By Mark Andrew B. Oppus
Another breakthrough attraction in Bohol is in the making and not only is it a first in the Province, but also a first in the Philippines. The Abatan River Ecomuseum will be the first ecomuseum to be established in the Philippines and will be another achievement in Bohol. The famous Abatan River which flows through the municipalities of Cortes, Maribojoc, Antequera, Balilihan and Catigbian, is already known for their eco-tourism activities such as the community life tour, firefly watching and kayaking.
The newly-forming ecomuseum will add to the already existing ecotourism activities which would open a lot of opportunities for people to learn more about the culture, history and environment of the Abatan River through thematic routes and selected sites wherein visitors will also be able to experience how locals use the resources of the river for their livelihoods.
Although an ecomuseum retains all the feautures of a regular museum, it is not housed in any building nor does it display exhibits in display cases. Ecomuseums showcase selected elements of the locale in situ, from historic buildings and production sites to natural landmarks and testimonials from local people. Selected elements of an ecomuseum highlight the identity of an area.
The Abatan River Ecomuseum aims to spread cultural and educational awareness about the abatan river through community engagement, promote the interconnection of new and existing attractions to help preserve the heritage and traditions of the local community, raise awareness of the importance of native flora and fauna found in the abatan river and finally to create a well-balanced co-existence of nature and culture of the abatan river that will positively contribute to the livelihood of the local people.
The Ecomuseum will definitely generate income for local communities and LGUs as well as provide environmental and cultural heritage protection. Aside from that, it will also create new business opportunities which will also pave way for more Boholanos to be employed.