Vacation homes now being offered for accommodation
(The Freeman) - February 21, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Some vacation homes up in the highlands of Cebu are now taking part in offering home-stay accommodation package as demand for varied leisure and vacation events is significantly growing.

Adventure Café co-owner Edwin Ortiz said that vacation homes and even residential houses in the western part of Cebu are now being offered as accommodation for visitors due to the lack of commercial accommodation facilities in the area.

"As of now, there are no hotel or small pension houses offering overnight or stay-in packages for tourists," said Ortiz adding that although there are already few restaurants and small chalets operating along the transcental highway going to Balamban, these are not enough to accommodate the growing traffic.

Ortiz who also owns a country vacation house adjacent to Adventure Café in barangay Ga-as, Balamban, which offers zip line facility and other outdoor activities, said his house has surprisingly become a transient or rent home, as the demand turned out to be encouraging.

He added that he was not planning to open his vacation house for rent, but people, some are friends from Manila and abroad insist on staying there, some even stay for several days.

The Cebu's version of Tagaytay, the Busay to Balamban course, is now undoubtedly gaining strong interest from travelers, said Ortiz.

Aside from the famous farming expedition, adventure activities, camping, climbing, the area now is also becoming a preferred "wedding destination".

Ortiz said garden wedding up in the mountains is also becoming a trend, thus some houses and even beautiful farms are sometimes converted to wedding venues.

Meanwhile, the bid of making part of Ga-as, Balamban to be declared as first Eco-Tourism Zone of Cebu gained support from the Department of Tourism.

Ortiz,  who is also the director for Tourism Promotions Board said that tourism secretary Ramon Jimenez instructed him to write a letter to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources chief Ramon Jesus P. Paje requesting his office to hasten the classification status of barangay Ga-as.

Ortiz, who is also one of the prime movers of the Ga-as Manunggal Eco-Tourism Group, said that Jimenez is interested to promote the historical Manunggal--the site where former President Ramon Magsaysay’s private plane crashed.

The letter to DENR Protected Area Management Board Ga-as-Manunggal will request immediate identification of protected sites in the barangay so they could pursue their plans.

"There are a lot of things we want to do there. But, we cannot start unless the DENR-PAMB will identify which part is protected," said  Ortiz.

According to Ortiz, the hilly land eco-tourism promotion, which will ideally start from JY Square to Busay, driving through the transcentral highway to Balamban in the western part of Cebu, and ends at Manunggal. — Ehda M. Dagooc (FREEMAN)

ADVENTURE CAF BALAMBAN BUSAY CEBU DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM ECO-TOURISM ZONE OF CEBU EDWIN ORTIZ MANUNGGAL ORTIZ
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