Palanan – The future of Philippine Tourism

This aerial video of Palanan will surely take your breath away!  I firmly believe that Palanan, once developed, can significantly boost the tourism industry of the Philippines. Calling the attention of DOT and all interested investors out there!

Vic Albornoz Lactaoen,  a freelance travel writer for several dailies, and in flight magazines unfolds what Palanan has to offer in terms of tourism . Here is an excerpt from his article “Palanan – The town that time forgot”.

“Taking the plane in itself is a treat in itself,” Governor Padaca emphasized. “You can see the beauty of the Sierra Madre from the sky, the green treetops look like giant broccolis. Eco tourists will be glad to know that six kinds of forests have been identified in the area, ranging from the lowland evergreen to montane, mangrove beach forest, limestone and forest growing on ultra basic rocks.

Bird studies conducted in the early 90s by an international team of scientists revealed 241 species, along with 78 of the nation’s 169 endemic species, including the mighty Philippine Eagle. It was a similar story with mammals, 14 species of bats were also found to be endemic.

According to Department of Tourism’s Regional director Blessida Diwa, for a long time, tourism has not been given much attention in the province despite its diverse offering to both environmentalist and regular tourists. But the DOT, with the help of the local government of Isabela, is trying to change that now. Palanan’s rich and colorful historical background, natural harbors, abundant corrals, prolific marine life and rich terrestrial areas including virgin forests are just among the resources that it can offer for eco-tourism destinations.

And then there are the virgin white sand beaches of Dicotcotan and Didadungan, probably Isabela’s best kept secrets. The coastline of both beaches are very much exposed to strong waves from the Pacific Ocean, perfect not only for swimming but also for surfing. Dicotcotan beach has a three-kilometer coastline with coral reefs, sea grass beads and sandy shoreline that is fringed with a coastal forest and a a village. According to Reynante de Veyra, a staff from the city hall, there has been frequent sightings of pointed nosed dolphins and hump back whales aside from the various species of fishes and shellfish, and marine turtles that can be seen from the surface.

Other interesting eco-tourism spots in Palanan are the Culasi Beach, Diminalo Lake, Kanataw Lake, Digoyo Lake, Kanasamuyan Cave, Disangkilan and Sad-sad falls. A lot of natural attractions to see which makes the trip to this remote town time well spent.

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Palanan – one of Isabela’s best kept secrets..

You may want to visit this site for more information and cool pictures of Palanan. Enjoy!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Palanan-one-of-Isabelas-best-kept-secrets/158313197551900?sk=photos

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Miscellaneous

Ok so obviously I am too busy now to update this blog regularly. You can email me if you guys want to contribute something for Palanan, be it articles, photos or anything about Palanan.

I made a slide show just a while ago with Kizoa (My first time so please spare my life!) but I am a little disappointed when I found out that I can neither download nor embed it here. For now, you may hit the link below to view the slide show. Have fun!

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Palanan Co Sierra Madre Trek. Day 1. 1215H. April 19, 2011. Streams and rivers are cool and crystal clear, you can drink directly from them.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URYArau9QMc&NR=1

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Sierra Madre trekkers chronicle tribute to Leonard Co on Facebook

JOHN MARK TUAZON,

GMA News

 A group of trekkers conquered the Northern Sierra Madre mountains in a seven-day journey as a tribute to slain botanist Leonard Co and chronicled their adventure on Facebook.

 The group, called the “Palanan Sierra Madre Trek,” is composed of 18 family and friends of Co.

 In fulfillment of Co’s last wish, the group took a week-long journey starting on April 19 along the Sierra Madre mountains — said to be the Philippines last great forest — and scattered his ashes in Palanan, Isabela.

 It was Co’s wish for his ashes to be scattered in the 16-hectare forest dynamics plot he built and worked on in Palanan before he died.

 Co was a renowned plant biologist from the University of the Philippines in Diliman and president of the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society.

