DOT relaunches tourist spots in Zambales

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 06 2022 05:25 PM

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Photos from the Department of Tourism.

Photos from the Department of Tourism.

Photos from the Department of Tourism.

Photos from the Department of Tourism.

Photos from the Department of Tourism.

The Department of Tourism recently announced that Zambales has unveiled the Surf and Glamp Adventure to highlight once more two of its tourist recreations — surfing and glamping.

The launch focused on the coastal municipalities of San Felipe, San Narciso, and Botolan which have sought-after surf sites and bountiful bodies of water, the agency said.

“We have everything that tourists would want — from waterfalls and rivers to beaches and islands. And they can enjoy all of these in relative safety and comfort even during the pandemic,” provincial governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. said.
 
He noted that the growth of tourist establishments is due to the development of new attractions during the pandemic to provide guests with vast open and green spaces which are compliant with health standards.

Based on recent tourism figures, its accommodation establishments have more than doubled to 340 compared to its pre-COVID number of 151.

“Aside from beach hotels and restaurants that offer open-air dining, other accommodation types had surfaced and become hugely popular in the last three years: pool resorts, farm and garden resorts, and campsites. These helped local tourism to bounce back after an initial slowdown at the onset of the pandemic,” Ebdane said.

Ebdane said that if the growing arrival trend continues until the yearend, Zambales may outdo its pre-pandemic visitor arrival level.

Zambales has a coastline of about 300 kilometers, with most of the municipalities situated along the West Philippine Sea.

With the famed Liwliwa beach and surf site as the event hub, and The Glamp as the home base, the program includes introductory surfing lessons and tournaments, bodyboarding, beach sports, yoga, and evening entertainment.

The participants trekked to Lubong Nangaluan Waterfalls tucked inside San Felipe’s lush interiors which have a curtain-like cascade and a natural icy basin.

The launch swung by the Botolan Mangrove Eco-Park, where guests navigated the area on board a stand-up paddleboard, kayak, or pedal board.

This unique ecosystem can be accessed through the Bancal River Adventure Park which has a boardwalk, restaurant, and floating cottages overlooking the scenic waterway and wetlands.

In a related development, the provincial government also relaunched the Laruk-Laruk Festival in Candelaria town, a cultural activity that is based on the long-lost tradition of making rice crisps as part of thanksgiving after the palay harvest season.

Held at the beach village of Uacon, the event was incepted in 2012 by Governor Ebdane who grew up with the tradition which dates back to the mid-1800s.

Headed by the Candelaria municipal government, the five-day fest put to the fore the townsfolk’s culture, indigenous games, homegrown produce, and way of life. The core activity is the pounding of rice husks by townsfolk, men, and women, in preparation for the laruk-laruk which is popularly known as “pinipig.”

“This is a rediscovery of the culture which defines us as Candelarians and Zambales, and we hope this would rekindle among the present generation an appreciation of local culture and ignite the love of our town and people,” Ebdane said.

The tradition of making laruk-laruk best exemplifies the town’s closely-knit community and cooperative endeavors like “pukot”, wherein neighbors help each other haul fishing nets at Uacon Cove at daybreak.

Adding color to the farm-themed fest were sports, entertainment, and special events to attract a bigger audience within and outside Zambales.

Candelaria also takes pride in its panoramic Uacon Cove which has several spacious beach resorts, Uacon Lake, and the white sand island of Potipot which is being redeveloped for glamping and water-based recreation. 

For the Advent season, the province recently opened its Christmas Village at the provincial capitol complex in Iba with brightly-lit displays and al fresco food street setups.

There will also be occasional classical-themed performances for the Christmas season and beyond at CASA San Miguel in San Antonio, regarded as the music and arts center of Central Luzon.