Category Archives: TOURISM


May be an image of text that says 'ANOTHER EVANGELISTA'S FIRST: CONSTRUCTION CTION OF P3M TOURIST CENTER IN TALOS STARTS The construction of new tourist center in Sitio Talos, Barangay San Jose has started after personnel from the provincial government of Davao del Norte held a social preparation activity with the tribal leaders and members of the Ata- Manobo community. Bagong TOMA SOLUSYON LENDTDUILDNAOENOTE EVANGELISTA ★ @SantoTomasDavNorLGU @santotomasLGU'
The construction of a new tourist center in Sitio Talos, Barangay San Jose has started after personnel from the provincial government of Davao del Norte held a social preparation activity with the tribal leaders and members of the Ata-Manobo community.

Santo Tomas tourism

DAVAO DEL NORTE: Construction of P3M tourist center in Sitio Talos to start Oct. 26

Evangelista: Project seen to boost tourism

SANTO TOMAS, Davao del Norte (October 21, 2021)—The construction of the tourist center in Sitio Talos, Barangay San Jose may begin as soon as the construction staking is conducted on October 26 with the engineering personnel from the Santo Tomas LGU, Provincial Engineering Office and private contractor Jagger Enterprise. 

Construction of P3M tourist center in Sitio Talos to start Oct. 26; project seen to boost tourism says Evangelista - Santo Tomas Davao del Norte

Construction staking is taking planned improvements and buildings, and then actually mapping them out on the site where the building will take place. It plays a vital role in preparing the plans and blueprints to actual construction work.

On Thursday, mayor Ernesto Evangelista said the construction of the tourist center is crucial to his administration’s community-based tourism program as it is expected to beef up tourism activity in the said area. 

“Atong gina-expect na kining tourist center na itukod diri sa Sitio Talos, maduso pa ang programang turismo na atong ginapromote ilabi na ang Lantawan Ni Bakoko isip usa ka local tourist attraction sa lungsod sa Santo Tomasm” Evangelista said at the sideline of the turning-over ceremony of Davao Light Company’s playground facility to the Santo Tomas LGU on Thursday afternoon. 

Evangelista added that his tourism program highlights the importance of involving local people in tourism development to ensure and encourage people to preserve their culture, traditions and protect the environment. 

Community-based tourism 

Municipal Information Officer Mart Sambalud, who also acts as the Tourism Officer-Designate of the Santo Tomas LGU, said the community-based tourism program of Evangelista administration came into fruition when in 2019 started the development of Lantawan ni Bakoko in Sitio Talos and positioned it as the town’s premier local tourist destination. 

“At the very core of our Community-Based Tourism Program is to account the increasing participation of our Indigenous Peoples in Sitio Talos in our tourism development programs and projects. We need to involve them so that they have a sense of collectiveness and ownership. Their participation is imperative and mas nindot if ang komunidad mismo ang nakasabot sa proseso, sa direksyon ug sa mga programa na naay kalambigitan sa mga kalihukan sa turismo,” Sambalud said. 

Sambalud said the development of Lantawan ni Bakoko and the active participation of the Ata-Manobo community was a successful implementation of a Community-based Tourism Program. 

He added that the Department of Tourism XI now recognises Lantawan ni Bakoko as one of the local tourism circuits in the Davao region. 

Sambalud pointed out that IP youth, men and women were trained, organized, capacitated and empowered to do their various tasks in the tourism value chain locally. 

“The reason why we opted to implement CBT is that we want this program to serve also as a poverty-alleviating tool. This means that the involvement and cooperation of the Ata-Manobo community are essential in stimulating economic activities in the area,” he said. 

He added that whatever economic benefits derived from the implementation of the CBT, it should trickle down even to the poorest member of the Ata-Manobo community. 

Sambalud said that CBT is being replicated in various barangays with Senior Tourism Officer Dorina Ararao leading the development and implementation of the programs. 

Ararao spearheaded the development of potential tourist attractions in various barangays, namely: Suba Ni Bukindaw in Barangay New Visayas, Mt. Susuping in Barangay Balagunan, Mt. Tulayas in Barangay Balagunan, among others. 