 He was killed in a reported crossfire between government forces and the New People’s Army in November last year in Leyte.

 Satellite phone

 Using a satellite phone and a Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) terminal provided by telecom firm Smart Communications, Inc., the group submitted reports and observations to their Manila support team, who posted their activities online.

 The team would make regular calls at 6:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to their support group, and sent e-mail messages narrating their experiences while navigating the 47.3-kilometer stretch of thick forest.

 “Communication has gone to a place where you can communicate in real time what is happening in remote places,” said Mark Dia, the group’s designated “communications officer.”

 Dia wrote in the team’s blog two entries aiming to “take readers into the area, for them to imagine how it looks and experience firsthand what is happening in the forest and the effects of climate change.”

 On the side, some team members conducted a rapid biodiversity assessment along the trail, and made note of the different species of flora and fauna they discovered inhabiting the mountain range.

 They also reported personal observations and anecdotes about trekking with the Dumagats, an indigenous tribe inhabiting the Sierra Madre and touted as the stewards of its vast wilderness.

 Moral support

 Aside from being a venue to share expedition updates to their friends and family, the group’s online pages also became a means for their peers to offer calls of support, admiration and enthusiasm for the group’s cause.

 “Guys, I have been dying to visit this place since we decided to retire in Isabela. Thank you for all the information and pics and I look forward to reading all the rest of your post,” wrote one John Cockell on the group’s Facebook page.

 Maria Net Long, whose brother Eric Cantuba was part of the expedition, talked about how proud she was of her brother: “…the youngest of ten children, you will be the only one to set foot on our mother’s birthplace. Isn’t that a feat? Take care bro and the whole team!”

 Noel Malacad, also a part of the team, got cheerleaders out of his four kids: “Daddy you’re the best! We love you. God bless and see you soon!”

 “It was good to get feedback from an online audience, kung ano ang impression nila,” shared David Andrade, the overall deputy trek leader. “And we were happy to note that people were keeping track, sharing hope and expectations.”

 Well-liked

 The expedition drew widespread interest among Filipino Internet users here and abroad.

 Following the expedition, the trek participants posted “post-trek imprints” on the Facebook page, detailing their personal discoveries and lessons learned during the trip.

 To date, the group’s page already has 616 likes from fans, and has already been viewed more than 200,00 times throughout the duration of the trek, even in the days following it.

 Some people are asking the group about the schedule of their next trek and if they could participate in the group’s cause.

 In the end, the group fulfilled Co’s last requests and sparked curious interest among many people, an achievement that Co would surely have been proud of. – VVP, GMA News

Source: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/221514/technology/sierra-madre-trekkers-chronicle-tribute-to-leonard-co-on-facebook

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Leonard Co’s last forest trip

ELENA MENCIAS-RAGRAGIO,
professor of biology,
University of the Philippines Manila

ON APRIL 18, 2011, Leonard L. Co was finally granted his wish that his ashes be scattered in Palanan, Isabela. The day started with a Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Edwin Peter Dionisio, OFM of the St. Mary Magdalene Parish. When Leonard was in Palanan, he would attend the first Holy Mass at 5 a.m. and later had breakfast with Father Dionisio. Most of us were surprised at this since we knew Leonard was not a churchgoer. Father Dionisio said it might be because of his homily or his coffee.

 About a hundred people attended the Holy Mass, most of whom knew Leonard—his co-workers, the store owner, the owner of the house where Leonard slept, the porter, etc. The church was filled with faces bearing collective sadness.

 In his homily, Father Dionisio said that Leonard had great admiration for St. Francis, who was a nature lover. The priest also saw in Leonard a certain greatness, a character found in many heroes. He also deeply felt anger that a non-violent person such as Leonard should die a violent and senseless death.

