Barako 77

The Story of Environmental Activism 

in San Juan, Batangas

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San Juan, Batangas is best known today for its Laiya white sand beach resorts. Tourism data shows it is the top tourist destination of Batangas. Those in the bird watching and the native tree planting communities flock to San Juan as one of the remaining homes of our local species until today. Scuba divers know that rich corals, sea turtles, rays, and even the whale shark or butanding are being spotted in San Juan. After all, San Juan is part of the Verde Island Passage, declared by the United Nations and Conservation International as the Center of the Center for Marine Biodiversity in the whole world.

But very few know na hindi lamang ito ipinagkaloob sa San Juan, kundi ipinaglaban at patuloy na ipinaglalaban din (all the beauty was not just God-given gifts but were fought for and being fought for).

“This little-known event might well have prompted the strict adoption of a strict policy that requires proponents of large-scale projects to seriously consider the sentiments of local residents.”

-Prof. Randy David 

Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of the Philippines

“Barako 77 is a captivating read that leaves a lasting impression and inspiration to the new generations of Filipinos — that no seat of power is strong enough against a united voice.”

-Baby Ruth Villarama

Storyteller, Voyage Studios

 “The impact that the Concerned Citizens of San Juan, Batangas had on championing the anti-pollution concerns to their region presents a significant lesson from a time when developing countries were tasked with absorbing the industrial developments eliminated elsewhere by environmental laws, regulations, and heightened environmental protection standards.”

- Jeremy D. Clar, Esq.

Chairman of the Tehipite Chapter of the Sierra Club in California

“It is a story worth telling and retelling as a testament to the extent to which community mobilization can succeed in the struggle to keep what ultimately matters--should matter--to all humans, which is a livable planet.”

-Carmita Eliza De Jesus Icasiano, PhD

Heritage Anthropologist, University of Asia and the Pacific