PIA Press Release
Sunday, January 08, 2012
Victoria Adventure Park: A first in Zamboanga Cityby Jocelyn P. Alvarez
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 7 (PIA 9) -- Thinking of Adventure Tourism as a vehicle for development, Lacuachero, a group of professionals who has passion for adrenaline-packed adventure tourism activities fell in love with Barangay Victoria and since then envisioned Victoria as a model barangay for adventure tourism development.
“Barangay Victoria is a complete package, they have caves, river, waterfalls and a lot more of nature’s wonders, perfect for adventure tourism activities,” Manny Paster of Lacuachero said.
Putting into actions the group’s dream for Victoria, Lacuachero in partnership with the Zamboanga Adventure Tourism and Eco recreation Society (ZATERS)–a multi-sectoral group promoting adventure tourism, started in 2011 to slowly introduce the barangay’s adventure tourism potentials to local tourists.
More people started to visit Victoria for spelunking (caving), water tubing and the self-fulfilling conquer of the Siete Andanas (seven-stage) waterfalls.
The Proposed Adventure Park
Lacuachero moved their actions to a higher level by proposing to construct and develop the first ever adventure park in Zamboanga City.
The proposal was presented to Victoria barangay council and concerned proponents.
“Lacuachero presented the proposal to the barangay council, June last year.” Paster said.
“We sought permission to use and develop the proposed area,” Paster recalled.
“Then we started cleaning and clearing the proposed area after we got the council’s nod,” he said.
“We saw the eco-tourism potentials of Victoria and how these potentials can help the community, so we decided to do something to help Victoria and its people,” the adventure enthusiast-Paster said.
The young Paster said the group aims to promote Barangay Victoria through Eco-Tourism; develop and conserve the eco-tourism sites of the barangay; provide alternative income to the community during conduct of adventure tourism activities in Victoria; provide opportunities to empower constituents of the barangay socially, politically and economically and make Barangay Victoria as MODEL Barangay for Eco-Tourism.
Paster said Lacuachero and ZATERS shared the same selfless goal and that is to work hand in hand for the promotion of eco-adventure tourism.
“We share the same purpose of all these we are doing. We want to contribute towards preservation of adventure tourism sites through environment friendly practices and minimum impact adventure tourism activities,” he said.
“We want also to create a positive impression about the city through eco-tourism activities and promote her as a must-see destination,” Paster shared.
“The conduct of adventure tourism activities is one strategy of increasing public awareness and appreciation on tourism. It is also an alternative sports and exercise to promote the participants’ well being,” he said.
Paster assured that the group also puts weight on cooperating with other organizations with similar aims.
The Victoria Adventure Park Construction and LGU support
Lacuachero started minor development and construction of the Victoria Adventure Park, June of last year and is still under construction up to this time.
“While it is still under construction, it is already operational and many have already tried our adventure activities in the park,” Paster explained.
Original Plan for its opening was August 2011 but was rescheduled for this year until it is completed.
“Mayor Lobregat sent his engineers the other day to assess the area and I received a text message Thursday, informing me that the mayor has allocated funds for its development,” Paster excitedly said.
“Councillor Gerky Valesco, who is the chairman of the Committee on Tourism visited the area this week and pledged Php100,000 from his funds,” he said with a wide smile on his face.
“With concerted efforts and partnership of private groups and our local government, we are with high hopes of a beautiful Victoria Adventure Park that will surely serve its purpose,” he said.”
Activities in the Adventure Park
The adventure park will offer its “guests” adrenaline-rushing adventure activities like rappelling, rock climbing, tree top free fall, rope courses and a lot more.
Present Eco-sites of the Barangay include: Pader Cave – where adventure enthusiast can do caving/spelunking ; Water Falls (Siete Andanas) for water activities; Manicahan River – for the conduct of water tubing and other water activities; Mangrove for Mangrove tours, Firefly watching and the latest is the Victoria Adventure Park.
Barangay Victoria, Zamboanga City,
Victoria is located in the main east coast highway, about 24 kilometers from the main city hall.
Records from the city government tells, Victoria was once called Sitio “Kuwangan” a name coined due to abundance of sea shells in the area.
Kuwangan was renamed to Victoria after the victory of the “Nacionalista Party” in the election way back February 1955.
Victoria used to be a sitio under Barangay Manicahan but a resolution separating Victoria from Manicahan pave the way for the creation of a new barangay.
Victoria was created into a barangay on October 25, 1992.
At present, Victoria has Feliciano G. Revillas as it’s “Punong barangay’ (barangay chairman).
“Since the introduction of adventure tourism in Victoria, the community members developed a sense of responsibility in them to protect their natural resources like caves and falls,” Paster proudly ended. (JPA /PIA-ZBST)