“All these are works in progress. More than the objective of contributing to economic growth, I think we need to emphasize that tourism development projects and programs are sustainable and equitable and that the community should benefit from the implementation of these programs,” Sambalud, the tourism officer-designate said. 

Sambalud also thanked the leadership of Municipal Administrator Atty. Elisa Evangelista-Lapiña who was the brainchild of the  CBT programs of the Santo Tomas LGU and the development of the emerging local tourist spots across the municipality of Santo Tomas. 

IP consent secured

In April 7, 2021, the proponents of the P3,000,000-worth tourist centre conducted a field-based consultation to secure a certification that they acquired the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of the Ata-Manobo residents in the area. 

The Municipal Government of Santo Tomas headed by Mayor Ernesto Evangelista and the Provincial Government of Davao del Norte headed by Governor Edwin Jubahib were the proponents of the tourism infrastructure project constructed in an ancestral land owned by the Ata-Manobo.

The tourist center was one of the tourism development projects of the Jubahib administration in Davao del Norte in support to the tourism program of the Evangelista administration aimed at reviving the tourism industry in Santo Tomas, and providing sustainable livelihood for the indigenous people’s in Sitio Talos, Barangay San Jose.

The project was under the auspices of the Provincial Tourism Offices headed by Dr. Noel Daquioag, the Provincial Tourism Officer. 

Daquioag and his team, together with the National Commission On Indigenous Peoples – Davao del Norte, conducted a one-day field-based consultation on the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).

Invited to the FPIC activity were the 12 Ata-Manobo tribe leaders, NCIP Davao del Norte FPIC Focal Person Ms. Rhodora Braganza, IPMR of Santo Tomas Datu Doming Tumaytay, IPMR of Barangay San Jose Datu Jepee Ompocanon, Councilor Lychyl Castrodes who chairs the Committee on Tourism and Board Member Janet Tanong-Maboloc who also chairs the Committee on Tourism in the Sangguniang Panglungsod. ###




The Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) will get 9 road construction and improvement  projects in 2019 that were expected to boost the tourist island’s bid to be the Boracay of Mindanao.

IGACOSThe road projects will provide access to “Tourism Declared Destinations” aimed to promote Igacos as one of the country’s primary tourist destinations, among the top priorities of Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario and Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s tourism program.

Said to have been denied government projects during the previous leadership of the House of Representatives, the now popular tourist island in the Davao Gulf known for its white sand beaches like top-drawing Boracay Island in the Visayas, has been allocated with the multi-million infrastructure projects in the P3.757-trillion General Appropriations Act  (GAA) of 2019  under House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Rep. Floirendo of the Second District which covers Igacos earlier had lamented that congressional funds for his district had been deleted in the 2017 and 2018 GAA by the previous leadership of the House.
Former House Speaker First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez had denied Floirendo’s claim but the two legislators, former political allies and long-time friends, had since been estranged following a public quarrel between their girlfriends in 2016.
ALVAREZ JUBAHIBThe split has led to an ugly confrontation:  Alvarez filing a graft case in the Ombudsman against Floirendo and initiating a House inquiry into the Floirendo-owned giant banana-producing Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco).
Alvarez is also said to have deleted congressional fund allocations for Floirendo’s Second District. He also removed his-long-time buddy  from membership in the House committees.


