Wanderlust | Military camp turns into eco-tourism destination

IT WAS AROUND seven years ago when the 1001st Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army opened Camp Manuel Tecson Yan, Sr. in Barangay Tuboran, municipality of Mawab, to tourists with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the province of Compostela Valley, the municipality of Mawab, and the 10th Infantry “Agila” Division.The sprawling military reserve was named after World War II veteran and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines from 1968 until 1972. General Yan holds the Philippine government record of being the longest continuous serving public officer for a total 63 years and 9 months (April 1937 to January 2001), spanning 12 Philippine presidents. And, yes, he was also the grandfather of the late actor Rico Yan

Photo op with 10 ID officers with the visiting media group and representatives from the DOT Xland ComVal Tourism Office

Photo op with 10 ID officers with the visiting media group and representatives from the DOT Xland ComVal Tourism Office

Before becoming a miltary camp, the area was infamously known as major base of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army regional command in Southem Mindanao. It was only in the late 1980s when government forces were able to succcessfully drive the rebels out of the area.

The 10th Infantry “Agila” Division was activated as a division on August 2006, holding then a temporary headquarters at Camp Panacan in Davao City. In February 2011, it was moved to its present headquarters in Mawab, Compostela Valley.

Cebuano writer Jude Bacalso tries rappelling from the 7-foot tower

Cebuano writer Jude Bacalso tries rappelling from the 7-foot tower

Since then, the 100.8 hectare camp has welcomed visitors, mostly students and group tours, who have witnessed not just life in a military camp with various painstaking military exercises but also as an eco-tourism destination.

The tour package that is being offered by the provincial tourism office and the 10th ID included viewing of military static drills at the Sgt Romy Demerin Grandstand, observation of the camp’s obstacle and training courses, spelunking inside Mahayahay Cave, zipline and rappelling from a 7 storey tower, and a boodlefight with the officers.

Schedule for tours is based on the camp’s availability. The tour is priced at PhP350 per person for a minimum number of 50 participants. You may inquire from the ComVal Provincial Tourism Office for more info at 0908.888.8038 /0912.023.8511 or check out ecomval.gov.ph.

 

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