By Eleanor Michael
Down the dirt path framed by lash greenery is the one of the hidden wonders of Coron, Palawan. In the small village of Maquinit lies the popular destination, the Maquinit Hot Springs.
These Hot Springs are a bubbling destination for heated discussion.
The natural hot springs have been artificially enclosed as a tourist attraction.
The owner uses this as justification to charge 200 Php pesos, or AUD $5.20 for entry.
What seems only a coffee in Sydney, is more than the half the Filipino wage per week.
According to The Philippines Statistic authorities: https://psa.gov.ph/survey/annual-poverty-indicator
The average Filipino wage per week is 423Php pesos, or AUD $11, this is almost half their wage to enter this natural gift right on their doorstep.
Vilma Mazo a known local of the village is extremely sadden by this inflated price, that restricts local entry.
“The price is very expensive for us. For 200Ph peso we can buy a kilo of rice.”
“It feels like all the privileged for the people here are cut. But were still here, we live here, a normal life.”
Despite the unaffordable price locals are still ecstatic to have their fishing village on the map.
They welcome guests into open arms, having built around the natural spring to make it accessible for tourists.
“The structure is a big help for the tourist.” Said Vilma
However travellers do not feel the same. A couple from the Netherlands said they would appreciate the authentic look of this natural formation.
“I would like it to look as natural as possible.”
“As westerns we prefer the natural look. But Asians are in a different mind set where they think tourist and people shouldhave some privacy, as the should make an attraction out of this.”
With the couple strongly disagreeing with having two different prices to enter the hot springs.
“Asking for a local price and a tourist price sounds a bit unfair, as you feel ripped off. But I can imagine why they want it like that.”
“It would end up with a negative image and a negative effect for tourism.“
This negative consequence would be detrimental to Coron, as their livelihood is depended on the growing tourism industry.