Mt. Ugo bags Best Nature and Tourism Award
by Susan Aro
La Trinidad, Benguet (30 October) -- A barangay event in Itogon capped the best nature and sports tourism national award in a national convention of the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP).
Adjudged as winner during the ATOP 7th National Convention last October 4-7, 2006 at Koronadal City, South Cotabato was the 4th Mt. Ugo Summer Climb held in April 2006.
According to Itogon Tourism Operations Officer Flordeliza Diaze, included as support documents to the activity were the social benefits, benefits derived from the community, and participation at the barangay and municipality. These were also supported with pictures and write-ups including the souvenir annual year book.
Mt. Ugo located at barangay Tinongdan in Itogon is accordingly the second highest mountain peak in Luzon. It was where a Philippine Airlines plane crashed sometime in 1987. It has become an alternative adventure destination among local mountaineer organizations.
Twelve groups or a total of 102 people from Manila, Cavite, Batangas, Zambales, Tarlac joined the trek this year. A total of 337 already scaled the Mt. Ugo since the start of the invitational climb in 2002.
Tinongdan Barangay Captain Norberto Pacio said trekkers enjoy the invitational climb due to the lengthy trail and are looking forward to its next staging. They also appreciated the hospitality accorded by the community including the tour guides and the porters.
Pacio disclosed that the groups of trekkers are supportive to the tourism program of the community. In fact it was their suggestion that as a policy, entrance fees should be collected from trekkers, he said.
Every year they make some innovations in the activities as requested by the participants, Pacio said. (PIA-CAR) [top]