Training Entrepreneurs for Eco-Tourism Advancement and Coastal Habitat (TEACH) Protection Project

Contributed by Ramil S. Bulilan 

      In the last months, January–June, this year of the two-year Training Entrepreneurs for Eco-Tourism Advancement and Coastal Habitat (TEACH) Protection Project, its project director had designed more meaningful activities than ever before.

      It can be recalled that since its launching on July 2007 up to January this year, the project had undertaken and accomplished in many activities--the establishment of a 200-meter boardwalk, construction of a quay café and the bird-watching tower, the series of training workshops for the four POs as beneficiaries, and the constant coordination with their partner-LGU of Clarin and others.

      These POs include the Tangaran Fisher folks Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TAFIMULPUCO), the Tangaran Aquarium Fish Gathers Association (TAFGA), The Seaweeds Farmers (SeaFar) of Clarin and the Clarin Mangrove Planters Association (ClaMPA).

      Activities slated in the remaining months include the series of training workshops intended for the PO-beneficiaries.

      Last February 3 and 4, the participants had an orientation on the TEACH Project eco-tourism and mariculture enterprises cross visit at Buenavista and Talibon's eco-tourism sites.

      On February 10-11, the project conducted a training for key leaders on eco-tourism and mariculture enterprises which was participated in by 45 participants.

      Tubigon's Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator Noel Cano Mendana discussed the strategic planning and development of the eco-tourism enterprise.

      The dean of research and development, Dr. Nestor Balicoco also shared his ideas on the basic principles of eco-tourism enterprise.

      On February 16, TAFIMULFUCO and SeaFar signed a memorandum of agreement with the proponent agency- -the CVSCAFT-Clarin Campus- -represented by the CVSCAFT System SUC president II, Dr. Elpidio Magante.

      The MOA signing was done in the presence of the Clarin Mayor Hermogenes Diezon, and was witnessed by the college director of CVSCAFT-Clarin Campus and the TEACH Project director.

      The barangay captains of Poblacion Norte and Tangaran also witnessed the MOA signing for the release of P50,000 for each of the two POs, intended for the eco-tourism enterprise.

      Under the stint of its director, Dr. Disocoro Avergonzado, regular meetings were held with the four POs represented by their presidents and secretaries.

      Avergonzado also formed the key officials of the four POs into the TEACH Management Committee (TMC) that will tackle matters arising from the project implementation.

      On February 19-20, Teach Project conducted training workshops on product development, packaging, processing and marketing, and marketing strategy.

      Among those who graced the activities were Ana Belga of the regional office of the Bureau of Fish and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-7), Post Harvest and Evaluation Unit Chief Vilma Paller in Cebu City,

      About 40 fisherfolk participated in the workshop who did food processing of seaweeds and were able to produce goso jam, goso pickled seaweed, and goso cracker.

      Just recently, 2 training-workshops with invited participants from the LGU of Clarin (Hon. Andres S. Pelias, Jr. SB member and the Chairperson of the Committee on Tourism; Hon. Felimon C. Alison, SB member and chairperson on CRM and Environment Protection; and Mr. Climaco C. Ramos, Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) Fishery Officer).were conducted last March 4-5, 2009

      CVSCAFT Clarin Campus, as the proponent agency, with the Magante's all-out support, expressed optimism on the success of the project, especially with the support from the four POs and the community.

      As Dr. Magante signed the MOA, he expressed strong hopes for the project's great help in its extension program of uplifting the lives of the community folks.

      This time, it is believed that the PO's are ready to accept and own the project when turned over to them this June.

      On this the project proponents invite visitors to go for an eco-tour adventure at the Clarin Mangrove Boardwalk to enjoy nature and its bounty.

      The eco- tourism project enterprise will be entrusted to TAFIMULPUCO with full assistance from other PO's.

      Clarin Mangrove Boardwalk is located about 500 meters from the Poblacion area of Clarin, its right side fronting the port area.

      A 30-minute walk with nature, on the 200-meter boardwalk with century-old mangrove species, can wind up perfectly at the Quay Cafe that offers transient tourists drinks and refreshments.

      They also offer wood-crafted souvenir items, fishing escapade, boat-sailing and island-hopping.

      It is also spruced up with a bird-watching tower for those who love watching migratory birds using a binocular.

      For more information, interested individuals may contact Graciano Gillamac through telephone no. 509-9365 or cellphone no. 09283254807.