June 01, 2015

Before You Light A Bonfire

Ever wonder if bonfire has a harmful effect on the beach?

Last year, I pm-ed a Facebook friend of mine regarding the beach that he posted on his blog and facebook. I asked for some information and tip for our escapades. After our short conversation, he advised me to "refrain from doing bonfire" I wondered why he said that, so I asked him why. He said that the burned materials will be mix in the sand and water thus it will pollute the beach and the sea.


Most of us, if not all will look forward for  bonfire activity whenever we are at the beach. Why not? The fire is an element that could set out our mood and bring out something in us especially if we are in a group. Add the s'mores party!!!! ....it will be a perfect night.

But remember...

  “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.”

Though bonfires activity is fun and exciting we should consider thinking twice if we really need to do it or not. Yes, its fun especially if you are with your barkada's (friends) and it will give you warm in a chilly night at the beach. But have you consider what bonfires may cause to our environment?

I haven't though of this until my Facebook conversation with a friend. Thank God I haven't done a lot of bonfires in my life and I will never do!


Don't Burn the Beach!

Just this summer we went to Dasol, Pangasinan and it was not fun in Tambobong Beach. As I stroll on the shores of Tambobong there was a big disappointment in me because the beach is a lost paradise. There are lot of burning on many parts of the beach and the burned substance are mixed in the sand and water. Clearly this was done the night before. Some of it still have smokes and are still burning until the next day.


You don't want your white beach to be black caused by bonfires.

If not properly done the ashes and burned materials will be mix in the water during high tide most especially when it is not cleaned after. It will pollute the sea. Immediate effect of bonfires is the ugly look of the beach after some wild crazy urban people had a party the night before.

Beach goers don't realize that burned particles caused by bonfires are harmful on the beach.

The folks who did the bonfires in Tambobong beach used twigs, dried leaves and beach trashes to light up their night. These materials, after burning, can be easily go to the waters during high tide.

Upon seeing the bonfires on the shores the participants of the tour that I organized felt the excitement and they also wanted to have a bonfire! I said no. We had no proper materials and place to do the bonfire. I explained to the group that bonfires are harmful to the beach most especially in Tambobong where the shore is not wide enough and there will be a little space between the bonfire and the sea. When the water level rise, the burned particles will be mix in the water and will not just on the sand - which is already harmful. I added, that we can do a bonfire if there is enough space like what we had in Nagsasa Cove a month before. I know they were disappointed  but I had to be firm.

I asked the locals around and guess what? They all agreed that bonfires should be prohibited! So the thing here is implementation and cooperation among the locals and resort owners. Or should the Barangay (Community Government) and LGU (Local Government Unit) regulate bonfires? 

Check Before You Light a Fire

Before the Dasol trip, I co-organized a beach camping in Nagsasa Cove in Zambales. Originaly, bonfire was not part of our activity but my contact still bought woods to be used for bonfires. When I surveyed the area I saw that there was enough space for us to light a bonfire. Our place is like 200-300 meter away from the sea. Our guides insist that we can do the bonfire near the water or on the beach because they will clean in after or the next day. They wanted us to experience what other beach goers usually do. I still said no. I decided to do it in our base camp and I made sure that it will be cleaned the next day. Better be safe. I do not want to pollute the fine sand of Nagsasa Cove. 

Our bonfire activity in Ngsasa Cove was 200-300 meters away from the beach.
 
The next day when it was time for us to hike, I was still very sad to see bonfires on the beach not properly taken care off. Doing such activity at the beach is not a "no no" for me. We people should do bonfires correctly and responsibly. The beach is not ours and we should respect and protect it in all ways. 

Always remember...

"We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"

 If you really need to have bonfire just make sure that your bonfire is away from the sea and you clean in after. Let the next generation see what our eyes saw. 

Other Alternatives

Bonfire is fun but don't you think that star gazing is also fun? We don't see much stars here in the metro as compared in the province. A friend of mine posted in her Facebook account that we don't need bonfire to enjoy the night. Just put some mat, lay on the ground and look at the stars. So why don't we consider star gazing if there us no way to do responsible bonfire?

Or maybe like what I did in Dasol, I prepared some group activities that need nothing but their open hearts and open mind. We did not need any kinds of fire to enjoy the night.

A good beach camping, after all, is made perfect by the company we have with with our friends and family. Bonfire is fun, yes. But it won't take so much of you if you consider the things that I have said above before you light a bonfire.