Campo 7 forest eyed as trek destination

THE Osmeña Reforestation Project in Barangay Campo 7, Minglanilla town will soon become a nature trek destination, said Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) head Boboi Costas.

He said they are planning to develop the forest as a weekend getaway, a good alternative for nature-lovers and trekkers.

Costas said his office is conducting biological and ecological assessment of the forest.

A PTO team, which is identifying species of trees, plants, birds and insects in the forest, noted the presence of the black shama, locally known as Siloy, a pair of hawk owls and other endemic creatures within the 2,710-hectare area.

“Naa siya’y potential for conservation and eco-tourism,” said Costas.

They will be putting up signs with information about the forest and its benefits to humans.

These will be useful to nature lovers who wish to get there in the morning and leave in the afternoon.

He said the PTO will tie up with Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Movement for Liveable Cebu (MLC) to train the community to act as guides when the forest becomes an eco-tourism destination.


The MLC and DENR already formally agreed to develop the area.

“The Province will commit to the training of local community guiding and monitoring,” Costas said.

The program will be a similar to that of Aloguinsan town, where boat guides do lectures while on tour about the various species of mangroves and its benefits, the species of birds and the historical background of the place.

However, Costas said there are human intrusions within the reservation area, like tree-cutting activities and shacks were being built, which may threaten the existence of wild creatures.

Adjacent to the forest are Minglanilla’s seven caves, the biggest of which is named “White Cave.”


The PTO team is temporarily staying at the Community Environment and Natural Resources office in the area.

In the recent Kapihan sa PIA held there, Isabelo Montejo, DENR undersecretary for field operations in Luzon and Visayas, said that the Biodiversity, Coastal, Wetlands and Ecotourism Research Center (BCWERC), has come up with a Nature Appreciation Tour and Upland Reforestation Educational Walk, which offers trek adventures.

There is the 240-meter kiddie trail, where guides will introduce to visitors the various tree species and teach them how seedlings are nurtured in the project site’s clonal nursery.

There is also the 1.3-kilometer EcoDiscovery and Heritage Trail where participants will get to know the history of the Osmeña Reforestation Project and hear about the dynamics of the forest ecosystem.


The 1.2-kilometer Ecstasy Trail includes a brief visit to two of the seven caves located within the project site.

MLC has already partnered with CENRO-DENR in providing training.

The women’s organization underwent training on how to serve food.

Costas realized this when he went there and was served food.

The reforestation project in Campo 7, which is 25 kilometers from Cebu City, is a home to century- old trees.

Established in 1916, the project used to be known as the Talisay-Minglanilla Reforestation Project. It was initiated through the efforts of the late president Sergio Osmeña Sr., who, as Senate president, sponsored a bill allocating P10,000 for the project.

President Manuel Quezon renamed the site and proclaimed it a forest reserve back in 1937.

To get there, one may either take the shorter Tabunok-Campo 7 via the Manipis road or the farther route via Cantabaco in Toledo City.


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