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PIA Press Release

Tublay shifts to countryside tourist destination as major industry

by SC Aro

TUBLAY, Benguet (20 October) -- Officials are considering countryside tourist destination as their major industry to complement tourist destinations in neighboring municipalities including the City of Baguio due to its accessibility.

Classified as an emerging tourist destination, Mayor Ruben Paoad said for tourists who visit Baguio or La Trinidad for an urban tour, they could extend their tour to Tublay and experience a countryside tourist destination.

Paoad said supposedly, their town will be the expansion area of La Trinidad and Baguio City on the establishment of business but their terrain could not afford it.

Endowed with tourist attractions such as natural caves, agricultural and eco-tourism farm among others, officials are bent on pursuing with countryside tourism industry.

Seven caves and cavelets can be found in Ambongdolan. The popular ones are the Bengaongao, Paterno or Ketong, and the Bongis caves. Sometime in 1996 a spelunking of the caves was held with participants from all over the country gathering positive feedbacks.

Sangguniang Bayan tourism committee chair Ericson Felipe said there is still a need to explore further the Bengaongao cave as it has various openings which needs the services of experts in spelunking.

The Paterno cave has a historic significance as it was named after Pedro Paterno, a known warrior during the KKK Revolution, who used the cave as his hiding place.

In Caponga, there is the ENCA Farms, an eco-tourism and organic farm coined after Enrique and Carmen Cosalan. With an area of more or less 21.27 hectares, it boasts of its natural environs. A member of the Willing Workers in Organic Farming, an international group, ENCA is the only eco-tourism and organic farm which has signed up in the country. A worker of the organization already came to validate, according to Marlyn Cosalan, one of the heirs of the farm

Cosalan said tourists, mostly foreigners, enjoy the ecology of the farm and look forward to going back. They are surprised to see the preservation of the ecology of the area. Others who go back tag along with them members of their family, she added.

Cosalan explained that the introduction of structures is limited as they want to preserve the ecology of the area.

The farm is endowed with indigenous flora and fauna, organic vegetable gardens, backyard fishpods, streams, and pine mountains.

For the adventurist, activities to enjoy are eco-walk, hiking, trekking, and rappelling. Aside from camping, there are also sites for picnicking, bonfires, and barbeque.

For those who are enticed with birds, bird watching and identifying could also be a delight. It could also be a venue for plant identification. During rainy season, edible wild mushroom picking could also be done.

The area is intended for workshops/seminars/trainings on organic farming seminar, natural farming systems, outdoor leadership skills trainings, teambuilding workshops, environmental education seminars, gold panning demo, indigenous hunting demo, rice wine making demo, and indigenous craft's workshop such as pine cones, pine needle baskets and décor making,

Barangay Ambassador also offers a variety of tourist attractions such as Kidit farms, an agri-eco-tourism farm. With a landscaped area, cutflower plants and coffee plantations could be found.

For panoramic viewing, a tower house is installed in Los-ok, Ambassador. Another viewpoint, the Ambassador viewpoint overlooking the Sto Nino Mines was also built.

For recollection and retreats, the Benedictine House can also be found in Ambassador. The town also has its own Asin Hots Springs located in Tuel.

Vice Mayor Armando Lauro said the budget for tourism will likely increase due to the fact that their efforts will be focused on programs and projects on tourism.

Paoad said that the town's terrain by nature cannot be industrialized even if they wanted. It is basically an agricultural area comprising 80 percent of farmers but admitted their products cannot compete with the produce of other municipalities. However, they are encouraging farmers to shift from inorganic to organic farming to give more value to their produce. (PIA-Benguet) [top]

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