Guiwanon: A Community Based Mangrove Project and Spring Park

DSCF3126 A local community in the village of Luyang  in the island of Siquijor in the Philippines, had organized the community of local fisherfolks and initiated a community project that promotes livelihood and eco-tourism.  They call this project the Guiwanon Spring Park Resort. DSCF3117 In the park are several springs that flows into the sea and the sea water joins the spring water in this area where thousands of mangrove seedlings grow. The springs that flow into the sea are found in the vicinity of the reception area, under the stilt houses, in areas where little sticks of mangroves grow and below the rickety bamboo and wooden bridge.  One traveler went down to check on the springs and reported that the water is very cool.   DSCF3118 The tall trees that abound the coastal area have been utilized by the local community in building several tree houses.  Other facilities like a conference room, several tree houses for accommodations of tourists, restrooms, a reception center, among others stand on stilts.   The facilities are connected by a rickety bamboo and wooden bridges.  Electricity is provided by a long line of cable that originates from the office along the road. DSCF3125Below the bridges, visitors can view the fingerlings or small fishes swimming in the cool and crystal clear water. DSCF3120 Guiwanon has been attracting visitors, specifically those interested in eco-tourism.  Guests can stay overnight in several tree houses available for rent.  The Pawekan and Kunalom House can be rented for P250.00.  Bolok-Bolok House is P350 and the Conference House is  P2,500.00.  The entrance fee of P10.00 will help the community organization in the maintenance of this project. DSCF3122 For those interested in staying overnight at Guiwanon Spring Park Resort, you are advised to bring your own food.  You can also arrange with your local guide or tour coordinator to take you to a few restaurants around or within the towns of Larena, Enrique Villanueva  and Siquijor and take you back to the park  after  dinner. DSCF3129 Guiwanon Spring Park Resort also propagates mangrove seedlings and sell these to organizations who support the conservation and protection of the coastal areas. DSCF3124 A social hall that can serve as seminar and training room as well as dining hall for a group that may be as big as 30 to 50.  This multi-purpose hall stands on stilts and facing the sea which gives one a quiet place to study or commune with nature. The breathtaking view of the sea and the lullaby of the cool breeze can put you into a  moment of reflection.  They are both the tangible and intangible things that can make this place special.  DSCF3128 If you are interested to help this community by renting their facilities, you may call them through this cellphone number – 0926-460-6010.

Earthniversity visited this site in the second week of May and lauds this kind of endeavor initiated and managed by the community.