Just before this year closes out, we are bent on looking at two more tourism packages to be opened for public, at least before the month of November ends. The first one already being launched in October – the remarkable Throwback Tour Package showcasing the town’s history. The other one is the Island and Mangrove Cruise featuring scenic seascape of Bato, Tagabuli and Tuban.
We intend to make it a fun and learning destination because the site is a declared Marine Protected Area (MPA) by the LGU and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). It has always been like that, making ecotourism a stage to increase resilience of marine ecosystem by being part of marine life conservation, protection and management. The MPA here is a 50-hectare area located in the border of Tagabuli and Tuban and another 25 hectares in Bato.
The Passig Islet docking point in Bato, which is manicured with huge mangrove forest and a boardwalk, serves as an anchorage area for the tour which features island hopping in Tagabuli’s secret islands.
While cruising the vast coastal waters of Sta. Cruz you will be brought to an unspoiled mangrove sanctuaries in Tuban and Tagabuli. The little secret islands are must-stops for at least an hour or two not just to take pictures but to also study the symbiotic relationship of the island ecosystem to the upland areas of Sta. Cruz that serves as backdraft to this incredible seascape. The islands have no structures except for a shed provided by the Agriculture Office which serves as headquarters for fishery law enforcement officers. This means that no overnight stay is allowed in the islands.
The Tagabuli fish cages is another attraction that can be detoured during the cruise. Fish culture through cages is a prevailing industry in Tagabuli Bay, as this area is a harbour considered by the community as perfect for milkfish production. While navigating the bay, one can also view the mountain ranges of Tagabuli, Melilia, Saliducon, Sinoron and even the towering Mt. Apo.
The last stop of this day tour is the popular Passig Islet in Bato. It is a 2-hectare white sandbar with open cottages and function hall and ideal for beach frolicking, bathing and sundown relaxation. The perimeter of Passig are seaweeds farms which the locals of Bato have been doing through the years as a means of livelihood.
The package tour costs 300 pesos per boat, which only includes guide fee and boat rental. The boat operator serves as your tour guide. The maximum capacity of the boat is 5 persons only. Guests are advised to bring foods and bottled water because there are no vendors in the islands. For tour bookings, please contact Lea through her cellphone number 09095517414 or Roy 09469212443. Please book ahead because the appropriate time to do the tour will be advised by them considering the time of high tide and low tide.