Feature: A place called Eriberta Spring Resort
Pagadian City (13 April) -- A vast and fertile land nestled at the foot of a verdant hill, the municipality of Molave was created on June 16, 1948 by virtue of Republic Act No. 286 authored by the late Congressman Juan S. Alano. On June 14, 1949, however, RA 286 was amended by RA 377 establishing its present location, boundaries and limits of territories.
Its name was taken from a hardwood, the Molave tree which abounds in the place during the early years. It is 37.94 kilometers away from Pagadian City, the provincial capital of Zamboanga del Sur.
Settlers from the distant places of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao were attracted to this rich land in the Salug Valley area : Cebuano, Boholano, Ilongo, Ilocano, Leyteño and other ethnic groups. But the Subanens were known to be the early settlers of Molave.
Today, Molave is the hub of commerce and trade in the eastern part of the province and moving at a very rapid pace towards becoming the most progressive municipality of Zamboanga del Sur.
Our story however, goes beyond the territories of Molave but it used to be a parcel of this prosperous town. Let me take you further, then. Seven kilometers from Molave is a place called Tuburan, which is now a part of Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur. As the name denotes, it has boundless water source and people have found a haven in this natural spring resort.
Molave Mayor Flavio J. Saniel Jr. beams with pride as he shared to us the story behind Eriberta Spring Resort, a very beautiful and precious legacy left to him by his late parents : Flavio Sr. and Eriberta – where the name of the resort was culled.
Mayor Saniel fondly recalls his childhood days. The youngest in a brood of 8, five of them were born and grew up in Tuburan, where the family owns 7 hectares of land. During that time, there was no road and they had to walk several kilometers just to go to school.
He loved the water, so when it was time to take a pick, he chose the water. What he had in mind was a retirement place - - - just a perfect place to sit back and reminisce the beautiful memories kept inside the heart through the years.
A recent visit to Australia made him envision this type of resort, where people would flock during summer because it’s much cooler than staying on the beach. He relentlessly pursued this dream and embarked on the arduous job of transforming Eriberta, so with an initial investment of P200,000, he opened Eriberta Spring Resort to the public in 2003. From that time on, the income it earned was invested in the resort for improvements and other amenities. He also planted 1,000 fruit trees in the area including mahogany and hopes to establish a park very soon.
Foreigners are frequent visitors to Eriberta which is a very idyllic place. Add to it the cool and refreshing waters, it also has 5 pools and 28 cottages with prices ranging from 100,200,500 and 700. Two function halls – Flavio Hall which can accommodate 500 people, and another for a smaller group of 60 are ideal for gatherings and similar activities.
He gladly relates that there was one time that in just a matter of 16 days, he earned 200 thousand from the resort. He was really amazed at how things turned out! His present income he now uses for further development of the resort, which is now fast becoming a tourist attraction and an ideal place for families and people just wanting to unwind and let go of pressures from work.
To date, a basketball court is under construction, including a kidney – shaped pool for the senior citizens which is nearing completion.
This month, about 1,000 young people from the Seventh-Day Adventist churches in Region 9 will converge at Eriberta for a four-day Summer Camp, very ideal for camping and mountain trekking
He looks forward to his retirement years, and surely, he will enjoy staying in this “heaven here on earth” place, enjoying the cool wind and the sound of rippling waterfalls.
Going back to the municipality which he has steered to further economic prosperity and infrastructure development through only a span of six years, the good mayor has another obsession : to sustain the momentum it has gained and ensure the delivery of basic services to the people.
Furthermore, he has a vision for street children, wanting to provide not only a shelter for them but also an educational package with moral and spiritual support, which he hopes to accomplish within this year. (PIA-Pagadian) [top]