Skip to main content

Time to Push the Moribund Tourism Industry

Since the late Governor Severo Alcantara coined "Sulong Catandungan!" as the Capitol rallying cry, not much has been accomplished in the development of the local tourism industry.

At best, the record of the past administrations in trying to lure domestic and foreign tourists to this island paradise has been spotty and limited to just a few weeks or months of the year. Baras’ famed Majestic surf is supposedly fit for professional surfers and the waves attain their majestic size only during the "habagat" season from July to September.

While Governor Joseph Cua and his family has certainly made visiting Twin Rock beach resort a must, with added attractions such as a zip line and climbing wall, half of the way to Igang remains a first-class rough road.

There are at least two travel agencies but there is not one offering regular tours of the island that would take a visitor through destinations as diverse as old churches, historical places, refreshing waterfalls, surfing and scuba diving sites, a walk through virgin forest, mangrove excursion, panning for gold and extracting abaca fiber, and sampling the island’s menu of native food and delicacies.

The provincial government has started, once again, a campaign to involve local government units in the tourism development program to identify potential destinations and stakeholders. The effort is laudable and could lead to the overdue updating of the tourism master plan produced by the Alcantara administration. Gov. Cua has commendably gotten the commitment of Camarines Sur’s LRay Villafuerte to help market Catanduanes to visitors of his CWC after they get tired of water sports.

But all the government can do to perk up tourism arrivals is to provide infrastructure facilities, undertake some promotion and train LGUs and locals to be tourist-friendly. What is really needed is for the private sector to step up and risk precious cash to invest in specific projects designed to lure tourists from within and without.

And there is no better laboratory to do this experiment than in the tourism resource-rich town of Bato, which celebrates its 212th year this April 13-15.

Those who have enough disposable cash should plunk in some to organize a group of tourism-savvy people, including mountaineering guides, and plan out an initial three-day junket of Mayor Leo Rodriguez’ municipality. Such a short visit should be enough to take the curious through the island’s oldest church and the pilgrimage site at Batalay, bring them to swim in the cool waters of Marinawa and Balongbong as well as the hidden beach beyond Bote, marvel at the sea life beneath the waters of Cabugao Bay, climb to the old Japanese garrison and try a kayak ride on Bato river from Pagsangahan, San Miguel down to Bicol’s second longest bridge where a sumptuous lunch on a floating restaurant would await.

Many of our political and business leaders have already expended barrels of saliva extolling the virtues of Catanduanes as an eco-tourism paradise. It’s time they put their money where their mouths are; or, if they are still so dense as to what this means, they gotta spend some to earn big time in the tourism business.

Source: Editorial, Catanduanes Tribune - 08 April 2011

Popular posts from this blog

Philippine Mining Act of 1995

With the recent issue of magnetite ore mining overwhemingly opposed by residents in the town of Bagamanoc and recently moved the mining site off the coast of Panganiban (Payo), I am compelled to post this Mining Act to serve as reference. "Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (“Act”) is the governing law that regulates mineral resources development in the country. One of the primary objectives of this act is to revitalize the ailing Philippine mining industry by providing fiscal reforms and incentives and maintaining a viable inventory of mineral reserves to sustain the industry through the infusion of fresh capital through direct investments to finance mineral exploration and/or development activities. The original implementing rules and regulations of the Act was prepared in 1995, and was revised in 1996 under DENR Administrative Order 96 – 40, the revised implementing rules and regulations (RIRR). Collectively, the Act and its RIRR take into considerat…

Pantomina Lyrics And Music

Pantomina is Spanish for pantomime, movements imitating the courtship movements of the rooster and the hen. Ang mga babaye
Kung mayo pa nin agom
Maugay nin aga maugay nin hapon
Alagad kung sinda igua na nin agom
Maugay Octobre, Disyembreng sunudon. Ica palan, Nenang ang pinagsasabi
Magayon na burac sa lugar na ini
Magayon ang tindog malinig ang pisngi
Arin pa daw ang puso ang dai mawili. Can ica sadit pa sadit pa man aco
Si satuyang cawat magkudot-kudotan
Kinudot mo aco kinudot ta ca man
Sabi mo sa saco luhayluhaya man. Ang mga lalake
Hudyan sisaboot
Ang pinagsasabing ngarang pagcamoot
Kundi ang babayeng iyo minahilod
Akong minahiling can mga pangguyod.

A Fresh Look At Siling Labuyo

Siling labuyo (Capsicum frutescens) has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cataract, and macular degeneration. This was stressed by Dr. Evelyn B. Rodriguez, professor from the Institute of Chemistry at the University of the Los BaƱos (UPLB) in a seminar on indigenous plants for health and wellness at the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) during its 19th National Research Symposium and in celebration of the 8th National Agriculture and Fisheries R&D Week. Also known as the chili pepper, siling labuyo is among the indigenous plants that the Department of Agriculture (DA) promotes through the "Indigenous Plants for Health and Wellness RDE Program” of BAR. The said program aims to promote and highlight the importance of indigenous plants and its products. The fruit of siling-labuyo is a popularly used as a spicy and chili condiment while its leaves are usually consumed as vegetables. In medicinal terms, the labuyo fruit was earlier utiliz…

Japanese Retirement Village in the Philippines

The Philippines is being eyed as a prime medical, health care and retirement destination for Japanese. According to studies, one out of four people in Japan will be aged 65 by 2020, from one out of six in 2000. Now is the best time to set up the retirement village for Japanese as baby boomers will start retiring in 2007. Several notable Japanese companies have already initiated building medical and retirement havens in the Philippines. These include Sanyo Emeritus Co. Ltd., a joint venture between Sanyo Electric and Emeritus Corp. of Seattle, which provides "assisted living" services in the US and Canada; as well as Tokushukai Medical Corp., Japan's largest hospital chain, which is putting up a $100 million, 1000-bed hospital in the Philippines, targeting elderly Japanese citizens. The Philippines is highly regarded because of its mild climate enjoyed by Japanese, its close proximity to Japan, the high quality of the Philippines' healthcare workforce, and the sign…

Catanduanes Remains Top Abaca-Producing Province - BM

Abaca-fiber production in the country’s top abaca-producing province from January to May 2009 went up by 22 percent to 8,646.32 metric tons (MT), said the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA). FIDA noted that in January to May 2008, abaca farmers in Catanduanes produced 7,084.23 MT. The attached agency of the Department of Agriculture said a total of 16,231 farmers were involved in abaca production in the province in 2008. FIDA said the island province of Catanduanes is renowned as the “abaca capital of the Philippines.” The province is now the top producer of abaca fiber, has the largest area planted to abaca and has the biggest number of abaca farmer-producers in the Philippines. Joining Catanduanes as the country’s top 10 abaca-producing provinces are Southern Leyte, Leyte, Davao Oriental, Northern Samar, Davao del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Samar, Sulu and Sorsogon. FIDA said the province also adjusted its production for the year due to the projected slowdown in demand for…