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Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Experience a Sense of Other-Worldliness in Kuliatan
photo by Bombette G. Marin
The municipality of
San Joaquin has some of the most unique tourist attractions in Iloilo. The town
is an open-house classroom and natural museum, waiting to be explored by
visitors. First-time visitors will be surprised by the treasures and incredible
spots this southern town offers particularly its beach-related attractions. On
the outskirts, Marine Protected Areas form the southern edge of this town and visitors
will surely find it especially appealing.
barangays of Lawigan, San Joaquin and San Francisco, Anini-y, Antique is the most
popular among the 15 MPAs of this historic town. Kuliatan situated in Barangay
Sinogbuhan, the last barangay of the town, is 22 kilometers from the town center
was declared a Marine Protected Area in 2011 alongsidePagang-Guibongan Marine Sanctuary in barangays Tapikan
and Manhara; Crossing Dapuyan Turtles Marine Sanctuary; Tambi-Tambi Marine
Sanctuary; Talisayan Marine Sanctuary; Baybay Marine Sanctuary; Igbangal Marine
Sanctuary in barangay Siwaragan; Masagod Marine Sanctuary, Sta. Rita Marine
Sanctuary; Tiolas Marine Sanctuary; Balabago Marine Sanctuary, Basang-Basa
Marine Sanctuary in barangay Amboyu-an; Cata-an Marine Sanctuary; Igcundao
Marine Sanctuary; Bugnayan Marine Sanctuary in barangays Lawigan and Igcadlum. The
creation of these Marine Protected Areas where made possible via Municipal
Ordinance No. 7 series of 2009 as amended by Municipal Ordinance No. 2011-4.
The area provides an
ideal ecosystem for its rich marine resource. Even the locals themselves have
been astonished at the variety of objects the sea has deposited on its beach. Municipal
ordinances restrict the disturbance and removal of certain natural and
government brings together the community to help them understand the value of
this vital natural environment and through this effort will succeed in its
mission to sustain it for the future. The local government also seeks to
increase the public awareness of the towns’ marine resources and maritime
heritage by monitoring, exploration and educational programs..
swimming are popular among visitors who are willing to travel to the sanctuary.
Exceptional habitats, fish populations go hand in hand with the coasts’ extreme
conditions, with a few diving for those who have advanced skills and expose
open-water experience.Snorkeling the
Marine reserve allows visitors to learn and see many marine creatures, corals,
plants and fishes.
The sanctuary offers
an assortment of year round water adventure that is ideal for anyone looking
for a combination of adventure and relaxed yet affordable accommodation. Of
course the importance of relaxation is never lost whether it comes from being
active or unwinding on the area or just enjoying the ocean breeze from the
veranda. It has three (3) bamboo cottages for those who would want to stay
overnight. Cottage 1 is good for 6 persons at P500; Cottage 2 is good for 6
persons at P400, and Cottage 3 is good for 6 persons at P500. Restroom is
communal. The sanctuary has four (4) picnic areas good for 6 persons at P50
with three (3) picnic cottages at P50 and a pavilion that can accommodate 50
persons at P200.
The marine reserve has
a viewing deck connected by a bamboo bridge from the accommodations area to the
swimming area and is suspended between two huge coral rocks. The swimming and
snorkeling area is delineated with bouys.
photo by Bombette G. Marin
To get to the sanctuary,
one can take a San Joaquin-Lawigan jeepney at the Don Benito Q. Acap Sr. Southern
Iloilo Perimeter Boundary in Oton or when in the city, at the market situated
at the back of Robinsons Place Iloilo. When in San Joaquin proper, one can also
take a tricycle ride to the area with a contracted rate of P200.00. For more
information, please contact Barangay Captain Raymundo Sican at 09186516932, Mr.
Goerge Mendoza at 09212609866 or Mrs. Erlyn Alunan, Municipal Tourism Officer
So, visit Kuliatan,
it is a place of refuge, and careful management of this area ensures the
long-term protection of Iloilo’s underwater treasures for generations to come.