We’re sure you’ve heard about Baguio’s “Little Kyoto” — the very Instagrammable Bamboo Eco-Park at St. Francis Xavier Seminary in Liteng, Pacdal.
Did you know that it is now closed to the public after being opened just late last year? All thanks to no-good vandals who decided to engrave names and words on bamboo poles found in various areas of the park.
Traces of urine have also been found along the pathways, where some visitors would apparently relieve themselves mid-tour.
Bamboo Eco Park: A project to protect nature and promote eco-tourism
Baguio’s Bamboo Eco Park is a collaboration between the local government, the Philippine Bamboo Foundation (BPF), and several corporate partners.
The now-popular tourist go-to — which aims to mimic the iconic Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto, Japan — stands on the former site of the Irisan open dumpsite. Irisan is Baguio city’s largest barangay, and its open dumpsite’s bamboo-driven beautification was a huge step towards sustainable development hinged on tourism.
According to a report by Sunstar Baguio, BPF president Edgardo Manda confirmed that Baguio’s Bamboo Eco Park will also help local communities explore more livelihood opportunities.
BPF was to carry out handicrafts training to interested barangays. Once established, Baguio’s Bamboo Eco Park could be a potential farming site for the sustainable harvest of bamboo.
Before its temporary closure, Baguio’s Bamboo Eco Park drew local tourists, gaining traction in March this year. There was no security personnel assigned to monitor people once inside the park. Visitors were only requested to give a monetary donation of any amount to enter the park’s premises.
Some local tourists also noticed the vandalism in the area. Photos circulating the Internet also showed visitors in close proximity to one another, which violates COVID-19 physical distancing protocols.
To date, there has been no further announcement on the park’s reopening.
Baguio’s Bamboo Eco Park’s temporary closure is a reminder to be more responsible tourists. Isn’t it a shame? We were given a haven to enjoy during and long after the pandemic — and this is what visitors choose to do during the first few months of the park’s operations.
Featured image credit: Clouie de Perio | Instagram