Abatan RiverLife


Considered as one of the newest eco-tourism attractions in Bohol, the Abatan RiverLife boasts itself as the next ‘Loboc River‘ – but in a different idea. It is an initiative by the ARDMC (Abatan River Development Management Council) to improve not only the tourist destinations in the area but also to add more jobs and income to this beautiful province.

The Abatan RiverLife has been enhanced to uphold the sustainable administration of the Abatan River and at the same time encourage neighborhood involvement in the protection, maintenance and management of the surroundings and defend the cultural heritage of the region.

All profits generated from the Abatan RiverLife development directly benefit the poor and deprived in the participating municipalities. The organization ensures all profits are distributed directly to the contributing communities.

The Abatan RiverLife is one the newest innovations in Bohol. It was inaugurated by the DOT (Department of Tourism) as the Abatan River Community Life Tour. The name was then changed to Abatan RiverLife so it can be easily remembered. It is a combined effort of the five communities located along the river. These towns are Cortes, Maribojoc, Antequera, Balilihan, and Catigbian. The main Ecotourism Village Center (EVC), which showcases the best souvenirs and attractions in each town, is situated in Barangay Salvador in Cortes. The EVC is the central docking facility for the tour. The village center also hosts enlightening performances and cultural shows.

Abatan RiverLife

Abatan RiverLife

About 8 kilometers or 15 minutes away from the city of Tagbiliran, at Abatan RiverLife you will discover five distinct communities that will greet you with a variety of traditional performances and crafts as well as traditional delicacies. Guests can board a traditional ‘bandong’ or ‘bantong’ (small boat covered with nipa or palmer’s grass) for only P250/person. One bandong can accommodate up to 20 persons and the minimum number of guests to ride on one trip is 14 persons. You will head up the river where your guide will delight you with traditional stories and folklore of the region.

Abatan

Abatan

Abatan River is the chief drainage system of the Abatan Watershed and one of the three main rivers of Bohol. Back then, when roads were still undeveloped, the river served as the main waterway for the people. The clean river winds through the town of Antequera and up to the town of Balilihan which opens to the Cortes nipa swamps, among the most extensive nipa swamps in the island. Folks in their small ‘bankas’ or outriggers can be seen along the way.

Folks on Outriggers

Folks on Outriggers

The three-hour river cruise along the lush greeneries of bushes and trees provides a peaceful and stress-relieving ambiance for travelers who want to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life. Guests who avail the tour not only experience the serene surrounding, they also see the colorful history of the towns along the river which will be shown through melodramatic performances by the locals in each of the pit stops in every town.

“The story of the life of the Boholanos will be narrated along the river. This tour is relevant for travelers who would like to know more about the culture and the history of our province because we didn’t want to develop Abatan like another Loboc River cruise. Our main thrust is cultural tourism, environmental preservation, and alternative livelihood for the locals,” said Bohol Governor Eduardo Chatto.

The Abatan RiverLife is the last project of Ace Durano of Cebu, the former Tourism Secretary. “The Abatan River Tour is another inspiring story of a community-led tourism endeavor. We laud the efforts of the Boholanos in putting up a unique eco-cultural tourism experience that truly shows innovativeness of empowered communities,” Durano said.

The whole Abatan RiverLife Project costs 7-million pesos which was financed by the Department of Tourism. This is one of the biggest ecotourism programs supported by the department.

Cottages

Cottages

Inside the Main Building

Inside the Main Building

Mark, Lisa and Sam at Abatan RiverLife

Mark, Lisa and Sam at Abatan RiverLife

Sam and Lisa at Abatan RiverLife

Sam and Lisa at Abatan RiverLife

Souvenirs

Souvenirs

Souvenirs 2

Souvenirs 2

Terminal

Terminal

Tourist Information Center

Tourist Information Center

Abatan River Community Life Tour

Abatan River Community Life Tour


This page is last updated on Aug 14, 2011 @ 9:50 pm
About the author
Mark Anthony Maranga Mark Anthony Maranga is a Web Designer based in Cebu, Philippines. He sells Balloons and Party Supplies in Mandaue City, Cebu and explores the Philippines tourist attractions. During his free time he take pictures and write blogs. Check his website design portfolio and know more about him.

  1. Ria Uan Nar says:

    I find it very hard to find contacts in arranging the community tour…please include in your post the complete address of its main office, contact persons and the package rates.

  2. David says:

    Thanks for the wonderful post and the support of the project!

  3. Seair says:

    This is perfect! I am heading to Bohol to visit a friend in Oct and wasnt too excited about it because i really didnt know what else there was out there aside from checking out chocolate hills! much appreciated!

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