SAGADA’S COMMUNITY-BASED ECO-TOURISM LEADING TO SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
ROBERT L. PANGOD, MAYOR EDUARDO T. LATAWAN, JR.
(Executive Assistant, Sagada, Mountain Province, and Municipal Mayor, Sagada, Mountain Province, respectively)
Nestled in the heart of the Cordillera mountain range in Northern Philippines, Sagada is naturally endowed with natural wonders and unique indigenous culture, which present huge potential for tourism development. For the past two decades, tourist arrivals have consistently increased thereby contributing to job generation and local economic development. Acting on this growth, the national government started investing hundreds of millions of pesos in tourism infrastructures in an elaborate attempt to turn Sagada into a major tourism hub.
This study seeks to examine how the local stakeholders and their leadership are responding to the hasty infusion of capital and fast-moving transformation of the local tourism industry into an extensive economic enterprise. Incidentally, they are innovating on a community-based ecotourism approach that highlights the collective management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining biodiversity, traditional life support systems and cultural integrity. Findings of the study underscore the specific conditions and attributes that elevate Sagada’s tourism industry to what it is today and the systematic techniques that are being put into motion to ensure that benefits from tourism redound to all sectors under an equitable political and democratic structure.
ROBERT L. PANGOD, 45 years old, resides in Dagdag, Sagada, 2619 Mountain Province. He graduated his Bachelors of Arts, major in Political Science in Baguio Central University in 1990 and took up at least 18 units Master in Public Administration in Trinity College in the early 2001. His special skills include computer operations (MS Office, SPSS, Adobe Premier Pro), film making, indigenous music and environmental theatre arts. A multilingual guy, he can speak several indigenous dialects in the Cordillera, of course not to exclude Filipino and English.
His experiences ranged from being a researcher, research coordinator, community/project development officer, networking and advocacy coordinator of the several special studies and foreign funded projects in the Cordillera before landing as Head Executive Assistant of the Municipal Mayor of Sagada, Mountain Province. To mention some, Mr. Pangod had joined and was part of the Cordillera Resource Center for Indigenous Peoples Rights (CRC-ICR), University of the Philippines-Cordillera Studies Center (UP-CSC), Central Cordillera Agricultural Program II (CECAP II), Caraballo and Southern Cordillera Agricultural Development Programme (CASCADE), Earthquake Rehabilitation Programme (ERP) and Montanosa Research and Development Center (MRDC). These experiences sprung up to the publications of some of his researches and books. Accordingly, he authored the following, to wit: 1) Holok, An Indigenous Pest Management System in Ifugao, 2) Indigenous Irrigation Management: The Lampisa System of Water Distribution among Sagada’s Ipidlisan, 3) Food Security, Agricultural Biodiversity of the Indigenous Peoples: Food Production Issues in Dandanac, and 4) Sugar Consumption Pattern in the Province of Kalinga and the Potentials of Muscovado Sugar.
For more inquiries, Mr. Pangod can be reached through his mobile phone 09999911801 with email@example.com as his email address.