ECO-TOURISM FACILITIES NOW OPEN IN BESSANG PASS

CERVANTES, Ilocos Sur –Facilities and other amenities are now in place at Bessang Pass, now known as Bessang Pass Natural Landmark, with the recent inauguration of these structures to make the protected area asone of tourist destinations in Ilocos Sur’s eco-tourism industry.

Facilities include an information center, ecolodge, ranger station, solar panel and water system, in addition to the concrete sheds and comfort rooms built therein earlier.

More local and foreign tourists are expected to visit the natural land formation, which became famous as the battleground between the Japanese Imperial Forces and American and Filipino soldiers during the waning months of World War II.

As an eco-tourism project, the park will enhance poverty alleviation in the protected area, according to Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer Rosemarie B. Jornacion, who facilitated the soft-opening of the facilities last January 15.

A natural landmark, Bessang Pass and its environs abound in pine trees and has a rich biodiversity that includes a variety of plants and other living forms.

In her message during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Gwendolyn C. Bambalan encouraged members of the Barangay Council of the village, Malaya, where BPNL is located, to work with stakeholders for the conservation and improvement of these resources.

Some 260 kilometers north of Manila, Bessang Pass is 1,500 meters above sea level. Cervantes where it is situated, is one of Ilocos Sur’s hinterland towns that dates back to the Spanish times. Maria Eliza Fontanilla/RPAO/northboundasia.com