High in the hills of Floridablanca, in the Phillipines, is a blooming haven of nature and man-made structures in a domain preserved and nurtured by Aetas, an upland blend of ecological and tourism adventure that is Nabuclod.
Much has been written and heard of the once untapped spot — except maybe its people in the resettlement site — until Governor Lilia Pineda and Second District Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo teamed up to harness its potential, so indigenous people there could reap the benefits of what is now known as the Nabuclod Upland Eco-Tourism Adventure.
On dawn Saturday, the governor led the Capitol horde, along with friends and representatives from Pampanga media, in planting hundreds of trees as a prelude to her 61st birthday on February 21. The gift was meant to breathe greater life to the 5,000-hectare development project where now stand two of four zip lines and cable cars.
“By the summer season, we would have completed the zip lines as well developed a large part of Nabuclod for eco-tourism. Our desire is for it to be self-sustaining, especially its agricultural part where Aetas would be able to supply the province and even Manila with vegetables of all kinds. We are almost there,” shared Governor Pineda.
The Nabuclod Upland Eco-Tourism Adventure, she said, features two viewing decks where the splendor of Pampanga meets the eye; the thrilling zip-lines and cable cars Second District Board Member Olga Frances David-Dizon described as amazing and enjoyable; the bike and ATV [all-terrain vehicle] trail frequented now by mountain riders; the stairway to Bolben; the camping site where members of the National Movement of Young Legislators led by 3rd District Board Member Trina Dizon would pitch their tents on February 25 for their own tree planting day; the very green agri area and the proposed Grotto on the religious side.
Added 4th District Board Member Nestor Tolentino, chair of the Nabuclod Project technical working group: “This upland eco-tourism project is actually a build-operate-transfer with investors. Capitol’s expense on this is very minimal. The potential is so big that in the near future, Nabuclod would be one of the favorite tourist spots in Pampanga. The people here are assured that nothing will be destroyed and their natural environment preserved and protected.”
First District Board Member Tarcicio “Tars” DC Halili– who described his first-ever zip line ride as very good — readily agreed and noted that he will file a resolution calling for the creation of a Nabuclod Tourism Council which will complement the technical working group on the master plan.
“The Nabuclod Tourism Council could then manage the project and see to its efficient operations,” he said.
Going to the top of Nabuclod is already an adventure in itself. Along the zigzagging paved roads, Aeta kids greet and wave to passersby, welcoming them warmly into their haven. The less than hour’s drive upon entering the main street past Basa Air Base is never boring with greeneries all around and scenes of human interests, of daily life that is Nabuclod for the keen-eyed photographer.
- “Why is Mt. Arayat called Mt. Arayat?” (thekayumanggitrails.org)
- UNDP starts eco-tourism survey on disputed isles (japantimes.co.jp)
- The State of the Himalaya (chimalaya.org)
- Pilgrim, green and eco tourism initiatives in Kottayam, Idukki districts (thehindu.com)
- Dome-Shaped Eco-Tourism Center in France is a Living Room in the Woods (inhabitat.com)