Palawan’s Recovery: The Future of Tourism in an Uncertain World

If I am to revisit my memories of Palawan back in the 90’s, it would be very difficult to compare the two pictures of tourism up until the pandemic hit the world. But like anything in the world, nothing’s really certain regardless the size of the change, the magnitude of nature’s control over everything is immeasurable. To think, only mother nature can threaten human arrogance regardless how we strive to have the most “advanced” technology. Advanced is actually a strange and somehow egotistic way of how we, humans, really consider this world, and all existence in it, is within our control. Advanced is perhaps alright, but only relative to the collective understanding of a particular society at a given time.

How will Palawan recover?

A good question to ponder while we deny how blind the system is. That all along, the neglect to improve other sectors to boost the economy and “hunger-proof” the citizens in it is now b**ch-slapping us.

The recovery of the island will rely on empowering the sectors that were once neglected, the vital sectors that remained in the shadows while tourism took the spot, outshining everything else in the minds of the residents.

We need to wake up and reconsider the agri-industrial sector, redefine how we compete in the national and international trade industry,
and now focus on local produce that has potential for further studies and product development. I am not talking about fish, cashew and other common products already known. I am talking about research on fibers, volatile and non-volatile plant-based petroleum, indigenous products that probably hold the answers to many other product developments for manufacturing industries here and abroad.

Tourism will be back for sure

While tourism will certainly come back and perhaps even stronger than ever. We must take action now not because of preparation for the next pandemic, but because the downtime we have is the key to open more possibilities for the Palaweños, the key to strengthening our economy far and beyond the ways we thought it possible.

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