 After the concluding prayers, a eulogy was held with family and friends talking of Leonard. The former mayor of Palanan, Mayor Natividad Bernardo, declared Leonard to be an adopted son of Palanan. Oscar Lopez described his relationship with Leonard since the late 1990s, where he (Lopez) was in the Board of Trustees of Conservation International. Two of Leonard’s co-workers, Boy dela Peña and Cesar Jorge also spoke of the goodness of Leonard and their time together. Len Ragragio described who was Leonard. Lily Co-Austria, the youngest sister of Leonard, lovingly described her Kuya as the most loved by their father in a Chinese family. She told of how their parents were coping with Leonard’s death and their decision to sue the Philippine Army and how they were doing everything to raise funds for the Justice for Leonard Fund. She also thanked the people who were instrumental in the ash-scattering event. Finally, Glenda Co, Leonard’s wife read a message thanking all those who came to fulfill Leonard’s wish and also spoke of how she and their daughter were affected by the loss of a loved one.

 After the Holy Mass, the people rode in vehicles to bring the ashes to the Palanan biodiversity plot. But the actual site is a one-and-a-half hours walk—first in a grassland area, then the forest trail.

The ashes were spread in a site chosen by Leonard. It was surrounded by beautiful and grand Dipterocarp trees. Father Dionisio said the final prayers, and the choir sang while Glenda, Linn Mae, Lily and Lian walked around and spread the ashes. It was 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

 In the station site where Leonard stayed whenever he was in the forest, a stone marker with a plaque was put together by the people of Palanan, led by Mayor Bernardo. It was blessed and unveiled later. The plaque states that the Palanan Plot is now known as the “Leonard L. Co Plot.”

Source: http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/letterstotheeditor/view/20110511-335988/Leonard_Co%92s_last_forest_trip

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A Glimpse of Paradise Lost

A Glimpse of Paradise Lost

By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 15:01:00 04/23/2011

HE knew the wilderness and its many secrets. Each leaf, each stem, each trunk spoke to him in ways ordinary humans might not hear. He hearkened to them and gave them names. From under the huge canopy of green that was his second home, he would emerge, carrying with him evidence of rare and amazing life. He had glimpsed paradise. The world, he thought, needed to know about the treasures hidden in these endangered vastness.

But Filipino botanist Leonardo L. Co was gone before he could share this bounty. Killed by military forces in the wilds of Kananga, Southern Leyte on Nov. 15, 2010, he left a void crying out to be filled. Who will follow in his footsteps in forests primeval?

But his family, friends and colleagues are not frozen in mourning. If they cannot totally fill Leonard’s mountain shoes, they are at least attempting to take the path less-traveled that the botanist had trod for many years. They, too, are heeding the call of the wild, embracing a world that the consummate scientist and lover of plants had considered as the place to be.

That was how it was in the days that ran up to Easter and Earth Day this year. To celebrate the botanist’s life, a Leonardo Co Trail was opened somewhere in the Sierra Madre mountain range bordering Palanan, Isabela. Going to Palanan alone takes some guts, as it is on the remote “other side” of Luzon, separated by awesome mountains and the so-called Last Great Forest.

Weeks before, an advance reconnaissance team (see photo) composed of University of the Philippines (UP) Mountaineers and their Dumagat guides prepared the way for the “Palanan Co Sierra Madre Trek” that was to follow during Holy Week, starting April 15.

Here’s a recon team member’s message sent by satellite phone: “5 days of trekking, 4 soaking wet nights, 30 mins of sunshine, 15 squares of canned sardines, 2 river eels, 7 leech bites, 3 foot blisters, more than a dozen river cross, countless slips and slides, and to top it all off, 4 very awesome Dumagats and 6 funny mountaineer friends, makes for 1 great and unforgettable experience, all for 1 very special botanist. And the best part is, we’re only halfway there.”

