No. of :

No. of Shares:

Currently viewed by: Marcus Rosit

Manisan Ka Palimbang: Inching its way to Soccsksargen’s roster of tourist destinations

Far from its once dark history of bloody wars, the municipality of Palimbang now draws a new image of hope, opening its doors for partnerships and collaborative efforts for new economic endeavors, embodying its tagline, “Manisan Ka Palimbang!", which means “You are beautiful, Palimbang!"

As the municipal government commits to harnessing its natural endowments, this town may soon find its way into the Soccsksargen’s list of tourism circuits, developed to encourage more tourists to come to the region and boost domestic tourism.

Sprawling in the vast, pristine sea, this breathtaking Medol Island of the municipality of Palimbang in Sultan Kudarat province is not only frequented by both local and international tourists but has also provided fishermen in the area with enough earnings to spend on their families' needs. (Photo courtesy of Palimbang Tourism Office)

“Ang turismo ang isang paraan kung paano aangat ang buhay at pangarap. Ang turismo ay napakalaking bahagi para madugtungan ang pangarap na magkaroon ng magandang kinabukasan [Tourism is one way to uplift life and dreams and nurture that dream toward a lovely future],” Mayor Joenime Kapina said as he vowed to create a package of tourism products that would not only boost the town’s revenue but the income of its constituents as well.

He takes pride in the many tourism potentials of the municipality, from mountains to seas, which he is determined to develop, seeing it as the most viable way to help the local government raise its stature to be on par with other areas in the region. The town boasts a beautiful Medol Island and fine sandy beaches with floating cottages, among others.

Armed with this vision, the municipal government of this coastal town in Sultan Kudarat (SK) province has partnered with the Action for Economic Reforms (AER) and United States Agency International Development (USAID) to work toward a promotional endeavor called COLLABDev, which stands for “Coalescing Organization towards Locally-Led Actions to Boost Development.” 

The collaboration also includes the academic institution of Sultan Kudarat State University's (SKSU) Palimbang campus. 

COLLABDev Chief of Party Coordinator Jenina Joy Chavez, Palimbang Mayor Joenime B. Kapina, and AER COLLABDev Project Lead Jessica Reyes-Cantos participated in the recent COLLABDev 'Manisan Ka Palimbang' Roadshow. (Photo: PIA Region 12)

COLLABDev believes that by strengthening local coalitions and enhancing the data capacities of key players and stakeholders in the area, they will have the technical know-how to improve their own communities, facilitating much-needed local development. 

The coalition is composed of the local government of Palimbang, members of the SKSU-Palimbang campus, business owners, and the communities. 

COLLABDev Chief of Party Jenina Joy Chavez described the partnership as a technical support initiative that started in January 2021 and will end in December 2023. 

“It’s an initiative to increase the data maturity of Palimbang and promote local coalitions so that they can address local development concerns. Sa Palimbang po gusto nilang maging visible [Palimbang wants to be visible],” she told the Philippine Information Agency in an interview. 

Chavez said the only aspiration of the municipal government is to be known for its physical beauty and attributes. 

“Ang gusto kasi nila ay mabigyan ng mukha ang Palimbang na kasing ganda ng bayan ng Palimbang. Ang ginawa po ng COLLABDev ay tinulungan ang Palimbang na mamapa ang lahat ng mga critical infrastructure at lahat ng tourism business establishments nito at nilagay iyon sa mapa [What they want is to give Palimbang a face that is as beautiful as the town of Palimbang. What COLLABDev did was help Palimbang map all its critical infrastructure and all its tourism business establishments],” she said.

She also said they helped the coalition with tourism planning to promote the town’s numerous investment opportunities while encouraging livelihoods from tourism. 

Through the use of data-driven and dartboard analogy techniques in addressing local concerns, COLLABDev is optimistic that with the town’s determined efforts, they will be able to encourage not just local and international tourists but, most importantly, investors to invest in the area.

Jessica Reyes-Cantos, president of the COLLABDev Project, clarified that the dartboard analogy they used was a powerful technique in mapping the town’s significant data, from infrastructure and tourism facilities to business establishments, pointing out the importance of knowing and hitting the target with accuracy and precision, just like when playing dart.  

“Para kang naglalaro ng darts, pagka naka piring ka meron kang general idea kung nasaan ‘yung dart na ‘yan pero ‘pag wala kang datos para kang naglalaro na may blindfold, pero kapag tinanggal mo ‘yung blindfold na ‘yan may datos ka kita mo ‘yung target so kailangan ma hit mo yan [It's like playing darts. When you're blindfolded, you have a general idea of where the dart is, but when you don't have data, it's like you're playing with a blindfold. But when you remove that blindfold, you have data and you see its target, so you have to hit that],” she explained.

The town of Palimbang is rich with fine, sandy, and crystal-clear beaches with floating cottages that tourists love to frequently visit. (Photo: PIA Region 12)

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism (DOT) Soccsksargen, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) XII, including the provincial government of Sultan Kudarat, and key national government agencies in the region have also pledged support to the local government of Palimbang.

DOT Soccsksargen Planning Officer Armin Hautea disclosed that the provincial government of SK promised to include Palimbang in the Sultan Kudarat Tourism Circuits as well as in its Integrated Coastal Resource Management Project to push further development in the area.

“This project has infrastructure support like road network linkages. The regional line agencies are also committed to providing technical support on promotions and marketing on the part of the DOT and the assessment of the natural sites on the part of the DENR,” he said.

PEARBCO sa Barongis Pasalubong Center. The local government of Palimbang ensures that the town teems with souvenir items and various arrays of foods for tourists to choose from for them to bring home to their families and friends as “pasalubong” when they go back to their respective places. Beautiful spots, souvenir items, and palatable foods must always go hand-in-hand for a tourist destination like Palimbang. (Photo courtesy of Palimbang Tourism Office)

Joven Quiriones, information officer of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) XII, also cited Palimbang’s premium products, such as banana chips, fish sauce, and other Maguindanaon delicacies, as among the local products promoted in the DTI’s Treasures of Region 12.

With the cooperation of townsfolk and the support of all these notable agencies and organizations, the municipal government of Palimbang was able to incorporate all the data into its tourism plan as a key document to prepare for promoting Palimbang to the world.

Mayor Kapina believed that the move will also inspire his constituents and make local tourism a significant component of their livelihoods that they can opt to use to improve their lives.  

Indeed, there is now a ray of hope as a result of the incredible things that could be achieved when a community comes together with a shared purpose. Palimbang was not just blossoming; it was transforming, proving that even in the face of adversity, hope could be the catalyst for change and unity could pave the way for a brighter future. (AMB – PIA Region 12)

About the Author

Harlem Jude Ferolino

Job Order

Region 12

Feedback / Comment

Get in touch