Heeding the call of President Duterte to ‘take a vacation in your house,’ Facebook user Nico Jose Bayran posts a multiple exposure photo of a child exploring every corner of their living room.
STAR/File
Travel group waits for new normal
Ghio Ong (The Philippine Star) - May 12, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — With strict stay-at-home orders imposed in almost all corners of the world due to the growing threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), there is no certainty yet when or if people can travel again.

In a private Facebook group called DIY (do-it-yourself) Travel Philippines, some of its over a million members have been posting photos and videos of their past local and foreign excursions, apparently with different themes.

Some shared experiences during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that are relevant to travel – perhaps a creative way of heeding the advice of President Duterte when he declared the community quarantine in mid-March: “Puwede kayong magbakasyon diyan lang sa bahay. Ikot-ikot muna kayo sa bahay n’yo, baka may hindi pa kayo napupuntahan (You can take a vacation in your house, walk around because there might be a corner you haven’t been to).”

Michelle Enriquez created DIY Travel Philippines in 2015, with her personal goal of finding out where else to go in the Philippines, as well as gathering DIY travel ideas, after coming home from Singapore.

But lockdown measures imposed in various areas of the country, not only in Luzon, have hindered many from traveling even for a short distance.

DIY Travel Philippines awaits the arrival of the “new normal,” where it may again be possible to go out and travel.

Looking forward, Enriquez hopes both travelers and tourism businesses would be more conscious about their actions considering the ongoing pandemic – face masks, hand washing, and other safety measures.

The same applies to tourism establishments, which she thinks should “implement safety protocols to lessen the transmission of the (coronavirus)” that causes COVID-19.

She also hopes that while both entry of foreign tourists and travel of Filipinos abroad might still be restricted, Filipinos could be allowed to enjoy the country’s tourist destinations.

“Sana i-allow ang local tourists to explore local tourist spots… let us support local,” she said.

This could help boost tourist attractions and the national economy as well, she added.

While travelers are still grounded due to the ECQ, she advised them to “research more about places to travel, the culture, food.” 

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