Here’s an interesting story about the packaging of Bontoc as a tourism destination. Just some quick comments for the one who wrote the story hehe.
* Bontoc is part of the highlands. It may be lower in elevation than Sagada or Banaue but it is very much a part of the Cordillera highlands.
* People of Bontoc are iBontocs/iFontoks and not Ifugaos. Ifugao is a separate province so its not correct to say that Bontoc has an “Ifugao heritage”.
* What exactly does “descendants of old tribes” mean?
Anyways, according to this report, there is a plan to build an airport on top of one of them thar mountains and iFontoks are resisting the idea.
If I am from Bontoc, I would also resist it. Well, I’m from neighboring Sagada so maybe I should also join the resistance hehe. The problem with tourist-oriented projects like this is that they are conceived to please the tourist.
Nothing wrong really with trying to attract tourists but if the primary reason for planning an airport is to make it easy for them to go traipse in the boondocks for a day then I’d say it is a bad idea. And those who resist this idea, i.e., “the descendants of old tribes”, should not be portrayed, as this article (or its source) slightly does, as anti-development.
Anyways, in our bid to attract tourists we should also be mindful of the social costs of tourism. I believe that sacrificing the ancestral domains of the “descendants of old tribes” for an airport designed for tourists is, at the end of the day, going to be more costly than the income we’ll get from tourism.
Now, if the people of Bontoc themselves are clamoring for an airport then maybe you can justify an airport.