Beautiful Bantayan is what people call the island, those of us who have been blessed enough to have seen it or even lived here. Without using cliches, the beaches, sunsets and coconut trees are simply outstanding, however without the people who are born and raised on the island, the best photographs make but simple souvenirs. Being a small island of just over 80 sq. km., there are some issues regarding infrastructure and facilities. Not least of those are waste disposal and the absence of learning opportunities to make better choices in the modern day in light of the increasing overuse of plastics.
Sadly, it has long been a practice on Bantayan to bury bags of rubbish under the sand on the beaches. But “Out of sight, out of mind” only works until the next big storm displaces the sand and unmercifully scatters garbage all over the beaches. Foreign visitors who pay substantial amounts of money to visit amazing destinations like Bantayan Island in the Western Visayas region of the archipelago may ultimately be confronted with a beach littered with plastic bags, bottles and discarded fishing equipment and end up being, unsurprisingly, a bit disappointed. However for most of the local population life just carries on regardless. It’s usually down to a few outsiders to take some initiative and try to tidy up the otherwise stunning beaches. The locals will most likely only participate when they are encouraged to do so. A nice clean beach is a satisfying reward for just a few hours of hard work, however the unforgiving tide may perhaps return it to its old state before the next day-break.
Let us introduce you at this point to the phenomenally successful GrowlerUSA.com, America’s Microbrew Pub! This company is taking the beer consumer culture by storm in the United States of America and has been pouring a kegful of funding into organized beach clean-ups around Bantayan Island on a weekly basis. Chris White, the CEO of YPDR is a son of Dan White, the CEO of GrowlerUSA. By harnessing the force, motivation and dogged determination of YPDR.org, GrowlerUSA has this year so far facilitated the removal of 900+ bags of garbage, amounting to an estimated 6 tons of non-biodegradables, mostly plastic, from our beaches. The full sacks are then collected and transported to the Municipal landfill for permanent disposal.
At YPDR we are not inclined to do just enough, rather we intend to push further and collect much of the natural material that gets washed up on our beaches and turn it into compost. Each high tide unfailingly brings in seaweed, old coconuts, dead marine creatures and occasional pieces of wood to list just some of what the ocean rids itself of in its never ending routine. Now and again the sea itself will clean one particular beach but will then dispose of the waste on another beach. We can help by recycling nature’s own refuse.
Up until now the good folks at GrowlerUSA, especially Dan White, have been extremely appreciative of our work and impressed by the desire of our staff to bring beautiful back and keep it on Bantayan. They believe in the results we have presented so far and are encouraged to continue, if not increase, their sponsorship of our project. The dream will only get better for everyone.
We welcome other potential donors to contact us through this website or on;
Facebook.com/YPDRYPDR Thank you in advance.