By Keith Anthony S. Fabro
The Busuanga municipal tourism office has pinpointed some of its potential tourist attractions and activities it can offer to further boost the town’s tourism industry.
Busuanga tourism chief Allan Angelo Davatos said the town has so much to bring to the table aside from its Calauit Safari Park, as it has been “blessed with rich nature-based tourism resources,” more than enough to satisfy visitors.
After their familiarization tour last month, Davatos realized the potential for wildlife watching in islands in Barangays Maglalambay, Panlaitan and San Isidro, with surrounding waters serving as home to sea cows, whale sharks, and sea turtles.
“In Maglalambay, there’s a whale shark spotted there, captured in a video posted by a local. The barangay also has awe-inspiring, clean white sand beaches, so locals can come up with a tour package within the area,” he said on a Facebook post earlier this week.
Davatos added: “There are also many sea turtles swimming freely around North Cay, South Cay, Maltatayoc, and West Nalaut Islands, and in other parts of Busuanga.”
The municipal tourism chief said Panlaitan’s long stretch of white sand beach can be a tourist attraction. “Restaurants serving seafood, a pasalubong center selling out dried fish, squid and the likes can be put up there,” he added.
“It is Panlaitan one can also find the Campo LORAN (US Long Range Transmitting Station) built during the American regime, and it could be declared as a cultural heritage.”
Davatos, on one hand, said tour packages could further be developed and offered in Sitio Calawit in Calauit Island, which is already known to have the dugong watching activity being managed by the Tagbanua indigenous community.
“Their place is also home to whale shark and manta ray, besides playing host to pristine islands featuring white sand beaches, and lush mangrove forests that offer exotic seafood. They can actually make a tour package just within and around Calauit Island,” he suggested.
Proving further that Busuanga is a wildlife haven, the municipal tourism officer said the town also harbors a marine protected area covering Tantangen Island where millions of bats take refuge. Also called Bat Island, it sits off the coast of Barangay Concepcion.
Davatos, addressing his constituents, concluded: “This [Facebook] post aims to raise awareness of our tourism potential and promote cooperation in preserving, caring for our eco-tourism resources of Busuanga Lets preserve our marine assets, the famed whale sharks, dolphins, manta rays and sea cows that we have. Help protect them and their habitats.”
Meanwhile, as part of readying the town for tourism boom, the tourism office trained local tour guides on community tour guiding and basic life support last month, and continuously work with the Department of Tourism for the accreditation of accommodation establishments, and other tourism-related enterprises.
Busuanga town is believed to have been formally founded as early as 1622 with the establishment of Spanish local government in the town’s oldest barrio, now known as Barangay Old Busuanga.
With 45,065.2-hectare land area, it was later converted into a municipality in 1951, and has evolved into a third-class town composing of 14 barangays being dwelt by over 21,000 people.