Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero led the reopening and inauguration of the Bulusan Volcano Natural Park after two years of massive rehabilitation, to welcome more local and foreign visitors with the easing of travel restrictions around the country amid decreasing COVID-19 cases.
“Ginawa nating world class ang mga facililities dito sa park upang mas marami pang turista ang pumunta sa muling pagbubukas ng ating lalawigan dahil sa paghupa na ng mga kaso ng COVID sa Pilipinas. Pinaganda pa natin ang lugar na ito at hindi lamang ang lalawigan ng Sorsogon ang makikinabang, kundi partikular ang bayan ng Bulusan,” Escudero said, during reopening rites on Saturday.
The natural park is also home to the new Bulusan Eco-Tourism Center and the Bulusan Eco-Adventours, the upgraded and expanded amenities like the al fresco coffee shop and restaurant, a massage spa and souvenir shop.
Other attractions in Bulusan are up for restoration and improvement, Escudero announced, including the 18th century bell tower of St. James The Great Church which will be done in partnership with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
Aside from the physical improvement of tourism sites, Escudero said there is a need to immortalize the beautiful stories and history behind the landmarks and destinations in Sorsogon for better appreciation of the Sorsoganons and visitors.
“Ang turismo ay hindi lamang tungkol sa magagandang tanawin at mga lugar. Bahagi ng turismo ang kasaysayan at pinanggalingan ng lugar na sana sa sinumang bibisita rito ay malaman at makita niya ang mga karasanan at kwento ng mga pangyayari katulad dito sa Bulusan,” Escudero pointed out.
He commended the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO), the Bulusan local government unit and government agencies involved in the beautification of the Bulusan park, carried out at the height of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The Department of Public Works and Highways–Region V undertook the construction of the arrival and departure shed, a ramp, food bar and upper view deck at a cost of P30 million.
Sorsogon PTO chief Bobby Gigantone said the town of Bulusan hopes to attract even a fraction of the pre-pandemic tourist arrivals as the country transitions to the new normal phase.
In 2019, Bulusan received 141,000 visitors, mostly locals.
“After two years under shut down and undergoing massive rehabilitation, this ecological escapade is ready to say hello to tourists again. We are hopeful na ang mga turista ay unti-unting makabalik sa Bulusan at sa aming lalawigan,” he said.
“Thank you to Governor Escudero and Bulusan Mayor Mike Guysayko for their commitment and for supporting our tourism campaign. In time, makakabangon na rin ang turismo sa Sorsogon,” Gigantone added.