Just one clarificatory note: Some of those opposed to the stunt cite the “fact” that the Banaue Rice Terraces is a World Heritage Site. Actually it’s not. It was specifically excluded by the UNESCO from the list because of the proliferation of modern structures. What’s included in the World Heritage list are rice terraces of Batad, Bangaan, Mayoyao, Hungduan and Nagacadan.
HAVING said that, I still maintain that doing this type of activity in any type of agricultural land is irresponsible and inappropriate, regardless of whatever “permission” they got from the local government or tribal leaders. (As we’ve seen in countless cases in this country, local leaders are grossly short-sighted in matters of tourism.) In the video, the “wakeskaters” can be seen doing their dangerous stunts in very close proximity to farmers planting rice. It seems that they intentionally endangered people just for the purpose of getting a dramatic shot.
Brian Grubb, one of the two
assholes people who did the stunt, even had this to say:
“I noticed that on the back of the bills here, you could see all these rice terraces and tonnes of water, … It’s just a wakeskate paradise but no one even knew it was here.”
[Actually, Mr. Grubb, they’re not a “wakeskate paradise”. They are something we call “rice farms”, which – believe it or not – require tonnes of water to work. And we’ve always known they were there. Because, you know, we’re an agricultural country and we eat rice with everything.]
Can you imagine what kind of trend this will set if this catches on? I don’t believe we should be so desperate to attract tourism that we’d be willing to get even the wrong and grossly inappropriate kind.