Friday, August 14, 2015

Danajon interpretative hub
Talibon tourist destination 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 13, (PIA)—Seeing education critical in sustaining the rare Danajon Double Barrier Reef (DBR) north of Bohol, Talibon puts up an interpretative center as learning hub to help kids and adults better understand marine environmental issues associated with resource protection and conservation. 

Housed at the old nurses home of the former Talibon Provincial Hospital, inside the Municipal Hall Complex, the interpretative center features a huge 3 dimensional model map of the entire coverage of the double barrier reef.

Said to be the only one in Asia, and among the six which can be found in the world, Danajon’s outer bank extends some 94 kilometers from Tubigon town at northwestern Bohol to Carlos P. Garcia, breaching into territories of four provinces. 

Occupying some 214,268 hectares of the size of about 5 million basketball courts, Danajon’s two barrier reefs protect mainland Bohol specifically the northern side against devastating storms, while the fringing reefs provide the fish which island communities sustain themselves,” explained Rachelle Sayson, Talibon tourism officer. 

Sayson, who also doubles up as the resident tour guide, dished out relevant information which delved on the conservation issues of the rare Danajon and the survival of communities drawing their protein requirements from the sea. 

“Communicating these issues however proved to be tough to people who could be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the resource, and the 3D model was an attempt to take on the task in a smaller but exact scale,” sources at the local coastal resource management council shared. 

“The 3D model was a product of a participatory 3D modeling (P3DM) workshop of stakeholders and integrates people’s knowledge and spatial information to produce a stand-alone scale relief model that shows a relatively accurate storage data and analysis devices as well as an excellent communication media,” according to a billboard explaining the massive map that occupies half of the building’s floor.

The 3D model graphically shows the inner and the outer banks of the Danajon, community profiles of the islands within it, as well as the degree of dependence of these communities to the fishing grounds. 

Apart from the 3D model, the interactive center also features informative standees, wall installations as well as a diorama of a community’s common fishing methods showing both the legal and the illegal. 

Set up, in cooperation with the United States Government through the ECOFish Project, the interpretative center has been picked by the Bohol Ecotourism Project in its new loop, it being an educational as well as interactive learning site for marine conservation and environmental protection.

The inspection and validation team from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sustainable Environment for Panglao Project (SEPP) Bohol Tourism Office, tourism stakeholders and media all nodded in approval for the inclusion of the stop in the learning tour. 

The stop is an information overload and it is among the best sources of marine resource protection information in a single stop, agreed a respected Bohol tour guide who joined the inspection at the site. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

All in Bohol takes on 
“Outdoor dare” loop 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, August 13, (PIA)—The promotional tag-line “It is all in Bohol,” showed a newer angle: a mainstreamed destination for the outdoor enthusiasts willing to test their physical and mental limits. 

By this and in an attempt to draw tourists away from the oft-beaten paths, Bohol, with the able support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) looked the other way and tested a new tourism loop that would bring tourists to a spelunking exploration, a treetop adventure challenge and traversing a river on a hanging bridge. 

Having carved a name in environmental, heritage, culture, and popular tourism, Bohol has most of its tourists flocking into the Tagbilaran City-Carmen and Panglao routes, where most of the wonders of Bohol can be found. 

With the recent mainstreaming of healthy lifestyle and extreme sports and mastering the body, Bohol through JICA tests a new lump of tourism products which would cater to the extreme and the adventure seeking tourists, according to Kin Gerica Trinidad, JICA secretariat accompanying a team of inspectors-validators product testing. 

The new tourism loop includes spelunking at the Danao Extreme Adventure Tourism in Danao, tree-top and team-building challenges at the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park in Carmen and a hanging bridge river traverse at the Sipatan Hanging Bridge in Sevilla. 

In Danao, tourists would be geared right: head gears, headlights and would take the 280 meter trail from the main center to the mouth of the cave. 

A moderately challenging cave, Kamira can be accessed through a narrow crevice in a cliff wall where the adventurist would have to squeeze through, rappel to about 3 meters on a sloping boulder to reach the cave floor and then get to the challenge, says park official and extreme sports adventurer Rey Donaire. 

From there, he will have to navigate a totally dark cave, aided only by a headlight and wade through half a kilometer of underground chambers of the Kamira Cave, traverse boulders, wade through hip-deep waters. 

Another destination, the CHAP allows the tourists to take on the tree top challenges featuring the snake ladder, the pentagon tree top course, gymn-akids children’s obstacles, zorb ball, body ball, sum wrestling and the bike zip. 

The tree challenges are actually putting tourists on safety harness while attempting to cross trees using the challenging and swaying steps, Burma planks, Burma loops , vine walk, Jacob’s Walk and Tyrolean traverses. 

To unwind, the loop brings the tourist to the famed Sipatan Hanging Bridge, a bamboo-slatted bridge hang on steel cables and spanning the Sevilla River. 

The bridge sways as one walks though it and the sheer challenge of a river some few meters below can be a pleasing motivator, but for those disinclined to take on the challenge, even looking at people who take the dare can send shivers. 

We are opening up this loop to allow tourists to swing out away from the usual countryside paths and hopefully spread the benefits of tourism to other parts of Bohol, a JICA official in Bohol said. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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