Bojo River Cruise reopens to public


Bojo River Cruise reopens to public

Le Phyllis F. Antojado (The Freeman) – October 29, 2020 – 10:20pm

CEBU, Philippines — After eight months of community restriction, the eco-tourism site in Aloguinsan, Cebu has finally reopened its door to the tourists.

The Bojo River Cruise which stretches 1.4 kilometers is now open to those who want to not just enjoy the cruise but also learn about the different mangroves in the area.

One of the best tourism experiences that the Bojo river cruise can offer is the knowledge from the local tour guides who will lecture about the 24 different mangroves, its scientific names and characteristics while enjoying the ride.

They will also narrate the history of the tourism spot including how their livelihood changed when the site was launched in 2009.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, who led the re-opening of the eco-tourism site, said the Bojo River cruise has already gained recognition not just locally but also getting international acknowledgment.

One of its achievements was being named among the top 100 sustainable destinations in the world for three years from 2016 to 2018.

“This was the result of the community coming together in order to make something better of what they already had and to make something better of their lives. Dinhi mismo sa Aloguinsan, we have a jewel in our midst. Let us treasure this,” Garcia said.

She added it is also one of the best example of community-based eco-tourism projects.

After the community quarantine was implemented in March, the Bojo river cruise was one of the many destinations in the province that has stopped its operation.

At least 43 tour guides of the Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association (BAETAS) were affected when the tourist site’s operation was stopped.

Paulino Cañete, 52, a father of four and who was one of those affected, said he was forced to go back to fishing for his family to survive.

The re-opening of the Bojo river cruise is a positive development for him since he gets more from being a tour guide than fishing.

Local tour guides in the river cruise can take home an average of P200 to P300 a day. But during summer, they can earn up to P600 or more because of the influx of tourists.

“Lipay gyud ko nga naabli na mi balik kay dili lalim among giagian,” Cañete said.

BAETAS President Rudney Carcuevas said when the restrictions were implemented, they distributed one sack of rice to each of their association members.

“Nangita na lang usa sila og pamaagi aron maka-survive sila, nanagat sila balik.  Ang kato pud ilang mga housewives nangita pud sila og paagi, nananom ug naninda og utanon, bisa’g unsa na lang aron lang maka-survive sila,” Carcuevas said.

Those who want to experience the river cruise will have to book through the Cebu Provincial portal.

From the average 70 visitors they will entertain before, it goes down to 30 to 40 guests a day as of now to observe the carrying capacity and physical distancing. — GAN (FREEMAN)

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