Bits and Snippets of the Philippines

Basic Reading of Global Filipinos

Sorsogon Declares American Travel Blogger Persona Non Grata

with 3 comments

Was it miscommunication or a political move by the Provincial Board of Sorsogon? Because according to news reports from Sorsogon, American travel blogger Nathan Allen made derogatory remarks against the Donsol Tourism Office on this April blog post entitled “I Dreamed of This.”

Sometimes, work really becomes personal and emotional. Should it be so? Shouldn’t we separate work from personal matters? Was pride and ego part of this paltry issue? But who’s pride and ego was hurt, anyway?

It’s more fun in the Philippines… NOT!

According to CNN Philippines’ report, Allen went to Donsol as an ordinary tourist, not an invited guest of the municipality. Hence, he has no right to criticize the tourism officials when Allen did not receive the attention he expected.

“He (Allen) said that he only expressed his disappointment over the matter and clarifies that never did he expect a special treatment nor was he angry for not getting it as he perfectly understood that his visit was unexpected.”

However, in the resolution filed by Board Member Franco Ravanilla declaring Allen as persona non grata, “Allen should have supplied himself first with information of the place he intended to visit, citing that most information are readily accessible online.”

Allen is actually doing the Philippines a lot of good by exposing, promoting, marketing and selling its tourism destinations. Geez!

Before the persona non grata resolution was filed, CNN Philippines reported that “the Bicol office of the Department of Tourism Bicol, through Regional Director Maria Ong-Ravanilla, demanded an apology from Allen, pointing out that Donsol Tourism Office is not managed by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Bicol.”

“But Allen was surprised that despite his apology and all his clarifications, Maria Ravanilla’s son, Sorsogon Board Member Franco Ravanilla, still filed the resolution declaring Allen persona non grata in Sorsogon.”

Read the entire story at CNN Philippines and make up your own mind as to WHO IS RIGHT and WHO IS WRONG.

Photo of Nathan Allen via


3 Responses

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  1. Filipinos are too sensitive everytime their flaws are exposed or criticized. I’m a Filipino- American , and I do want the Philippines’ tourism industry to prosper ( we have a vacation house in Boracay that we are renting out , that’s why I’m concerned )…… I so want to rant about Boracay. It’s dumpy , and there’s so much blight. What are the tourism officials doing there ? Everyone who sets foot on Boracay pays fees. But the place is dirty . Any Tom, Dick and harry can squat on private properties and build a shack. It’s not a paradise anymore.



    July 26, 2015 at 2:52 am

    • My sentiments exactly, @renxkyoko. It’s more political combined with personal ego and pride that drove that political family to declare a staunch admirer and supporter of the Philippines to be banned from their city. I actually experienced Boracay for the first time in the early 90s. Even Pearl of the Pacific was a bit rustic and my group had the grandest time eating at carenderias, trying to save up our Pesos for touristy adventures. My last trip three years ago was nothing fun and awesome as my first few trips there. Sad.


      Raffy Pekson II

      July 26, 2015 at 6:23 am

    • I remember going to Boracaya for the first time in ’94. A few times in between til last year and I saw what over-commercialization was doing to it. Last year, I think a dozen or so major companies all hosted their kinds of parties in the island – Globe, Smart, Viber, etc. The serenity of the island, except in the Cocamangas area, was gone.


      Raffy Pekson II

      August 11, 2015 at 12:42 am

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