Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dingle: Nature and Culture Intertwined

Guiso Cave in Bulabog Puti-an, photo by Ramon Ramirez

DINGLE, Iloilo has been one at the forefront of the revolution from nature tourism to eco-cultural tourism. This was primarily enhanced so as to help environmental conservation. Tourists as well as tour operators have ascribed a different role to the local community that is based on this community’s right to benefit from tourism and the priceless value of interactions with people and cultures for tourists. From the magical, underground caverns to the beautiful and historical structures, we invite you off the beaten track to experience this municipality like you have never done before.

Hinulugan Tawo Cave, photo by Ramon Ramirez

Lungib Cave, photo by Ramon Ramirez

Litik Kabayo Cave, photo by Ramon Ramirez

BULABOG PUTI-AN NATURAL PARK in Barangay Moroboro can be enjoyed as a day visit to the area since one does not have to go on extensive trail blazing. Combining trekking and cave exploration, the trip offers a rare opportunity to get close to one of Iloilo’s rarest limestone rock formation in Panay excluding Guimaras. This old growth forest is also a perfect laboratory for the study of flora and fauna. It was designated as a National Park through Congressional Bill No. 1651, and such is considered a "nationally significant area." The centerpiece of the park is its 33 known and named caves where most are undeveloped, so there are no lights, stairs, nor walkways. Hike up and go cave exploration while enjoying the gorgeous view of the park over its wild and luscious forests. It has a land area of 834.033 hectares covering five of Dingle's 33 barangays.

photo by Vincent Angelo Gefes

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH in Dingle was constructed in 1865 and finished in 1886. This 700-capacity Baroque church is made of limestone quarried from the mountains of Bulabog Puti-an. This church differs from its neighboring churches due to the absence of one of the bell tower. The church is elevated by a 9-step stairway with four rose windows in its fa├žade.

photo by Joel Miles Molina
PAGDIHON FESTIVAL annually celebrated every October is one way on how Dingleanons would give thanks to its local heroes for the sacrifices they had given. In the time of the celebration, a tribal dance spectacle is built up at an open space as performers involved in a rousing telling of the events as they unfold history through a dance-drama presentation. A native of the town, Adriano Hernandez, the central figure of the celebration, is a Visayan general, military strategist and patriot who secretly organized a rebel movement in Iloilo against the Spaniards and staged the first armed uprising in the Province in Barrio Lincud, Dingle. The event was known as the "Cry of Lincud" in October 28, 1898.

The municipality of Dingle is 37 kilometers away from Iloilo City. It is bounded in the northeast by Anilao; northwest by San Enrique; southeast by Pototan and Barotac Nuevo; and southwest by Duenas. It is subdivided by 33 barangays distributed around its 7,750 hectare land area.

To get to the town, a van is available at the Northern Central Iloilo Transport Terminal, Inc. in Barangay Tagbak, Jaro, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact, Mr. Dane Dizon – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09477424341.

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