Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Celing fish spa to start 
Antequera farm tours

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 23 (PIA)—It may be an experience reserved only for the moneyed, or those who can pay their way to this kind of foot-spa. 

But if you come to Celing, in Antequera, all you need to do is sit on the levee and dip your feet in the clear pond.

As you do that, there is in fact a certain assurance that you won’t be able to survive the tickling nibble of hundreds of tilapia, koi, mudfish and catfish taking off the dead skins from your feet. 

“We had this tilapia seeded in the pond,” tourism officer Lorna Jadulco shared to the guests who inspected the ready tourism product within the Celing Barangay Hall complex. 

Protected by a signage that fines P500 to anybody caught fishing in the pond, the fish were rather prolific that some tilapias have grown to about a 10 inches, the koi at about the same size. Smaller mud and catfish are also occasionally joining in the mad nibble. 

“People used to come and feed the fish with bread but we think we’d go for fish food, bread is not among fish diet,” she added. 

Popularly called the famous fish spa in several high end resorts, this experience in Antequera runs as part of the Farm and Cave tourism which the local government unit puts up for the eco-tourism Bohol program. 

The fish spa is the first activity that greets the tourists alighting off their rides. After the feet dipping, tourists need to wade through the ankle deep but cool water of the irrigation canal to the paddy where they would try their skills in rice planting. 

A short carabao sled ride takes them from the paddies to the hut where Antequera basket making demonstration and hands on weaving happens. 

Cold refreshments of buko also await the tourists. 

A short step off the demonstration hut is Celing Cave, a deep pooled cave which also acts as the refreshing pool for bone-tired farmers out in a days tasks at the fields. 

In attempts to dissipate the onslaught of tourists coming in when the airport in Panglao operates, airport builders and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) capacitates Bohol communities to come out with alternate tourism sites and activities. 

In a project called Sustainable Environment for Panglao Project (SEPP), JICA, along with Bohol Ecotourism Council led by Nonette Bolo, recently completed over 60 eco-tourism sites which would be additional options of the already established Bohol standard Chocolate Hills Countryside Tour. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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Danao to open Baliho Cave
for "supra-extreme" caving 

TAGBILARAN CITY, August 24 (PIA)--In a bid to regain the fame as Bohol's extreme adventure tourism capital, Danao is now flexing muscles to get a new cave experience opened for tourism.

And when they do, local government leaders want to open up an supra-extreme experience with the 1.2 kilometer looped "Baliho" Cave.

Already an acclaimed leader in extreme adventure, Extreme Adventure Tourism Danao (EAT Danao), Danao's the Plunge topped the park's revenue grossers with record sales of close to half a million in a day's peak operation. 

The Plunge, one on only three canyon swings in the world, has been a crowd drawer and is complemented by the Suislide, a zipline that traverses the famed canyons of Danao. 

Apart from those, Danao also offers spelunking, which has been attracting eco-tourists.

The earthquake of 2013 however altered the physical landscape of the EAT Danao complex in Magtangtang as the earthquake toppled the Plunge launching pad and compromised some of the activities. 

Months later, Danao slowly stood from the rubbles and reopened some of its activities, including its famed Kamira Cave. 

Usually described as a moderately challenging cave, Kamira can be traversed by wading through underground streams and getting past 450 meters of challenging obstacles. 

To complete the thrill, Danao is now readying a new cave for a supra extreme experience in the Baliho Cave, revealed Rey Donaire, park manager and resident guide. 

Helping the LGU assess the cave and safety of its guests is a foreign geologist who has opted to permanently live in Danao, Paul Finlay.

Accessible after negotiating a 200 meter footpath, Baliho features 80% muddy traverse and 20% water, where guests would need to crawl, slip and climb portions to be able to complete the 1.2 kilometer looped stretch of the cave, according to Finlay, who also added the presence of snakes: boa constrictor in the cave. 

There are still some nooks in the cave that remain unexplored, admits Donaire, who added that during rainy days, they close the cave because the water level rises and could trap spelunkers. 

We do hope that opening the new cave will help us regain the attention to the park and relive the glory we lost due to the earthquake, Donaire hopes.

Danao spelunking is among the over 60 sites in Bohol which Japan International Cooperation Agency supports for its ecotourism Bohol program incorporated in the Sustainable Environment for Panglao Project. 

JICA said their goal is to open up other areas in Bohol so as to direct tourists who would be arriving in Bohol through Panglao Airport. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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