Joint community-based eco-tourism ventures

By Anthony A. Araos

“As the name suggests, community-based tourism programs take place right within the locality. There is no need whatsoever to hold the activity in a five-star hotel. There are fewer expenses to think about. ”

The municipal governments of Alfonso Lista and Mayoyao should together embark on developing community-based eco-tourism joint projects to boost the tourism industry. This is indeed an integral part of the possible “creative partnership” between Mayors Edralin Alipio of Alfonso Lista and Jimmy Padchanan Jr. of Mayoyao I’ve been discussing in previous commentaries.
For starters, eco-tourism areas in these towns should be identified. An eco-tourism area may be composed of three or four villages where tourism activities will benefit local communities and protect the environment. Subsequently, an eco-tourism area may be classified as a primary tourist site by the municipal government.
The aforementioned idea is practical and do-able. Alfonso Lista and Mayoyao towns are accessible from Santiago City in Isabela province as well as Baguio City in Benguet province.
Refocusing on community-based eco-tourism projects in the countryside is invigorating domestic economy because it draws local and foreign tourists as local government units actively offer programs that showcase culture, heritage and attractions of identified destinations. Moreover, it is an effective way of bolstering committed adherence to best practices of safeguarding the environment.
As the name suggests, community-based tourism programs take place right within the locality. There is no need whatsoever to hold the activity in a five-star hotel. There are fewer expenses to think about.
For now, what is important is to create marketing design campaigns to ensure that certain sites in Alfonso Lista and Mayoyao are highlighted and effectively utilized in the digital environment to easily encourage travelers to visit these destinations.
I take great pride in promoting fascinating travel destinations through community-based tourism.
Mayoyao vice mayor Rudy Chilagan has been widely recognized for his exemplary leadership.
Since he assumed the position after winning in the May 2019 polls, Vice Mayor Chilagan has steered well the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) as its presiding officer.
Vice Mayor Chilagan is truly a very special individual whose vision, leadership and strength of character enabled Mayoyao municipal government to achieve its noteworthy goals in 2019.
Along with Mayor Jimmy Padchanan Jr., Vice Mayor Chilagan devoted his time, energy and resources to improve the lives of the people, most especially the poor. Most of Mayoyao folks are impoverished.
As Mayoyao moves forward with the rest of the country, Vice Mayor Chilagan should continue working for the promotion of the common good.
Vice Mayor Chilagan’s further actions to speed up quality legislation at the SB will give an up-close-and personal look at the role of the legislative branch of the government in this part of the province this year and Mayoyao’s history for that matter.
Also, because of his influence on the SB members, passage of key measures and for the town’s development is considered crucial.
It’s a reasonable possibility, making Vice Mayor Chilagan a role model in the field of good governance not just in Ifugao, but throughout the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) worth learning about.
Skimming through the municipal council’s performance on the upper half of 2019, one is bound to catch attention of Vice Mayor Chilagan’s “invaluable help” to the Office of the Mayor.
For Vice Mayor Chilagan the challenge is how to transform many of his constituents into productive members of society is crystal clear. In the last elections, he made that commitment and offered himself to the town. He should just do what he started in the beginning of his tenure as vice mayor: serve the peopleifully and faithfully at all times. Nothing goes wrong with dedication to duty.
I call on Mayoyao folks- young and old alike, to continue praying that Mayor Padchanan and Vice Mayor Chilagan (coupled with the all-out support of the councilors) to effectively work together in support of the development agenda of Mayoyao in the next two and a half years. They should continue praying for a better future for Mayoyao.
To Vice Mayor Chilagan: For 2020, set the SB’s priorities in the right direction. Take on a fresh perspective in investing on the agriculture and tourism industries.
Crop production here should account for a better 12-month output in Ifugao this year. It should be able to maintain its distinction as the most productive organic vegetable town in Ifugao. Likewise, the municipal government should look into the merits of integrated rice farming. A new year surely brings forth changes, but some of the town’s cherished goals remain. Prudent fiscal management and efforts to modernize agriculture and draw more tourists shall contribute to the growth of the Mayoyao economy.
I hope that 2020 will be the year to see more of Mayoyao folks- particularly in far-flung villages, reap the benefits of genuine economic growth. Through collective efforts, I am optimistic that the municipal government can help bring better conditions to the people. This requires giving more voices to those in the private sector and barangay (as well as Sangguniang Kabataan) in the decision-making process.
The year 2020 is certainly a new way of charting a brighter tomorrow. Inside and outside of the SB Session Hall, action really matters!
The Ifugao Eco-Agri Tourism Association, Inc. (IEATAI) is keen on retaining its commitment as an active partner of the national government in boosting the tourism industry.
The IEATAI is a non-government organization (NGO) based in Hungduan. It is headed by Noel Ananayo and Engineer Bernard Gaddang as its adviser.
It is high time to acknowledge the need to tap NGOs and others in the private sector to take the lead role in saving Ifugao’s tourism industry.
Unlimited odd thoughts unloaded: The month of January opened up in the capital town of Lagawe in Ifugao with the Franks Hamburger outlet no longer around. What a way of greeting the new year when the annual “Gotad” festivity of the province is conducted. Poor Lagawe folks who believed that Franks hamburger is the next best thing around in the absence of a Jollibee or McDonald’s store here are simply missing it. “Business is bad in Lagawe,” my friend asserted. Correction: business is very bad in Lagawe.
Believe it or not: There are more individuals who are buying their food and other things during the “flea market” days of Saturday and Tuesday rather than the ordinary days at the Lagawe Public Market. Here’s why: a pack of “pinakbet” at the “flea market” is priced at PhP25, while it sells at Php30 at the public market.
If I’m the mayor of this town, I’ll order the closure of the public market and instead allow the operation of the “flea market” from Monday to Sunday.
Brainy tidbit: Even in the days when cellphones, laptops and satellites were still not around, some kind of technology must have been tapped that had done wonders for humanity. Think about the story of Noah’s Ark. Noah must have used some lights to navigate those treacherous waters for a very long time. What kind of lights he relied upon? Give it a very good try to answer the query. Answer in the next issue.
For our food delights corner: It is still tempting to suggest a meal for dinner with “pusit” (squids) on top of the menu course. Fresh squids sell at the Lagawe “flea market” at PhP250 a kilo. Quite expensive, and not in the range of the budget of a low-earner resident here and only the affluent ones have the capacity to buy them. Anyhow, a squid-based soup is a good idea. Flavored with onions, tomatoes and bell peppers for another great treat for the family or loved ones. It is an excellent food item with steamed rice, eggplant omelet and boiled okra. For appetizers and dessert: mocha cake, bananas and chilled apple juice. Again, don’t forget to pray for all these blessings.
Finally, here are some thoughts for our dear readers” “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.” Matthew 9:12
“Each morning I will look to you in heaven and lay my requests before you, praying earnestly,” Psalm 5:3**

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