Kimberley M. Noriega | Krishia E. Go | Anna Roselle B. Palma
The study determined the potentials of Forest Club as an ecotourism destination in Bay, Laguna. The study also determined the profile of the establishment in terms of its flora and fauna, ecotourism activities, and facilities and amenities. It also identified recommended measures to help protect and conserve Forest Club as an ecotourism destination.
The study used descriptive method of research. Findings revealed that Forest Club has potentials to be an ecotourism site. It was classified as a secondary forest which means it has been logged and developed. The flora and plant species that can be found in the area consist of dipterocarp species like yakal, white lauan, guijo, and other minor forestry species like mahogany, narra, bismarck palm, and acacia crassicarpa (growfast). Herbal plants are also present in the area such as basil, mint, guto-kola, tarragon-tea, taheebo, lemon grass, oregano, talinom, black tarnate, gynera nepalysis, and copperline. The fauna or animal species that can be found in the area are snakes, native chicken, itik, tilapia, and cat fish. Forest Club has also several types of ecotourism activities called the eco-adventure program. There are four types of eco-adventure program - survival, team building, trust, and pool and water games module. Since Forest Club is a perfect venue for teambuilding, camp, seminars, field trips, and workshops, most of the activities available are in the forms of games. It also has a camping site that can accommodate up to 10 tents.
Like other potential ecotourism sites, Forest Club also has different facilities and amenities. It was showed in the study that these facilities and amenities are environment-friendly and suited in the area as far as ecotourism is concerned. However, Forest Club does not have beach or lakeside recreation facilities because it is approximately 800 meters away from Laguna de Bay.
The study also determined the potentials of Forest Club as an ecotourism destination based on the guidelines set by the local government. The establishment obtained 100% in the criteria set by the DOT and DENR joint memorandum. This means that Forest Club is a potential ecotourism destination. On the other hand, as per DOT criteria for ecotourism destination, Forest Club got 89% which means it is moderately potential ecotourism destination.
The study, therefore, recommended the following measures to protect and conserve Forest Club: (1) Flora and Fauna present in the area should be indigenous to the local area to ensure that the local plants and animals would thrive in the environment; (2) Forest Club should have an environment officer who will ensure that its flora and fauna are protected; (3) there should be an environment plan in terms of the generated waste disposal and possible recycling of materials; and(4) Forest Club should limit its number of guests and ensure that these guests are aware that the place is an ecotourism site that needs to be protected and preserved.