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PIA Press Release

Feature: 1st nat'l media summit on eco-tourism in Dakak: One always remembers

By JP Alvarez

Zamboanga City (6 August) -- Working media all over the Philippines gathered together as one during the 1st National Media Summit on Eco-Tourism held last July 24-25 at Dakak Beach Resort, Dapitan, City.

The summit was successful in its bottom-line agenda of raising awareness among participants & at the same time promoting eco-tourism in the countryside starting with Dapitan City, the Shrine City of the Philippines.

Journalist Cheng Ordoņez, lead convener of the Summit and head of the Peninsula Media Network, said the two-day media gathering of national and provincial journalists served as large-scale campaign to promote ecotourism in the countryside

Dapitan City Councilor Apple Marie Agolong in her message during the opening program thank the summit organizer for choosing Dapitan as the venue for the summit. "This is one big opportunity for us Dapitanons to promote our city thru your (media) help" she said.

Topics discussed in the media summit were: Tourism Projects and infrastructures in the Philippines as presented by Mr. Carlitos Serrano, Regional Operations Manager for Mindanao Area, Philippine Tourism Authority; Overview & ecotourism trends in the Philippines, and Tourism impacts on communities as discussed by Mr. Bernard Gregorio, OIC, Dept. of Tourism, Dapitan satellite office.

The arrival

PIA ZC Infocenter manager Cora Panganiban w/ staff during the tree planting activity
Arriving in a motorboat cruising the waters of Dakak Park and Beach Resort, the media-participants were stunned by the warm welcome of the Dapitanons who gave their best shot in their lovely native but Hawaiian-like dance along the seashore while the arriving media participants view them from afar. The dramatic entrance gave the participants a feeling of superb treatment only high end tourists can get in a world class destination.

Treated like kings & queens, the media participants were plump with a sumptuous lunch at the Dakak Beach Resort while enjoying candid, "getting to know each other" talks and sharing of feelings on how the Dapitanons' welcome made them feel special for the first time in their lives.

After the opening ceremony, & few moments of rest, the participants gathered for the tree planting activity at Barangay Sto Niņo, Dapitan.

Each participant planted a seedling to show that "media care" for mother nature and would like to be part of greening Brgy. Sto. Niņo community.

The Ecotourism Tour: Rizal Shrine

Excited as one can be, the summit participants prepared for the media tour around the Rizal Shrine, where a replica of Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal's house was situated. The entire Rizal shrine area was surrounded by huge & sturdy trees with ages ranging to as old as 100 years and more. The Rizal Shrine ambiance made the media participants actually feel as if they were drawn hundred years back in time and made them reminisce in question, Rizal's life.

It was learned that Dr. Jose Rizal owns 794,000 hectare of agricultural land situated in the municipality of Katipunan, ZaNorte.

Sunset Boulevard

After the Rizal Shrine Tour, the participants were treated to a romantic lunch with sweet mellow, live music along the shore of Sunset Boulevard where one can enjoy and untiringly gaze the cool, and bright clear water and watch the breathtaking sunset.

Some pleased themselves with simply enjoying the picturesque view & chilly breeze while others made the most out of it and plunged themselves deep into the water, rode the Jet Ski, the banana boat and the motor boat.

The media participants also witnessed the Kinabayo Festival, the grandest festivity being practiced by Dapitanons for 100 years now and is being celebrated every 25th of July of each year.

ABS-CBN Zamboang news anchor Jewel enjoying the jet ski ride
Where else can you find such a haven in Zamboanga Peninsula? Only in this romantic, with warm & peace loving people- Dapitan City, the Shrine City of the Philippines.

After an exhausting day, the media indulge themselves in live band music at the LSA Beach Resort and dance the night away. One media participant from Manila Bulletin said, this is his first time to relax, enjoy & savor the moment after a very long and hard time of work in the media industry. "talagang nag enjoy ako at bumigay sa pagsasayaw pagkatapos ng mahaba-habang panahong pagtatrabaho sa media" (I really enjoyed & gave in to dancing after quite a long time of working in the media world) he said.

Gloria De Dapitan

Is a one of a kind commercial and leisure park. The only premier commercial complex strategically located along the Sunset Boulevard. The company features a fully air conditioned 8-lane ten-pin bowling center, a gym, computer arcade, internet café, billiard & darts hall, discotheque, resto bars, coffee shop & bakery, salon, boutiques, health spa clinic, ATM and various food outlets and a deluxe cockpit arena.

It also boasts of its carousels, amusement rides with parking area monitored by 24-hour security.

Dapitan City is one of the two cities of the then Zamboanga Del Norte now ZaNorte. Gov. Rolando Yebes in his message during the closing ceremony of the media summit said he is glad & thankful that media from all over the Philippines visited his province to help promote ZaNorTe especially the province's tourism banner City -Dapitan City. As a sign of gratitude, he said "kay dili mi kuripot, ZaNorte ang mag host sa sunod ninyong event" (Because we are not thrifty, ZaNorte will host your next event) and because of that, he was applauded.

ZaNorte has 25 municipalities and two cities (Dipolog & Dapitan). It has 34,000 hectares of virgin forest lands and has recorded 200% rise in tourist arrivals.

Gov. Yebes said Dipolog is ZaNorte's Trade & Commerce City, Dapitan as Heritage City and the rest are agricultural areas. (PIA ZC) [top]

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