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Coron is Not Your Bikini Bottom

January 19th, 2017 Posted by environment, Opinion 0 thoughts on “Coron is Not Your Bikini Bottom”

By now, you probably know about Viacom International Media Network’s plan to develop a Nickelodeon Resort and Attraction in the Philippines. The attraction is part of the 400-hectare undersea-themed Coral World Park to be developed (no, they won’t!) in Coron, Palawan, and is expected to open in 2020. Nickelodeon’s “slated to have 70 hectares set aside for the resort’s accommodation and 30 hectares for the themed attraction”

“Creating immersive on-the-ground consumer experiences are increasingly important. Hence, growing the recreational and consumer products footprint of the Nickelodeon brand in Asia Pacific is a priority for us.” – Mark Whitehead, President and Managing Director of Viacom International Media Network Asia Pacific

 

Are you kidding me?

Yes, please do!

Also, apparently, the theme park will be inspired by SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – and guess what, will advocate ocean protection!

For one, how can anyone who is set to build massive structures including underwater restaurants and lounges, all to be located about 20 feet below sea level, advocate for ocean protection when you are clearly ruining the naturalness of the ocean? Are the grounds not enough for us now to “conquer and build on” that we need to extend to our seas and oceans?

Consumerism has really eaten our planet and our humanity alive to the point where we prioritize consumer experience over our very environment. How sad it must be to live inside the fantasy that is called cartoon television, and force that fantasy into a real, unadulterated world that generations and generations of people have enjoyed – and for what, for profit!

We do not need resorts to advocate for ocean protection. Real advocates for ocean protection would not build these infrastructures around the oceans to begin with. Let our waters breathe. Let nature take its own course. Maybe it is best for these companies to take time out of their busy, consumerist-driven lives to be really one with nature so they would realize that we are nature.

I love Coron! It is truly among the best spots in my beloved country, the Philippines, and I want it protected just like the 221,912 people (as of press time) who have signed the online petition initiated by Anna Oposa, No to Nickelodeon’s Underwater Theme Park in Palawan.

The petition reads:

 

To: “Local Government of Palawan, Nickelodeon (Viacom International Media Networks), and Coral World Park Undersea Resorts Inc.,

We call on the Local Government of Palawan, Nickelodeon (Viacom International Media Networks), and Coral World Park Undersea Resorts Inc., to junk their plan to build a 400-hectare underwater theme park in Coron, Palawan.

Why is this important?

Contrary to the press statement that the underwater theme park would “advocate ocean protection,” it will accomplish the exact opposite. By building artificial structures, you will undeniably damage and disrupt Palawan’s marine ecosystems — our Last Frontier. If you are sincere and serious about marine conservation, the money allocated for the underwater theme park should be invested in marine protected areas, sustainable livelihoods for local communities, and environmental education programs.

For a channel that targets children, Nickelodeon is setting a terrible example to the younger generation by taking away their right to enjoy our natural resources. We don’t need an underwater theme park — our underwater life is fascinating, entertaining, and educational on its own.”

 

Thank goodness DENR Secretary Gina Lopez would not allow the underwater theme park in Palawan.

Do our future a big favor and sign the No to Nickelodeon’s Underwater Theme Park in Palawan petition. We need 300,000 (and more). Thank you very much.

 

Iva Maurin

Iva Maurin

Iva is a Communications Specialist with an over-a-decade experience in environmental community work in the Philippines. As an environment educator, she focuses on events organization and IEC materials development. She’s now based in California and works in publications in San Francisco. She’s also the Creative Content Editor for the Global Filipino Network.
Iva Maurin
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