by Claire R. Gigje
MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)–The municipality of Wao in Lanao del Sur province is set to embrace a notable rise in its tourism industry.
This, as the locality targets to open various tourist spots to the public.
Municipal Mayor Elvino Balicao Jr. revealed that their local government unit (LGU) is now developing places that are deemed to entice tourists to go around their town.
He shared that among the sites they want to promote is Mt. Pulacan, with an altitude of 1,500 feet above sea level and located in Barangay Park Area, which is seen to be conducive to cultivating products grown in Baguio, such as strawberries, carrots, potatoes, and lettuce, among others.
Balicao further stated that they will also welcome visitors to their town for adventurers wanting to try their whitewater rafting, which will be done at the Maradugao River.
Accordingly, test runs were already conducted, which boiled down to the evaluation that the aforementioned river fits the water activity, considering that it has no rapids and is wide enough.
Following this assessment, the municipal officials procured durable rafts as they plan to allow whitewater rafting to start in June this year, offering its operation to private stakeholders while the municipal government builds the receiving area and collects environmental fees.
Moreover, Balicao mentioned that his municipality has falls and caves that are still being developed.
He is positive as well that, with the airport in the neighboring Bukidnon province soon to be completed and its access road connecting to that facility being just near Wao town, more people will be visiting the latter.
As such, Balicao encouraged his constituents to set up establishments that can house visitors, like cottages and bachelor pads, and register them with appropriate government agencies as proof that they have approved customer service.
With all their slated endeavors, the municipal government hopes for aid from provincial tourism to help them finally construct the road leading towards their tourist spots.
“Palagi kong hinihingan ng pondo, lalo na iyong papunta sa mga tourist site. Kung may makuha kaming pondo, dahan-dahan namin maaayos [ang mga daanan],” said Balicao.
(I have always pleaded for funds, especially for those going to the tourist sites. If we can get some funds, we can slowly repair the roads)
The municipal mayor likewise invited tourists to come over to his town and see for themselves that not all areas in Lanao del Sur province are dwelling with conflicts and security struggles.
“Hindi buong Lanao [del Sur] ay magulo. Kapag sinabing Lanao at BARMM, gine-genaralize nila pero kung makakapunta sila dito, hindi naman magulo,” said Balicao.
(Not all parts of Lanao [del Sur] are chaotic. When they say Lanao and BARMM, they generalize, but if they can just get here, it is not really chaotic). (CRG/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)