TOURISTS SPEND HOLY WEEK RETREAT IN DAVAO ORIENTAL

holy week

DAVAO ORIENTAL — Tourists both the laid-back and the kind that parties on sun-burnt islands flocked to this wind-swept province south of Mindanao for the Holy Week retreat because it is both a religious mecca and it is host to most astounding natural wonders.

Tourists said they want to expand their perspective by seeing and experiencing Davao Oriental, an eye-opening destination packed with wonderful experience that awaits them.  Most tourists say it is a place that beguile and inspire, sedate and stir.

The Provincial Tourism Office reported that for the four-day Holy Week retreat, an estimate of more than 25,000 people have visited the tourist landmarks around the province, thus, increasing local income and giving additional earnings for small businesses. Locals say that with the increasing influx of tourists, everybody are given an opportunity to boost their income. “Everybody gets a fair share of these new opportunities – the farmers and fishermen who provide food for the restaurants and even small motorists who provide transportation to the tourists,” they say.

While Davao Oriental is considered a festive and apt place to celebrate the season of Lent, thousands of vacationing pilgrims, most of them are city-dwellers, flocked to government-run Pintatagan Welcome Park and Way of the Cross Shrine in the town of Banaybanay on Holy Friday and Easter Sunday to culminate the solemn Holy Week celebration. The province has now become a religious mecca as it shelters a number of shrines and historical churches that includes Mindanao’s oldest Catholic church, the San Salvador Del Mundo Church in the municipality of Caraga.

Vacationing pilgrims, most of them are city-dwellers, flocked to government-run Pintatagan Welcome Park and Way of the Cross Shrine in the town of Banaybanay on Holy Friday and Easter Sunday to culminate the solemn Holy Week celebration.

Vacationing pilgrims, most of them are city-dwellers, flocked to government-run Pintatagan Welcome Park and Way of the Cross Shrine in the town of Banaybanay on Holy Friday and Easter Sunday to culminate the solemn Holy Week celebration.

Sightseers, nature-lovers and photo enthusiasts also visited the province’s top tourism landmarks like the Aliwagwag Falls, Mount Hamiguitan, Subangan Museum, Pusan Point, Dahican Beach, Sleeping Dinosaur, Campawan Curtain Falls, the islands of San Victor, Pujada and Waniban, among many others. The resplendent landscape and seascape of Davao Oriental gives tourists an exciting and powerful experience that can change forever their outlook on nature. They fall in love with its lovely sea and the treasure troves of riches beneath its surface. Its myriad forest, lush mountain peaks, verdant ravines, waterfalls and cool coastal areas down to the coral reefs, sea grass beds, the mangrove forests, plus the lakes and rivers that breeds an impressive array of plant and animal species are the most enjoyable reasons for coming.

Tourists said they are mesmerizingly drawn by the unspoken words of the province’s stupendous beauty and then lost to nature’s wondrous gifts. A magnificent place, Davao Oriental gives them an experience like no other: The transformative magic of travel.

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Qualitatively different from other destinations, Davao Oriental is host to extra-long wild and untamed beaches of white fine sand that enjoy the best view of the mesmerizing infinite waters of the Pacific Ocean. Having the most impressive scenery that directly faces both the Pacific Ocean and the Celebes Sea, the long coastlines of Davao Oriental are sanctuaries of sea cows, whales, dolphins and marine turtles that nest along sandy beaches.

Wildlife viewers and serious nature observers spends unhurried periods of time in areas of unspoiled wilderness to have spectacular encounters with wild animals without too much sweat and inconveniences.

Mount Hamiguitan of Davao Oriental has become the first and only place in the island of Mindanao declared as a World Heritage Site, adding worldwide prestige to a province known as the “sunrise capital” of the Philippines as the country’s earliest sunrise is here being located at the easternmost part of the archipelago. The Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park, which is being developed by the Provincial Government at the mountain’s buffer zone, is now becoming a favorite place to visit by tourists. Equipped with a Natural Science Museum and Interpretation Site, tourists who wanted to experience the mountain not just for its beautiful pygmy forest and other landscapes can be brought to see plants and animals up close as well without actually climbing the mountain.

Aside from enticing visitors to come, the development of landmarks, particularly museums and interpretation sites, educates people about Davao Oriental’s complete, substantially intact and highly diverse ecosystem. As the Provincial Government believes that with awareness people will be urged to do their part in helping protect and conserve the environment in this significant biogeographic region of the Philippines. FERDINAND ZUASOLA/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan

 

 

 

 

 

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