But they are a happy and hospitable people. It is a common public policy to smile and be hospitable to any foreigner who comes in and visit one of their islands. The Filipinos are proud of their race. They smile when they see a tourist: that’s tourism policy number one.
Tourism has been a flourishing industry in the Philippines and an attractive business venture because of its beautiful scenic spots, baroque churches, white beaches and various heritage sites, a legacy of the hundreds of years of Spanish colonization, and subsequently the American colonization which led to the Philippine independence on June 12, 1898.
However, the Philippine tourism industry has passed through various stages of decay and then development. If public policies had been enforced to the letter, the Philippines could have been the number one tourist destination in Asia because of its rich heritage, historic spots, rich natural resources, and a hospitable people willing to receive any guests who have entered into their shore lines.
Tourism was used for political purposes during the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos. Tourism policies during Marcos’s time were concentrated on government efforts to gain support from foreign governments, especially during the period when he declared martial law. There was no popular support or cooperation from the local community who had mixed feelings of fear, hatred and remorse over the dictatorship. Human rights violations were rampant. Resorts, hotels and other business establishments were owned by Marcos ‘cronies’. Rebel groups started to surface, and there almost anarchy in the streets. People power led by Corazon Aquino, wife of the martyred opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr. led to the toppling of the dictatorship. Tourism was totally down at that time. (Gray, 2008, p. 369)
When the dictator Marcos was overthrown by a people-power revolt, Corazon ‘Cory’ Aquino took over, and once again, her government used