Five outstanding destinations ad been selected for this years flagship sites. Ecotourism Philippines selected them based on the integrity of the natural and cultural assets, the readiness of the community, capacity of the stakeholders, peace and order/security and the quality of the experiences that each place highlights. Ecotourism Philippines has partnered with organised community members to deliver life changing experiences that will be cherished and remembered.
Your purchase of any of these products will provide an economic incentive for the communities to conserve their valuable natural and cultural heritage, to be part of the growth and for them to ensure that their destination will last for many generations. Part of the proceeds for the sale of the packages will go to conservation activities and capacity-building of the community partners.
Join us as we advocate for the creation of a network of communities engaged in the promotion of community-based sustainable tourism in the country.
Batanes is the only province that is also a protected area. it is the smallest province in the Philippines, in terms of size. There are only 6 municipalities located in 3 island - Batan, Sabtang and Itbayat. Due to the strength of its natural and cultural assets, Batanes ia a high value destination that needs proper management for tourism to thrive. Being an island it is more vulnerable to changes and to the negative impacts of uncontrolled tourism. Ecotourism enterprise development is being introduced as a strategy to provide an economic incentive for the villagers to maintain and repair their Ivatan houses and to protect their natural resources.
Palaui Island Protected Landscape and Seascape is located at the northeastern-most part of the island of Luzon, 642 kms. from Manila. It has been declared by CNN in 2012 as the 25th among the top 100 beaches in the world. IN 2013 it ranked 10th among the top 100, making it a valued destination of Cagayan. Survivor US also shot 2 seasons in 2013 increasing its popularity even more. An organised group of island residents called Palaui Environmental Protectors' Association (PEPA) are actively engaged in the provision of various services to visitors. They had been capacitated by Blue Water Consultancy in many skills including guideship services, community spa management, camp site development, trail management, among others. Palaui became the living laboratory of tourism planners Louie and Chen Mencias who have developed innovative planning tools and framework that are now being replicated in many ecotourism destinations in the country. The business model of Ecotourism Philippines was developed by Chen Reyes-Mencias after years of engagement with the community in Palaui.
Lubang island is located off Calatagan, Batangas, but is part of Mindoro Occidental. It became famous because of the story of Lt. Hiroo Onoda, the last Japanese struggler who lived in the jungles of Lubang for 30 years because he did not believe that the war was over. He finally surrendered to Pres. Marcos in the 70's but left a story that is now the focal point of the flagship product of Lubang - the Onoda Trail. Visitors can choose to hike the short loop or take the longer route that will end up at Vigo river where Onoda used to bath and catch fish. Both route take visitors to visit the caves where he used to hide. Aside from the Onoda Trail, Lubang has several other attractions that had been woven into interesting products. Other places to visit include Binacas, Sorville, Hulagaan waterfalls, Cabara island, Tangal river and the organic farms. In the poblacion visitors can visit local residents engaged in the production of garlic basket and other souvernirs and food products. Homestay accommodation include old houses that had been refurbished to make them comfortable for visitors. (information about products to be posted soon)
Sagay is a City in Negros Occidental that is blessed with one of the biggest marine protected areas in the country, the Sagay marine reserve or SMR. it is composed of small islands, sand bars and shallow reefs. The coastline of the City is dotted with mangrove forests and fishing communities. Sagay City boasts of the Museo Sang Bata, an interactive museum for children, the only one of its kind in the Philippines. Suyac island is a small community where the oldest mangrove forest of the city thrives. A community-based tourism project has been established by the City government and it is providing an economic incentive for the island residents to protect their natural resources.
Dahican beach in Mati City, Davao Oriental is not your usual beach. It is a beach that is frequently visited by a very valuable guest - the pawikan. From January to June every year, several females lay their eggs on the beach. A partner group called Amihan sa Dahican has taken it upon themselves to protect the eggs by putting fences around them or transferring them to the hatchery that they have established with assistance from the Biodiversity Management Bureau. The Amihan sa Dahican is a group of young surfers and skim boarders who are passionate about the environment. Some of them had been trained as reef rangers and conduct snorkeling activities with visitors. If you come during the pawikan season, there is a big chance that you will witness a marine turtle laying its eggs, or have the opportunity to release some hatchlings.
Amihan beach is also known for sightings of dugong and whale sharks. Pods of dolphins also pass through the eastern seaboard of Mindanao allowing visitors to experience them during summer. A nice side trip while in Mati City is the newly established museum that highlights the best of Davao oriental, including the newly inscribed UNESCO world Heritage site Mt. Hamiguitan. The museum has an incredibly large skeleton of a whale at the lobby.