Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Secret Beauty of Pilar, Sorsogon Mangroves:Taking “Off"-The Beaten Path: (by: Jeresa A. Llona-Mediana)

     The municipality of Pilar has so many tourist attractions and getaway options. Those who love to soak in the peaceful bucolic life, a tour to Pilar is just right for you. Amongst these unspoiled natural attractions are the century old mangroves growing abundantly in the rugged coastline of Baliwagan area and Panikihan area which are being offered for mangrove familiarization activities.

     Baliwagan area at Barangay Binanuahan  is a five hectares solid mangrove and it takes twenty minutes to explore the area using motorized banca while Panikihan area at Barangay San Rafael is an amazing islet of mangroves and can be reached within a ten-minute ride aboard the motorized banca from Pilar Pier. It takes fifteen minutes to explore the islet which has an expanse of about three hectares. From the islet, you can also see the wide expanse of a rugged coastline of San Rafael lapped by countless mangroves.

    In these areas, you can see not only century old mangroves but different types of mangroves like Acanthus ebracteatus or “lagiwliw”, Heritiera littoralis or “dungon”, Kandelia candel or “tangal”, Lumnitzera racemosa or “culasi, tabao”, Osbornia octodonta or “ tawalis, bunot-bunot”, Pemphis acidula or “bantigi”, Rhizophora apiculata or “bakawang lalaki”, Rhizophora mucronata or “bakawang babae”, Sonneratia alba or “pagatpat”,  Sonneratia caseolaris or “kalong-kalong” and of course the only palm among the true mangroves used commercially, the Nypa fruticans or “nipa”. 

     These existing mangrove areas though not widely advertised are quite comparable to other well known and often visited mangrove areas in the country. They have been there since time immemorial growing naturally in their habitat. In recognition of the multifarious benefits and importance of mangroves to men, fishes and other species, the Local Government, in collaboration with the non-government organizations and the locals of Pilar is implementing coastal resource management to promote protection of these mangroves.

   In mangrove familiarization, you are both learning and having a great time of your life. So come and visit the mangrove areas of Pilar, which is an epitome of discipline and collaboration between people and government.

   Surely, you will enjoy this adventure when you visit the municipality of Pilar.


Bird Watching at the Egret Sanctuary