ILIGAN CITY, April 4 – If there’s one tree which is known for its versatility, no plant can beat the mangrove tree. It is planted for its environmental effectiveness and economic importance. For the environment, mangroves are more efficient in capturing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than any other tree which makes it a well sought planting material especially in the coastal areas. The most popular species of mangrove and widely planted belongs to the Rhizopora species. Aside from coastal storm surge protection, its medical use as well as the development it could bring to the flora and fauna of a given marine environment makes this plant inevitable in the coastal areas of the country.
In our country today, a lot of coastal towns and provinces are trying to develop mangrove areas for its potential attraction for the much sought after tourism industry. Massive mangrove planting activities are being undertaken in order to attain an objective of having a “Mangrove Walkway Resort” which is a flourishing tourism industry in the country today. Mangrove Walkway Resort is one of the perfect way for a group or a family to wind up and relax during weekends from the bustling and busy life in the City. One can breathe fresh air from an oxygen abundant mangrove plantation while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the place.
In other towns and provinces in our country with a mangrove rich coastal area, “Bird Watching” as an attraction is being enjoyed by tourist due to its being a stopover area for migratory birds. Birds do flock in mangrove areas due to its food abundance and continue to fly after the much needed rest. With the increase and development of the marine biodiversity of the area as an effect and a benefit from mangroves, there exist an increase in population of crustaceans, shell fishes and fish population making it an ideal site for Snorkeling, Hook and Line Fishing and Scuba Diving related activities.
These and other attractions that a mangrove plantation can offer could be easily replicated in our beloved City of Iligan. If you have just visited Bayug Island, the place is now teeming with maturing mangrove trees which could possibly be tapped with tourism projects as stated above. About a year ago, a City Ordinance creating Bayug as a tourism hub of Iligan was enacted. It would only take appropriations from the law making body of the City in order to jumpstart such project. Advocacy and the compulsion of converting Bayug Island as a tourism hub of Iligan City is hereby being prayed for in the fulfillment of such a dream.
Historically, the first set of government of Iligan City was established in Bayug Island. With this, it is imperative that Iliganons need to preserve our cultural heritage to where it originated. The origin of civilization history for Iligan City commenced at Bayug Island and the proper time is here to spring back to life the heritage and culture that brings pride and honor to every constituent of the city.
Bayug Island has its geographical consideration as a Delta and numerous landowners hold proprietorship title to this place. A series of dialogues with these landowners is very feasible coupled with attractive convincing offers, can turn Bayug Island from a super typhoon devastated area to a tourist attraction which the City of Iligan can be proud of.
To date, this ambitious dream can be a reality by tomorrow which will bring progress and prosperity to our coastal city of Iligan, we do hope and pray.