Calbiga town offers nature, culture and adventure as ecotourism destination
By Ninfa B Quirante
Catbalogan City (11 November) -- Nature, culture and adventure in its numerous land and water forms as in caves, falls and flora and fauna seem to await Calbiga town when it emerges as an Eco tourism destination in Samar.
In the Ecotourism planning workshop started today, stakeholders drafted the best tourist packages for groups for adventure.
The Local Government Unit led by Mayor Melchor Nacario with other government entities, the academe, peoples' organization, NGOs, transportation groups and the business sector put their acts together to map out strategies to develop eco tourism in this beautiful town and create employment.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) along with German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) with Calbiga LGU sponsored the three-day workshop aimed at tourism development
Mr. Aniceto Cabuenas, who presented a tourism situationer said that some 90 foreign and local tourists were registered in 2007 and some 60 in 2008.
This, he said does not include those who did not pass by the Municipal Tourism office on weekends and the locals who are have become 'balikbayans'.
As the group tried to inventory the nature sites, some cultural and even entrepreneurial potentials have also been accounted for.
Calbiga for one boasts of Lulugayan Falls, which is fifty meters wide and is considered as mini Niagara.
The Langun-Gobingob Caves is heaven to spelunkers considered as the largest cave system in the Philippines and reputed to be the second largest in Asia. It is 7 kilometers lonf with an area of 900 square kilometers. It has 12 chambers with wide underground spaces.
Calbiga also claims to be home to the so called hypogean blind fish (caecogobius cryptophalmus) and white crabs dwelling in the waters of Langun-Gobingob caves.
It has also the 20 kilometer Calbiga River teeming with big fresh water shrimps and fish, while yonder hills is home to tarsiers, monkeys and pythons of different sizes.
Calbiga also possesses strong cultural traditions perpetualized by equally gifted and talented locals.
Then, there is the Pahoy-pahoy festival on May 14, the vesper spectacle of the fiesta in Calbiga where dancers dressed as scarecrows dance in the streets and the poblacion streets adorned with giant scarecrows.
As for souvenir items, the local market is replete with traditional Samar delicacies where even their names come from their Spanish forebears like Pinato de pili, delicias de pili, and Coriuoso. Other eatables enjoy the waray nomenclature as in puto, moron and binagol.
Pahoy-pahoy dolls are also available which are handcrafted by talented Calbiganons.
A Catbaloganon, Raul Reyes claims that his native Catbalogan pales if compared to Calbiga for truly Calbiga has it all- nature, culture and adventure! (PIA-Samar) [top]