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DOT-12 trains guide for Ninoy Aquino caves

TOURISM • 23:56 PM Wed Jul 22, 2015
1,294
By: 
Edwin O. Fernandez
Tourism 12 Regional Director Nelly Dillera at the mouth of Lagbasan Cave in Sen. Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat. (cotabato54.rssing.com)

COTABATO CITY - The Department of Tourism 12 and the
Ninoy Aquino local government unit in Sultan Kudarat province have started
laying the ground for the expected influx of local and foreign tourists to its
caves.

Nelly Dillera, DOT-12 regional director, said her
office is now facilitating the accreditation of cave guides and providing Cave
Guidng Training Workshop.

Ninoy Aquino town has about 100 caves scattered in
various villages and sub-villages, including the world famous Lagbasan cave.

Basically, we teach them how to tour guide visitors
to caves, including providing them knowledge on first aid and ability to, at
least, share knowledge about history, biodiversity, culture and resources,”
Dillera said in a statement.

She said to ensure tourists could really enjoy and
appreciate the beautiful caves of Ninoy Aquino, the DOT will provide hard hats,
head lamps, gloves, boots, ropes for rappelling and many others.

Recently, a group from Phil-US Speleological Society
have explored the caves and came up with a tourism map. The Department of
Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) classified Lagbasan cave as Class A”
and exploration is only allowed to scientists, researchers and professional photographers.

Dillera said aside from Lagbasan caves, more caves
that are equally beautiful can be explored in Ninoy Aquino town.

Glen Mallet of the US Speleological Society said Ninoy
Aquino is home to a number of world class caves or cavern system.

In fact, Dillera said, Ninoy Aquino, formerly known
as Kulaman,” hosted the prestigious 3rd Mindanao Caving Forum in 2008under
the auspices of Philippine Speleological Society.

The local government with the support from DOT will
put up a Ninoy Aquino Tourist Information Center to provide tourists the
necessary information about the town for them to appreciate the locality and
its people better.

Dillera said beside the unexplored caves, Ninoy
Aquino is also home to the now famous Coffee Agri-Tourism which tourists can
visit and learn from.

To date,the town has two Homestays where
tourists can stay, learn how to plant coffee, nurture them, harvesting and
taking the first sip from freshly made coffee.

Named after Sen.
Benigno Aquino Jr, the town has a population of bout 43,000 based on the 2010
census.

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