SANTA ANA, Cagayan: The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), a government-owned and controlled corporation, is seeing increasing investments in leisure and amusement as well as tourism-related activities.
CEZA public relations chief Joyce Marie Jayme-Calimag said investors are particularly interested in games and amusements, recreational and sports facilities, and casinos among others.
Also called the Cagayan Freeport, Calimag said CEZA is the first and only regulated e-casino gaming jurisdiction in Asia with the First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation (FCLRC) acting as the master licensor for CEZA for its e-casino activities.
“All applications are coursed through FCLRC for screening and evaluation prior to the issuance of a gaming license by CEZA,” Calimag said.
Information on the application procedures for e-casino is posted on the FCLRC website www.firstcagayan.com.
“Our locators have been successful so far in their investments, like Leisure Resorts and World Corp. (LRWC),” Calimag said.
In its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, LRWC said it more than doubled its consolidated net income in 2014 to P750 million as a result of improved sales from its business segments.
LRWC said the bulk of profit contributions came from its online gaming business in CEZA. Its other business segments include a casino, retail and property, and investments.
LRWC operates its online gaming at the Cagayan Freeport along with First Cagayan Leisure and Resorts Corp., First Cagayan Converge Data Center Inc. and LR Land Developers Inc.
The Cagayan Freeport is located in northeast Luzon and is comprised of the entire town of Santa Ana in Cagayan Province and the islands of Fuga, Barit and Mabbag in the town of Aparri.
Variety of scenic spots
“Besides leisure and amusement activities at the Cagayan Freeport, we also offer a variety of scenic spots such as white coral and sand beaches, interesting rock formations, exciting forest trails and interesting ocean views,” Calimag said.
She said Cagayan Freeport can provide for every tourist wish, be it a backpacking adventure, snorkeling, game fishing, scuba diving and many more for a relaxing leisure holiday.
Calimag said the Freeport has many areas of interest for visitors such as white sand beaches which include Gotan Beach, called the Golden Beach; Anguib Beach, called the Boracay of the North; Mapurao Point, a 198-hectare white sand area; Palaui Island, dubbed as one of the top 10 beaches and islands in the Philippines by CNN Go with its Cape Engaño Cove, also a coral beach.
She said other areas which visitors may be interested in are Palaui’s Cape Engaño Lighthouse, a historic Spanish lighthouse completed in 1892, and the 30-meter high and three-tiered Barutbut Falls.
In addition to this is trekking, which is one of the exciting eco-adventure activities that the Freeport offers in Palaui with the Siwangag trail and the Eco-historical trail.
She said the Siwangag trail is the shorter path that passes through agricultural fields and crosses the hilly forests until the Siwangag cove while the Eco-historical trail is a 2.5 kilometer trail that courses through mangroves, the east coast, a beach forest with grasslands, lowlands, wetlands and the Cape Engaño lighthouse and coral beach.
How to get there
Calimag said there are two ways to get to the Cagayan Freeport: by plane with AirPhil Express and Cebu Pacific flying daily to Tuguegarao City from Manila, then take a three-hour bus or van ride to Santa Ana at the Don Domingo Terminal.
There are also buses that travel from Manila to Cagayan like Florida Bus which has direct daily trips to Santa Ana, 10-12 hours’ travel, and for independent motorists, take NLEX and or SCTEX going north passing by Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela to Cagayan.
The types of accommodation range from comfortable homestay houses and hotels to luxurious five-bedroom villas.