KAWIT–The tourism development plan focusing on the rehabilitation of heritage and historical sites to spur tourist interest has been adopted by the Kawit Sangguniang Bayan, the town’s tourism official said Saturday.
Kawit tourism officer Angelo Jarin Aguinaldo said in an interview that the local legislative council’s approval had paved the way “to preserve the town’s historical essence and encourage more tourists to come”.
Kawit’s tourism plan is geared towards the rehabilitation of Kawit’s heritage sites as the town is known for its historical landmarks and having a key role in the nation’s history being the “cradle of the proclamation of Philippine independence” at the Aguinaldo shrine.
The historic site, now a shrine, is complemented by a park where the centerpiece monument of General Aguinaldo mounted on a horse symbolizes his gallantry for leading the Filipino revolutionary forces against the Spanish and American colonizers.
The tourism plan now with the Department of Tourism Region IV-A (Calabarzon) is up for endorsement to the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprize Zone Authority (TIEZA), said the officer.
The historical tourism program is given boost by the Kawit mayor’s forging with several private-public partnerships. These partnerships include heritage mapping, heritage sites preservation, heritage tour operations and promotions.
“The town is fortunate to have the active support of our government agencies like the CALABARZON regional and provincial tourism offices, Association of Tour Operators of Cavite (ATOCC, an association of all tourism officers of Cavite), National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA),” said Aguinaldo.
He mentioned private companies Fundacion Santiago, Jeepney Tours, Kalayaan Tours and Cavitex Infrastructure Corporation that also support the town’s tourism development plan.
Partnership with Fundacion Santiago billed as “Saysay@Salaysay” is an enhanced community-based heritage tourism which led to the creation of Cavite El Viejo Heritage Tourism Association (CVHTA).
The two-year old CVHTA groups Kawit volunteers were trained by Fundacion Santiago and conducts weekend heritage tours in coordination with the Kawit Tourism Office.
The tourism officer also cited partnerships with Kalayaan Tours focusing on promoting historical awareness and appreciation through special guided tours of the “Museo ni Emilio Aguinaldo” (NHCP-Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine) for college students.
He said that the partnerships with Calabarzon regional tourism office, Jeepney Tours and Cavitex Infrastructure Corporation involved the promotion of culinary heritage of the region.
Culinary tourism, supported by the private sector has showcased local food festival and farm ecotourism events and documentation like last year’s launching of the “Flavors of the Philippines” at Aguinaldo Shrine.
Kawit still treasures the “pandayan” (blacksmithing) as one of the few remaining blacksmithing sites in the country and continues the legacy of an age old tradition of crafting iron works manually, said the tourism officer.
The town also features its historical and religious landmark, St. Mary Magdalene or Kawit Church where the first President of the Republic, General Emilio Aguinaldo was baptized.
The residence of Baldomero Aguinaldo, a cousin of General Emilio Aguinaldo and Magdalo faction leader, as a must-see house which depicts the centuries-old architecture reflecting the simple “probinsya” (countryside) lifestyle of the olden days of the Kabintenyos, said the tourism officer.