Rey Anthony Chiu
Catigbi-an’s Dagook Adventure Tourism Experience (DATE) Park throws a dare everyone should pick on this week. On its first year anniversary, DATE Park cuts their rates to half, giving locals and foreign tourists enough window of opportunity to take the challenge that has separated the brave from the truly courageous. DATE Park offers its park adventure activities at a rare P350.00 for non residents, local or foreign tourists and P250.00 for town residents, students and senior citizens from June 15-17, 2012. “We have torists from across ages and nationalities getting their high here, and we want our people to get the feel how it is to get across the adrenaline pumping monkey-bridge,” said Mayor Roberto Salinas, whose administration has spearheaded DATE Park development as a poverty alleviation measure.
“Do not be a stranger to your own town,” he said, mouthing a tourism promotion slogan which opened up the viability of the industry called local tourism, while daring his people to grab the chance. “Catigbian has envisioned itself as a green haven for peace and development, and as much as we want to development felt by all people, we know we have fiscal limitations,” the mayor admitted. By propping up its tourism activities at DATE however, the town has found enough resources to slowly fund the dream of inclusive growth, the mayor said. “When they opened the DATE Park, the mayor said he noticed that Catigbianons shy away, because the activities are a bit restrictive.
“It should not be the case, and we are our people this three day chance to get the experience, said tourism Officer Ardissa Estavilla. For that amount, one can get himself into a safety harness, be guided through a swinging canopy walk made of wooden planks strung by cables and suspended high, over a vegetation of ferns and endemic flora the park offers. A few meters of trek on a carved trail, the adventurer gets the test of courage when he would have to negotiate a cable bridge popularly called the Monkey Bridge; strung over a boiling river down below. “Of course it is safe,” Estavilla assures, pointing to a safety harness one is strapped on and a safety line that keeps him from falling off into the ravine. A brief trek to the hilltop and one realizes he is perched on a shed from where adventure tourists take the 20 sec0nds, 200 meter zipline back to the village center. A rover trek is also a favorite for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts who may not find enough time to test their limits. The river trek ends in a falls, from which the park got its name.