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PIA Press Release

Davao Oriental optimistic of Mt. Hamiguitan inclusion in World Heritage list

By Neela G. Duallo

City of Mati, Davao Oriental (16 July) -- With the series of nominations that UNESCO Philippines made for Mt. Hamiguitan in the municipality of San Isidro as a heritage site, Davao Oriental is hoping to obtain the honor.

Needless to say, the local government of San Isidro is at the peak of excitement, as the recognition will add and reaffirm that indeed, Mt. Hamiguitan is the tourist destination to beat.

Former San Isidro Municipal Mayor and now Board Member Tina Yu of the Second District of Davao Oriental is all high hopes for Mt. Hamiguitan.

"We are now preparing new requirements to be submitted to Unesco. And I am happy with the nomination, and we can be the happiest constituents if Mt. Hamiguitan will be duly recognized as a heritage site because this will mean that our efforts to preserve it's unique biodiversity is successful because once recognized as a heritage site, Mt, Hamiguitan will now become a property of the world," she beamed.

Indeed, there's no stopping Davao Oriental in pursuing an aggressive tourism promotion, particularly for Mt. Hamiguitan of San Isidro.

Endowed with the vastness of one thousand hectares and the mystique of it's 2 to 3 feet tall-century-old trees, the Pygmy Forest in Mt. Hamiguitan was chosen as the brand mark of Davao Oriental, in a Stakeholder's Forum on November 7, 2007.

Mt. Hamiguitan offers many beautiful sites. And it can give the best destination package for the province.

From the peak of the mountain, one can see the Pujada Bay, Sleeping Dinosaur Island, the Pacific Ocean, Davao Gulf, and from within one can see the Pygmy Forest with the centuries old bonsai plants, and Tinagong Dagat, a lake that has remained it's mystery as it dwells hidden in the mountain.

Gov. Corazon Malanyaon has high hopes that Mt. Hamiguitan will make it, and will put Davao Oriental in the map of tourism wonders.

In making Mt. Hamiguitan as the brand mark of Davao Oriental. Gov. Corazon Malanyaon said that it's now time to make use of the abundance, of whatever that is there for the province, and to introduce Davao Oriental to the rest of the country and to the world.

"There is no politics here. On the marketing side, we really have to think of what is it in Davao Oriental that would the lure visitors and tourists to come for a visit, and what is its uniqueness," the Governor explained.

She further said that others that were suggested to be the landmark of the province can also be found elsewhere in the world, but you cannot find another pygmy forest in other places.

San Isidro Mayor Apolinar Ruelo was elated with the big opportunity given to their place through Mt. Hamiguitan.

He has prioritized local tourism promotion in his agenda, to live up to the expectations now that Mt. Hamiguitan symbolizes the province of Davao Oriental, and about to become a heritage site.

'Mt. Hamiguitan majestically stands at 5, 345 feet above sea level, and looks like a huge vegetable garden in the middle of the jungle, and has become the favorite camping site of local and foreign tourists, mountain climbers, and adventurous people.

It became Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary by virtue of Republic Act No. 9303 authored by then Congressman and now Davao Oriental Vice-Governor Mayo Almario. (N. Duallo/PIA XI) [top]

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