Maybe it is just me. But I felt nature lost another treasure in Hagimit Falls‘ fast “development” nowadays. Not that I disliked eco-tourism in its entirety, but when I went to Hagimit Falls just last month and compared it with what It has been about 2 years ago, I just didn’t like what I saw. Like a splinter in one’s eye, there are telltale signs of ecodevelopment gone awry.
Take a look at his pictures I took 2 years ago (read my Samal adventures before, here!) Noticeable was the absence of man made structures on the edge of the fall’s catch basins and streams. The carabao grass covered camping site is all there is. The water seemed clearer also, and no noticeable mud silt on the floor of the river basin.
My bad , I wasn’t able to take pictures of the structures recently but if you look at more recent pictures in this site, you will see huts, tables and chairs just several feet away from the stream’s edge. The obvious scare in this is the tendency of campers to just throw or leave their waste nearby. Notable also is the absence of a washing area or food disposal unit nearby. Permanent footbridges crossing only some part of the river stream, were also created. But this will just encourage campers to walk on the footbridges up to its edge and then wade in the middle of the stream immediately even if they came from god knows where places. If you bathe into the falls or stream, you’ll notice the soapy, oily waters of the stream. Cold yes, but a bit oily. Why? I don’t know. Comfort rooms are located upstream, near the entrance.
Some say the continuous stream of water certainly helped “moving” all those unseen waste around. Such logic isn’t entirely correct form an ecological chain standpoint. The river’s fauna sure does suffer. Notice the siltation?
Camper’s education is a necessary ingredient in this eco tourism venture. And I’m not at odds with developing certain areas for ecotourism. Nonetheless, we all agree that the “managers” of this site should really think hard before putting in all those structures in the name of development. Surely this is one of nature’s finite resources. Earning money from this ecoventure without preserving its existence is all the hall mark of an ecological disaster in the making.