The Regional Cave Committee Meeting (RCC 1) 2013

Regional Cave Committee Meeting

The president of the Laoag Eco-Adventure Development (LEAD) Movement sent me to the annual Regional Cave Committee Meeting coordinated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 1 Office for the presentation of assessed caves in Ilocos Norte by the DENR in 2013 and cave management plans of the northern towns of Pagudpud, Burgos and Pasuquin, where karst formations are typical. The meeting, hosted by the local government unit of Pagudpud, was attended by Director Policarpio Najera, caving and ecotourism experts of the DENR and Department of Tourism, and representative of the LGUs, the Philippine National Police and the Department of Interior and Local Government. The agenda also included the approval of the RCC Resoulution for the classification of assessed caves in Norte.

It was great to see and work with the same faces in the furtherance of ecotourism in the north. Caves are such fragile environments that we owe it to the experts to guide us in caring for them.

Regional Cave Committee MeetingRegional Cave Committee Meeting
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

Within comfort zone

Regional Cave Committee (RCC) Meeting Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing

Despite inclement weather in Laoag, the LEAD Movement tried to make it to Burgos to witness a historical first in the Ilocos ecotourism scene. After nearly a year of cave explorations, assessments and trainings, in hopes of promoting Burgos as a spelunking adventure destination, the joint undertaking is sealed with a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) during the Regional Cave Committee (RCC) Meeting, organized by the Department of Natural Resource (DENR) and Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service (PAWCZMS) Region I Offices, chaired by RED Samuel Peñafiel, CESO III, on August 23-24, 2012.

May the partnership between Burgos (led by Mayor Cresente Garcia) and DENR for co-management of the Burgos caves be the start of well planned/supervised/monitored multisectoral ecotourism projects that are sustainable and, most importantly, improve the well-being of the community.

More power to the DENR Regional office for their tireless efforts and invaluable contribution to sustainable tourism through ecotourism, the promotion of responsible nature appreciation/adventure, the empowerment of local government units and encouragement of people’s participation in the province of Ilocos Norte.

Chinese tourist in a photo op with the Provincial Director, Police Senior Superintendent

Our visiting Chinese friend Lee Zeng Peng tagged along. He requested a photo op with Provincial Director Senior Superintendent Marlow Chan. He loves Ilocos Norte so much that he’s back in the country after his first visit exactly a year ago. He speaks neither Filipino nor English, so I communicate through hilarious sign language. However, the hubby speaks his language, so Zeng doesn’t get lost. I’m surprised, he loves pinakbet (mixed local vegetables stewed in fish paste. It comes from the word “pinakebbet” which literally means “allowed to shrink or wrinkle”), and enjoyed the igado (a popular pork meat and innards dish – mixed with canned guisantes, or green peas, green and red bell pepper slices, sauteed in flavorful liver sauce).  I’ve tried the young restaurateur’s cooking before and it’s on the bland side. He was happy to see Burgos’ picturesque places in a video presentation at the meeting.

Chinese tourist eats pinakbet and igadoIlocano food -- Grilled chicken, pinakbet and igadoWaste Segregation seen in Burgos

Something new in the Burgos Town Hall compound. Hoping proper waste segregation becomes a part of everyone’s system, in the entire town of Burgos, the province and the country as well.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012