FEATURE: Punta Taytay’s Viewing Decks: A Barangay- Initiated Tourism Program
Our visit to Barangay Punta Taytay before going to the Lenten respite was such good timing. Punong Barangay Rufino "Ruping" Alcala had a meeting with hisKagawad and luncheon was served courtesy of former Councilor, nutrition advocate and environmentalist Wilson Gamboa, Jr.
We were entertained last April 4 in one of Punta Taytay’s Viewing Decks chain of restaurants, a barangay initiated tourism program which is a highly sustainable restaurant investment attracting people from the farthest end of Negros Island including foreign nationals.
Main entrance of the barangay led Viewing Deck 20-stalls chain of restaurants now serving the Negrense visitors coming from north and south.*
Initially, 14 spacious restaurants are occupied, operational and earning. Almost all fisher folks who have fish food to sell are accommodated and more than a hundred Punta Taytay residents are employed with no age discrimination, a working elderly lady interviewed, said, "No one helped the barangay in setting up this chain of 20 restaurants. It occupies more than a hectare during low tide. The breeze is free and continuous, to some it brings health and to some, it is romance."
An interior portion of Barangay Punta Taytay’s 25 hectare Mangrove Forest where a billboard showed the involvement of University of St. La Salle in the planting.*
Made of bamboo and other indigenous building materials total cost of investment would probably run to several millions, Barangay Kapitan Ruping thanked "Mayor Asia Brewery and Vice Mayor Pepsi Cola".
Punta Taytay’s Viewing Deck is a barangay initiated program; it is a program because it has a plan, highly sustainable, gathers local and foreign tourist, employs several hundred, therefore attractive to corporate partnership. Barangay Punta Taytay offered its productive labor as counterpart.
Side view of Barangay Punta Taytay’s Viewing Deck and the cleanliness of water flowing beneath. Cleanliness is a prerequisite to build such visitors’ destination.*
The Viewing Deck is just one of Punta Taytays major Barangay initiated program; it continues to expand its 25 hectare Mangrove Forest which is up for a national award from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Congressman’s Monico Puentevella’s fisherman’s wharf inaugurated three years ago.
"In fact, no one helped us except Congressman Monico Puentevella during his incumbency," said an elderly lady serving us dishes of fish earlier caught alive from the sea of Punta Taytay.
The discussion with Punta Taytay Kagawad was in a "slam bang" manner ranging from politics to economics made more interesting as the whirling summer breeze slashes into our faces and hair.
We look at each other, we investigated the 14 "decks" now fully operational standing at the Viewing Deck Event Tower, we looked a little bit ahead at vacant lots ripe for hotel investment and various recreation centers.
What a place to discuss and too many investment prospects at hand – all because Barangay Punta Taytay under the leadership of "Kap Ruping" meticulously clean the shorelines and penalized littering.*