By Rhaydz B. Barcia
LIGAO CITY --- Kawa-Kawa Hill and Batong Languyon, two famous ecological tourism destinations in this city that were formed through past volcanic episodes, require a study from scientists, especially geologists, so local officials can be guided in their tourist promotion campaigns, according to Albay Rep. Fernando Gonzalez.
Gonzalez said getting to know the historical and geological facts behind the two sites will be educational for both officials and the public.
Batong Languyon is a unique rock formation located half a kilometer away from the shoreline off Barangay Maonon in this city that lies on the western coasts of the province of Albay facing Burias Pass.
The rock formation has different sizes just like the volcanic debris ejected to the surface from the depths of the earth.
Batong Languyon is enveloped at its base by basalt rocks and a coral reef that serves as habitat of rare and endangered species such as the giant megamouth shark.
Last year, a rare megamouth shark was trapped and fished out of Burias Pass by fishermen from Marigondon, Pio Duran, Albay.
Burias Pass which is a body of water located between the shores of Albay and Masbate provinces is considered a productive fishing ground and home to an array of marine species like sharks, rays, dolphins and whales.
The waters in Burias Pass are also known to be plankton-rich with constant current, which makes it ideal as an alley for so-called pelagic creatures like whale sharks, thresher sharks, hammerheads and tiger sharks.
Due to this, Filipino and foreign scientists are studying the importance of biodiversity in Burias Pass, home to rare and endangered species where Batong Languyon is also located.
Another notable eco-tourism site in Albay is Kawa-Kawa, which is actually a “hill without a hilltop,” but with hollowed center that resembles a giant cauldron.
Located in Barangay Tuburan in this city, some 1.5 kilometers away from the Maharlika Highway, Kawa-kawa Hill is one of the favorite sites of local and foreign tourists who want to commune with nature as they trek from the foot of the hill till they reach its highest point.
Every day, hundreds of tourists come to visit Kawa-kawa Hill, especially during weekends.
During Holy Week, a bigger number of pilgrims ascend the hilltop to visit and pray before larger-than life sculptured images and dramatization of Jesus Christ’s 14 Stations of the Cross that are each strategically located along the uphill and winding path of Kawa-Kawa Hill, where on its crater-like hollowed center ground bloom hundreds of sunflower plants.