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Thursday, July 23, 2009

NIRVANA IN THE NORTH OF DAVAO

Less than an hour's drive from the Davao international Airport, a 64 hectare estate can be seen along Davao-Mati Highway in Barangay Madaum, Tagum City famously known as the Hijo Resources Corporation otherwise known as HRC.


HRC is a Davao-based diversified corporation established in 1959 with business interests in Leisure & Tourism, Agribusiness, Property Development and Port Operations. It was the pioneer in the cultivation and exporting of Cavendish bananas to Japan and also owns the International Hijo Port which has two (2) operating berths, a controlling depth of 13 meters, warehouse facilities, and storage tanks. It also provides stevedoring and arrastre services and continues to produce agricultural products like bananas, coconuts and selected fruits. As part of its leisure and tourism development, HRC operates the Lanikai, Barret Beach Resort, Banana Plantation and Wildlife Tours.

LANIKAI PRIVATE RESORT


It is considered as Davao’s ultimate very private playground where guests can relax in the modern comfort of their rooms designed in plantation-style elegance. In Lanikai, visitors can indulge their recreational whims in tranquil seclusion away from the busy metropolis. But it will not be difficult for the guest to keep in touch with the world because the place is a WiFi Hotspot and is set within the privately guarded estate of the sprawling Hijo Plantation in Davao Del Norte. Lanikai’s extensive playground stretches to a lush private forest, the Madaum River and the Davao Gulf where visitors can also enjoy and be thrilled with wide array of outdoor activities that will revitalize their weary spirits like swimming, sailing, kayaking, fishing, motorcycle riding, camping and soon to be established trekking. They say that a Lanikai vacation is

a well-deserved treat that can recharge one’s soul before returning to a hectic lifestyle.


By the way, Lanikai offers customized packages and is strictly by reservation only and If you are wondering what is the word Lanikai is, it was culled from a Hawaiian term for “heavenly waters”, which most likely describes what you feel when you’re staying in the place.


BARRET BEACH


Barret Beach is the only resort located near the heart of Tagum City and the best beach resort the city can offer. It has 9 Casitas, 4 big huts, 12 small huts and 10 tables that is located inside the private gates of the Hijo Plantation. Due to the

Private Professional Security Group of Hijo Resources

Corporation, the Barret Beach is considered as one of the safest and most secure resorts in the Region.



WILDLIFE AND TOURS


It was not known to many, Tagum City through the HRC has privately preserved a forest in Barangay Madaum that is home to wild pig , monkeys, and deer that freely roam within the forest. A tour of the forest is exclusively available to the guests billeted at the Lanikai Resort.

The tour includes a perimeter survey of the forest where many packs of Philippine macacs (monkeys) reside. Guests might get to witness how the monkeys take the young coconuts from the trees and open them for food. Wild pigs will also be lured into the open by putting coconut meat, their favorite food, in a glade. For shutterbugs, a hunting blind will be setup near the feeding area for better angle and photo opportunities. After the boar watch, guests will trek to the firing range where light snacks will be served while enjoying the natural beauty of the forest.

Another private enjoyment known as Twilight Safari will be offered to the guests of Lanikai that will begin at 6 o’clock in the evening. Most wild animals are considered nocturnal therefore they tend to be more active during night time. It is a unique tour because it requires patience as there will be no feeding of the boars or monkeys. Guests will park at the edge of the forest and wait for the animals to come out and forage. Children can ride on the back of the pickup truck for a better view of the animals when they appear. Sometimes wild tarsiers can be seen also in the lush forest of Hijo.


According to some visitors, Lanikai is indeed a little Bali in this part of the world. For bookings and inquiries HRC can be reached through the following contact numbers: In Manila look for Mr. Guinto at Tel. Nos. (+632) 633-5980 / 633-5972, Fax No. (+632) 633-1690. In Davao look for Ms. Rubi at Tel. Nos (+6382) 297-8107 to 08, Fax No. (+6382) 298-0751. In Tagum, look for Mr. Templa at (+6384) 400-3358.

Monday, July 20, 2009

CITY HALL OF THE FIRST WORLD

Another landmark is about to be carved in the annals of history in Tagum when more or less Half a Billion Pesos Four-Storey state of the art building will rise in the 15 hectare lot along Barangay Apokon of the city.

A groundbreaking and laying of time capsule was held last February 14, 2008 of which political and church personalities graced the occasion especially the agro-industrialist Atty. Jesus V. Ayala, who once operated the Hijo Plantation - the first

banana plantation in the province and the first to export bananas to Japan, who also donated the said property to the city.


