As CSU-Gonzaga continues to venture on the development of bamboo-based agroforestry in the province, it made another milestone as it launched the CSU-Gonzaga Bamboo Sanctuary on December 13, 2019.
The bamboo sanctuary was established to respond to the demands on bamboo research development and extension through the initiative of the University President, Dr. Urdujah A. Tejada and the Campus Executive Officer of CSU-Gonzaga, Dr. Froilan A. Pacris Jr. and the whole CSU Gonzaga team.
With its establishment, the bamboo sanctuary offers endless possibilities as a learning environment for its target beneficiaries, a climate change mitigation strategy, and an ecotourism potential for the province. It shall be an avenue for learning and a climate mitigation strategy as it gives the youth the opportunity to interact with agriculturists, agronomists, farmers, and experts on innovative bamboo production as a source of livelihood and climate change mitigation. It will also link agriculture and education as it aims to introduce to the students the value of the bamboo in transforming lives and saving the environment through study tours, hands-on training, and eventually encouraging them to consider agriculture as career. On the perspective of tourism, the bamboo sanctuary is a prospective ecotourism site perfect for its location: uncrowded, remote wilderness, environmentally sensitive, and physically challenging.
The bamboo sanctuary features the bamboo nursery, bamboo gene bank and plantation, bamboo park, the Urdujah Health and Wellness Park, Balai Kawayan, and the Bamboo Gallery and Souvenir Shop.
The bamboo nursery is the display area of the different varieties of bamboo seedlings. This is where the bamboo experts of the Campus propagate varieties of bamboo to be used in the expansion of the bamboo plantation. During visits, experts give mini-lectures on bamboo care and propagation. They also encourage visitors to plant and buy bamboo seedlings.
The bamboo gene bank and plantation is a perfect choice for tourists and bamboo enthusiasts who wish to have a closer look of the various species of bamboo growing in the Campus while enjoying the trek at the foot of Mt. Tabungao. A view deck, which will soon be fully developed also gives the visitors a panoramic view of Gonzaga and the West Philippine Sea while they waltz with the gentle breeze of the forest and engulf in the shadows of the towering bamboos. After a challenging trek at the bamboo gene bank and plantation, the bamboo park is the best place for the tourists to rest and breathe-in the oxygen emitted by the bamboos while enjoying the serenity of the surroundings.
One of the features of the bamboo sanctuary that tourists should not miss is the Urdujah Health and Wellness Park. Named after the present University President, Urdujah A. Tejada, who is an advocate of health and wellness through organic gardening, this is a rest and recreation park under the cool shade of mahogany trees integrated with different species of bamboo and herbs. It also features the Bali-inspired bamboo café and the bamboo massage hut. Once it is on full operation, the Bali-inspired bamboo café shall specialize in bamboo-based food and beverages. It may also serve red rice coffee and other food products processed by the other campuses of the University. On the other hand, the bamboo massage hut offers mind and muscle relaxation where a trained lady therapist offers a soothing massage.
For a complete bamboo exploration experience, the sanctuary also includes a bamboo gallery and souvenir shop. It showcases bamboo-based and bamboo inspired products and handicrafts like the traditional farming and fishing tools, housewares, musical instruments, accessories, and furniture.To complete the package, the Balai Kawayan or the Bamboo Residence gives a home away from home. Once completed, it will have the basic amenities of a lodge in a sustainably designed eco-friendly hut which will give the guests the chance to enjoy the fresh air and the natural ambiance of the environment.
With the very promising future of the bamboo sanctuary, it shall not only open doors for the promotion of the university’s activities under its bamboo-based agroforestry program; it will also provide opportunities for the creation of jobs, attract investments in the municipality and in the province, facilitate local infrastructure, and most importantly, promote ecological protection. With Cagayan State University Gonzaga as the leading provider of bamboo and bamboo products, the number of Cagayano bamboopreneurs in the global village will surely increase.
Ref: Concept Paper for the Establishment of Cagayan State University Bamboo Sanctuary: An Extension Program for Bamboo RDE