Capiz camp eyed as ecotourism spotCebu Daily News
Manila, Philippines — The Philippine Army is going into the tourism business with plans to offer Camp Macario Peralta Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz as a side attraction for visitors to the nearby Boracay resort island.
Headquarters of the Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division, the 33,310-hectare camp is being considered for development into an ecotourism site, according to Maj. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr., 3ID commander.
Mabanta said the Army has been talking with the provincial government’s tourism department and some private businesses and has received enthusiastic response to the idea.
“Tourists visiting the world-class island resort of Boracay will now have another option for a place to visit,” Mabanta said in a news conference at the camp on Thursday.
He said visitors to the camp would not only get the chance to enjoy nature, but also the opportunity to meet indigenous people living there. “Opening the camp to tourists offers the opportunity to tell the world (about) the rich cultural heritage of the (indigenous) people,” Mabanta said.
Declared a military reservation by presidential order, Camp Peralta has most of its natural forest cover and wildlife preserved. Mabanta said that so far, five waterfalls have been discovered in the vicinity of the camp.
“This is one of the best places to travel to and appreciate what the natural environment can offer,” Mabanta said. “We believe there are more unexplored waterfalls within the reservation,” he said.
The 3rd Division occupies only about 1,000 hectares of the reservation, leaving most of it untouched. The reservation covers 27 barangays in the municipalities of Jamindan and Tapaz in the province of Capiz and Lambunao town in Iloilo province.
The 3rd Division has jurisdiction over the entire Western Visayas region and parts of the Central Visayas region.
Its Camp Peralta headquarters is 54 km from Roxas City in Capiz; 88 km from Kalibo, Aklan, and 122 km from Iloilo City.
Mabanta said the reservation could also offer a nature trek, a two-hour hike through the forest where hikers can take a dip in a freshwater stream that is fed by a 100-meter waterfall that has three basin falls.
Camp Peralta has a hilltop grotto of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an orchidarium and a swimming pool that can also be used for scuba-diving practice. The camp also a picnic area with a viewing tower called the Kalikasan Nature Park. INQUIRER