TINGLAYAN, Kalinga – The Municipal Tourism Office reported that some 10,366 local and foreign tourists have visited Apo Whang-od since the country’s oldest mambabatok (tattoo artist) opened her doors to tourists in January this year.
Johnny Tiggangay, municipal tourism officer, the re-opening of tattooing industry was in response to the clamor by the local and foreign tourists wanting to visit Apo Whang-od, as well as the request of Buscalan locals for the revival of their source of livelihood.
Data showed the most visited tourism sites are the tattooing industry in Buscalan, particularly that of Apo Whang-od, Bugnay Chico River, Buscalan, Loccong, Butbut Proper and Ngibat Rice Terraces,Tulgao Rice Terraces, Tulgao Hot Spring, Palang-ah Falls, Dananao Volcano and Dananao Rice Terraces.
Tiggangay said that before the re-opening, the municipal government had asked the stakeholders to comply with all government requirements and the training of tour guides to ensure the safety of tourists with the help of the Bureau of Fire Protection-Tinglayan and other offices.
There are 42 homestays identified in the locality and peace and order programs are in place with the collaboration of the police and Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Bodong (Peacepact) system in guarding the safety and welfare of tourists.
“We did not organize any tourism task force since the “Umili” (Communities/villagers) are the task force themselves,” Tiggangay said.
He added that the economic situation now in Tinglayan particularly in Buscalan is getting better with the opening of its tourism industry.