Top Environmentally Sustainable Tourism in Philippines; Bohol Dolphins and Tarsier

Dolphin-, tarsier-watching in Bohol top environmentally sustainable tourism destinations in PHL

Cable News Network (CNN) International Travel online has picked "Dolphin Watching" adventure on the seas surrounding Pamilacan Island, off Baclayon town, and the Tarsier sanctuary in Corella town as among the seven wild adventure destinations in the country.

“There are many opportunities for dolphin-watching in Philippine waters, but for year-round chances head to Pamilacan Island in Bohol. Whales can be seen from February to June too,” said Maida Pineda, writer for CNN travel.

“Instead of earning a living as whale hunters, the community at Pamilacan Island has been offering whale- and dolphin-watching tours for the last five years. The playful dolphins often engage tourists in a game of tag, riding alongside your boat, repeatedly leaping above the water then plunging down into the depths again,” she said.

Pineda said of the tarsier: “At 8.5-16 centimeters in height, the Philippine tarsier, Tarsius syrichta, is a tough catch. This nocturnal animal also has excellent night vision, with huge eyes bulging out of its head, so wannabe wooers have their work cut out.

Luckily enterprising Filipinos display the tiny primate for tourists to photograph near the Loboc River. But it is even better to encounter them at the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary at the foothills of the forest in the town of Corella, Bohol, where you can see them in their natural habitat.

Tourists can view the tarsiers in a one-hectare netted enclosure, but which still allows the tarsiers to hunt and move around the rest of the sanctuary.”

Environmentally Sustainable Tourism - Bohol Philippines Tarsier
Environmentally Sustainable Tourism - Bohol Philippines Tarsier

Also, other top environmentally sustainable wild destinations, along with dolphin watching and Tarsier, are Olango mudflats where mass migration of bird; Samal island with millions of bats abound; Malapascua, Cebu, which is famous for thresher sharks; Davao for the majestic Philippine Eagle; and Donsol, Sorsogon, where befriending the Butanding (whale shark> is commonplace.

Mr. Jojo Baritua, the pioneer operator of the dolphin watching as an eco-tourism program said “this international recognition as it boosts the Province of Bohol marketing effort as well as make the people of the island proud of the new path that they are now undertaking as local natural guides and spotters in the eco-tourism program.”

Baritua manages the Bohol’s Dolphin Watching Tour, a social enterprise program of the Pamilacan Island Boat Operators & Spotters Association (PIBOSA) gain additional international exposure lately after it has been selected by CNN International Travel as One of the seven wild outdoor adventure destinations in the Philippines.

It can be recalled that the people Pamilacan Island a small island community which is part of the municipality of Baclayon, Bohol used to hunt dolphins, whales, whale sharks and manta ray as their main source of livelihood long time ago. Aside from whale hunting, Pamilacan fishers are also into sustenance fishing using non-motorized boats for hook and line fishing.

However, hunting of the marine mammals has been abruptly stopped by the national government and it has banned successfully the trade and commerce of the marine mammals. Today, anyone caught in the act and in possession of the prohibited species will be charge with a 20-year imprisonment and P120,000 as provided for under Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) administrative Order 208 Series of 2001, prescribing guidelines and rules on the Conservations of Rare, Threatened and Endangered Fishery Species.(PNA) PDS/RVO/pjn

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