Exploration of tourism sites in Eastern Paracelis, Mountain Province

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PARACELIS, Mountain Province – While the pandemic and tourism are at standstill, various stakeholders united to explore the tourism sites in the eastern part of this municipality on June 10-11, 2021.

When tourism opens and is allowed, the local government units will have added attractions to offer to tourists and enthusiasts as in barangay Anonat and other areas.

The community people were oriented on the purpose of the visit. The purpose was to explore the tourism sites in Anonat such as the Cave, the Petrified Woods that are available only in Paracelis, and the Inuwayan Falls also known as the Burobor Falls for possible developments as tourism sites.

It was also an opportunity for the turn-over of hygiene kits by the Red Cross – Mtn. Province Chapter and the Office of the Congressman in partnership with Children International for the distribution of soaps and second-hand clothing.

A wifi was reportedly installed earlier through the efforts of the Office of the Congressman Maximo Dalog, Jr. to provide internet connections to the community especially the school children who do distance learning and connection to the outside world.

The group trekked to the location of the petrified woods the following day for more than three hours.

A mesmerizing site to behold of woods as hard as concrete and heavy as boulders. How was the process of petrification all along done filled the minds of everyone?

Research states that petrification (petros means stone) is the process where the organic tissues are filled with minerals and the fossil is turned into stone. Wood petrification occurs when wood is completely buried thereby cutting off the oxygen supply- the necessary ingredient for decaying process. Over time, the groundwater will deposit minerals in the pore spaces between the cells of the log then slowly replace the cells of the logs with minerals as well. Natural petrification process takes millions of years.

A stopover later at the house of an elder at Sinamar, Roxas, Isabela who decorated his front yard and garden with elements of petrified woods lined in display. He said that a lot of petrified woods are still in the forests.

What makes the petrified wood remarkable is the hefty price it costs to interested individuals.

The municipal government’s plan to curtail intrusions in the forest and declare it as protected area is laudable.

The next destination was the Inuwayan Falls that can be reached in 40 minutes from the petrified woods location. This Falls is also known for the Ilocanos of Sinamar, Roxas, Isabela as Burobor Falls.

It is about 50 meters in height and its first level pool is more than three meters deep.

Part of the activities during the exploration of the falls is the conduct of Rappelling with timely arrival of ropes provided by the Municipal Disaster and Risk Reduction Office.

Earlier, the group visited the Mabarutbot Bubbling Mud spring in Barangay Bantay enroute to Barangay Anonat.

Among the recommendations cited by the group are: tekking the trail from Mabarutbot Mud Spring to Anonat Proper and the ridge to ridge up to Inuwayan Falls is a refreshing experience even to rookie trekkers. The route is good for novice explorers, too; Mabarutbot Bubbling Mud Spring parameter needs fencing and cleaning; the barangay and municipal LGUs are urged to prioritize the development of the Mabarutbot tourism site to make it clean and eco-friendly; for the barangay and municipal LGUs caused the cleaning up and development of the Inuwayan Falls, widen the pool and install a signage to preempt the claim of Sinamar over the falls. The location of the Petrified Woods should be declared by the municipal LGU as protected area.

Representatives from the Provincial Tourism Office, Municipal Tourism Office, Red Cross – MP Chapter, Mountain Province Caves and Eco-Tour Guides Association (MPCETGA), Eastern Congressional District Office, Anonat Youth Organizations, and the community being the local guides joined the hike. By Roger Sacyaten with Mylyn Maitang