The city government of Borongan in Eastern Samar will hire former rebels as tour guides in Hebacong Sea of Clouds, its newly-developed tourist destination.
Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda said, in an interview Tuesday, that the initiative will provide livelihood opportunities to former rebels as they rebuild their lives shattered by years of armed struggle.
“Aside from sharing about the various flora and fauna in the area, former rebels have beautiful stories to tell because of their familiarization with the place. This story can be the struggle of their community that influenced their decision to join the insurgency,” Agda said.
Before their deployment, former rebels will join tour-guiding training of the city government.
Borongan City has 100 former rebels who surrendered to the authorities as of 2023.
Developed and opened in March 2023, Hebacong Sea of Clouds is the newest attraction in the capital city of Eastern Samar province.
The local government plans to put more facilities in the area with funding support from the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority. Among these are ziplines or car cables that will serve as additional attractions and activities.
Aside from residents of Hebacong village, Mayor Agda added that even residents of the interior villages of Benowangan, Baras, Pinanag-an, and Bagong-Baryo, all located along the river, will benefit from the tourism activities at the sea of clouds.
The city declared the destination in the upland Hebacong village as an eco-tourism site last year.
The city government describes the site as a perfect place to view the “sea of clouds.” The area used to be infested by armed rebels.
The local government named the destination “sea of clouds” due to the perfect view of cloud formation from the mountaintop. Mountains seemed to float like islands, making the phenomenon resembles a sea of clouds. (PNA)