tourism workshopIn Dalaguete’s pursuit to making Lanao-Malones Bat Colony an ecotourism site to preserve the area for our endemic bats, improve other existing and potential tourism spots of the municipality as well, six representatives were sent to attend a 2-day Sustainable Tourism Operations Workshop held in Monteray Farm Mountain Scenery Resort, Pinamungajan, Cebu on March 10-11, 2017.

Mr. Victor Caruz, Tourism Promotion and Investment Officer; Engr. Expedizitas Lenares, MANRO; Ms. Ma. Gena Buenconsejo, LGU Consultant; Hon. Jovencio Carin, Lanao Barangay Captain; Mr. Kurt Belciña, ITSM (Photo Documenter); and Ms. Sophie Marie Escobal, MANRO staff; together with representatives from other southern municipalities participated in the workshop facilitated by the Cebu Provincial Tourism Team headed by Mr. Boboi Costas, Provincial Tourism Officer. The fourth in a series coming after the Ecotourism Business Planning and Operations Workshop, the activity aimed to introduce the participants to the concept of the efficiency which is reducing the consumption of resources, reducing the impact on the natural environment and increasing the product or service value.

The participants were then exposed on the handling of actual tour operations on the second day dubbed “Sustainable Tour” and travelled from Pinamungajan to Aloguinsan.

Local delicacies with ingredients coming from their own farm and souvenirs handcrafted by their locals are offered at The Farmhouse. The participants got a peek of the organically grown vegetables and livestock as they toured around the farm. Green and nature feels enveloped them as they walked on the way to the Bojo River. A sumptuous meal was served while being given a short brief on the beginnings of the Bojo River Ecotourism project and the conservation, preservation measures the operators are adopting. Cruising the river, the participants were able to enjoy the greens of the 22 species of mangroves and the sound of birds, 61 bird species have been identified in the area. The participants were then transferred from paddle boats to glass bottom boats to enjoy the underwater view of colourful corals and fishes on the way to Hermit’s Cove. Upon arriving on the shore the group were met with umbrellas as it was raining at the time. They were then ushered to a native cottage and was given a briefer about the history of Hermit’s Cove, the beauty that can be seen in the area as well as the activities that can be enjoyed. Going up on the wooden staircase provided a beautiful view of the cove on the way to the parking area.

The tour provided inputs on the People Organizations’ good practices in maintaining and preserving their tourist spots, which became sources of sustainable livelihood to their members and benefiting their community in general.

The Sustainable Tour in Aloguinsan proved to be a realization of challenges overcame, struggles paid off, organization and community strengthened, and locals empowered as the people who invested more than just their time and effort are now successfully operating and earning. It posed a great challenge to the participants to carry out the discipline in their respective municipalities.

The municipality might still have a long way to go from the envisioned ecotourism Dalaguete but with the help and cooperation of every one, certainly, in the right time, all these visions will be realized as there’s nowhere else to go but forward. 

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