The Development Bank of the Philippines is the funding agency of the four storey City Hall of which it was conceptualized by Sol Flores an Australian-based Architectural Company known as Greendale Development Group. This mega project has a total land area of 80,000 and a floor area of 9,840 square meters while the atrium has a floor area of 2,160 square meters. The total floor plan of the new city hall will be 12,000 square meters.


The structure of the said mega project is mostly in glass, tiles and steel and will be surrounded with parks and playgrounds and will be considered as one of the most modern city hall in the Philippines. According to some people, the new city hall of Tagum will be in contrast to the traditional city halls in other places whose design is mostly inspired by Greco-Roman architecture.


The place will absolutely become a tourist attraction because of its unconventional four storey state of the art building with modern day and elegant design that is at par with the architectural designs of the first world countries.

Within the first quarter of next year the building will be 100% complete and will be occupied by the Executive and Legislative Branch of the city, including major offices of the local government unit. This landmark will be one of the legacy of Mayor Rey Uy in the making - something that Tagumeños can be proud of.
(Photocourtesy: Ibex, CIO)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A GLIMPSE OFTAGUM - A TIGER CUB


Our city is located in Southeast Asia, Philippines. It is in the Southern part of Mindanao, North of Davao City and part of the Metropolitan Davao. It comprises of 23 barangays, 9 of which are considered as urban and 14 as rural barangays. The City is predominantly Catholics and has a population of approximately 215,000 as of the 2007 as per National Statistic’s Office census. It lies in the intersection of three major road networks namely: the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway, the Davao-Mati Highway and the Davao-Agusan road and soon to finish the 58 kilometer Davao-Bukidnon road that connects the city to other major destinations in the region. With this, Tagum City serves as a vital economic crossroad not only for the province, and the Davao Region but the entire Mindanao as well.

Historically, there is no official record on the meaning Tagum, but a legend explains how the name Magugpo, the old name of Tagum, came about. At the beginning, Magugpo was nothing but a vast wilderness, inhabited by the Mansakas, Manguangans, Mandayas and the Kalagans in the coastal barangays. The name Magugpo was derived from the native word mago, a name of certain tree, and the ugpo means very high. According to the story, the natives were occupying a river basin inside the thickly covered forest where they could not even see the sun.

On the other hand, the name Tagum was accounted from the old settlers which means dark-green, the color of a river during summer which is the same color of the wood called TAGEUM, commonly used by the early natives to dye their clothing fabric.

Tagum became a Municipality in 1941 and a city in 1994. In 2006 the city was considered a first class city under the component city category and also became the Palm Tree City of the Philippines. It also holds an unofficial record for having the tallest Holiday Tree during Christmas at 153 feet tall, erected at the Freedom Park at the back of the City Hall. It is also the home of the world's biggest rosary located at the Christ the King Cathedral and also one of the region's biggest Catholic basilicas.

The city manages to infiltrate the export industry with goods such as wood chips, veneer plywood, wood lumber, durian and other fruits; however, fresh bananas remain as the chief export product of banana plantations in the city. Educational institution also have a very strong foundation in Tagum with 23 college learning institutions, 10 high schools and 34 primary schools scattered all over the city.

There are also a lot of festivals celebrated in Tagum with the objective to showcase and develop the skills, talents and capabilities of the Tagumeños in different the different fields of events. The most notable among the festivals is the Musikahan sa Tagum Festival. During the music festival performers show their skills in playing different musical instruments like organ, guitar, drums, saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, piano, trombone, violin, viola, cello and others. Other musical activities include singing and dancing through Barangay Musikahan, himig handog choral, quintet, rondalsayaw, paskilaban battle of the bands, rap contest, music video, float parade and other music competitions. Due to its weeklong grand music festival, Tagum was adjudged as the Music Capital of Mindanao.

Other festivals include Araw ng Tagum (Day of Tagum), Summer Sports Festival, Durian Festival, Binuhat Festival (Gay Festival), Kaimonan Festival (Indigenous People Festival), Pakarajan Festival (Muslim Festival), Dance Congress Festival, Halal Food Festival, Feast of Christ the King, Christmas Celebration and other barangay celebrations.

Tagum is also considered as a city of parks because of the different parks in the city namely, Rotary Park and Sports Center, Energy Park, Freedom Park, Mangroves Park, Public Cemetery Park, Underwater Marine Park, and Crab Park of which the city is proud to produce soft-shelled crabs for local and national market. People can also visit religious shrines of the city like the Regina Rosarii Shrine, Mary’s Wood Shrine and the mini Shrines of Merville Church and of the Christ the King Cathedral.