That was where this “1 very special botanist” had wished some of his ashes would be strewn. By now, Leonard’s wishes will have been fulfilled. His resting place: his “field lab,” the 16-hectare Forest Dynamics Plot in Palanan, begun in 1994 and of which Leonard was co-investigator (with Drs. Perry Ong and Daniel Lagunzad). In this area, some 335 species of plants have been identified. A trail was opened and named after him. (The other existing trails are the Aguinaldo, Carabao and Bisag Trails.) Some 30 mountaineers, friends and family members braved the wilds to honor him. Darwin Flores was trek organizer while veteran explorer-mountaineer and artist-teacher Bobby Acosta was trek leader. ROX Outdoor Gear was the main sponsor.

A third of Leonard’s ashes is with his family, the other third has been spread around his favorite Dita tree in UP. Said Glenda, his wife of 20 years, “He had chosen that tree and even brought our daughter Linnaea to see it.”

It takes a special woman to be a wife to Leonard whose romance with plants is not a secret. Leonard named his only child, now nine, after a plant that flowers in the North Pole and after Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, father of modern taxonomy.

Leonard so loved what he was doing that he did not think much about looks or how he projected himself. He was the stereotypical nerd, agreed his wife, a very dedicated and engaging teacher. There is one photo that always makes Glenda laugh. It shows Leonard lecturing in class with his fly open. It was said that he would get so carried away and wax poetic, students in front had to put up with saliva spray.

Leonard was a serious ethno-botanist and plant taxonomist who spent much time in the wilds. Pharmacology, a science that draws much frombotany, was one of his fields of interest and expertise. He was also a trained acupuncturist. He knew several languages – Latin, French and German – besides his everyday Filipino, English and Chinese. An advocate of indigenous health practices, he worked with folk healers, shamans and mumbakis. Among his written works was “Common Medicinal Plants of the Cordillera Administrative Region,” an invaluable reference for upland community-based health workers. He also authored “The Forest Trees of Palanan, Philippines: A Study in Population Ecology.”

Many international and local environmental groups recognized and availed themselves of Leonard’s expertise. Among them was Conservation International, for which he worked as a consultant in the monitoring of biodiversity in several Philippine forests. He also supported environmental and health NGOs and participated in the government’s conservation efforts.

As a photographer, Leonard had a special eye for plants and other wildlife. Brother-in-law Darwin Flores said he went over never-before-seen shots in the memory card of Leonard’s camera and noticed images that didn’t seem to mean anything. There seemed to be only dry brown leaves and twigs, but upon closer scrutiny, one saw a small brown frog in camouflage. An insect, a snake, a bird disguised as twigs, leaves, and flowers.

But it was while identifying, naming and photographing rare native plants that Leonard was truly in his element. And oh, how he loved ferns. Not so much orchids, he could have told you. He lamented the disappearance of a rare endemic fern discovered for the first time by noted botanist Hermes Gutierrez (father of actress Chin-chin). Ever in search of rare species, Leonard scoured the forest floor and canopy, forged rivers and climbed mountains, carrying the ubiquitous cutting pole used for reaching plants in high places. He would be away for long stretches, six months sometimes, before he’d head for home. But he sure was blessed with many eureka moments up there.

A UP Mountaineer, Leonard was always behind the pack during treks because he picked plants along the way. He was recently given the posthumous UP Mountaineer of the Year Award.

Leonard considered his mountain forays as the convergence of science and outdoor adventure. It was not all about conquering the mountain peak or going from A to B. For him it was about the journey. He would say, “Ang tuktok ng bundok, bonus na lang yun.” (Reaching the top is just a bonus.)

Leonard’s death shocked the academe, the scientific community, environmentalists and health advocates. When Leonard, 56, was felled by bullets, along with his two guides Sofronio Cortez and Julius Borromeo, he was doing research for a reforestation project and was, witnesses attested, within the supposedly safe perimeter of the Energy Development Corporation research area, where armed groups weren’t supposed to be. Leonard took four bullets in the back and in the leg. Two other companions survived to tell the story. Initial reports said Leonard’s group was caught in the crossfire between the military and the communist rebels. But, as it turned out, there was no encounter. Even the local police said there was none. A case against the military is now pending.

