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Sunday, December 16, 2018

The gems of Cauayan

THE municipality of Cauayan is the place where I spent my childhood summers, enjoying my vacation with relatives and relishing the sea almost every day. This summer, I went back to Cauayan for a different reason, to marvel at its beauty from a different perspective and to learn from what it can teach me.

This town in the southern part of Negros Occidental is making waves because of its beautiful beaches. More than that, there is a positive thing happening here that is worthy of emulating. In Barangay Bulata, there are two particular attractions that have captured the attention and awareness of the public.

Danjugan Island

The wildlife and marine sanctuary of Danjugan Island has caught the interest of scientists and travelers, especially those who want to know how we can care for the environment. As a first-timer in Danjugan Island, I was amazed to discover that there are five lagoons and lush limestone forests in the area, along with the hundreds of species it provides shelter for.

We docked at Typhoon Beach at the northern part of the island that faces the Sulu Sea. We trekked through the forest, passing by a cave and two lagoons, towards Moray Lagoon Camp, located at the southern part facing east. A learning center is also found at the Moray Lagoon Camp. From there, we took a boat to the sea near Typhoon Beach where we snorkeled and marveled at the beauty of the underwater world in the area.

Since Danjugan Island is not a resort and a project of the non-profit organization, The Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc., the organization observes a low-impact tourism model where they put a cap to the number of daily visitors on the island. This is to ensure that the natural habitat and routine of the animals within and around the island are not disturbed. Visitors are required to contact their office prior to traveling to the island.

With all the man-made and natural destructions happening in our environment, Danjugan Island is a testament that we can protect our ecosystem. And while PRRCFI does a pro-active stance in the preservation of the island, it is also actively educating its visitors, supporters and the public, particularly children, about the value of caring for our planet.

Punta Bulata

Our jump off point to Danjugan Island is Punta Bulata Resort and Spa, which is another beauty in this part of Cauayan, Negros Occidental. The white sand beach and the wonderfully leaning palm trees designed by nature make an idyllic picture of paradise. The resort provides a gorgeous setting for special occasions, with facilities that can satisfy visitors wanting to relax and be one with nature.

Apart from an access towards Danjugan Island, the resort also offers a spa and wellness center for those who are aiming to rejuvenate and re-energize themselves. For the adventurous ones, Punta Bulata has a diving center where those who want to marvel at the beauty beneath the waters can enjoy the marine scenery.

As we walked the shoreline of Punta Bulata Resort and Spa, time seemed to stand still. Danjugan Island was visible from the horizon, like a throne sitting on earth’s liquid mantle. The raw beauty of our planet is insurmountable. It shows that the loveliest is the simplest and most basic. Our islands and our natural resources are the gems we need to safeguard. We are, after all, the stewards of God’s creation.

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All photos are by this author. Claire Marie Algarme blogs at http://firsttimetravels.com. Follow her as @firsttimetravel on Twitter and Instagram and like her Facebook page First-time Travels blog.


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