Places of accommodations in Tagum vary from Hotels, Inns, Pension Houses, Lodges and Inland Resorts and as of this writing the city have 6 hotels, 11 Inns, 4 Pension Houses, 8 Lodges and 2 Inland Resort for visitors to choose from. Major establishments, coffee shops, restaurants, fastfoods and bars in downtown areas are internet wifi hotspots already.

For games and amusement, Poker is gaining grounds in the city with the establishment of the Red Dragon Poker Club registered under Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and the Tagum Cockpit Sports Arena – the biggest cockpit arena in Visayas and Mindanao. For fashionistas, the city have few signature clothings like the Bayo, Plains and Prints and others. The city is also very accessible because it is only one hour ride from the Davao City International Airport hence there is a very big chance you will enjoy your stay better if you visit the City of Tagum.
(Photo Courtesy: Bryan Jimenez, CIO, IT Office)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A PARK WE CALL OUR OWN


In Tagum City, exist a 6,000 square meters recreational area with amenities such as volleyball court, tennis court, sepak takraw court, chess enthusiast room, mini soccer field/ dog show area, basketball court and beach volley ball court and others. The City Sports Office is also located in the park, so as with the City Tourism and the City Information Office – a Wifi Hotspot. They say that the best thing the Rotary Park can offer is the basketball gym which can accommodate 1,500 spectators, I say 1,500 is too small for a crowd of almost 300,000 residents of Tagum City. If we will consider that 5 % of that is basketball fanatics/ enthusiast, how can we accommodate them? And are we sure that it is only 5%?


By the way, our gymnasium have facilities like electric fans, 3-way sound system with 24 adjustable equalizer, high powered lightings, hanging fiberglass basketball board with spring ream, pre-finished wooden tiles, electronics digital game clock with separate 24 seconds shot clock, locker rooms and restrooms. I can consider it as the best gym of its kind when we talk of little city and barangay or organizational leagues but it cannot cater to national basketball events. It is way behind in comparison with gymnasiums of other big cities that are fully air-conditioned and with very big seating capacity. Our gym can be compared with some gyms of big private universities of Philippines like De La Salle Universities and others. I am stating this because I want to refute the statement that this is the best thing that our Rotary Park can offer. Yes, it is the best gym in this place of the region but I don’t believe it is the best thing our Rotary Park can offer. I know we will be constructing in the not-too-distant future a gym that we can be very proud just like our nearly Half a Billion Pesos New City Hall of Tagum that is located in Barangay Apokon of this city.


Huh, lengthy explanation for the gym alone (hehehe). For me, the best thing that our Rotary Park can offer is our Tagum City Beach Volley Drome, a 5,000-seating capacity volleyball court right in the center of the Rotary Park. Although it is not yet official, but it is considered as the only permanent Volley Drome in Asia with all the amenities of a Beach Volley Tourney. This year 12th Nestea Beach Volleyball tournament – Mindanao elimination was held in the Volley Drome of which the event is sponsored by Havaianas, Speedo, Mikasa, Penshoppe, Tagum Beach Volley Drome Rotary Park , University of St. La Salle Bacolod , Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park , Crystal Sand Beach Resort, Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel, La Carmela de Boracay Resort Hotel, D'Mall, D'Boracay and Hey Jude Hotel Resort.


According the Otie Camangian, Secretary General of Philippine Volleyball Federation, “the country’s beach volleyball bets now have a place they can call their own” and said further “that the venue could help generate more interest in the sport.” The Philippine Volleyball Team loves to train in Tagum City because of the sports facilities and the quality of life of the city. Soon it will also be considered as the official training and competition center for the beach volleyball team aspirants of the entire country.


Lately, Tagum City headed by the City Mayor Rey Uy has expressed intent to host the Southeast Asian Youth Beach Volleyball Championship this coming November in celebration of the Feast of Christ the King. There is a very big chance that Tagum City will pass the requirements for hosting considering that it has its own beach volleyball facilities located at the heart of the city. The city also passed through the (South East Asian Volleyball Federation) SEAVF’s initial requirements of holding the tournament because it is only one hour away from the Davao International Airport. So far all other Southeast Asian countries signify their intention to participate the said event except for the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste. I will be very happy to assist anybody who wishes to visit our city.

(Photocourtesy: Bryan Jimenez, CIO, IT Office)



Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Palm City of the Philippines... and of the world?


