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Cebu ecotourism, the next best thing

| by: Hearty Marie Rizarri

Ecotourism is now a popular growing trend in most tropical countries, including the Philippines that have a wealth of biodiversity to offer the ecotourism enthusiasts.

The popularity of the stunning five-tier Aguinid Falls and the intense but gratifying canyoneering in Alegria and Badian, proves that Cebu ecotourism is the next big thing.

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Aguinid Falls, Samboan, Cebu

While some eco-tourism destinations have sprouted just anywhere, several towns hope to establish and develop potential destinations to keep them in the radar of local and foreign tourists.

The Cebu Investments and Promotions Office (CIPO) piloted trainings and workshops tailor-made for people in the nature-based tourism industry in the province. “Cebu Ecotourism Planning Management Workshop, Part 2” was recently conducted on May 24-27 at JSJS Mountain Resort in Argao, Cebu following the “Trainer’s Training and Workshop on Community-Based Ecotourism” last April. The 4-day intense workshop formed 80 South Eco-Warriors from eight local government units (LGU) ranging from People’s Organization (PO), tourism officers, government officials, among others.

CIPO ecotourism consultant Boboi Costas led the workshop. The workshop’s objective was to have a platform to exchange lessons and experience on ecotourism and sustainable tourism as well as to stimulate collective awareness and appreciation.

Each of the eight LGUs presented proposed ecotourism destinations along with their plans and strategies. The participants studied zoning and site planning, visitor management, wildlife protection, revenue generation, education, marketing and business promotions and disaster risk and reduction management.

Potential sites from each of the eight LGUs identified as potential ecotourism sites are based on endemism, wildlife, tourism attraction features and infrastructures. The following potential sites are Capton Bay and Cabatat Islet (Alcantara); Nug-as Forest (Alcoy), Mt. Lantoy (Argao); Bangag Lapos, Kalusinda Falls and Luhod Spring (Barili); Nagka Forest, Binalangan Pool and Dayhag Falls (Boljoon); Malones Bat Colony (Dalaguete); Colase Marine Sanctuary (Samboan) and Diving Site (Santander).

 

Cebu Hawk Owl found in Nug-as Forest in Alcoy.
Cebu Hawk Owl found in Nug-as Forest in Alcoy
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Cabatat Islet in Brgy. Poblacion, Alcantara

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Mt. Lantoy in Argao, Cebu
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Malones Ravine in Dalaguete, Cebu
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Bats found in Malones, Dalaguete, Cebu

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Canyoneering in Alegria, Cebu

Vice-governor Agnes Magpale is pleased to know the growing numbers of interested community to help establish and develop potential ecotourism sites. “Tourism is an economic driver. 12871463_1105244289517473_1632812350173031723_nEcotourism is considered to be the fastest growing sector in the travel industry. We hope that you will be able to find a viable place for ecotourism,” Magpale said.

“Mao ni ang gipangandoy sa atong mga kalungsuran, nga mo lambo. Naa ra mi ni Gov. Junjun Davide nga andam nga mo a-bag ug mo supporta sa inyong mga gikinahanglan,” Magpale added.

New eco warriors were grateful to the provincial government, especially the CIPO and staff, for the workshop and trainings conducted. “The workshop is very intensive and daghan ko ug nakat-onan. Di gyud basta-basta, dili sama sa ubang workshop, kini, seryoso gyud sila. The important thing is sustainable ni siya nga project. The speakers and facilitators are experts and very approachable. What I like most about it is that it’s a classroom type of workshop where you can freely ask questions in a comfortable manner,” said Irwin Gamallo of Argao Tourism Office.

The attendees had a spectacular tour around the “Cabesera de Argao” as part of their culmination activity.

/ Heart Rizarri

 

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