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Mountaineering Groups Join Mt. Bulusan Tourism Project

BULUSAN, Sorsogon, April 22 -- The Aggrupation of Advocates for Environmental Protection (AGAP-Bulusan) Inc. has successfully launched recently the Mt. Bulusan Conquest Special held here recently highlighting Mt. Bulusan Mountaineering as its major activity.

AGAP-Bulusan President Philip Bartilet said the mountaineering activity promotes and develops Mt. Bulusan and its environs as a competitive tourism product not only of Sorsogon but also of the Bikol region.

"We have also officially launched the Mt. Bulusan mountaineering as a major ecotourism activity in Bulusan Volcano Natural Park (BVNP) to encourage mountain enthusiasts to explore the beauty of Mt. Bulusan, promote protection and conservation of BVNP through eco-adventure and at the same time generate revenue through eco-tourism activities," said Bartilet.

Some 30 mountaineers joined the hike from Ayala Mountaineers Club, Inc., AGAP-Bulusan, Inc. and its Eco-Tourism Beneficiaries who at the same time served as guides and porters, representatives from the local government unit of Bulusan and the Sangguniang Bayan for Tourism and Environment, Sorsogon Provincial Government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Tourism Regional Office V.

"Aside from the official launching of Mt. Bulusan Mountaineering as major ecotourism activity in BVNP, clean-up drive and tree planting activity were also conducted as part of maintenance and ecological protection of the said park," Bartilet said.

He also added that an orientation program before the actual hike in Mt. Bulusan was conducted regarding the PRESERVE BVNP Conservation Program as well as the Mountaineering Safety and Security Guidelines to ensure protection of mountain and safety of the mountaineers.

Bartilet shows optimism that the commitment of AGAP-Bulusan members and the launching activity will promote further Mt. Bulusan and Bulusan Lake which is also dubbed as "Switzerland of the Orient", because of its pristine beauty and the unusual ecological experience it provides to both foreign and domestic tourists visiting the place.

AGAP-Bulusan, Inc. is a non-government organization that maintains and protects BVNP and its surroundings.

The organization is likewise responsible for the promotion of Bulusan Volcano and Bulusan Lake as one of the prime eco-tourist destinations in the province.

Department of Tourism (DoT) regional director Maria Ong Ravanilla hailed the organizer of the Mt. Bulusan conquest special, saying, "I commend the initiative of the AGAP Bulusan Inc., for helping promote eco-tourism in the province of Sorsogon.

"The department is encouraging other organization to do the same to come up an event which will showcase tourist destinations in Bikol region," she said. (PNA)