MANILA, Philippines ? The island province of Bohol is looking to attract tourists seeking greater adventure other than climbing the Chocolate Hills or taking a peek at its rapidly depleting population of tarsiers.
The municipality of Danao wants to become known as a destination for extreme sports enthusiasts through its "Eco/Extreme Adventure Tour" (or shortened to EAT Danao), with activities like wall climbing, river kayaking, and zip line that locals fondly call the "suislide".
Danao has its place in Philippine history, its mountains and caves providing refuge for national hero and Bohol native Francisco Dagohoy, who is credited for leading the longest revolt against Spanish rule.
Interestingly, Dagohoy's travails in Danao have inspired local officials to transform the place into a haven for adventurers and nature lovers.
Lumen Gonzaga, the municipal accountant who oversees the EAT Danao tours on weekends, said Danao has become one of the must-visit destinations in Bohol since they started promoting extreme sports.
?Danao gives tourist a different side of Bohol," said Gonzaga, noting the municipality has seen tourism earnings grow to more than P6 million this year.
?It was really a big help for us as tourism has always been the source of income here. It?s nice to know that people not only come here for history but also to be part of history by doing these extreme sports activities we prepared for them,? she said.
These activities are roughly patterned after how Dagohoy lived and survived during the Spanish revolt. Legend has it Dagohoy had "anting-anting" or supernatural powers.
"Tthe truth is he can go inside the caves easily and cross the mountains and climb the roots (of trees) for survival and that very experience is what we offer now,? she said.
Though she admits it could be risky, he assured as tour operators, they have taken steps to ensure safety for those taking the tour. Danao is building a "sky walk" as an added attraction, which should be completed in about six months, said Gonzaga.