The conflict has also rattled the once united political landscape of Davao del Norte: Gov. del Rosario is not seeking reelection in the 2019 mid-term elections and is running in the First District to contest the return to Congress of Alvarez, whose Alvarez Wing political bloc is fielding a candidate against the reelection of Floirendo, the governor’s cousin.
Floirendo and Gov. del Rosario are running under the banner of the Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional political party founded by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
The presidential daughter was also expected to flex her political muscle in next year’s local election in Davao del Norte, following her vow to campaign against Alvarez for calling the HNP as an “opposition party” without the blessing of her father.
Mayor Duterte-Carpio is said to have played a key role in the ouster of Alvarez, whom she earlier also described as an “asshole” and a liability to the Duterte administration.
The Igacos projects, to be implemented in January 2019 by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), came following the ouster of Alvarez as Speaker in July this year.
The DPWH Davao del Norte District Engineering Office has informed the offices of Gov. Del Rosario and Rep. Floirendo about the oncoming projects.
It has also advised Igacos Mayor Al David Uy about the projects.
“Inasmuch as some developments situated within the project alignments  are to be affected, we would like to request assistance in the negotiations in the removal of the affected structures, to expedite the project implementation to benefit the travelling public and constituents in your locality in particular,” said District Engineer Daniel Jaravata in a letter dated October 15, 2018 to Mayor Uy signed by DPWH DavNor administrative officer Charlie Maravilla.
Jaravata also told Mayor Uy that a joint site inspection by road-right-of-way personnel of DPWH and Igacos is scheduled for October 23-25 to identify the affected improvements and structures.
The multi-million-peso projects, , whose total actual cost could not yet be established pending release of vital documents by DPWH,  were expected to be welcomed with elation by Vice Mayor Orly Amit, given that Igacos had previously been starved of government projects.
In a recent interview with a Davao City radio station, Amit said he almost cried when told that projects for Igacos had been shelved when he visited DPWH DavNor, before Alvarez was ousted as Speaker,  to inquire about the status of projects for his island city.
Reportedly deleted during the stint of Alvarez, funding for the Igacos projects were now taken from the P51-billion additional infrastructure fund for DPWH alleged to have been “inserted” in the DPWH budget during the tenure of Alvarez.
Arroyo has ordered the insertions re-aligned to other projects like projects earlier earmarked for Igacos.
The budget “insertion” described by some congressmen  as “pork barrel” like the scandalous Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), was discovered as the new House leadership deliberated on GAA 2019 after Alvarez was ousted and replaced by Arroyo.
The alleged insertion happened even as President Duterte had said that GAA 2019 will not have any pork barrel for legislators like PDAF which has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Before Duterte, PDAF was a multi-billion congressional fund allocated to legislators that were used to fund ghost projects proposed by scam queen Janet Napoles, who coughed up huge  commissions to the lawmakers.  
Approval by the House of GAA 2019, earlier  set to be in October, had been delayed as the House  leadership probes the P51-billion “insertion” and re-align the fund to other projects.
House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya has formed a panel to identify projects to be funded by the insertion that some critics call as the  “Alvarez pork barrel.”
The P51-billion insertion in the DPWH budget in the 2019 GAA  is said to be one of the reasons why Alvarez was deposed as Speaker and then majority leader Rep. Rodolfo Farinas to lose his position and replaced by Andaya. Davao City First District Rep. Karlo Nograles, a close ally of Alvarez, retained his chairmanship of the  powerful committee on appropriations, by denying he had a role in the insertion.
The online news site reporting on the insertion said that:
“The (P51-billion) was intended for a “parking” funds scheme, when a lump sum of money, often without a specific purpose identified, is listed under the budget (of the DPWH for) a particular congressional district. However, the congressman of that district is informed …. that this particular allocation was merely listed or “parked” in that allocation, but will be used for a different project or district.”
Related reports on the issue said that the P51-billion insertion would be going to the districts of close allies of Alvarez.


  1. (A) ROAD WIDENING – Secondary Roads Babak-Samal-Kaputian
  2. (B) ROAD WIDENING – Secondary Roads Babak-Samal-Kaputian
  3. CONSTRUCTION/IMPROVEMENT OF ACCESS ROAD from  Pasog-Licup-Tagbitan-ag-Tagluna leading to Putting Bato, Canibad Resort-Aundanao
  4. CONSTRUCTION/IMPROVEMENT OF ACCESS ROADS from Camudud leading to Samar Dairy Farm, Provincial Demo Farm, Mango Orchard and Secdea Beach Resort
  5. CONSTRUCTION/IMPROVEMENT OF ACCESS ROADS from National Road to Hagimit Falls, Barangay Cawag
  6. CONSTRUCTION/IMPROVEMENT OF ACCESS ROADS from City Road Sitio Buhangin leading to Magongawong Falls, Barangay Tagbaobo
  7. CONSTRUCTION/IMPROVEMENT OF ACCESS ROAD from San Antonio Proper leading to Sitio Anggas Peak, Barangay San Antonio
  8. CONSTRUCTION/IMPPROVEMENT OF ACCESS ROADS from NRJ leading to Sanipaan Marine Park, Fisherfolks Village, Seaweed Farm and other resorts



sara duterteBY ROGER M. BALANZA

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has advised visitors and tourists to avoid her city over fears ongoing terrorist violence in Western Mindanao could spill over to Davao City.

