By Misamis Oriental
Provincial Press Office
The Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental headed by Governor Oscar S.Moreno is inviting private investors to take a closer look at the future of the Lasang Secret Adventure Park in Initao municipality.
While it may at first seem rather far from Cagayan de Oro and other urban areas of the region like Iligan, Marawi, Ozamiz and Gingoog, pretty soon it’s going to be the nearest facility of its kind to the soon-to-open Laguindingan international standard airport, just two municipalities away.
Figures from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in Lumbia Airport show passenger traffic increased by 19 percent (209,846) from 1,091,656 in 2009 to 1,301,502 in 2010. Cargo traffic grew even faster by 38 percent (6,131.84 metric tons) from 16,112.72MT in 2009 to 22,244.56MT in 2010. As a result, the number of flights fielded by the three major domestic carriers increased 17 percent (1,830) from 10,760 in 2009 to 12,590 in 2010.
Air passenger and cargo traffic is expected to grow even further with the transfer of commercial air traffic operations from Lumbia to Laguindingan in the middle of next year.
“We’re opening the Lasang Eco-Lodge and Day Spa on October 18,” said Gov. Oscar S. Moreno. “This will enable visitors to take their time in exploring the park as well as open it to the corporate market for workshops, seminars, trainings and team building programs.”
The P17.2 million Lasang Eco-Lodge and Day Spa will complement the restaurant and function rooms with suite, double, single and dormitory rooms to serve all market segments. It will also have a lobby and reception area, business center, administrative office, kitchen, linen and laundry areas, storage and utility rooms to provide guests with all the amenities of downtown hotels.
Of course, the Lasang Eco-Lodge’s piece de resistance would be its Day Spa where guests have a choice of relaxing with either the traditional hilot with trained masseurs or the more cosmopolitan Jacuzzi for jet setters and corporate denizens.
Facilities and amenities aside, there’s just no comparison since there’s no other facility this side of the province or nearby cities which can match the ambience and mystery of the Lasang Secret Adventure Park which cradles the
Lasang Secret Adventure is nestled within a 50.58-hectare virgin mossy forest divided in two by the Iligan-Butuan-Cagayan-Road (ICBR) covering portions of Initao’s barangay Tubigan and Libertad’s barangay Gimanlayan ( on the left side traveling west and across the Initao-Libertad Protected Landscape and Seascape to the right).
In September 16, 2002, then President Gloria Arroyo issued Presidential Proclamation No. 260 declaring Initao National Park and a portion of the Initao-Libertad marine waters as a protected area and its peripheral areas as a buffer zone under Republic Act 7586 (NIPAS Act of 1992) subsequently named the Initao-Libertad Protected Landscape and Seascape (ILPLS).
The Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental manages and supervises the Lasang Secret Adventure Park through a Special Use Agreement in Protected Area (SAPA)-DENRX-2010 issued by the DENR covering an area of 5,000 square meters within the ILPLS.
The P3-million Lasang project falls within the 1,300.78-hectare ILPLS traditionally known to locals as Lasang (Cebuano for forest). Old wives’ tales recall the legend of the old forest as the home of “apo” (dwarves) and anyone who dared venture into it was allegedly never seen again.
These days, however, guests can take the boardwalk at their leisure to explore the inner sanctum of the ILPLS, the last remaining stand of virgin forest in the province with its centuries-old trees and exotic flora and fauna such as the rare Philippine tarsier, hundreds of long tailed macaque monkeys (amo), monitor and sailfin lizard or iguanas (palaos and ibid or bayawak), and flying lemurs (kagwang).
Forester Liza B. Requiña, Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) of the Initao-Libertad Protected Landscape and Seascape, said the protected area has 26 identified species of trees, foremost of which are 100-year-old trees locally known as Talisai gubat (Elacocarpus monecera combretaccae), two of which are just a few steps from the limestone cliffs overlooking the sea and other Philippine heritage hardwoods like Molave (Vitex paniflona verbanaceae), Narra (Pterocarpus indicus Fabaceae) and Teak (Tectona grandis Verbenaceae).
According to data gathered by Cherry G. De Leon , guests and visitors have an opportunity to see rare birds like the green imperial pigeon (bawod), native dove (alimokon), emerald dove (manatad) , serpent eagle, Philippine Megapode (kaheal), a.k.a. Philippine Scrubfowl or Tabon Scrubfowl and Philippine Sparrow Hawk.
Other species monitored and validated by the DENR staff include King spiders and rare priority species like Steere’s Pitta, Hanging Parakeet, Little Slaty, monitor lizards, Philippine python and the Philippine monkeys (long tailed macaque).
Wildlife enforcement officer Eddie Macasusi says tarsiers sightings have been recorded in the area since 1987 and estimates their numbers could exceed 20 since they are nocturnal animals not usually sighted during the day.
The Landscape side can be accessed through a 100-meter treetop board walk which leads to a 75-step spiral staircase up to two 12 meter hanging bridges followed by a 24 meter monkey bridge. From there you can exit either through the 120-meter zipline or go back the same way through the hanging bridges, spiral staircase and boardwalk.
The Seascape side features an adventure trek which accesses four of the area’s 30 caves which are open to the public, one of which is home to split-nose bats.
Spelunkers can enjoy the sights of their stalactites and stalagmites although they would have to do it on their backs since access is quite limited only through crawling.
Seascape guests can also try viewing the wide variety of fish in the protected area and go swimming or snorkeling amidst the wide variety of coral found beneath the sea.
Finfish identified by the Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) office headed by Ms. Requiña at the proposed marine park include the Blacktipped sardine (malangsi), Striped sea catfish, Flying fish (bangsi), Red squirrel fish (baga-baga), King snapper (sagision), Soldier fish (moong), Papuan trevally (trakito), Lapu-lapu, Katambak, Butterfly fish (alibangbang), Wrasse (labayan), Parrot fish (molmol), Surgeon fish (indangan), Indian mackerel (anduhaw), Trigger fish (pakol, pugot), Toby (tikong), Tree-bar porcupine fish (botete) and flounder (palad-palad).
Dive sites, swimming areas for adults and children, picnic tables, campsites, an open cottage with view deck, barbecue pits, rest rooms, pay toilets and a conference hall are among the attractions and amenities in the Seascape side of Lasang. Guided tours by park rangers are available by previous arrangements.
The strategic location of Misamis Oriental makes the province a major transport and transshipment hub in the upper half of Mindanao.
Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro have been major contributors to the development of Northern Mindanao (Region 10). Cagayan de Oro, serves as a convergence point for commerce, education and services where most of the regional line agencies, banks and financing institutions and the best colleges and universities in Mindanao are located.
Discover the beauty of Misamis Oriental at Lasang Secret Adventure Park in Initao. For inquiries, call the Provincial Tourism Office at (08822) 727275. (Misamis Oriental Provincial Press Office)