COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: The construction of structures for the development of Tawi-Tawi’s famous mountain peak, Bud Bongao, will start soon with budget allocation of P54 million, an official of Department of Public Works and Highways in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DPWH-ARMM) said on Monday.
Engr. Don Mustapha Loong, DPWH-ARMM regional secretary, told The Manila Times that the agency is helping the tourism industry with the construction of access roads to tourism sites in the region.
He said they are going to construct an access road leading to Bud Bongao, located at the capital town of Bongao.
“We should develop and enhance our tourism spots so that the people whether local or international tourists—can see the beauty of our tourism sites like this Bud Bongao that offers majestic view to the visitors,” Loong emphasized.
As this developed, for the purpose of implementing this tourism project, ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman led the signing of Memorandum of Agreement last week, at the Bajau Hall, Office of the Regional Governor with Loong, Bongao Mayor Jasper Que, and DPWH-ARMM District Engineer Bensoud Ajihil of the Province of Tawi-Tawi.
Ajihil said P54.32 million was allocated for concreting of the road going up to the Bud Bongao administrative building, a water system, a parking area, 14 waiting sheds, view decks and a clubhouse.
Johnny Lee, president of the Photographers Association of Tawi-Tawi (PATTA) said the Bud Bongao tourism project is a welcome development for photo hobbyists.
“Bud Bongao as the iconic symbol of the province is frequented by local visitors because of the belief that it has fulfilled their prayers in time of difficulties,” the PATTA president said.
Among the attractions are flowers like wild orchids. Mountain climbers who come near the peak will be met by monkeys. But no one is expected to harm these monkeys since it is believed that they serve as Tungguh or guards of the Tampat or graveyard of holy men buried on top of the mountain.
Hence, the DPWH-ARMM together with the Bongao LGU will develop and put some improvements on these two Muslim shrines where one can pay respects and ask for forgiveness by offering prayer.