Tagbaobo Community-Based Ecotourism
Article and photos by Jojie Alcantara published in SunStar Davao
The village of Tagbaobo in Kaputian district proudly highlights different tourism areas in the barangay with local residents as its prime movers. The Tagbaobo community-based ecotourism program was chosen along with four other local government units (LGUs) in the country in a presentation before hundreds of global stakeholders during the recent 5th World Ecotourism Conference in Cebu City.
The annual World Ecotourism Conference is the world’s most important conference in the ecotourism fraternity and is held in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (WTO).
With the theme of “Marine and Coastal Ecotourism: Oceans of Uncertainties, Waves of Opportunities,” among Tagbaobo’s sightseeing attractions include the Magongawong and Sampao Falls, Cawa-Cawa Rice Field demo, Samal Tribal House at Sitio Libud, and other adventures on horseback riding or habal-habal (motorcycle).
In a marine sanctuary great for snorkeling, visitors are taught to use makeshift floater vests made of empty, plastic softdrink bottles.
Homestay accommodations are already in place to provide families and groups with extended picnics, camping, leisure hiking, swimming, boating, fishing and diving. The locals are currently working actively together to improve their services and become a primary tourist attraction in the region.
Meeting the warm Sama Tribe is one of the highlights, so make sure to eat “amik” (a native Muslim delicacy made of rice flour and sugar prepared to accompaniment of rhythmic beats) with them.
Drink native coffee served on creatively folded anahaw leaves while watching their dance performance on a hilltop.
Tagbaobo’s ecotourism program is highly recommended for visitors to discover and enjoy. My special thanks to Ms. Gene Rose Tecson, President of the Tagbaobo Tourism Council, for giving me and my media colleagues the “ride” of our lives.
(Jojie Alcantara is a travel writer and photographer based in Davao City, and a long time columnist of SunStar Davao. Visit her photo blog The Scene Stealer)
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