DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A province in Davao Region launched for the first time a mountaineering activity exclusive for women, in hopes of promoting tourism and gender empowerment at the same time.
"Bobay Climb" is a two-day climbing activity that begins on April 21, with 100 slots reserved for women participants whose itinerary will take off in the municipality of Maco, Compostela Valley province.
"We want to instill that women can have fun in this kind of activities," said Christine Dompor, the province's chief tourism officer.
Bobay means women in the language of Mansaka, among the Lumad people living in the province.
The idea to launch the women-only activity came from the Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao, whose president is a woman, said Dompor.
"We want to mainstream this kind of activity which has been dominated by men climbers," said the tourism officer who compared women to be similar to volcanoes.
Part of the itinerary would be a climb to the active volcano Amakan. Its crater is an 8-hectare picturesque cauldron comparable to Mt. Pinatubo.
"But Mt. Pinatubo is different because it's surface is flat. This one is an uphill climb, so you'll do rappelling," she said.
Apart from mountain climbing, the activity will also include bamboo rafting at Lake Leonard, a hike to the Mainit Hot Spring, and lectures about the province's advocacies on women.
Participants will be paying P1,200, which covers vegan meals and snacks, an "overflowing" chocolate drink, a climb jersy, motor transportation, and a local tour guide. They have to be at least 18-years-old, she said.
The province of Compostela Valley has been investing heavily on its tourism industry, as it recently announced it would be developing a nearly P100 million Wellness Loop Development project.
The project involves connecting the province's tourist destinations into one circuit.
Also known as Comval, the province has been long known for its mining industry, with Mt. Diwalwal the center of the country's richest gold deposits. – Rappler.com