Leonard left behind much work in progress and dreams for this planet. Many have vowed to continue what he had begun, like the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society Inc. (PNPCSI) which Leonard founded in 2007. New PNPCSI president Anthony Arbias is making sure that the PNPCSI would be Leonard’s enduring legacy. It was their love for ferns that brought these two men together. Leonard also liked to study grass, Arbias recounted, and sometimes during trips he would yell, “Para!” (Stop!) just to get his hands on “rare grass ng Pilipinas.” One of Leonard’s regular companions was forester and UP bio-researcher Boni Pasion, whom he mentored. Pasion spent three months with Leonard in Palanan before the Leyte project where Leonard was killed.

PNPCSI has been given space at the Ninoy Aquino Wildlife Park in Quezon City. It’s an x-deal, Arbias said, for inventory work on plants in the 22-hectare compound which Leonard accepted with the ulterior motive of establishing an honest-to-goodness botanical park there. “A template for the regions,” Arbias stressed.

“Leonard was very much against the selling of areas of vegetation and turning them into real estate,” Arbias said. He was also against the use of exotic species for monoculture reforestation, like the use of mahogany, an exotic South American tree that was slowly replacing narra, the Philippines’ national tree. Leonard sarcastically called mahogany the “bagong pambansang puno” (the new national tree).

Born on Dec. 29, 1953 in Manila, Leonard was the eldest and only boy in the brood of Lian Sing Co and Emelina Legaspi. His father was a first-generation immigrant from China. Leonard went to the Philippine Chinese High School and excelled in science. He entered UP in 1972 but finished his botany degree only in 2008 because, his wife Glenda explained, “he forgot Physics.” Not having a diploma for a long time did not deter him from acquiring more knowledge and sharing them with young budding scientists.

In her article “Leonard Co: Bringing Knowledge of the Forests to the People” (Feedback, publication of Center for Environmental Concerns, Sept.-Dec. 2010) Lisa Ito-Tapang wrote: “Yet this delay in attaining complete academic credentials never deterred him from becoming one of the major experts in this field.” From 1977 to 2009, she wrote, Leonard co-authored six books and 13 articles in peer-reviewed publications, including researches on the Rafflesia aurantia (Rafflesiaceae), vaccimium (Ericeae), Xanthostemon fruticosus (Myrtaceaea) and Philippine ferns.

Leonard’s colleagues named two species – mycaranthes leonardi and rafflesia leonardi –after him. Not that he wished for this. He was credited with discovering eight new species of plants, and named one of them after business tycoon Oscar Lopez, who was said to be delighted.

Despite the serious nature of his work, Leonard knew how to relax in the company of like-minded friends. One of their favorite hang-outs was Green Daisy in Diliman, a small private garden hideaway under a bower of vines and branches. (It is owned by organic farming practitioner and entrepreneur Daisy Langenegger.) Leonard loved to show his culinary skills by cooking Chinese dishes for friends. A TV series he loved watching with his kid was GMA-7’s “Bantatay,” which was about a dog into whom the spirit of a slain veterinarian entered so he could protect his bereaved family.

“I would like to come back as a butterfly,” he would tell Linnaea. Indeed, wife Glenda said, there was a hovering butterfly after his death, prompting Linnaea to ask, “Nasaktan kaya siya?” (Did he feel pain?)

In his Facebook page Leonard lists as among his interests Bahay Tsinoy Museum (Kaisa), Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation, International Year of Biodiversity 2010, Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society and Marikina Watershed Initiative. His FB photo shows him sorting out leaves, captioned “Botany work by candlelight in our field camp on Mt. Cetaceo, the highest point in the Cagayan segment of the Sierra Madre Mtns.”

