CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — Candidates of the Ms. Earth 2019 beauty pageant visited Misamis Oriental’s prime tourist destinations during their two-day tour Tuesday (Oct. 8).
Their first stop was the Tubajon Aquamarine Park in Barangay Tubajon, Laguindingan town, where they also planted mangroves.
Titania Matekuolava, a candidate from the Pacific country of Tonga, said she was amazed at the mangrove park and wants to bring the idea of mangrove reforestation in her home country.
“I want to emulate it and introduce it to my country,” she said.
Matekuolava said her advocacy as a Ms. Earth candidate is to reduce pollution, a problem that is prevalent in Tonga. She shared it’s a common practice of the people in her country to burn their trash, making air pollution a grave environmental issue that must be addressed. Her country doesn’t have a comprehensive solid waste management, she said.
The aquamarine park has won the “Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan” award from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in 2017. It bested other contenders across the country.
Tubajon chairman Teodoro Oguis said they have been taking care of the aquamarine park and had opened it to the public who want to enjoy its amenities. They have bamboo cottages erected on clear seawater amid the 22-hectare mangrove forest.
“We want to maintain the pristine state of the aquamarine park as it is one of the most beautiful tourist sites in Misamis Oriental,” Laguindingan Mayor Diosdado Obsioma said.
Along with Matekuolava are the candidates from Austria, Italy, Croatia, Malta, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Paraguay, Kenya, Reunion Island, China, India, Liberia, and Vietnam.
They also toured the Initao-Libertad Protected Seascape and Landscape, a protected forest and one of the province’s tourist destinations.
“We have tourist attractions where guests can enjoy. They are the province’s treasures,” Lawyer Jeffrey Saclot, Misamis Oriental provincial tourism officer said.
The local government, he added, welcomes local and international beauty pageant candidates as they have a lot to offer for the visitors. (davaotoday.com)