Duterte-Carpio gave out the advice past midnight of May 23  as she emerged from an emergency meeting with security officials she called in wake of the attack by  the terrorist Maute Group on Marawi City afternoon of the same day.

Duterte-Carpio’s advice comes just hours after President Rodrigo Duterte, her father, while in Russia on official visit, placed Mindanao under martial law to give government authorities more powers to end the terroristic violence.

While Marawi city is in western Mindanao more than 250 kms. away from Davao City in the southern part, Duterte-Carpio’s city is no stranger to violence that spilled out from trouble in other regions.

In 2003, while basking in pride for its excellent peace and order as Mindanao’s premier metropolis, terrorists sneaked into the city to launch two separate bombing attacks that killed dozens and wounded hundred others. In September last year, 15 people were killed and 70 others were injured, when alleged members of the Maute Group or the Abu Sayyaf bombed the city’s  busy Night MarketNight Market on Roxas Avenue, as government troopers battled the terror group in fierce firefights in Marawi.

The attacks months apart in March and april on the Davao International Airport and the Sasa Wharf happened as government forces were waging an all-out war against Moro rebels in Central Mindanao.

Duterte-Carpio urged visitors to cancel their trips to Davao City if these are not important.

She also advised Davao residents to stay home, as in support to her father’s declaration of martial law, she has ordered deployment of land and sea police and military checkpoints to thwart entry of terrorists.

If they don’t want to be thoroughly inspected in multiple checkpoints, they should not come to the city, said the mayor.



Dusit International Reveals Plans for Tourism Market in the Philippines

Leading international hotel brand Dusit International has disclosed its intent to increase its presence in the Philippines, beginning with reaching out to the upscale, long-staying travel sector. The hotelier has further expressed plans to tap the strong MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) market in Asia.

“We are looking to grow in the other cities and destinations within the Philippines as we are positive about the country’s tourism outlook and potential. These new projects can leverage from our experience and established networks in the Philippines and in the region,” said Ryan Chen, Dusit International Director for Development Asia Pacific.

Dusit stock image (2)Focus on Davao

Currently, construction is underway for Dusit Thani Residences Davao. The first Dusit Thani Residences in Asia-Pacific, the 168-key full-service residences is scheduled for turnover in 2018.

According to Chen, Davao was chosen because of the positive economic growth in the region, which bodes well for the international hospitality industry. He further commended the company’s timely partnership with Filipino real estate developer Torre Lorenzo.

“We have found a quality partner in Torre Lorenzo as this company is both experienced with the local real estate market and is aligned with our vision for the Dusit brand in the Philippines,” Chen elaborated.

Other projects in Davao also in the works are the dusitD2 Hotel and Lubi Plantation Resort. dusitD2 Hotel is a 120-key hotel that will feature high-tech and modern conveniences coupled with a chic and playful design that matches Davao city’s youthful vibe. Located adjacent to Dusit Thani Residences, this will be the first dusitD2 Hotel in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Lubi Plantation Resort is a 37-hectare master planned resort community situated in a private island off the coast of Davao. Developers intend to position the resort as the country’s first internationally branded club membership.

Dusit stock imageOpportunities in MICE

On a regional scale, Dusit International is looking to strengthen its capability to cater to the booming MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) industry in Asia.

“Industry reports show that Asia is fast becoming a preferred destination for MICE. With that, Dusit International is gearing up its services to meet this demand across our locations in Asia. We’re optimistic that our new properties in Davao will be able to participate in this trend. A key aspect of the industry in Davao is its robust domestic market and relatively untapped markets where opportunities for growth are abundant,” Chen shared.

Chen added that as incentive travel is on the rise, new destinations are being preferred. Davao, given its burgeoning economic growth, is further touted to be a destination that will best cater to business travellers.

Thai meets Filipino

Chen observes, “The Philippines is similar to Thailand in many ways as the country offers a diversified myriad of attractions and demand generators. The Philippines has very warm and friendly people which are very valuable to the tourism industry.”

He identified the country’s natural beauty and welcoming personality, coupled with Dusit’s reputation as an internationally-trusted brand, as key ingredients that will make Davao a prime choice for international and domestic investors.