Tuesday, October 20, 2015

#CaptivatingCapiz - Experience the Cadimahan-Libotong River Tour in Roxas City

I had the privilege of meeting some of the people who manage the Cadimahan-Libotong River Project. Other than being recognized as one of the major tourist attractions in Roxas City, this particular undertaking is also known for promoting Eco-cultural tourism and more.


How the river tour project began 

The Cadimahan River, which passes through 7 barangays (i.e. Culasi, Libas, Baybay, Dayao, Tanque) is one of the biggest in all of the 16 river systems in Capiz, as it spans to around 68 hectares.  

Based on facts collected from the Capiz Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office, “the Cadimahan River Tour was conceptualized to provide livelihood to marginalized fisher folks that have been displaced with the implementation of the Cadimahan River Rehabilitation Project.” The river tour project was established so that the fisher folk's who resided along the Cadimahan-Libotong River would also be provided with an alternative livelihood. With the help of the city government, the Lawis BayBay Small Association of Roxas City (LABSFAR) was formed.


The river tour was established not just to provide a source of income for the fisher folks, but to also promote eco-cultural tourism in Capiz. So aside from taking the river tour, you can also participate in (1) recreational fishing (2) and their River clean-up activities. You can also join their Mangrove planting activities, as these plants play a significant role in the watercourse. Unfortunately, a lot of these hedges were uprooted when Super Typhoon Yolanda hit the country in 2013. That's why it's been highly encouraged to plant new ones, as these small, woody shrubs help with growing shellfish and fish, most of which only thrive in freshwater and seawater.


We also met the Vice-Chairman of LABSPAR, Mr. Bienvenido Dela Cruz Jr., who happened to be our tour guide for the day. He also shared more information about the project, particularly its beginings. Now, aside from being displaced from their home and livelihood then, they also had to go through the perils of Super Typhoon Yolanda. Everything that they owned were taken away from them. But life in the river was eventually revived with the help and support of the government and some organizations.

Vice-chairman of LABSPAR, Mr. Bienvenido Dela Cruz Jr. in green shirt 

Cadimahan's Name Origin 

The name 'Cadimahan' can be broken down into three parts:

"Ca" from the name "Capiz"
"Dima" from the local word "Dimas" or breadfruit
"Han" was added to make the whole name sound formal

Hop on and come aboard! 

My companions and I saw a lot of stationed rafts floating on site. But we were told that only 2 to 3 of these were used for the river tour. The rest, however, are still used by guests who just want to sit back and relax, while admiring the scenery. Also, getting a massage by the river can be requested, as several licensed massage therapists are there, on duty. You can also dine on board, but make sure to book ahead of time. They don't always serve ready food because they aim to provide fresh seafood dishes at all times.


Of course, walk-ins are always allowed, especially if you're planning on trying the Cadimahan-Libotong River Tour. Although prior booking and coordination is recommended, so that the fisher folks managing the project will be able to prepare for your arrival. This will give them enough time to arrange a few basic essentials (i.e. find a tour guide, cook food, request massage therapist/s, hire entertainment).

Be serenaded while cruising down the river

It's always a warm welcome when people serenade you with their sweet-sounding voices. More so, when they continue to sing you some of the most melodic numbers in their dialect or language. The voices of our on-board singers, Glenn, Michael and Christine were quite soothing, as they sang several folksongs and modern tunes in Hiligaynon.


A Seafood Fiesta!

I've been allergic to seafood for as long as I remember. But that never stopped me from eating my favorite crustaceans, as I always brought my bottle of Claritin with me. My Anti-histamine medicine actually helped a lot, as I got to enjoy the buttered prawns, grilled fish (my apologies, as I forgot what kind), and fish sinigang that were served to us that morning. It was indeed a seafood fiesta.


Other Attractions and Tour Offerings:
  • Resource Interpretation Lecture 
  • Floating Cabana/Restaurant for Gathering and Meetings (each cabana costs PHP 1,800, food not included) 
  • River Tour/ Paddle Boat Experience 
  • Massage/Foot Spa (Php150.00) 
  • Wellness Food and Beverage (By Order) 
  • Fresh Fish and shellfish for sale 
  • Recreational fishing and demo of gears used by fisher folks 
  • Sand worming (Sasing) and Other species samples in live form 
  • Community Participation: Mangroves Planting and River Clean up. 


How to reach the Cadimahan River

If you're coming from the city proper, ride a tricycle and take the route from Barangay Dayao, as it passes through the circumferential road to Brgy. Culasi (travel time is around 10 to 15 minutes).


Who to contact  

You can contact Josephine Monjuan, the President of LABSFAR, through these numbers: (63) 910-2033229 or (63) 907-2865835. You can also reach the Coastal Resource Management Office in Roxas City through this number: (036) 6215-918.

Explore & Be Free!

Mai

NOTE: The Familiarization Tour was sponsored and organized by the Capiz Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office, in partnership with Las Islas Travel and Tours. The 3-day trip was also conducted from September 27 – 30, 2015, as part of Capiz Tourism Month.

Capiz Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office
2nd Floor, Provincial Capitol, Roxas City, Capiz, Philippines
Tel: +63(36) 621-0042 loc. 133
Email: capiz.tourism@gmail.com
Facebook: facebook.com/CapizTourismAndCulturalAffairs

Las Islas Travel and Tours
Punta Dulog, Pueblo de Panay, Roxas City, Capiz Province
(63) 918-6118569
Email: lasislastravelandtours@gmail.com
Facebook: facebook.com/lasislastravelandtours
Instagram: instagram.com/lasislastravelandtours

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