Tinongdan focuses on its eco-cultural tourism potentials
by S.C. Aro
Tinongdan, Itogon (14 February) -- Officials of this barangay are promoting eco-cultural-tourism as one of the alternative sources of livelihood and additional source of income.
Barangay Captain Norberto Pacio believes that tourism is a better approach in developing the area rather than opening it for mining explorations. This is not to discount the fact that the barangay is still dependent on agriculture.
Through the initiative of the barangay, it has launched the Colos festival which coincides with its Founding Anniversary showcasing its culture and performing arts with the theme dubbed, "Community awareness of culture and environment towards mutual accountability."
The festival runs from February 12-15, 2009 highlighted by cultural presentation, Keddot ni Icolos/Itinongshan (canao festival), indigenous games, dances and chants, talent shows, agro-industrial trade fair, search for Miss Tinongdan including an information drive on environmental awareness, a component activity of tourism.
Among the eco-cultural tourism activities also currently being focused on are the Mt. Ugo and Mt. Marikit climb and the Binga hydroelectric dam which the barangay hosts where excursionists and tourists frequently visit.
Already on its seventh year of implementation, participants to the Mt. Ugo climb are increasing according to Municipal Tourism Action Officer designate Flordeliza Diase. It has become a popular event which adventurists and enthusiasts always look forward to, she said.
For this year, Diase said a climb to Mt. Ugo will be staged from April 4-6, 2009 with two sets of itineraries. Set A is for those participants who will be assembled at Baguio and Set B for participants who will be assembled at Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya. Set B is set to accommodate participants from Manila for reduced travel time including those who will be going out late from work and want to join the trek.
Mt. Marikit climb has also been introduced last year according to Diase which the barangay also hopes to develop as a trekking destination.
Although it is not yet ready for promotion, Itogon has also identified a number of heritage houses dating back as early as 1926 which they want to preserve. The barangay is mulling for the passage of a legislative measure for the preservation and conservation of the heritage houses showcasing indigenous architecture. Diase said they are hoping that they could source out funding for the preservation of these heritage houses in the future.
Moreover, the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts funded a three-month training for the preservation of Tinongdan's culture and performing arts identified as School of Living Tradition according to Diase. Participants were school children who performed indigenous dances, the playing of instruments and chants during the Colos Festival.
In living up to its tagline, "The seat of cultural heritage and wonders," the barangay is developing its potentials along this line. (PIA) [top]