Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tourist Destination in the Province of Aklan

"Bugna it Tangalan"

One of Aklan’s tourism potentials lies in the town of Tangalan, strategically located between the province’s gateways, Caticlan jetty port and the capital town Kalibo.   

Bugna is the local term for “blessing”, and quiet appropriately, is the name of  Tangalan’s Community Based Ecotourism Program. BUGNA it TANGALAN  (Blessings of Tangalan)  features the best Tangalan has to offer, from waterfalls and beaches to food and hospitality.  The program was designed to reduce poverty through community based tourism development. Various packages are available, so please feel free to pick and choose which destinations are most suited to your desires.

It takes prides in its community based eco- tourism project, Bugna it Tangalan which  includes the following eco-tourism attractions;
  • The century old Nepomucene Church
  • Afga Point, Afga Wave Rock Formation
  • Jawili Falls & Beach
  • Bughawi Beach and Reforestation Project and  Afga Crafts Village
  • The Marine Sanctuary which houses the Coral Garden  is a sight to reckon with as well,  with its  colorful fishes taking shelter in the artificial reefs  and numerous species of hard and soft corals

St. John Nepomucene Parish Church

For almost twenty-eight years men, women, and children carried limestone and coral blocks on their heads and shoulders from the quarries of Barangay Afga to the town proper from sunrise to sunset in a great polo (forced labor). Being finished in 1889 and still intact today the century old church is one of the oldest in the province, featuring limestone and coral walls.

Afga Wave-Rock Formation

The wave-rock formation is a unique environmental phenomenon produced by wave action on a rocky shore.  It is told that the wave-rock formation served as the quarry site for the distinct limestone and coral walls of  the St. John Nepomucene Parish Church.  It is a detrital type of sedimentary rock stratified in the colors yellow, grey, black, and reddish-brown. Dwarf mangroves have found a home amongst the numerous cracks and crevices.

Jawili Beach

The white sands and crystal clear waters of Jawili Beach are an excellent location for a weekend getaway or a relaxing vacation.  Jawili Beach provides Boracay like scenery with the slow place and tranquility of a small fishing village.  Fishing boats line the beach as the majority of the local community still rely on the sea for their livelihood. Jawili Beach is an ideal destination for sea related recreation, picnics, conferences, conventions, holiday outings, and vacations.

Jawili Falls

The splendor of Jawili Falls is only a five to ten minute walk from Jawili Beach.  The seven basins have been uniquely arranges by centuries of water flow. Crystal clear water cascades from basin to basin as if rolling down a giant stairwell.  The falls are surrounded by a pristine forest that serves as a wildlife sanctuary for endemic flora and fauna. Tracing the tributaries of the falls into the heart of the forest is a challenging yet rewarding adventure.

Tangalan Marine Sanctuary

The 375ha Marine Sanctuary was established in 2003 within the municipal waters at Pungtod Reef. Pungtod Reef is approximately 150ha consisting of patch reefs and ranging in depth from 8 to over 30m. Live coral coverage and fish density have been increasing since the sanctuary was implemented. The sanctuary hosts numerous species of hard and soft corals, sponges, shells, sea stars, sea cucumbers, oysters, and lobsters. There are a variety of colorful fish as well, including Butterflyfish, Angelfish, Damselfish, Parrotfish, Surgeonfish, Scorpionfish, and Sweetlips among others.  There are also many species targeted for fishing, such as Fusilers, Groupers, Jacks, Snappers, and Emperor Breams.  Endangered sea snakes and sea turtles are also found within the sanctuary, as well as dolphins and stingrays. The sanctuary is currently closed to SCUBA diving and snorkeling.

Coral Garden

The Coral Gardening and Reef Rehabilitation Project is a 10 ha area inside the Marine Sanctuary where 49 cross-bar pyramid type artificial reefs were deployed in 2003 in a cooperative effort of the LGU-Tangalan and DA-BFAR. The goal of the project is to rehabilitate an area that was previously decimated by dynamite and cyanide fishing. The artificial reefs, by increasing coral cover and providing additi0nal shelter for juvenile fishes, will in turn increase the catch of municipal fisherfolk.  Numerous species of hard and soft corals can be observed growing on the artificial reefs after only 2 years.  Sea stars, feather stars, tunicates, and oysters have also taken advantage of the additional habitat provided by the artificial reefs. Fish are plentiful within the Coral Garden as they utilize the shelter provided by the artificial reefs. The artificial reefs consist of 16 concrete bars stacked in a pyramid to maximize the amount of surface area exposed to sunlight. One of the artificial reefs, the “mother” artificial reef, is made up of 48 concrete bars.  The LGU is currently developing an ecotourism project in which SCUBA divers will be able to purchase a growing coral and “plant” it on an artificial reefs, thereby contributing to the rehabilitation of coastal resources in the Philippines.  The Coral Garden is scheduled to open for SCUBA diving in May 2006.

