ARMM hosts festivals in bid  to attract tourists

The Department of Tourism in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOT-ARMM) is staging several festivals to lure more tourists to visit the region, including the newly-renovated majestic Bud Bongao in Tawi-Tawi

DOT-ARMM Secretary Ayesha Vanessa Hajar Dilangalen on Thursday said these festivals scheduled in the coming months “will have active participation from domestic and foreign visitors.”

Dilangalen said these festivals would start in Maguindanao as the province would celebrate its Inaul Festival in February, which would include an international airsoft competition where foreign groups were invited; Kariyala Festival in Wao, Lanao del Sur also in February; and, the Bud Bongao Day in Tawi-Tawi in March.

Bud Bongao or Bongao Peak got further sprucing-up with the completion of the construction of PhP56 million infrastructures to make access to it easier and friendlier.

The infrastructures included an access road, tourist center, concreting of about 750 steps leading to its zenith, installation of railings for support and protection, and resting sheds.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman led the inauguration of the PhP56 million project, which was held on July 3, 2017.

The tourists will have to register at the visitors’ center, where they will get a briefing about the famous eco-tourism park before trekking the Bongao Peak. An entrance fee of P20 is collected for the maintenance budget of the facilities.

Development of the eco-tourism park, aimed at the preservation and conservation of the area, is one of the priority projects of the Hataman administration.

Bongao Peak is one of the 12 key biodiversity sites in the country, protected by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources under its New Conservation Areas in the Philippines Project.

Bud Bongao in Tawi-Tawi and Mount Minandar in Maguindanao are two of the newly-introduced tourist destinations in ARMM. (PNA)