Northern Samar unveils budding eco-tourism destinations
Natural wonders of Pinipisakan Falls and Ginagatusan Caves
Tacloban City (October 11) -- No less than Second District of Northern Samar Congressman Emil Ong was the first to introduce to this humble writer, the Pinipisakan Falls and the Ginagatusan Caves, beautiful wonders of nature found only in the hinterland town of Las Navas in the province of Northern Samar.
Minus the usual fanfare that comes when a top politician does something, Congressman Ong, who is fondly called as Man Emil, has been quietly working hard for the development and promotion of the undiscovered natural wonders in the second district of Northern Samar.
This writer accidentally chanced on Congressman Ong in Las Navas, Northern Samar sometime ago before the Presidential visit to the inland municipality. He was with a tall man with a big video camera who turned out to be a TV host, and few members of the television crew.
They were on their way to Pinipisakan Falls and Ginagatusan Caves, two destinations which are practically unheard of except by the locals who have had the opportunity to explore the marvelous bounties of nature found only in this part of the country, to make a TV production because words are inadequate to describe these wonderful gifts of God. This is Congressman Ong's way of promoting the undiscovered ecotourism destinations in his district.
With the use of a motorized banca, navigating the Catubig River is the primary thoroughfare for traveling in Las Navas. The same leads to the province's undiscovered wonders, Km 3, a subterranean natural pool, the Ginagatusan Caves and Pinipisakan Falls, a multi-layered cascading attraction.
At the upper most stream, the Pinipisakan Falls, a series of star-like waterfalls, a multi-layered cascading attraction, located 15 kilometers away from the town of Las Navas, Km 3, a subterranean natural pool, and the Ginagatusan Caves are the main attractions of the area and are only accessible by motor boats.
To get to these spots, take an hour-long boat ride and then enjoy a "short walk", as the local guides describe it. This short walk, as one will discover, is actually a 3 kilometer trek that involves negotiating very steep upward and downward slopes as well as narrow dirt roads — a group will have to walk single-file, one person at a time.
Once one has found what he has set out searching for, he will surely forget how difficult it was to get there, as the waters shimmer in an inviting shade of aquamarine, all that one will hear are the sounds of the currents and wonder at the magnificence of the Pinipisakan Falls.
Congressman Ong's advocacy to promote the undiscovered secret wonders of Northern Samar, was given a great boost, recently, as the local government of Las Navas thru Mayor Arlito A. Tan and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Executive Director Regidor M. De Leon inked a memorandum of agreement to take the responsibility of overseeing the development, management and maintenance of the Pinipisakan Falls and the Ginagatusan (unexplored) Caves at Barangay San Isidro.
One could only hope that development will not destroy and trample with the natural wonders so that adverse effects will not be done. It is good to note that included in the development plan is not only the provision of visitors' facilities, but also the conduct of social preparations and the creation of livelihood opportunities through eco-tourism services. (PIA 8) [top]