On Thursday, the Philippines closed its most famous tourist destination, Boracay, for tourists for a six-month clean-up operation, which the government enforced with a muscle show of its security forces.
A violent police station was stationed at the entrance points to the once untouched island, which was spoiled by strong commercialization and overdevelopment.
Regional Police Chief Cesar Binag said that the shutdown began after midnight as tourists did not want to board the ferry on the island.
"Boracay is officially closed to tourists, we do not close any businesses, but tourists can not enter and we implement the President's orders," Binag said.
About 600 policemen were deployed, with some exercises, including insurgents fighting protesters, and hostage-taking hostages – all previously frightened locals.
"It looks like we're at war," said Jessica Gabay, a saleswoman, late Wednesday night. "Maybe the authorities are doing this to spread fear so people follow the rules."
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of this month after calling the resort a "cesspool"
During the closure, only residents with identity cards are allowed to board ferries to the tiny island of about 40,000 people.
On Thursday morning, police began patrolling the beach to impose a derogation in a designated area marked with buoys.
Boats are available from sailing within 3 km (3.1 miles ) excluded from the coast and only Boracay residents are allowed to fish there.
The Government said the heavy security The presence was intended to discourage any unrest from those who were dissatisfied with the closure, including some of the approximately 30,000 people employed in the island's bustling tourist trade.
But the resistance was low in the run-up to closure, with no fierce protests and most criticism focused on the plight of dismissed employees.
The workers have been attracted by the relatively good wages on the island, which since 2006 have quadrupled the number of annual visitors to around 2 million.
These tourists, of which a growing number is Chinese and Koreans pumped in the last year about one billion US dollars in the Philippine economy.
But its growth from a sleepy backpacker hideaway to a mass tourism center with fast food outlets on the beach has taken its toll.
The uncontrolled design has engulfed the island's natural beauty, while slimy algae waves are troublesome in some areas and mountains of discarded bottles even by critics of stagnation.
"I'm all for rehabilitation and preserving it, but this is clearly not the way forward," said Philippine political scientist Ashley Acedillo.
He called the closure a "poorly thought-out, unplanned and knee-jerk action" that did not address the issue economically (19659002)
The Philippines has pledged to use the closure to shore up the island's infrastructure Destroying illegal structures and eliminating the clutter left by years of unrestrained growth. 19659002] The government has billed it as a long overdue answer to a problem that is not without its example.
Other Southeast Asian tourism destinations have also opposed uncontrolled tourism, which is welcomed by locals seeking income and development-seeking authorities] Thailand's Maya Bay, made famous by the 2000 film The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio , will be taboo for four months from June to September, officials announced last month to rescue its devastated coral reefs.