Residents here can now enjoy bird watching, nature, among other activities, at the Bangrin Marine Protected area, the newest tourism spot in the town.
In an interview Thursday, municipal tourism officer Rommel Dulay said the area’s facilities have been renovated to accommodate tourists from the locality starting Sept. 18 amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
“This is in line with the tourism month celebration this September for the residents in our town to find relaxation with nature without worrying about the virus and for our tourism industry workers to get back at their jobs since they have not been able to work for a long time already,” he said.
The Bangrin Marine Protected Area offers a scenic view of mangrove forests, clear water, and sights of more than 123 different species of local and migratory birds.
“It is a close encounter with nature so it is highly recommended as an eco-tourism destination,” he said.
Tourists may also opt to do kayaking in the designated area.
From the town proper, tourists will travel 20 minutes to get to the Pataga fishport and then take a 30-minute boat ride to Bangrin.
Dulay said tourists will enjoy walking down the one-kilometer boardwalk to the mangrove forest. It used to be a 300-meter boardwalk.
Aside from the view, other activities such as mangrove planting or tree planting and coastal clean-up drives are common in the area.
“We prohibit smoking and noise in the area so as not to disturb the ecosystem in the area. We also implement the clean-as-you-go policy where tourists bring home their own garbage,” he added.
Dulay said the opening of the tourist spot benefits 20 tour guides and the association of boatmen operators.
He said they will only accommodate town residents for the meantime, but they hope to open it to the residents of Pangasinan and the Ilocos Region.
“Residents should bring their identification issued by their barangay that will also serve as proof of their residence. They should wear face masks and face shields and observe other health protocols,” he added.
Visitors to Bangrin will have to pay PHP30 each for the ecological protection fee and about PHP1,200 for the boat that can accommodate eight to 10 persons. (PNA)