In the beginning of 2009, a distance of almost 60 kilometers was planted of palm trees in Tagum City that visibly beautified the entire city. The City Government of Tagum headed by Mayor Rey T. Uy is the one who overlook the management of all these palms thru the City Environment and Natural Resources Office or otherwise known as CENRO.

Tagum City was declared the Palm City of the Philippines by virtue of City Ordinance No. 280 series of 2008 during the incumbency of the 4th City Council headed by Vice Mayor Allan L. Rellon, MPA last May 12, 2008.

There are many
varieties of Palm Trees and some of that can already be seen in our city like the Royal Palm, Red Palm, Bunga Palm , Lequala Palm, Seifrizii Palm, Phoenix Palm, Madagascar Palm, King Palm, Mc Arthur Palm, Velvet Palm, Bismarck Palm, Queensland Palm, Spindle Palm, Cocotrinax Palm, Pacifica Palm, Fish Tail Palm, Phoenix Loureiri Palm and other palm species.

As of this year almost 12,000 palm were already planted all over the city to include the national highways, provincial and barangay roads, parks and plazas, residential subdivisions, schools and other key places were planted with different species of palm trees.

The City Government of Tagum approved the protection of the palm trees and other plants as embodied in Section 5 of City Ordinance No. 222 series of 2006 which state that, no cutting, destroying or injuring of planted trees, shrubs, palms and ornamental plants along public roads, in plazas, parks or in any other public ground shall be permitted except when the cutting, destroying or injuring of the same is necessary for public safety, infrastructure development or such pruning or same is necessary to enhance its beauty, or and only upon the recommendation of the committee. The cutting, destroying or pruning shall be under the supervision of the committee subject to the provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines on property relation. And Section 6 of the said ordinance states that There shall be a penalty of Two Thousand (Php2,000.00) Pesos for any violation committed of this Ordinance.

More than its impact on environment and aesthetic greenery, palm roots do not destruct infrastructures especially the roadsides and parks of the City.
Palms are almost maintenance free because it doesn’t need to be pruned unlike other trees which falling branches becomes hazardous and risky to lives of the people and could contribute to the power interruptions due to branches reaching the power lines.

According to our Bishop
Wilfredo Manlapaz of the Archdiocese of Tagum, he has toured different cities around the world but nowhere he can find palm trees as many as Tagum City. In that case, maybe in the future we can claim our city to be the Palm Capital of the World.
(Photo Courtesy: Bryan Jimenez, CIO, IT Office)

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Biggest and Heaviest Rosary



Ecotourism is one of the prime mover in the tourism business and most of the places have something to tell or be proud of as regards to ecological tourism aspect. Our city of Tagum is not "naturally endowed" in comparison with other places in the Philippines. We have no lakes, caves, waterfalls and other scenic spots for visitors to gaze but our city government is doing something to compensate our "weakiest link". We have something unique to offer to visitors of the city and one of that is our Rosary.

I tried to search the Guiness Record and it gives me zero result, the mere Rosary doesn't generate any result at all. Maybe nobody still claims to the throne of being the biggest, longest and heaviest rosary of the world, but i see some few pics from flickr that are big rosaries too.

The Rosary is located at the back of our Christ the King Cathedral which took 12 years to build from the donations of the parishioners. It stands in a two hectare lot situated in the southern part of the city, approximately 55 kilometer north of Davao City. The heirs of the late Dr. & Mrs. Juan Gonzales donated the land to the Diocese of Tagum.

At the back of the cathedral is the soon-to-be-famous Rosary - a project of the Knight of Columbus – Christ the King Parish.


It has a length of more or less 100 meters and is made of Magcon
o (Iron Wood), an indigenous hardwood that is native to the hinterland of Pantukan, Compostela Valley Province and the adjoining mountain range of Davao Oriental.

This is the back portion of our Cathedral, fronting the Giant Rosary. People from all over the Philippines never miss the chance of visiting this place maybe because predominantly people from this part of the world are Roman Catholics. The single bead or each bead is weighing approximately 35 kilo grams attached to a chain.

If you want to pray the Rosary, all you have to do is touch the bead s and walk beside it one at a time until such time that you have done praying. We also have a mini station of the cross beside the church for the parishioners.


A must-see place when you visit Mindanao, just go to Davao a
nd an hour ride will lead you to our place - Tagum City, where development is in harmony with nature.

See for yourself, walk through it and feel the holiness of the place. Thanks to ericclarksu for the nice picz in his flickr.