By: Alex A. Lumaque
ROXAS CITY, Capiz – The 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) of the Philippine Army based at Camp Macario Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz in now being considered as an ecotourism area in the province.
Major General Jose Z. Mabanta, Jr. 3ID commander, said the exposure of the camp to tourists will be an opportunity to tell the world the rich cultural heritage of the people at the military reservation.
A recent talk with the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office and private enterprises was conducted by the 3ID top officials to realize the plan.
“With the five waterfalls that we have so far discovered here at the immediate vicinity of the cantonment area, this is one of the best places to travel to and appreciate what the natural environment can offer. We believe there are more unexplored waterfalls within the reservation,” he said.
The camp, the country’s third largest military camp spanning over 33,310 hectares, has been declared a military reservation through Presidential Proclamation No. 67 and officially proclaimed by virtue of Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 19 of Jamindan town.
The sprawling camp covers the municipalities of Jamindan and Tapaz of Capiz province and Lambunao town in Iloilo and is inhabited by various communities of indigenous people (IP).
The whole camp is a nature park and a wildlife sanctuary. Among its beautiful spots are the grotto and shrine of the blessed Virgin Mary, located at a hilltop where one can enjoy the mountain view as far as Dumalag, Capiz.
A variety of flora and fauna also surrounds the grotto.
The camp also offers a two-hour hike in a nature trek that treats hikers to a glimpse of the 100-meter waterfall and the three basin falls where visitors can take a dip. The place also has a vacation and picnic area dubbed “Kalikasan Nature Park,” which has complete amenities and a viewing tower.
The 3ID also boasts of its swimming pool that offers confined water scuba diving and other activities.