Easternmost town is Davao Oriental’s tourism gem

Inquirer Libre - Davao - - PANGUNAHING PAHINA - By Frinston Lim,

CARAGA, Davao Oriental —The Pusan Point Discovery Center and Eco-Park here, which opened in June, is the newest gem of the picturesque eastern Mindanao province.

Site of the country’s first daylight, the 40-foot high rock promontory facing the Pacific Ocean in Barangay Santiago is the latest addition of eco-tourism destinations of Davao Oriental. Pusan Point gained prominence as the site where the first rays of the sun were seen in the Philippines during the turn of the century on Jan. 1, 2000, drawing local and foreign tourists and journalists. Former Governor Corazon Malanyaon said the area’s development was her administration’s effort to maximize the point’s natural eco-tourism draw, so that (Pusan) would have more to offer than just the glimpse of the Philippines’ first day. The point is host to two concrete lighthouses, one of which was built in the early 1900s. The provincial government has also built a new landmark, which according to the governor, “(would) complement the site’s substance.” A concrete Jubilee Cross planted on the rough edges of the point where the Pacific surf pounds violently, especially during monsoon season-- forms part of the Pusan Point Eco-Park’s attractions. Meditation kiosks are also strategically built on its grounds, as well as an amphitheater that can seat 100 people. It also has a 200-square meter swimming pool and a sundial, as well as a two-storey building which houses the Science Discovery Center that features a planetarium and other science-themed interactive sections.

Regional tourism officials believe that Davao Oriental’s newest eco-tourism attraction would further lift the local tourism industry.

The province has never failed to give tourists the ‘wow factor’. In Davao Oriental, we can always count on four great things to market for tourism,” one tourism official said, pointing out Southern Mindanao’s largest province has virtually all that can attract visitors, whether ecotourism sites, museums, historical places and rich Mandaya culture and traditions.

“This is our time, especially that we have a President who comes from Davao. The word Davao now exudes beauty. It exudes discipline. It exudes public service. Now, the word Davao is known internationally. That is a very, very welcome marketing tool,” the official said.

Some 82 kilometers from the capital Mati City, Caraga itself is also home to other eco-tourism sites, such as pristine beaches and waterfalls as well as one of Mindanao’s oldest churches, the San Salvador del Mundo parish church at the town proper—which was built by the Spaniards during the late 19th century.

Malanyaon said the Pusan Point destination would further be improved by offering amenities to tourists such as camping tents and other facilities for overnight stay.

The provincial government is also planning to tap locals around major tourism sites as Pusan Point, to provide homestay services to visitors.

Malanyaon was optimistic the newest eco-tourism draw would open more livelihood opportunities to locals.


PH’s first daylight breaks in this 40-foot high rock promontory facing the Pacific Ocean in Barangay Santiago, Davao Oriental.


DAVAO Oriental’s ‘Wow’ factor.

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