Friday, April 24, 2015

City to make tourism
a bullish city industry 

TAGBILARAN CITY, April 24 (PIA)--Feeling it has been left out in the tourism bandwagon, Tagbilaran City Mayor John Geesnell Yap swings to an aggressive tourism push to position the city not just as a way point but a major tourism destination. 

"We wish to promote Tagbilaran, not just as a way-point for tourists, we are ready to receive the tourists," Mayor Yap declared at the Kapihan sa PIA last week.

Declared by law as the site of the historic blood compact, Tagbilaran City's tourism however could not jump off beyond the pier-Sandugo shrine circuit, with not much effort going into it in the past.

Mayor yap now promises more.

SAULOG street dancing

Already making a strong presence with this year's Saulog Streetdancing competition which marks a significant event in the fiesta season, city leadership has succeeded in generating full city district participation. 

Still a generic street dancing showcase, city streetdancing observers are certain that the street performance could become a legitimate city jump-off to the province-wide Sandugo streetdancing festival. 

Everything anchors on Saulog: a celebration of thanksgiving to the patron Saint Joseph the worker, and dance steps at least should depict in any creative way pagpanguros, panukdok, panipilya and paghalad, explains Fiel Angelie Araoarao-Gabin. 

This could also make the Saulog Dance different from the rest of the streetdances in Bohol, observers noted. 

Mabaw Reef

A few minutes off Tubig Dako in Taloto, is Mabaw reef, yet Tagbilaran City's best underwater showcase. Home to a good assortment of soft and hard coral cover, Mabaw is the city's newest declared marine protected area for coral reef conservation by virtue of City Ordinance no C-191 dated April 2006. 

Now a strict no-take zone, the marine sanctuary has been a refuge to various marine species, corals, fish and invertebrates.

By protecting our source of food, we keep this safe for the next generation, Mayor Yap said. 

Now opened for recreational diving and snorkeling, Mabaw is also the city's premier coastal marine resource information center. 

Mutya sa Tagbilaran

Also becoming a tradition is Mutya sa Tagbilaran, an annual beauty and brains competition that put fair ladies from the city's 15 districts to pick out the city's main ambassador of goodwill, environment and tourism. 

Already making waves this early, Mutya sa Tagbilaran aims to make sure that the city is represented in the major beauty competitions needing its representation. 

Last Friday, the Mutya ng Tagbilaran Pageant and opened to a huge crowd at the Bohol Wisdom Gym. 

Heritage Tourism

Also in the City's tourism development priority is the Tagbilaran City Heritage Walk: an interactive walk which would be using the St. Joseph Cathedral Complex and Sitio Ubos as the tourism hub of activities. 

Major points of interest are the coral stone cathedral, the century old provincial capitol, the Escuela de Ninos now occupied by the national museum, the restored Inang-angan and the old stone houses at Sitio Ubos community center. 


Earlier this year, Tagbilaran City, with its partners went into cultural mapping to determine which areas in the city can be developed further into new sites and destinations. 

At the recent mapping, the city mayor said he did not know that one former barangay chairman in Mansasa District happens to be a sculptor and another former barangay captain in Manga as a respected boat builder. 

Also in Manga, the city government has listed the Reputanas as a reputable guitar makers and music craftsmen whole skill in guitar crafting is comparable with international music instrument makers. (rac/PIA-7Bohol)

Mangrove planting mark 
2015 Earth Day in Bohol

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol April 24 (PIA) --Emphasizing the dire need to rehabilitate the mangrove areas which the earthquake of 2013 ruined, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) marked Earth Day April 22, by planting 7,700 mangrove propagules in two areas in Bohol. 

In Moalong Loon, the DENR led in planting 2,700 propagules in an early morning activity April 23, a day after a conflicting office schedule pushed the activity the following day. 

On the other hand, along with the local government unit of Dimiao, Bohol, the DENR also went to plant as much as 5,000 mangrove propagules, with town volunteers. 

We are doing this considering the effects of climate change and the help mangroves give in insulating communities against storm surges and waves brought by high seas, explained Cora Colarines at the recent Kapihan sa PIA, Thursday. 

