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Date Posted: 11/27/09

Visiting Danao (November 14, 2009)

By: Arturo Valdez

We had one free day before the boxing match. We put this to good use by visiting the town of Danao upon the invitation of Mayor Tom Gonzaga and a chance to see the famous “Chocolate Hills” once listed as one of the 8 wonders of the world. We were welcomed, briefed and guided by Loinda Saluan, Municipal Tourism Officer. From the briefing, I learned EAT Danao Adventure Park is an LGU initiated and operated theme park an acronym for Eco-Educational, Extreme Adventure Tours Danao. It was launched last December 2008 and earned for Danao as the sporting destinations for tourists in the island of Bohol. For less than a year of operation, it can easily attract a minimum of 500 visitors on weekend. On special holidays, that doubled in numbers. They offered lots of sporting activities (you can log on to www.eatdanao.com for details) but we have only a day to spend so we choose to experience their Zip Line Ride (800 meters) and the Plunge (45-meter vertical drop on a cable wire). That is quite a thrill to experience for the strong hearted.

What made the place outstanding is that the EATDanao Adventure Park is a”community based and people’s oriented tourism project.” NGO’s and People’s organization operates and benefits from the different sporting activities of the Park. It is a basically a self-helped venture conceptualized by Mayor Tom and they expanded the Park’s facilities based on their own resources.

The Park officials eagerly seek the comments of Team Everest and Balangay crew on how to further improved their operations especially on the area of safety for the adventurers.

I have seen more naturally and richly endowed places in our travel which has more to offer than Danao but the LGU and the people here took it upon themselves to convert their place into a center of tourism. From a traditional hotbed of insurgency and a barren and mountainous town they turned this hinterland into a tourist mecca - a center of outdoor and extreme sports.

But what made Danao outstanding for me is the rich historical impact of the place – the 85 years rebellion of Francisco Dagohoy, the country’s longest against Spain,

It is quite a joy to observe “Best Practice” in our Voyage. The gentle, simple and friendly people of Sibale (Concepcion, Romblon}, the environmental zealousness of  the City of Sagay, and the community-base and people’s oriented eco-tourism project of Danao made them all outstanding among the places the Voyage visited in the past 75 days.

On our way back to Dauis in Panglao Island, we briefly stopped at Carmen, Bohol to catch the silhouette of the famous “Chocolate Hills” fast disappearing in the early evening darkness.

We arrived at Dauis by 7am and proceeded to the house of the Vice Mayor for dinner whose wife is a classmate of Dr Ted in the medical school. Sumptuous food was prepared and the crew retreated early for the evening to rest.

 

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