Saturday, December 7, 2013

Dingle River Cruise

photo by Bombette G. Marin
Embarking on a river cruise in Dingle is an alternate way to see its scenic interior. A perfect blend of beauty and grace, every gentle bend of the river reveals interesting sights.

Moroboro Dam, photo by Bombette G. Marin

The 7-kilometer cruise starts in Barangay Licu-an (approximately 3 kilometers away from the town center). Its base is at the upper portion of the Jalaur Irrigation Dam, popularly known as Moroboro Dam. The dam, built in 1955, provides irrigation to this town’s agricultural lands and nearby towns. Perfectly blending with the river’s serene atmosphere is a ruined post-World War II suspension bridge that traverses the Jalaur River.

This cruise is more intimate that takes place on smaller-scale motorized boat and winds its way through passing the barangays of Moroboro, Lincud and Tinocuan where beautiful white limestone cliffs and other limestone rock formations are seen. Views of small barangays along the river banks are one of the best ways to explore this town’s simple, yet absorbing lifestyle.  This nearly to an hour leisurely cruise ends in Barangay Tinocuan.

When venturing for the river cruise, tourists can also drop a fishing line and have a catch of tilapias, carps and mudfish. Visitors can also enjoy eco-bird watching river cruise.

The municipal government is in all-out support to this innovative tourism project planned to harness potential of this river as one of its major tourism attractions. It also plays an active role in developing the river as a venue for various tourism activities. In fact, in the last two years, the municipality mounted the LANTAY Festival. Lantay is a Hiligaynon term for a float or plane made of bamboo used long time ago for travel on water or for fishing. Celebrated every last week of April till the 1st week of May as part of their Summer Pagdihon festivity, it is a 1-kilometer river race for single, double or for a group of six.

Efforts are on to introduce a much larger vessel for the cruise that can carry more people. Presently, it has two motorized pump-boats that can load 8-10 persons and a Catamaran (a geometry-stabilized multi-hulled vessel consisting of two parallel hulls propelled by a giant fan) that can carry eight (8) persons. Individual tourists are given life vests during the cruise.

the WWII suspended bridge
Dingle has successfully marketed itself as an Eco-cultural destination of the province and continues to attract eco-tourists.  It is known for a number of tourist attractions, such as the Filipino-Baroque architecture of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH CHURCH that was finished in 1886; BULABOG PUTI-AN, designated a National Park through Congressional Bill No. 1651,  occupies an area of 834.033 hectares and covers five of this town’s 33 barangays boasts its 33 caves; the NAUTOD WALL, one of the major rock-climbing destinations in the Philippines, and; MOUNT MANYAKIYA known for its natural viewing deck that provides a panoramic view of the island of Negros.

A good for 6 persons air-conditioned room at ISCOF Guest House, Dingle Campus
Affordable accommodation establishments open their doors to tourists wishing to participate in field activities, sports or simply relax in contact with nature. The Iloilo State College of Fisheries (ISCOF) Guest House, Dingle Campus in Barangay San Matias has two (2) air-conditioned rooms ready to cater to a group of four (4) and six (6) persons with communal toilet and bath, dining hall and mini-sala with a minimal overnight fee of P300 per person. The area is a P7.00 tricycle ride from the town center. For more information, please call 3510085.

a fully-furnished air-conditioned room good for 3 persons at ZAMARLI Building
For those who can afford to pay extra, two (2) air-conditioned furnished rooms are available in Zamarli Building at Muyco Street in Barangay Poblacion. The rooms can accommodate a group of 3 and offers one (1) single bed and one (1) family-size bed, with private toilet and bath, refrigerator and cable TV.  An overnight stay will cost P1,500 for every room. For more information, please contact Mr. Jimmy Diaz at 09184546994.

From Tagbak terminal in Jaro, Iloilo City, one can take a Dingle bound jeepney and from the town proper you can take a tricycle ride going to the different historical and natural sites in the area. For more information, please contact Mr. Dane Dizon-Municipal Tourism Officer at 09477424341.

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