SANTA ANA, Cagayan - - The tourism office of the local government unit of Santa Ana in this province has proven that the municipality is not only confined with white and pristine beaches as it also promotes ‘fireflies watching’ as one of their tourism attractions.
During the Dry Run Test for Santa Ana Tourism Circuit that started today which was organized by the Department of Tourism Regional Office No. 2, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) Community Development Officer Sherlly Grace Brioso revealed that their office has helped the officials of barangay Casagan for the establishment of the ‘Casagan Eco Adventure’ in 2017 where it offers the fireflies or kulitaptap’ watching.
The Dry Run Test aims to assess the readiness of the activities identified in the “Amazing Santa Ana” Tourism Circuit in preparation for the reopening of tourism in the Cagayan Valley Region.
Earlier this August, a team from the DOT also went to experience the Casagan Eco Adventure and other tourism destinations in the municipality with ‘Your Adventure Paradise’ as its new tourism branding.
Brisio said that from the community’s multi-purpose hall, tourists will walk for 15-20 minutes to reach the area where the ‘kulalanti’ thrives, the iloko term of firefly.
Barangay Captain George Peneyra said that the fireflies thrive in “kulabban” trees which are abundant in their community.
The local chief added that the best time to witness fireflies is during summer season, however, they are elusive if it rains.
On the other hand, the CEZA officer said they have also organized the Kulinarya de Casagan, a group of women in the barangay that specializes in making native bibingka and other delicacies.
The CEZA, according to Brisio, has also conducted capabilty building for the members of the Kulinarya such as product development, packaging of their products, tour guiding, among others.
For her part, Grace Ruiz, community officer IV of CEZA Community Affairs and Development Division, said that the pandemic did not hinder their office to continue in reaching out to their organized groups such as the Casagan.
“Tuluy-tuloy pa naman ang support ng CEZA sa people’s organization lalong-lalo na sa mga community-based enterprises na engaged sa tourism industry dahil alam naman natin na ang Santa Ana is still the top tourist destination in Region 2,” Ruiz said.
“Ang CEZA laging nakaagapay sa organized groups through Secretary Raul Lambino. As of now, we are establishing policies that are adaptable to the new normal. Yun yung ginagawa nating technical assistance sa mga organized groups para masiguro ang safety ng mga turista at mga host communities,” she added. (MDCT/PIA Cagayan)