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PIA Press Release

DOT secretary amazed by Sarangani river tubing adventure

By Macky Macavinta

Maitum, Sarangani (October ) -- "Wala itong katulad sa bansa (nothing like this in the country)," was one of the comments Tourism Secretary Joseph "Ace" Durano gave after enjoying the 1.6-kilometer whitewater tubing ride in barangay New La Union on October 3.

He noted that other resorts may have rafting, "you would be lucky to get wet, but here, once you step into the tube, you're already wet".

"I never expected it to be like this. I have tried white river rafting in Cagayan de Oro and Davao, but this one is different... you really get wet. It's awesome!" Durano said.

Secretary Durano was supposed to lunch with ATOP delegates at Gumasa, Glan but insisted that he visit Maitum instead to try the water tubing experience here. "My brother kept on telling me to visit Maitum since the experience here is different from the other resorts in the country," Durano said.

The sport is a 45-minute ride aboard a salbabida (inflated tire tube) past breathtaking drops, between huge boulders and amid green scenery along Pangi River 's rapids.

"Bohol has its Chocolate Hills and Sarangani has its Whitewater River Tubing. I invite you all to try it!" Durano later told delegates at the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) convention's closing ceremony in General Santos City.

Durano had also stopped over South Point Divers, one of Mindanao 's premiere dive spots located in Lemlunay, Maasim to meet with private sector representatives and discussed the prevalent issues with regards to local tourism.

Durano cited the importance of tourism officers in overseeing tourism projects in the local level. "They (tourism officers) are our connections in tourism development all over the country.

That is why under this new tourism law, the position of the tourism officer will be a permanent position within the local government units giving them security of tenure," Durano said. "We just finished the draft of the new tourism law and going to have consultations around the country and will be implemented by the end of November." (Sarangani Info. Office) [top]

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