOT launches eco-park in Guimaras

April 20, 2008

Phil. Star, April 20, 2008

GUIMARAS – The Department of Tourism (DOT) launched here on Saturday a United Nations-funded ecological park which aims to revive tourism two years after a major oil spill hit the island province.

Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano said the Guisi Discovery Quest would provide jobs to communities affected by the oil spill, particularly residents of the hardly-hit town of Nueva Valencia.

“The Department of Tourism consistently promotes the local attractions and activities in this area to show the healing capabilities of ecological tourism to a distressed community and its environment,” Durano said in a press conference.

Although he could not say that the province has fully recovered from the disaster, Durano said that the Guimaras “is better now” than in the previous years.

Durano said about 18 percent of the coastal areas of the island was affected by the oil spill. But he said alternative livelihood has been provided by the government to residents who are highly dependent on

Durano said the entire province would benefit from this venture by providing them opportunities to work as guides, kitchen staff and maintenance crew to varied nature-based programs. (Helen Flores)


Oil spills spurs protest art

April 10, 2008

The News Today
April 9, 2008

(The body of the fish is furrowed with wave-like patterns, undulating, streamlined from gills to tail. This sculpture is a perfectly haunting metaphor for the destruction wrought by the lamentable oil spill)

An ecological disaster of immense magnitude and dire consequences, the Guimaras oil spill was a nightmare visited upon a quiet island notably famous for the exquisite sweetness of their mangoes. More than just a cataclysmic event, the oil spill was a wounding and desecretation of nature, indeed a trauma not to be soon forgotten. Like a hideous stain of sin, the menace of the oil spill spead through the once healthy mangroves nurturing the fish of the sea and penetrated within the dense foliage like a cancer that has tenaciously taken residence within.

Thus, the subject of “A Protest Over the Guimaras Oil Spill” by Harry Mark Gonzales, 26. As a native of Iloilo City where the island of Guimaras is a 20-minute boatride away, Gonzales felt the emotional inquiry of the oil spill almost like a personal violation. Indeed, the focus of Gonzales as a sculptor is upon social and environmental issues. To him, these carry “overwhelming sentiments.”

What Gonzales did with his material is a tour-de-force, a brilliant and poignant idea — fired terracotta clay mixed with oil. Noxious black, the very substance absorbed within the earthen red clay. When fired, the black oil stains seeped through like a parasitic organism.

(Click Harry’s art for the rest of the story.)