December 9, 2022

ALFONSO LISTA, Ifugao – This town has opened its outdoor tourist destinations to Ifugaos and neighboring provinces to provide a respite for people who have been locked in their homes for almost a year now due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Municipal Tourism Officer Lorena Dulnuan said their outdoor destinations include the 1.5-kilometer 1,000 Steps, bird watching, and the Domingo Ranch agri-tourism destination which are available to residents from Ifugao, Mountain Province, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, and Cagayan.
“Both destinations are wide spaces where people can have free movement and breathe freely aside from observing physical distancing. We still provide an opportunity for people to have a refreshing environment, to unwind after staying in their homes for several months due to the pandemic,” Dulnuan said.
The 1,000 Steps and bird watching site are located in Barangay Sto. Domingo, on the side of the Magat reservoir in Ifugao managed by the National Irrigation Administration.
It lies on a 497-meter concrete pathway that stretches 1.56 kilometers towards a hill lined with a canopy of trees. The trail has a number of panoramic viewpoints where people can take photos, sit, rest, or just enjoy nature.
The bird watching site features the white egrets flying in and out of their sanctuary and the Philippine ducks enjoying the warmth of the sun. The site is also ideal for picnics and relaxation, sunset and sunrise viewing, and photography.
The Domingo Ranch is an agri-tourism destination that has a variety of edible plant species, chicken species that include the easter chicken which lays colored eggs, and the P1,500-per kilo silk chicken that the Chinese believe to be medicinal.
The ranch is a self-sustaining place where visitors are served with food mostly obtained from the farm.
“We all know that when we are in a place like this, it is relaxing to the mind and soul,” Dulnuan said.
She said Alfonso Lista was included in the Asian waterbird census in 2013, which prompted the local government to start developing the area where people can stay while watching the birds.
From then on, the place has become part of the annual count of waterbirds, an international activity of environmental advocates.
“These birds are important to the environment because if we do not take care of them, it’s like removing a part of the ecology. Here, we can watch nature with the bird, we can commune with the beauty of the birds,” she said.
Dulnuan said Ifugao’s thrust in preserving the environment is still focused on heritage sites and biodiversity, and the town’s promotion of its destination is not veering away from the concept of Ifugao culture and environment.
Sylvia Chinayog of the Department of Tourism said the DOT is helping in the promotion of eco-tourism and agri-tourism destinations, especially with their potentials.
She said aside from being compliant to the “outdoor” requirement of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Diseases, it also maximizes the potential of the areas for preservation and economic activity and farmers getting more value from producing food.
“We are doubling the benefit from the destination and providing an opportunity for locals to have an employment,” Chinayog said.
She said people have learned to enjoy experiential tourism where they get to be part of protecting the place and harvesting the food they eat while enjoying the activity. – PNA