MANILA, Philippines - A group has suggested an itinerary for Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who is reportedly visiting Albay province next month.
Green group Pangataman-Bikol (Bicol Center for Environmental Protection) said during his visit, the international star should prioritize eco-critical areas in Albay such as Rapu-Rapu island, Palanog in the municipality of Camalig, and the town of Tiwi.
Creeks in Rapu-Rapu have been contaminated by mine tailings while a cement factory destroyed the local habitat of Palanog. In Tiwi, the group said that a "dubious solid waste injection project" is currently being done.
"We are not asking him to forgo the tourist spots of Albay, but he should see the real situation of the environment in the province first, without the packaged tour," Professor Joel Batanes, president of the board of trustees of Pangataman-Bikol, said in a statement.
Aside from telling him what places to visit, the group also told DiCaprio that he should interview the people and the victims first-hand "so that he can effectively convey their message and suffering."
"We hope that DiCaprio's visit here will be very fruitful and serve to internationally highlight the environmental damage being done to the province by big foreign companies. We hope that this will also entail other nationalities to help in our struggle to combat climate change," Batanes said.
DiCaprio is known for several blockbuster Hollywood movies such as "Titanic." He is reportedly visiting Albay's popular tourist attractions such as the Mayon Volcano and the white sand beaches of Misibis resort in Bacanay.
His visit is expected to give Albay a chance to be noticed by the international travel and tourism market.