New tourist destination in NegOcc town inaugurated

Mayor Marvin Malacon (right) and Vice Mayor Eric Matulac of EB Magalona, Negros Occidental lead the blessing and inauguration of Isla Madalag Eco Haven. (Dolly Yasa photo)

By Dolly Yasa

EB MAGALONA, Negros Occ. – Mayor Marvin Malacon of this town said on Friday that the new tourist destination established in Barangay Madalag in this locality will not only boost local tourism but provide livelihood for the residents in the area as well.

Malacon led the blessing and inauguration of Isla Madalag Eco Haven on Friday which coincided with the kickoff of the Environmental Month with the theme “Only One Earth.”

He said the tourist destination is not simply a restaurant that offers fresh seafood, especially the blue crabs the town is popular for, but also gives one a unique experience of dining while watching the tide going up in mangrove surrounded bamboo huts that goes into the river area.

It is also manned by members of 20 families living in the area from the restaurant to its kitchen.

The mayor said the undertaking is a joint venture of Barangay Madalag officials and the municipal government.

Malacon recalled that it was during one of his biking trips around the town that he saw the area and thought about how to develop the place and help the residents as well.

He said Barangay Madalag is a few kilometers from the poblacion and does not even have a coffeeshop.

Together with the town’s environmental officer Jojo Vargas, the mayor conceptualized and realized Isla Madag Eco Haven.

Malacon said that there are no big companies investing in the town so the local government had to create job opportunities for the locals and pump prime the local economy.

It is for this reason as well that the local government will hold its Sea Food Festival that lures in tourists and food enthusiasts and revive the Sabado Nights that will provide fun and generate income for local stall owners.

Aside from the Isla Madalag Eco Haven, the town also features the Tomontong Eco Trail, a beach mangrove planted area that is also fast becoming a byword in the local tourism industry.