Colarines added that the DENR spearheaded this year's Earth Day, which adopted the theme: Earth Day Every day, Everywhere, Everyone, with a line-up of activities; mangrove planting the biggest of them all. 

Studies all over the world have proven that mangroves are among the plants that have larger carbon dioxide absorptive capacity. 

Carbon dioxide is one of the main greenhouse gases, and mangroves absorb these carbons, convert them to Blue Carbons, significantly reducing warming of the earth and slowing down the effects of climate change. 

The mangrove forest, marsh grass, phytoplanktons, mollusks and other coastal vegetation in the world delta are also the natural absorbers of carbon dioxide (CO2), according to the studies.

Aside from its carbon absorptive capacity, mangrove flats also hold soil erosion quite efficiently trapping run-off soil and significantly increasing land areas. Besides, a mangrove's brace roots and buttresses help trap garbage, stopping them before ruining the sea beds, shared environment officer Nastor Canda in previous Kapihan sa PIA. 

The DENR however urges individuals and environment groups into mangrove reforestation and tideflats rehabilitation to coordinate with them before starting planting projects.

The government has designated the DENR to determine which parts of the coastal communities can be made mangrove areas, and thus preserving areas which are for multiple use. (rac/PIA-7Bohol)

Sky rappel: EAT Danao
newest adventure thrill 

TAGBILARAN CITY April 24 (PIA)-- For some, when tragedy hits them, they lie there and die there. Others simply won't be put down.

And remaining true to its claim as the extreme adventure tourism (EAT) capital of Bohol, Danao town and its tourism program is now offering an exhilarating experience called Sky Rappel. 

Sky Rappel is a combination ride of the Sky Ride, a cable car traversing the over 200 meter distance of the Magtangtang canyons while being suspended a good 300 meters plus. Then as the cable car gets to the middle of the ride, it stops, to allow a person to strap on a rappel and slide down from the cable car to the depths below, explains Danao information Officer John Patrick Supieza. 

Without any wall to kick on and help control one's descent, the Sky Rappel descent totally depends on the speed the descender wants to get into. 

Another thrilling part is when the descent starts, it gets the cable car swinging to the pendulum of the rappelling tourists. 

It is not just an ordinary rappel, but we assure everyone of our track record of safety and redundant safety mechanisms to get to the tourist the experience of a lifetime, he said, during the recent Association of United Development Information Officers (AUDIO) Meeting at the Arabelle Suites April 21. 

At one time, Danao Extreme Adventure Part netted nearly half a million in a day, from two of its activities: the canyon swing which they call as the Plunge and its zipline they call as the Suislide. 

Also available then at the extreme adventure tourism park were the Rockwall climbing facility, Cliff rappelling, camping , trails, buggy rides, rubber tubing, kayaking, para gliders and nature treks along the park's numerous challenging trails. 

Fast caliming a niche as extreme adventure capital of Bohol, Danao, which pegs its extreme activity area in the famed canyons of historic barangay Magtangtang, has to bow to the scourge of nature. 

The earthquake of 2013 changed all that. 

The earth movement toppled the canyon swing launching pad and its ziplines had to be retested for possible compromise, according to Vice Mayor Thomas Louis Gonzaga. 

The earthquake did not just ruin the town's biggest source of income, it also heaped problems to major access routes to the town located over 70 kilometers from Tagbilaran. 

Close to the earthquake's epicenter, Danao had access routes already paved highways cracking, landslides blocking some portions of these roads. 

And as if these are the worst the town could get, the ongoing construction of the main road leading to the town had to be stalled by virtue of a court injunction for disagreement between the public works agency and the contractor, to the detriment of public access. 

But, Mayor Natividad Gonzaga could not be put down. 

Seeing the Extreme Adventure Park with the potential for rehabilitation, the town under Mayor Gonzaga took a hard look at rehabilitating areas which could be fixed. 

With its zipline now operational, the town looks at the Sky Rappel as another hit, bouncing the town back from its slump. (rac/PIA-7Bohol)

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