“It is not a sin for women to wear a bikini and it is definitely not an invitation for disrespect,” was the opening statement in an October 26 post by travel blogger and content creator Joana Gutierrez, the owner of the Facebook page named Joan’s Footprints.
Her post related to her “disappointing experience” with a tour guide in Coron recently, concerning his inappropriate behavior towards two foreign tourists who did not understand the Filipino language.
Joana said sharing her post, which now has 3.5k shares and 1.3k comments, was not to shame the unnamed tour guide, but to educate individuals who act in the same manner.
“So we availed a joiner tour during our last day in Coron. Our group was joined by 2 foreign ladies who cannot speak and understand our language,” she said.
“When the 2 ladies started to change in their bikinis, the local tour guide sang the song, “oh tukso layuan mo ako” (temptation, stay away from me) repeatedly. He was actually singing it out loud like he was so proud while he was maliciously looking at the 2 ladies,” she added.
Joana stated that at first, she ignored the tour guide. However, when he remarked, “haay magkakasala nanaman ako!” (sigh, I’m going to sin again!), she couldn’t restrain herself from addressing him and setting things straight.
She waited for their boat to dock and for everyone to disembark before she spoke to the tour guide.
Below was part of her conversation with the tour guide:
“Me: kuya excuse me po. May sasabihin lang sana ako, yung ginawa niyo po dun sa dalawang foreigner na mga babae hindi po nakakatuwa. It was very disrespectful.
Manong: **looking shocked** ano pong ginawa mam?
Me: yung mga sinasabi niyo kanina habang nagtatanggal sila ng short at t shirt po. Nakakabastos po kuya. Hindi po porket di sila nakakaintindi ng tagalog gaganyanin niyo na sila.
Manong: biro lang naman po yun mam.
Me: hindi po magandang biro yun kuya. Kung sakin niyo po yun ginawa nireport ko na kayo.”
As a woman who also wears a bikini, she said she cannot bear to hear and see her fellow countrymen behaving disrespectfully towards other women.
“Do not let men do these kinds of things to women. When you see these acts, NEVER TOLERATE THEM [sic],” she said,
She claimed that after the encounter, she couldn’t remove her shorts to change into her bikini without first covering her body, knowing that there was a “proud pervert” nearby.
“Understand this, if a man does not value or respect women, then it does not matter if a woman wears a bikini or not,” Joana pointed out. “I won’t drop the name or the tour agency’s name here as a respect for the tour agency. But I surely won’t recommend you to my friends who will go to Coron.”
In her postscript, she further noted that the story she shared was not just for tour guides, but for all individuals who do not show respect to women.
“Prior this incident, we already had our island hopping trip in Coron for 6 days and all our women were treated with respect considering that we are all wearing bikinis. We availed the 6 days tour from a different tour agency and respect was served downright for everyone,” she said.
Joana describes herself on her website as “a mermaid born with human legs to explore the world”, who started traveling at 22 and doing solo travels at 23. She has worked with travel brands like Klook, AirSWIFT, Agoda, and others, which makes her a certified travel influencer and industry collaborator.
People, like Arlyss Marquez, commented on her post, praising her for sharing her experience and addressing the disrespectful behavior.
“Your decision to share this experience and confront disrespectful behavior is commendable. It’s essential to raise awareness about such incidents and educate people on the importance of respect, regardless of clothing choices. Your courage in addressing the issue with the tour guide sends a strong message that such behavior is not acceptable. Let’s hope this promotes greater understanding and respect for women and their choices,” Marquez commented.
Many encouraged her to also file complaints with the Coron municipal government and the Department of Tourism (DOT) to alert all operators.
They emphasized that a town reliant on tourism shouldn’t permit its frontliners to act inappropriately, and Filipinos should uphold better behavior.
Several residents of Coron have also reached out on her page, expressing apologies for her unfortunate experience and assuring her that not everyone in the town behaves like the tour guide she met.
They also notified her that the issue has been brought to the attention of municipal tourism authorities for appropriate action.