Huge park, unpaved road, trekking path and several view points – it may not be everyone’s preferred destination but its definitely worth your time. Few weeks back, I visited the Dagsaan Ecopark in Buenavista Guimaras and that’s exactly what I found.
Overlooking Iloilo City
Guimaras aims to be one of the top eco-tourism destinations in the Philippines according to its local and provincial government. Barangay Dagsaan in Buenavista Guimaras has a thirty hectare reserve which offers stunning jungle hikes, amazing views of Iloilo. This ecopark also brings benefits to local organizations such as the Guimaras Upland Farmer’s Association since it can generate income and create employment in the long run.
Cottage on top of the Hill
Plans are being made to open two more eco-parks in Guimaras and the locals are going to provide homestay opportunities, tour guide training, and eco-management skills to the great benefits already in place with the eco-park.
There’s really no comparison to swimming in a natural swimming pool versus swimming in a big concrete hole in the ground – the local administrator mentioned as he shares about the areas future developments. If you are expecting gigantic mascots, dinosaur replicas and other gimmicks then this place is not for you, this place is all about love affair with the nature (no orgasm though) LoL.
I saw several types of endemic birds while I took a short hike through the eco-park, and for me, that alone is a big component of a healthy ecopark. My guide pointed out many of the plants that the locals use in construction, he also mentioned that offering local cuisine and wellness packages are also in the works.
And the biggest bonus? An iced cold water after the hike. You gotta love that.