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Bukidnon: Tourist province on the rise
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: A. Anne Villanueva
Date: 2004-03-23
Bukidnon means "people of the mountain." It refers to the original tribe who inhabited the province but were forced to go to the mountains by Muslims who arrived in the 16th century.

When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 18th century, the Muslims held their ground but were eventually pushed inland by Christian immigrants from the Visayas and Luzon.

It is the countryís main production area of pineapple and coffee. Del Monte pineapple is harvested here. The famous plantation, Del Monte Pineapple, accounts for the vast area of Bukidnonís rich plains and its pineapple produce is reputed to be one of the sweetest.

Situated just over the border in Bukidnon, the plantation features an American-style agricultural building. The cannery is located at Bugo.

With its vast agricultural reserves and tourist attraction, senatorial bet Richard "Dick" Gordon plans to set off Bukidnonís rapid development into one of the countryís premier international agri-tourism areas in Mindanao.

"We propose to push through the plans of building of a modern railroad system which will cut through Bukidnon and other key centers in Mindanao. We envision a rail system that will be integrated with General Santos City International Airport, Davao City International Airport and future international airports that will be constructed," said Gordon.

He explained that the proposed railway system will provide faster and linkages that will dramatically boost international trade and tourism in Bukidnon, adding, "railway will forge direct links to farms and seaports making it possible to transport various products from agricultural centers to international markets."

The former Tourism Secretary envisioned tourists from America, Europe, Asia and Australia flying into Mindanao via direct international flights then hopping on board first-class train rides to tourists destinations in Bukidnon, Cotabato, Zamboanga and other provinces in Mindanao.

"Letís not forget that Bukidnon has the countryís largest sprawl of fruit plantations and is home to one of the oldest classic golf courses in the country. It has the Kitanglad Ranges that includes Dulang, the second highest peak in the country," Gordon said.

He also pointed out that the winners of the First National Rodeo Competition held last year at the Quirino Grandstand came from the towns of Del Monte and Infasugong in Bukidnon, besting the participants from Masbate which is considered the rodeo capital of the Philippines.

With Bukidnonís natural appeal comes its festival Ė Kaamulan. It signifies a gathering of tribes for a purpose, a reason for the unification of seven tribes of northern Mindanao and thanksgiving festival for a bountiful harvest. It is held very March in Kaamulan Park to celebrate the creation of Bukidnon as a province.

At the Kaamulan Park, the culmination of festivities is done. Two weeks long of merriment, featuring street dancing doned in their colorful well-preserved ethnic costumes, rodeo and horse fight competition, motorcross, beauty pageant and many more.

"We have many colorful festivals year round, but the Kaamulan festival is one of a kind because it is multi-faceted and features real indigenous peoples of Bukidnon, celebrating the rich culture and heritage of the province,í Gordon said.

The province has been described to be a land of magnificent and infinitely varied scenery of mountains, caves, forests, lakes, waterfalls, rivers and streams. Mountain climbers frequent Mt. Kitanglad to scale the summit as a testing ground in preparation before scaling to Mt. Apo.

[ Mt. Kitanglad Wiki | Del Monte Golf Course Wiki ]


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