MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – Local groups are trying to develop hike trails in Mt Kan-irag in Cebu City as a new tourism attraction here.
And to test the plan, the Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT-7) and local outdoor adventure enthusiasts organized an hour-long hike in the area last Oct. 21.
Mountaineering and outdoor adventure expert Joel Cariño, who is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Visayas of the Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines Inc., said organizing hikes led by experts was one way of imposing regulation and protecting the trail from abuses.
“Cebu has a lot of hiking destinations. Mind you it’s a small island, but it has lots of people in the outdoors compared to Luzon,” he said.
Alice Quiblatin, president of the Cebu Tour Operators Association (CATO), said one good effect that was brought about by the pandemic was a “change in the mindset” of many.
She said a lot of people learned to do outdoor activities and enjoy nature.
Cariño, a mountaineer for over 20 years, said many hikers visited Mt. Kan-irag during the pandemic. Most of them did not even bother to seek permission from Tieza that owns the land occupied by the hike trail.
The hike trail in Mt. Kan-irag is part of an old golf course. It has several scenic views overlooking parts of Cebu City and the neighboring localities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Consolacion and Liloan.
The area also has several flower farms and a man-made pond that is used by residents to water their farms.
If hikes are organized as part of the initiative to revive local tourism, Cariño said, this should be coordinated with DOT-7, who will then be the one to ask Tieza’s permission.
“This lot is owned or managed by Tieza so hopefully we can make more mga developments for people to come in here, but Cebu mind you has lots of hiking destinations,” he said.
Cariño said the area was just one of the many hiking destinations in Cebu City alone. It is also ideal for mountain biking.