BARLIG, Mountain Province: More than a decade ago, a writer wrote, “Being familiar with tourism can open our minds to evolvement, amazing discoveries we can call our own, and unified but fascinating ways of looking at things to advocate them. At the end, the aesthetic sense in us will allure holidays-makers to drop in, to complete their dairies.”
When I visited Bohol in October 2003, I learned that Boholanos appreciate so much beauty of their origin that’s why I was told that tourism as business flourished. Yet, many of the attractions were man-made, but still, they contribute to the increase of revenues.
For me, I am present staying in a little village called “Shangri-La on the Edge,” Kadaclan- about 58 kilometres south of Bontoc. My town Barlig stands at the base of Mount Amuyao where climbers climb to the top to a swath of verdant green lands above the clouds.
Barlig is a poor agriculture town. Although rich in untapped natural resources of forests with two roaring waters of the Tanudan and Siffu rivers, the swift current can produce electricity. Likewise, feasibility studies showed the mossy forest has varied medical plants which could be processed to herbal medicines. In a casual conversation recently with Antonio Ballug, Mt. Province DILG Director, he opined that to intensify tourism in Barlig would benefit the town economically.
“Now, that the Barlig-Natonin-Paracelis national road is near completion, let us fully sustain our eco-tourism mandate to taste some goodness of life in a gradual progress among our people,” members of the barangay councils here remarked during a meeting.
Kiyoko Torakawa, a Bible translator in Barlig expressed that her place in Sendai, Japan has progressed so much because of tourism. “The people will come to learn when tourism shall have been introduced and accepted,” she said.
Actually, Barlig proper have vari-colored tourist destinations. Depending on the likes of tourists, the following are offered: Allob-Lingoy hot springs, Lake Tufob, waterfalls, Sib-law Taraw quick sand; in Lias: the War Memorial Shrine, Karanag falls, Chipanay rice terraces, Lettang sacred burial cave, Nucalla rice paddies and betel-nut chewing folks who come from Ifugao but migrated in Ogo-og.
Barlig is the home of three festivals in the province. Fortan, the town festival; Changyasan feast in Lias, and Menaliyam in Kadaclan. Accommodations are Halfway Inn, Sea World, Kadaclan Home Stay, with eateries like Lolo Peds and catering services.
“As a matter of fact, change has to take place. Nothing is permanent. We should open our town as tourist destination to augment our poor agricultural output to uplift the quality of our indigenous life. But we should develop trade by ourselves. We must set rules to control negative effects of the industry by strengthening organized tourism groups including our tourist guides in accordance to norms of good behaviors,” a native of the town emphasized.
By Dionie Chungalan