Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

The Department of Tourism operated Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village of Cagayan de Oro is situated near the foot of Mt. Malasag which is one of the prominent terrain features that can be seen from the heart of the city. The eco-village occupies a 7.2-hectare ground within a protected 800 hectares forested mountain which is also a watershed area. The eco-village is a showcase of the ecology, ethnicity and culture of Northern Mindanao. It is also a place that offers visitors both local and foreign a retreat that brings them closer to a pristine nature.

From the highway, one goes to the eco-village along an ascending road. Getting inside the village, he can see the view of Macajalar Bay and the surrounding places along the shore. Plants and trees of the local soft and hardwood varieties abound. Strolling the roads and walkways, the visitors are protected from the rays of sun by the shade of the trees. The atmosphere is still and quiet which is disturbed only by the chirps and songs of birds. The gardens are adorned with flowers and plants and birds fly from one tree to another.                                                                                                                                                                            

There is the Higaonon Resto CafĂ© that can accommodate 40 persons, a function hall that is good for a 170-person classroom set-up, and an amphitheater that is equipped with a sound system which has a carrying capacity of 200 to 300 persons.  There are also a picnic shade, a swimming pool, a souvenir shop and campaign ground. Other facilities that the visitors can enjoy include a hanging bridge, a mini zoo and other attractions.

Anybody can visit the place with a minimum pay of P30, and he can enjoy viewing the scenes and the facilities inside to his heart’s content. If he desires, he can stay in the village by checking in at one of the quarters at a reasonable price.  There are about 22 cottages and a dormitory that can accommodate 100 persons.

The eco-tourism village is just several kilometers away from center of Cagayan de Oro. It is accessible by car or by a motorcycle ride which the locals call “habal-habal”.

The Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village is for people who want a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. The good thing for this forest retreat is that it is not too far from the main urban center which is Cagayan de Oro. Aside from being a tourist attraction, the eco-tourism village symbolizes the importance of loving and protecting the forest and the environment. Indeed, people of the city are now becoming increasingly aware of the need of protecting the forest and the environment. This positive development was shown on October 2011 when groups that were comprised of members of the media, government organizations and NGOs planted thousand of tree seedlings near the eco-tourism village. 

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