The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the municipal government of Orani launched Tuesday a unique community tourism package to attract local and foreign tourists.
DOT Region 3 Director Carolina Uy said the agency advocates the development of tourism products and new tour package.
“We need to develop the tour package to cater to the demand of tourists, especially by cruise passengers from luxury foreign ships docking at the Subic Bay Port,” she said.
The DOT director said they have taken into consideration the close proximity of Orani with the Subic Bay Port, land trip between which takes only about 30 minutes.
“We have seen the viability of coming up with the tour package combining eco-tourism, faith tourism and farm tourism into one unique countryside experience. This is exactly the kind of tour package that our visitors and foreign tourists are looking for,” she said.
Town Mayor Efren Pascual, Jr., said that the three sites in the tourism package they launched were connected to each other and will give much-needed economic benefits for the 70,000 residents.
“We chose farm tourism and eco-tourism simply because at present, it is the resources, if enhanced, can boost the economy that will give benefits to the local folks here,” he said.
“There are no economic institutions or industrial opportunities here in Orani. We are gearing towards eco-tourism and farm tourism combined with faith tourism that will give us better chance of ensuring better economic opportunities for our people,” the mayor added.
Included in the tour package are visits to the entrance of the Bataan National Park in the village of Tala, an aqua farm, agriculture farm and the 330-year-old Church of Orani.
From a view deck can be seen the lush greeneries of the Bataan mountain range. While going up and down Tala, one can feel the cool breeze comparable to that of Tagaytay City.
The next stop is the 60-hectare aqua farm operated by the family of Vic Santos where shrimps, crabs, bangus (milkfish) and tilapia are raised.
Visitors can try catching tilapia by using a bamboo “pamingwit” (fishing pole) and have it cooked. They may also take a rest in one of the nipa huts in the middle of the fishponds.
In a “boodle fight”, visitors will then feast on shrimps, crabs, bangus and okra with bagoong (shrimp paste).
Several meters away is the farm of Rey Diaz where visitors can pick and pay for vegetables and even medicinal plants. They can also try planting rice in a small demonstration rice paddy.
Available in the farm are halaya (yam) made from ube, biko, leche flan, cooked duck eggs and other products raised in the area.
The final stop is the 330-year-old Church of Orani that has a museum housing the crowns and clothes worn by the image of the miraculous Nuestra Senora Virgen del Rosario.
“The faith tourism shows the strong belief in God of the people in Orani,” Pascual added. (PNA/Ernie Esconde)