A town in Davao del Sur, Sta. Cruz, is embarking on eco-tourism activities to highlight its attractions, particularly the highest mountain of the country, Mt. Apo.
Julius Paner, tourism officer of the town, said the municipal government is hoping to cash in on the activities not only to generate income but also to promote environmental protection.
“(The activities are) not just to do tourism activities but at the same time, to make these as a strategy for the conservation and protection of the country’s highest peak, Mt. Apo,” said Paner during the Wednesdays @Habi at Kape –Abreeza, even as he pointed out that the municipality has been earning from these activities.
Of these events, Paner cited the Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge 2020 on April 18 and the Mt. Apo Sky and Vertical Race which on April 25-26. These events would be part of the “Pista sa Kinaiyahan” of the municipality.
He added that the municipal government has also been thinking of adding more festivals to generate more income.
After a year of absence, the Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge 2020 is back with a “friendlier” course to encourage more participants, Paner said. The triathlon would consist of a four-kilometer water tubing, 36.6-kilometer mountain biking, and 18-kilometer trail running. The event is scheduled for a single day.
The race will start in Playa de Oboza resort and end in the Tibolo Culural Village.
Paner said that it has been proven for 10 years that Mt. Apo is the most extreme site for adventure race in Asia and that the municipal government is trying to make it more inclusive by having “friendlier” course.
He added they are also hoping that through this, people can enjoy the beauty of Mt. Apo more.
On the other hand, the 4th Mt. Apo Sky and Vertical Race would be a mountain ultra marathon and has two categories: the 50-kilometer and 100-kilometer races.
The races are expected to lure a lot of foreign contingents, Paner said as during the last three years, about 20% of the participants were foreign nationals mostly from Europe. The races are part of the international calendar of events such as the Asia Trail Master, Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, and International Trail Running Association.