(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 22 July 2024) At 3:00 AM today, the Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated based on all available data at 135 km West Southwest of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro (13.1°N, 120.0°E). Meanwhile, another LPA was estimated based on all available data at 880 km East of Eastern Visayas (11.1°N, 133.8°E). 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Southwest Monsoon. Possible flash floods or landslides due to moderate to at times heavy rains. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to Moderate winds coming from Southwest to Southeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Thursday, 11 January 2024

Former guerilla base in Agusan del Norte eyed as Caraga’s next blockbuster tourist destination

By Nora C. Lanuza

BUTUAN CITY – Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante of the province of Agusan del Norte recently visited Sitio Zapanta, Barangay Bangayan in the municipality of Kitcharao, to personally see how they can develop Arimbungog Falls, a newly discovered natural attraction that has the potential to become a blockbuster tourist destination.

Sitio Zapanta, the home of the indigenous peoples from the Mamanwa and Manobo tribes, was once a guerilla base for communist terrorist groups (CTGs) in the province.

With the government’s triumph in reclaiming peace and order in the village, the place has gradually opened its doors to development and economic activities such as the discovery of Arimbungog Falls, flourishing in the heart of Sitio Zapanta as a gem known for its breathtaking scenery, lush greenery, and pristine waters.

The governor recognized the crucial role of the indigenous community’s participation in the development of the Arimbungog Falls to ensure that tourism and other initiatives will be aligned with the needs and aspirations of the people in the village.

Arimbungog Falls caught the attention of the public when the tribal villagers of Sitio Zapanta started to welcome the government to bring peace efforts to the place. (Photo courtesy of 29IB)

“We will make sure that the welfare of everyone will be considered as we sustain and move forward to developing this part of the province. The roadmap for peace and development should always promote inclusivity and foster a sense of ownership among the indigenous community,” Amante said.

During the dialogue with the IP community, together with the municipal officials, she expressed her admiration for the natural wonders in Agusan del Norte, including the Arimbungog Falls, and emphasized to the IPs the need to protect the place, ensure peace and order, and practice responsible tourism, among others.

“Wala koy laing hangyo sa inyo, ang panaghiusa lang gyud ninyo. Grabe kaayo ko ka inspired pagkakita sa maanindot nga falls sa inyong lugar, buhaton nako ang tanan para sa Zapanta (I have no other request from you but to unite. I am very inspired by the beautiful falls in your area, and I will do everything for Zapanta),” Amante added.

The community, led by Datu Lando Anlagan, the mandatory indigenous peoples representative of Barangay Bangayan, heeded and gave their commitment to the call of the officials to protect and preserve the natural resources in their area as a zone for peace and development.

“Among ampingan ug panalipdan ang atong matahum na talan-awon ug ang kinaiyan ug magpuyo nga malipayon ug malinawon [We will protect and preserve our natural resources and live happy and peacefully in this village],” Anlagan said.

Agusan del Norte Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante personally joined the ocular assessment of Arimbungog Falls in Sitio Zapanta and worked on getting the commitment of the IPs to protect the place so the development of the area would not be hampered. (Photo courtesy of 29IB)

Due to the many challenges encountered in bringing peace to Sitio Zapanta, Mayor Jenry Montante of Kitcharao emphasized the need to be vigilant so the CTGs will not deceive the villagers again.

“Gikinahanglan gyud nga dili nata magplinla sa mga komunista, nasinati na ninyo ang kagubot ug kalisod sa mga kamot sa mga terorista sa inyong lugar. Ang kagubot sa armadong grupo ang hinungdan nga wala na-improve and Sitio Zapanta. Batukan ang ilang paglinla para sa atong mga sumusunod [Do not be deceived by the communist terrorist groups again; you experienced the chaos and difficulties with the presence of the terrorists in your area before. The conflict with the armed group was the very reason why Sitio Zapanta did not improve. Resist their deception for the sake of our future generations],” Montante said.

Sitio Zapanta, according to 29th Infantry Battalion Commanding Officer Ltc. Cresencio C. Gargar is already peaceful, and development in the area has progressed.

“We have successfully transformed this place from a battleground into a zone of peace. And our tribal villagers will help us sustain this journey and protect the beauty nestled in Sitio Zapanta,“ Gargar said.  (NCLM, PIA-Agusan del Norte)