A lot has been said and written about Leonardo L. Co, botanist, and the immeasurable loss. PNPCSI’s statement could barely sum up the treasure that he was: “Few can realize the herculean task that Leonard Co set out to undertake. He spent a lifetime exploring and gathering precious data on the rapidly diminishingforested regions of the country. No one understood our native forest dynamics the way that he did. He provided a glimpse into its hidden order and where one would see just endless green, he would expound on the complex interrelationships between one living thing and another. He possessed first-hand knowledge that can never be found in any literature.”

His brother-in-law Darwin Flores offers some consolation: “Even in his last hours, he was in paradise.” •

Source: http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/sim/sim/view/20110423-332553/A-Glimpse-of-Paradise-Lost

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Mountain News: Palanan – Sierra Madre Expedition Honoring Leonard Co to commence tomorrow

Last November 15, while he was cataloging plant species in the forests of Kananga, Leyte, the great biologist Leonard Co was a killed in the crossfire between the military and suspected NPA rebels.

On April 19-25, family and friends of Leonard Co will traverse the Northern Sierra Madre to pay tribute to his life and work. The expedition intends to fulfill the wish of Leonard to have his ashes scattered in Palanan, Isabela where he conducted most of his pioneering work.

The expedition team of 30 trekkers will consist of scientists and members of the U.P. Mountaineers (UPM), the organization of which he was a part of and who awarded him the title of “Mountaineer of the Year”, last year.

Darwin Flores, Leonard’s brother-in-law, conceived of and will lead the expedition team, while veteran explorer mountaineer and artist-teacher Bobby Acosta is trek leader.

Continuing Leonard’s work

Another objective of the expedition is to highlight the ecological significance of northern Sierra Madre. Some team members of the expedition will also conduct a rapid biodiversity assessment along the trail.

The Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP) is considered one of the most important of the protected areas in the Philippines. It is the largest protected area in the country and the richest in terms of genetic species and habitat diversity. The Rafflesia leonardi, named after Leonard Co was discovered within the forests of the Northern Sierra Madre. It’s the 8th species of rafflesia found in the Philippines and 4th in Luzon.

This expedition is dedicated to Leonard Co who valued the importance of the Palanan wildlife biodiversity. It is a showcase of true adventure dedicated to Filipino greatness and unity and of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It is about scientific discovery and outdoor exploration in the last great wilderness of the Philippines, a fitting tribute to the life of Leonard.

The Palanan expedition itinerary

The expedition team will journey to the coast of Palanan, Isabela, the gateway to the great rainforest, beginning on Saturday, April 16; first, via a 10-hour bus ride from Manila to Casiguran, Aurora, then, via a Navy boat ride to the coast of Palanan in the Pacific Ocean for another 10 hrs. Thereafter, a memorial mass for Leonard will be held on Sunday, April 17 at the town church. On April 18, the expedition team, together with the townsfolk and the family and friends of Leonard, will trek to the 16-hectare forest dynamics plot that Leonard established and worked on, to scatter the last third of his ashes as he had intended.

Thereafter, the expedition team will commence their 7-day Sierra Madre Trek on April 19, Tuesday, at the foothills of Palanan, and traverse the peaks of the mountain range across to the western side of the Northern Sierra Madre in San Mariano, Isabela. A team of scientists belonging to the expedition will do rapid transect surveys of flora and fauna along the route, as the opportunity permits. The trekkers will be guided by local friends of Leonard, the Dumagats, who grew up in the forest and coastline of Palanan. Together, they will pass through numerous river crossings and high peaks. The group is expected to arrive at San Mariano town in Isabela on April 25, Monday and in Manila on April 26, Tuesday. Post –climb activities will be announced later.

Send-off

A send-off and press conference will be held tonight at R.O.X. Philippines, commemorating the life of Leonard Co, unveiling the details of the expedition, and . We wish the expedition team, organizers and participants, all the best — safety and success – as they start their journey.

 For more information, you can contact Monette Flores, 09209232327, of the expedition support group. You can also follow the expedition on Facebook via the Palanan Co Sierra Madre Trek Facebook Page.

