THE upland barangays of Silay City, particularly Lantawon and Patag, are now the most popular tourist destinations of the locals who would want to take a breather from the anxiety caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

These places clench the majestic view of the mountains and greenery which plunge within the protected areas of the North Negros Natural Park.

In the coastal area, the food tourism in Barangay Balaring is also being supported by people even in the midst of the pandemic.

In the coastal area, the Balaring seafood restaurants, and the eco-tourism park which houses the mangrove trees and plantations also continued to serve those who come to the city to dine fresh seafood right at the seaside.

The experience of eating those fresh seafoods with the view and the sound of sea breeze generates relaxation as it bolsters one's appetite for healthy foods.

While tourism started to achieve its purpose of reactivating local income generation with the imposition of the modified general community quarantine, Silay City Mayor Mark Andrew Golez acknowledged the economic benefit of these destinations where food and scenery are the leading attraction.

Lantawan and Patag belong to the North Negros Natural Park, which is considered a protected area.

The jurisdiction to regulate and enforce the laws belongs to the Protected Area Management Board (PAM-B), he said.

Tourism loop

The tourism loop that connects Silay, Lantawan, and Patag roads brought about the establishments of these cafes, restaurants and resorts in the upland where people go to spend their time to relax with family and friends.

But the Local Government of Silay is still enforcing strict compliance of the physical distancing, use of face masks, and handwashing to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease.

There is an existing ordinance for those who violate the health protocol, the mayor said.

The concrete roads going to the upland have enticed people to go there and it helped generate jobs for the people as well.

"The economic side is good. What is sad is that the Magikland was not able to go full blast due to this pandemic. It is the Department of Tourism that gives a go signal to operate," he said.

He hopes that all these tourist destinations will serve its purpose for job generation as well as a source of taxes for the city.