When last heard from Filipino journalists were wearing disguises, changed their clothes often and took to playing hide-and-seek with would-be assassins. It’s pretty hard for your byline to be read when you miss a print deadline because your dead!
It’s also pretty hard, as a tourist or journalist, to enjoy the tourist mecca of Palawan when you do a death dodge with malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
Palawan officials said their scenic island remained a safe place for travelers, as a third broadcast journalist died yesterday after falling ill following a trip to the area.
That’s rather odd I’d say. Have the journalist assassins enlisted the help of a mosquito hit squad? Not likely, but not to worry. No pesky malaria-carrying anopheles mosquitoes around here.
Provincial Gov. Joel T. Reyes said that although malaria was endemic in some places in Palawan, urban areas-including resorts and tourist destinations-were safe.
There is no outbreak of malaria in Palawan, Reyes said.
This dispite the fact 30 loggers fell ill with suspected malaria in the northern province of Isabela. In addition Reyster Langit, 33-year-old son of popular broadcaster Rey Langit and one of three media men who were stricken ill after visiting Palawan, died yesterday in a Los Angeles hospital more than a week after contracting cerebral malaria.
The island is “not shivering with chills” from malaria, Rep. Abraham Mitra said, denying that visiting Palawan posed a risk to travelers.
“But because we are partially reliant on tourism receipts, we would like to erase the impression that the whole province is shivering in chills,” Mitra added. “It is safe to visit Palawan. And malaria is avoidable, preventable and curable.”
In order to be “avoidable, preventable” don’t you have to be forewarned and take precautions? If you were to heed the advice of the provincial governor and the Congressional representive for the affected area you wouldn’t be either. Rep. Mitra is correct in saying malaria is curable but only if antimalarial medicine is available. If the corruption that plagues the Philippine health care system prevents that medicine from reaching Palawan, well… you’re just screwed aren’t you!
As you sun yourself on the many beaches of Palawan, or sip umbrella drinks at one of it’s resorts you may come under attack from kamakazi malaria-carrying anopheles mosquitoes. And if your a journalist?
Better leave your press card at home and carry one of these.