VAST opportunities for business and tourism await investors in Camarines Norte, more with its capital, Daet, known as the gateway to Bicolandia.
Tito Sarte Sarion, former mayor of the first class city Daet, said businessmen are welcome to the province, especially those who want to invest in hotels and restaurants.
“Daet is a popular surfing and kiteboarding spot because of its long stretch of beach in Bagasbas area. Many tourists are flocking in our place. Including locals, they love the wonderful beaches in Calaguas group of islands,” Sarion told The Manila Times in an interview.
One can reach Camarines Norte in six hours by land from Manila. In fact, every summer, thousands of tourists are transported to Daet on their way to Calaguas islands from the Mall of Asia in Pasay City via special trips of closed vans.
While no resort was built in the Calaguas islands, considered a tourism gem internationally, many tourists spend a night or two to savor its pristine beaches and virgin surroundings. It was once the site of the reality show Survivor France, where everyone is assured of surviving there courtesy of bountiful fish and vegetables.
Sarion said Daet has been transformed into a bustling place, full of business potential. He said the province is growing at a tremendous phase.
Camarines Norte was used to be famous for gold mine operations in its Paracale town that were eventually closed down owing to environmental issues.
Being an agricultural province, Daet is a proud producer of the sweetest pineapple called Pina Formosa.
Every month of June, the province is holds the Pinyasan Festival in honor of its biggest agricultural product.
Another pride of Bicol and Daet, in particular, is the yummy pili nut (Canarium ovatum), which has the flavor of pumpkin seeds but exudes an authentic taste when roasted.
Although pili nut trees are bountiful in most of Luzon, being low maintenance the Bicol variety is the best tasting.
Aside from the nut, its pulp is an excellent source of fiber, by just blanching and dipping it in one’s preferred sauce.
Sarion, now a full-fledged businessman and radio anchor, and also a publisher of a quarterly magazine that features the region’s agricultural products, said Daet has a lot of potential as an investment haven.
He said Daet has the distinction of being the first to install a monument to Jose Rizal as the national hero, which was unveiled on December 20, 1898.
Sarion, Daet’s mayor since 2001, told The Manila Times that tourism will make his province bountiful as it will not only generate the much-needed income, but will bring jobs to his fellow Daeteño.
The province has a population of about 600,000, with 100,000 people living in the capital city.
JAIME R. PILAPIL