We Travel We Care Tuesday, March 29, 2016
The Philippines is a beautiful country. And during summer, its beauty shines more specially. For one thing, our country is not lacking in the beach department. Our islands are so spectacular, diverse, and incomparable. Yet, sometimes, I think we do not fully understand how lucky we are. It is said that familiarity breeds contempt, but in the case of the Philippines, it is neglect that the former spawns. Sometimes, even worse: apathy.
After writing about the basic Etiquette for Travelers, and the 6 Places in the Philippines That Could Disappear, and have these well received, I now feel even more compelled to continue using my platform to create better travelers out of Filipinos, especially now that summer is here, and our beaches become even more vulnerable to irresponsible visitors.
So, when packing your vacation essentials, never ever forget these 6 simple rules for when you're on the beach:
1. MIND THE SUNSCREEN
While sunscreens prevent sunburns and protect us from skin cancer, most of them have active ingredients that result to coral-bleaching. According to a study that appeared on online journal "Environmental Health Perspectives," popular sunscreen brands have four ingredients in common: paraben, cinnamate, benzophenone, and a camphor derivative. These ingredients are said to activate a dormant virus in a reef-building algae, causing it to explode and spill viruses to the water. Zooxanthellae, the algae, provide a coral with food and contribute to the organisms' vibrant color. Without them, the coral turns white and dies. Recent studies have also shown that sunscreens are toxic to sea creatures and disrupt the ocean's food chain.
So, use sunscreen sparingly and properly. Lather a small amount and only on exposed body parts. Wait at least 30 minutes before going into the water so that your skin could absorb most of it. This way, you'll maximize its benefits and minimize the damage to the reefs.