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

Connecting Ilocanos through tourism

I am honored and thankful to Miss April Chiang Rafales, who asked me to bring her to the newsworthy locales up in my list. The pretty and smart April is a new reporter of ABS-CBN TV Patrol Ilocos, a highly rated local news program. Special thanks also to Mr. Randy Menor and the TV Patrol Ilocos staff, especially to efficient cameraman Tim and driver Mulo. I had a fine day with them in the great outdoors of Burgos last Saturday. Last but not the least, I have to thank, again, the hospitable leader of Burgos in the person of Mayor Cris Garcia, who I think is now a converted adrenaline junkie. Dry fit clothing become him.

Ilocos was experiencing an inclement weather condition when I thought summer just started — might be a sign of global warming. Nonetheless, the gusty winds did not intimidate us from getting our game plan actualized. Horseback riding in Palpalokada, check, spelunking in one of the 150+ caves around Burgos, check,  and we had time left to visit the local salt-making community and Fish Sanctuary — all on a hurried day!

So as not to preempt the Burgos adventure on television, I’ll post photos next time.

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