Post 'Summerfrolic' garbage at Dahican beach sparks debate

A photo showing a pile of garbage at Dahican Beach, which was partly blamed to Summerfrolic organizers and attendees, sparked a debate online.

Social media user Gabby Sibala, owner of Dahican Surf Resort, posted the picture on Instagram last Tuesday. In the caption, he urged people to have pity on Dahican.

"Be a responsible tourist. Bring your GARBAGE with you when you leave the beach," the businessman posted. "Don't destroy Dahican."

A photo posted by gabbysibala (@gabbysibala) on

The picture, which garnered hundreds of likes and shares on Sibala's IG-synched Facebook account, made its way on social media less than two weeks after the big event.

Summerfrolic 2015, dubbed as the music festival of colors graced by some of the country's best DJs, was held at the Lanes Kanakbay Resort on April 10 to 11 and attended by partygoers from most parts of Mindanao as well as foreign tourists.

Photo credit: Jabbar Guiapal

In fairness to Sibala, he did not mention the event when he brought up the issue last April 21, but for unknown reasons it was associated by netizens to the Summerfrolic organizers and attendees who were later blamed for the mess. This prompted someone to put up a Wordpress blog to refute the allegations.

"A Facebook/Instagram post displaying a pile of garbage at Dahican Beach proliferated online on the same day it was collected. As a result, it came to a point that most netizens reacted with foul hurtful words and pointed SummerFrolic Organizers as the main cause of this pile of rubbish being collected quite far from the event venue," the DavaoTravelogue blog post reads.

Apparently, the garbage was gathered several meters away from Kanakbay, where the Summerfrolic was held for two nights. However, some attendees and tourists went to other resorts to buy food and drinks. There were others who preferred to camp out and did not buy tickets for the party. In fact, based on our assessment, there were more people outside the venue.

DavaoTravelogue, who admitted in the post as having personal knowledge of the people behind the event—who "must have invested a lot (time, effort, and money) unmindful of whether or not they will get a ROI [return of investment]—cried foul over the accusations against the Summerfrolic organizers.

"I am writing this because I can’t in my conscience allow other people to besmirch the reputation of other people and go away with it," the blogger posted. "I really feel the disappointment they feel up to now regarding the issue."

According to the post, DavaoTravelogue learned from the organizers that "a clean–up drive was actually immediately done the very morning after the second day of the event or about three hours after the party was officially ended at 5A.M. of the second day [Sunday, April 12]," adding that "another clean up drive was done two days later."

DavaoTravelogue also asked why the organizers were blamed when in fact "there were other events that were organized by other entities after SummerFrolic, referring to Summer Fun in Dahican 2015 held at Menzi Beach Park and Campsite from April 12 up to April 16. The LGU-backed event featured top DJs from Davao City and a foam party among other highlights.

"Perhaps, this should also be a quick reminder to each and every reader that they should try to extract the real scenario behind every issue first before they even comment such a heavy word with exclamations to the people they barely know," the blog pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Mati Davao Oriental Facebook page, managed by a respected personality in the city who did not take sides, posted an observation saying it was very hard to find a garbage can/bin during the Summerfrolic. People who were drinking and eating used plactic wares and allegedly left their garbage at the shoreline, the commenter said in vernacular.

The volume of garbage during Summerfrolic tripled due to the influx of tourists which, according to the post, should have been anticipated by concerned local government offices, noting that food stalls and stores should have been required to provide their own garbage cans/bins before they were given permits to sell. A city ordinance prohibiting anyone to litter must be crafted and implemented, the post added.

On the other hand, Leo Sibala, who belongs to the prominent clan as Gabby, has these to say:

(1) A comprehensive Ridge to Reef /Coastal Zoning and Management Plan should be crafted by our local legislators (Provincial and City) asap before we lose our capital, that is, our beautiful coasts and beaches;

(2) A strong advocacy, concern and education on preservation, conservation and promotion of the environment from all stakeholders and sectors of the community, public and private, should be done and sustained;

(3) And lastly, we continue to monitor and expose practices that result to environmental degradation to get the attention of the authorities for their immediate action and enforcement of laws, ordinances and regulations.

As of this time, the city government has not released a statement regarding the issue.