'World's Best Island' Not So Great for Some
Development on Boracay has made life dangerous for indigenous tribe
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2013 7:26 PM CDT
Updated Jun 8, 2013 7:30 AM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It was named the "world's best island" by Travel+Leisure, but life on the island of Boracay in the Philippines is hardly living up to its reputation for the area's indigenous inhabitants, who say they're being pushed off their land to make way for the influx of resorts and new businesses. And now relations between the locals and the $536 million tourism industry are getting bitter—and dangerous. Earlier this year, a 26-year-old youth leader from the native Ati tribe was shot dead with a submachine gun, and a security guard from a local resort, Crown Regency, has been charged with his murder, reports the Guardian.

Only a third of the properties on Boracay have actual land deeds, so businesses use private security forces to defend their boundaries, and police say shootouts between the guards are common. The Atis won an ancestral land title for 2.1 hectares in 2011. But shortly after they moved onto the land, armed security guards from Crown Regency came and tore down their fence, claiming the land was theirs. Crown Regency's CEO says it needs to defend its property from the Atis, who "encroached" on their land, but denies the resort's guard is guilty of the murder.

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Showing 3 of 15 comments
Marlester59
Jun 8, 2013 8:03 AM CDT
Don't you just love the big corporation bullies!!!!!
NoFun
Jun 4, 2013 4:55 AM CDT
As MIA would say:All I wanna do is [bang][bang][bang] And a [KERSHING], and take your money All I wanna do is [bang][bang][bang] And a [KERSHING], and take your money All I wanna do is [bang][bang][bang] And a [KERSHING], and take your money All I wanna do is [bang][bang][bang] And a [KERSHING], and take your money
boxcar
Jun 4, 2013 1:03 AM CDT
US Army map service sent my dad, to map the Phillipine Islands in 1949- 3 weeks to cross the Pacific then another few weeks to take a freight ship down thru the Islands to ILOILO on Panay Island. I was 9yrs old and since my dad ended up mapping the PERIMETER of the communist world, from Germany to Iran to Korea, I can say nothing I've seen since 1949 compares to that trip on a freight ship down thru the islands. It was like a greyhound bus trip from island to island across waters in between. Picture massive thunder head cumulus clouds above volcanic mtns with green-green jungle cascading down the mtn slopes to tumble onto beacheads loaded with palm trees and then skid out into the azure blue sea- never seen anything quite as beautiful since