By: Alger O. Inocencio
THE NATIVE houses built by indigenous people at the Villareal Stadium back in 2009 when the province hosted the “Dungog” - The indigenous People Festival , a national activity spearheaded by the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCAA), remain as a tourist attraction at the provincial sports complex more than two years after the event.
Maintenance done by the provincial government is paying off in terms of increasing visitors, mostly domestic tourists and students on their educational tour, who find the area an appropriate site for souvenir picture takings. Both the city and provincial tourism office have included the area as part of the itinerary of every visitor coming to the locality on group tours or students from various schools on their educational field trips. Moves to relocate the indigenous houses to the Governor’s Mansion or ESLA (Energy Savings Launching Area) otherwise referred to as the “little” Malacañang of Capiz which is around 12 kilometers away from the city proper has been aborted to allow local commuters to enjoy the site within a kilometer radius away from the heart of the city.
More than a dozen houses, each with different style and architectural design, have been attracting visitors since these were built back in 2009. The Provincial Government of Capiz, after evaluating the houses’ appeal to domestic tourists, being frequented by visitors who would usually take pictures for souvenirs, has decided to maintain the native houses within the Sports Complex. Their decision to maintain these indigenous people’s houses in the sports complex was considered a good move by the local populace, particularly by those in the tourism industry. The move has added another tourist attraction for the city and province known for its seafood and rich cultural heritage.
For local tour operators, the place has remained a hit for tourists arriving in the area which adds up to their itinerary. An hour time allotment for picture-taking has actually lengthened the stay of every guest – thus provided them a picture of how our early settlers live and survived even in these days without necessarily traveling far to see them.
Consequently, its inclusion has added thrill and excitement to visitors who were privilege to see how different indigenous groups of people build their houses that reflects their distinct way of life. The billboards erected in each house are very informative that allows curious visitors to gain knowledge of various indigenous people’s group, even in the absence of a tour guide. By looks of it, these indigenous people’s houses will be a continuing attraction in the locality - a legacy of the present provincial administration to all Kapisnon and visitors alike.