Mangrove plantation an added attraction in Ilocos Norte’s eco-tourism sites

BADOC, Ilocos Norte — Over the past two years, a new pilgrim site strategically located on a cove separating the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur has been attracting local and foreign tourists for worship and sightseeing.

It was in December 2003 when the Ilocos Norte government initiated the construction of an open-air chapel, built like an upturned boat, bears bamboo fittings and maritime decorations to recall the 400-year story repeated among the locals of Ilocos Norte.

During the summer season, pilgrims as well as beach goers frequently visit the area as it offers a refreshing view of the white sand beach and crystal blue waters of Badoc. It is also overlooking a small island of Puro, declared as a municipal fish sanctuary.

The La Virgen Milagrosa Chapel was built to commemorate the arrival of the La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc, believed to have come from Japan and sent floating into sea by missionaries fleeing the country.

In few years time, a mangrove plantation planted with about 70,000 propagules will be an added attraction here.

In time for the environment month celebration this June, Hustler Garalde of the Environment and Natural Resources Office under the provincial government of Ilocos Norte reported the planting of more mangrove propagules through its Barangay Ranger Officers is adding a colorful landscape of the beach particularly at sunrise and sunset.

He said the ENRO continue to intensify the implementation of the national greening program by enjoining at least nine coastal municipalities of the province to rehabilitate its existing mangrove areas for possible eco-tourism project.

So far, around 23 hectares of mangrove plantation now covers the shoreline of Badoc, Currimao, Paoay, Laoag City, Bacarra, Pasuquin, Burgos, Bangui, and Pagudpud.PNA/