For more information, you can contact Monette Flores, 09209232327, of the expedition support group. You can also follow the expedition on Facebook via the Palanan Co Sierra Madre Trek Facebook Page.

 Originally posted here: http://www.pinoymountaineer.com/2011/04/mountain-news-palanan-sierra-madre.html

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PNoy open to road construction linking Isabela coastal towns

This is an old article I got from the PIA website. I am hoping for the best that they would not wait for another super typhoon or God forbid, a tsunami to finally construct this much-needed road. Calling all the local officials of Isabela and PNoy to please consider this project.

Cauayan City, Isabela (October 24) — President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III is open to a proposal of constructing a road connecting the four Isabela coastal towns.

 In a press conference held at the Philippine Air Force – Tactical Operations Group 2, the President said that he is open to the idea of constructing a road in going there (Palanan, Divilacan, Maconacon and Dinapigue) but there must be first a study group to determine the viability of the proposal to address the concern of the residents in those four areas.

 The question was raised due to the hardship of delivering relief goods in those four typhoon ravaged areas where it can only be reached by air and sea transportation and depending on weather conditions.

 The municipality of Palanan, where typhoon Juan made landfall last Monday, was reported that majority of its residents were severely affected and needs immediate help from the government but hardly reach.

 Governor Faustino G. Dy III, during his inaugural address last June 30, expressed his willingness to open a road linking from Ilagan to Palanan town to properly deliver the needed services from the provincial government.

 Social, health and other basic services are limited due to the distance and road inaccessibility to the four coastal towns and are lagged behind with other towns but the provincial government is very much concern to the plight of local officials and residents in those areas that is to construct a road. (PIA Isabela) .

 by MG Edale Jr

 

Source: http://www.pia.gov.ph/?m=12&fi=p101024.htm&no=22

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“I want to develop the Palanan-San Mariano Road” – Congresswoman Go

District II Isabela Congresswoman Ana Cristina Go envisions a good life for the people of San Mariano, Isabela wherein she actively pursues the development of the Palanan-San Mariano Road.

During the discussion of Congresswoman Go and NEDA RD Milagros A. Rimando on March 11, she said that the Palanan-San Mariano Road could open up many opportunities for the people being the biggest municipality in the province with an endowed land resource area of 142, 183 hectares. She stated that since San Mariano is in a remote area where people only visit the place for their logging needs, she wanted to advance other opportunities for the community. “I want to give people a reason why they should go to San Mariano, she said.

Through the Palanan-San Mariano Road, the eco-tourism of the place could flourish because of its natural scenic beauty being one of the coastal areas in the province. Congresswoman Go also emphasized that the place is historic as Emilio Aguinaldo used the same road in going to Palanan from where he was captured. We could translate this historic event as an opportunity for tourism just like in Cebu where people visit the place to see where Mac Arthur landed or other historic places that were exhibited as tourist attractions in the country, she added.

The San Mariano road is identified as a national road by the DPWH and the suggested project is said to cover 70 km. road construction. Last year, a regional consultation on the Ilagan-Divilacan Road was conducted to discuss the possible construction of roads linking the three coastal areas namely Maconacon, Divilacan and Palanan in the province of Isabela.

According to RD Rimando, five possible routes were identified for the road rehabilitation of the coastal areas; one of which is the Palanan-San Mariano Road. However, she explained that the Ilagan-Divilacan was being proposed based on the study conducted by the DPWH and the Province of Isabela.

Congresswoman Go said that the proposed Ilagan-Divilacan is a good project and she is not opposed to the idea. Furthermore, she explained that what she is proposing (the Palanan-San Mariano Road) is a different project which will seek funding from the DPWH and the LGU. The Congresswoman believed that the Palanan-San Mariano Road will provide many alternative livelihoods to the municipality which can help in accelerating the economic activities of the country.

Source: http://www.cagayanvalley.com/profiles/blogs/i-want-to-develop-the#comments

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