"Hurom-hurom and Basang Cold Springs"

People coming from Boracay usually have sunburns. I personally hate sunburns. It’s on top of everyone’s list of the worst body pains one could get from excessive swimming at the beach and exposure to sunlight.

But fortunately for us, there are quite a few places we could visit in Aklan wherein we could chill out and relax from the fast paced life of Boracay. Our favorites are the cold springs of Hurom-hurom and Basang, located in the municipality of Nabas which is a good 18-kilometer drive from Caticlan.

You will reach the resort area in about 15-30 minutes from the main highway depending on the condition of the 2-kilometer rough road by the river beds of a white water river (right side of the road).

That river is actually the Gibon River and is one of the longest rivers in the country. It is said to stretch all the way to Pandan, Antique. During rainy days, when the current is strong, kids usually go on rafting trips using old make-shift 
salbabida(lifebuoys) with a bunch of their friends waiting downstream to catch them. It’s their version of white water rafting. We haven’t tried it yet but the locals say that it's really fun. I’d like to try that someday. I bet it’s better than paid rides. *eyes widen*

At Basang, there is nothing like enjoying the cold water while occasionally sneaking up behind our two companions who took charge of preparing lunch. Taking a few slices of bite-size, grilled salted pork and plunging back into the cold, free-flowing water is probably one of the best ways to spend a rainy get away from the city.

Going there during a rainy season had lots of advantages. One: It was freaking cold but we loved it. Even during summer, they say that the waters of both resorts are as cold as ice. The rains make the place even cooler. If you forgot to buy ice cubes for your drinks, improvise! Put your bottles of soft drinks into one of the pools and check it out after a few minutes. You’ll know what we mean.

Two: we had the place all to ourselves! There was no one in the resort, except for a few caretakers. You’ll have no problems renting lifebuoys and grills.

Basang Cold Spring has this shallow canal which supplies the cold spring water for the whole resort. Kids will surely enjoy riding on of the large salbabidas and make their way down to one of the smaller pools through an opening underneath a small bridge. We tried it and believe me when I say we felt like we were back in 5th grade.

Go there with your friends (anytime of the year except peak seasons) or maybe you and your family might actually end up having a private pool party. 

"Boracay Island"

Boracay is a tropical island located approximately 315km (200 miles) south of Manila and 2km off the northwest tip of the island of Panay in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. The island comprises the barangays of Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak (3 of the 17 barangays which make up the municipality of Malay. Boracay Island is located off the northwest corner of the island of Panay, and belongs to the Western Visayas island-group, or Region 6, of the Philippines. The island is approximately seven kilometers long, dog-bone shaped with the narrowest spot being less than one kilometer wide, and has a total land area of 10.32 square kilometers. South-facing Cagban Beach is located across a small strait from the jetty port at Caticlan on Panay island, and the Cagban jetty port serves as Boracay's main entry and exit point during most of the year. When wind and sea conditions dictate, east-facing Tambisaan Beach serves as an alternative entry and exit point.
Boracay's two primary tourism beaches, White Beach and Bulabog Beach, are located on opposite sides of the island's narrow central area. White Beach faces westwards and Bulabog Beach faces eastwards. The island also has several other beaches.
White Beach is the main tourism beach. It is a bit over four kilometers long and is lined with resorts, hotels, lodging houses, restaurants, and other tourism-related businesses. In the central portion, for about two kilometers, there is a footpath known as the Beachfront Path separating the beach itself from the establishments located along it. North and south of the Beachfront Path, beachfront establishments do literally front along the beach itself. In past years, Boracay entry and exit was done through three boat stations located along the Beachfront Path, but that practice was discontinued in 2007 in favor of the single-point entry and exit mentioned above. Several roads and paths connect the Beachfront Path with Boracay's Main Road, a vehicular road which runs the length of the island. At the extreme northern end of White Beach, a footpath runs around the headland there and connects White Beach with Diniwid Beach.
Across the island from White Beach is Bulabog Beach, a secondary tourism beach and Boracay's main windsurfing and kiteboarding area.
For Land Use and Management, the island of Boracay is divided into 400 hectares of preserved forestland and 628.96 hectares of agricultural land.