The newly launched #BoholIslandAspiringGlobalGeopark tourism campaign highlights Alicia’s geoheritage sites as the campaign promotes Bohol’s bid for UNESCO accreditation through the UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGp), which focuses on geoheritage conservation and environmentally conscious tourism.
Through the Bohol Provincial Tourism Office (BPTO), the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) sets out to promote a new feature in tourism that highlights Bohol’s distinctive geographical character through geotourism. BPTO sponsored a familiarization tour with the media, influencers, photographers, and vloggers to promote a 2-day tour to promote Alicia’s geoheritage sites from November 7 to November 8, 2022.
The tour features the Alicia Schist, the oldest rock in Bohol carbon-dated from the Late Jurassic period to the Early Cretaceous period from 146 million years ago–66 million years ago. Geologists explained that it is a result of sedimentary layering forming from the ocean floors, and tremendous regional pressure and deformation resulted in its emergence from sea level (according to the Bohol Geopark website).
The Municipal Tourism Officer of Alicia, Godelia Cutanda Lumugdang said that tourists interested in geology will enjoy learning about Alicia Schist and its significance to Bohol’s geological history.
“Alicia has a lot to offer in terms of geological landscapes. We have the oldest rock formation (The Alicia Schist) and the second oldest (The Alicia Ophiolite). Geologists are going to love Alicia, and we are happy it is one of the municipalities part of the Bohol Geopark’s itinerary,” Lumugdang said.
Another known geoheritage site in vogue among tourists is the Alicia Panoramic Park in Brgy. Cambaol. Locally known as the Binabaje Hills, trekkers often enjoy trailing the picturesque hills, vastly covered in greenery, due to its challenging terrain for trekking. Guides are present to direct tourists to the proper trails to avoid the destruction of the hills and to impose environmental protocols. When arriving at the site, guides expect trekkers to be in good health and to wear appropriate shoes to trek the 400-meter hills. At the top, a viewing deck and a restroom are available for trekkers to relax after climbing up. Visitors also have an option for an overnight camping stay at the peak as long as they stock themselves with food, water, flashlights, warm clothing, and a recognized guide equipped to help during emergencies.
Tourists can enjoy extreme ATV rides with challenging trails at the Farm Alicia. Riders can expect to go through steep hills, rocky terrain, and crossing through creaks when riding ATVs. The Farm Alicia also offers overnight accommodation through their camping grounds where tourists can rent or bring their tents.
Alicia also offers caving activities where tourists can visit the Princess Manan-aw Cave, one of the 20 caves of the Cagongcagong caving system. The cave got its name from a stalactite shaped like a woman in a resting position. Tourists will go through a 15-minute narrow trail before reaching the front of the cave. When inside, tourists are discouraged from touching stalagmites since skin oils can alter the surface tension where the mineral water clings or flows, thus affecting its growth. Tourists can also find fossilized corals on the ceiling of the cave.
“We want tourists to know that Alicia has a lot to offer in terms of geological sites,” Lumugdang said.
Lumugdang added that the province’s campaign for UNESCO accreditation will help in Alicia’s predicament to preserve its geoheritage sites.
“If uNESCO accredits us, this could mean better awareness for the people to protect the environment and an appreciation for our children to love Alicia and its geoheritage sites,” Lumugdang stated.
Lumugdang expressed her optimism that through the #BoholIslandAspiringGlobalGeopark campaign, the promotion of Alicia’s geosites can create opportunities for income, environmental protection, and appreciation for their Municipality’s geological history.
By: Gavin Michael Cubillo / The Provincial Information and Media Office