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Tagbaobo Community-Based Ecotourism

Photojournalist Jojie sips native coffee and eats amik served in anahaw leaves by the Sama tribal villagers in Tagbaobo

Photojournalist Jojie sips native coffee and eats amik served in anahaw leaves by the Sama tribal villagers in Tagbaobo

Tagbaobo Community-Based Ecotourism
Article and photos by  Jojie Alcantara published in SunStar Davao

The village of Tagbaobo in Kaputian district proudly highlights different tourism areas in the barangay with local residents as its prime movers. The Tagbaobo community-based ecotourism program was chosen along with four other local government units (LGUs) in the country in a presentation before hundreds of global stakeholders during the recent 5th World Ecotourism Conference in Cebu City.

 

Chillin out with the Sama people in their tribal village uphill

Chillin out with the Sama people in their tribal village uphill

 

The annual World Ecotourism Conference is the world’s most important conference in the ecotourism fraternity and is held in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (WTO).

 

Mangongawong Falls by Jojie Alcantara

Mangongawong Falls by Jojie Alcantara

 

With the theme of “Marine and Coastal Ecotourism: Oceans of Uncertainties, Waves of Opportunities,” among Tagbaobo’s sightseeing attractions include the Magongawong and Sampao Falls, Cawa-Cawa Rice Field demo, Samal Tribal House at Sitio Libud, and other adventures on horseback riding or habal-habal (motorcycle).

 

Journalists Ian and Jesse and bloggers Olan and Glenn pose with their makeshift floating vests for a snorkeling experience

Journalists Ian and Jesse and bloggers Olan and Glenn pose with their makeshift floating vests for a snorkeling experience

 

In a marine sanctuary great for snorkeling, visitors are taught to use makeshift floater vests made of empty, plastic softdrink bottles.

 

 

Homestay accommodations are already in place to provide families and groups with extended picnics, camping, leisure hiking, swimming, boating, fishing and diving. The locals are currently working actively together to improve their services and become a primary tourist attraction in the region.

 

Native coffee at Sama Tribal Village

Native coffee at Sama Tribal Village

 

Native coffee made of corn and local delicacy called Amik served in Anahaw leaves

Native coffee made of corn and local delicacy called Amik served in Anahaw leaves

 

Meeting the warm Sama Tribe is one of the highlights, so make sure to eat “amik” (a native Muslim delicacy made of rice flour and sugar prepared to accompaniment of rhythmic beats) with them.

 

Sama women and children performing dance rituals to welcome visitors

Sama women and children performing dance rituals to welcome visitors

 

Drink native coffee served on creatively folded anahaw leaves while watching their dance performance on a hilltop.

 

Journalist Jesse Boga on a "rampage" on the ricefield with the carabao

Journalist Jesse Boga on a “rampage” on the ricefield with the carabao during a demo harvesting

 

Tagbaobo’s ecotourism program is highly recommended for visitors to discover and enjoy. My special thanks to Ms. Gene Rose Tecson, President of the Tagbaobo Tourism Council, for giving me and my media colleagues the “ride” of our lives.

(Jojie Alcantara is a travel writer and photographer based in Davao City, and a long time columnist of SunStar Davao. Visit her photo blog The Scene Stealer)

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