On their journey towards making a difference here in SOCSKSARGEN, the Green Cross advocates have done a good job in conserving the wildlife habitat and literally gotten their hands dirty as they engaged in Matutum Tarsier Conservation Voluntour activity in Tarsier Sanctuary, Brgy. Linan Tupi, Saturday October 25.
In partnership with Rajah Travel Corporation, three of the Top 9 Green Cross ‘Do Good, Get Dirty’ recent nationwide winners set foot in General Santos City Airport Thursday, October 23, accompanied by one representative from Rajah, one videographer and director.
All first timers in Mindanao, these advocates meandered in the raging and wild rivers of Maitum’s Pangi River and tried the popular water sport activity in Sarangani- the Water Tubing on their first day of outdoor adventure here.
Day after their arrival, they slithered through the Southeast Asia’s highest Zipline, above the breathtaking and scenic view of majestic waterfalls in Lake Sebu.
Moreover, a more challenging engagement in the environment, a job to SAVE A GIANT (Mt Matutum) awaited them on the third day.
Before heading to the Tarsier Village, the Tourism Information Environment Office here led by Rolando T. Visaya, PIO & MENRO-Designate conducted a brief overview of what VOLUNTOUR program is all about, imparting before the visitors what to expect. The tribe and culture of the B’laan, inhabitants of the village, were also included in the presentation.
Upon arrival, the B’laan, dressed in their tribal costume, welcomed the guests in their traditional dance. The community also prepared the lunch serving "native manok" sa kawayan- food native to the indigenous people there.
Commencing the voluntour adventure, Bakan tree saplings were planted by the voluntourists along the Tablao hill with their names installed on each sapling.
And the last leg was the two-hour walk along the established Tarsier trail, passing through the Chapel, 14 Station of the Cross and Tarsier View deck.
The voluntourists commended Tupi’s distinct approach on promoting tourism by means of introducing VOLUNTOURISM (coined from volunteer and tourism) and praised the municipality in serving authentic local experience that nobody can get elsewhere but only in Tupi.
“Tree planting is really good, the trekking is tiring yet fulfilling and the food is delicious and authentic’’, summed up by Trisha Avila, Marketing Executive of Rajah Travel Corporation located in Makati City,
“Rest assured that this is not yet the last, we will be sending in another batch or more batches of tourists here’’, a good news relayed by Avila.
Meanwhile, Celine Reyes and Vince Golangco, green cross winners, shared the same sentiments with regard to the hospitality of the people in Tupi most especially in Bagong Silang, Linan.
"Napakabait ng mga tao at naramdaman namin na mahal nila ang lugar at meron silang malasakit'', conveyed by Reyes, a wanderlust herself, who planned to come back here to reach the summit of Mt. Matutum.
Golangco, the celebrity winner who thanked the B'laan community, "Love the people, very friendly''.
This green cross advocates batch was the first to embark on the municipality's Voluntourism program where tourists will be more than tourists, but transformed into vanguards and stewards of the environment.
It is in this context that Tupi will be extending similar program to fellow LGU's, academe, companies and other public-private companies to engage in the conservation of tarsier habitat on Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape (MMPL).