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Ligao’s Batong Languyon is Albay’s treasure trove

By Rhaydz B. Barcia

LIGAO CITY --- More than 20 years ago, the city government here declared the Batong Languyon in Sitio Tambac, Maonon village in Ligao City as a fish sanctuary.

Today, the area is home to different marine species, including blue marlin (malasugui).

Several days ago, a 32-kilogram blue marlin was caught by fishermen in the water off Cabarian, near Maonon.

“The return of the bounties of Burias Pass was made possible after the full enforcement of Fishery Law,” said Mayor Fernando Gonzalez of Ligao City, who showcased the giant blue marlin caught around Batong Languyon.

Batong Languyon, is an islet and was declared fish sanctuary and protected area about two decades ago during the first term of Gonzalez in the 90’s.

Today, the area is famous as the Bicol’s best snorkeling sites and home to different marine resources.

“We are showcasing the Albay west coast as one of the best tourist destinations today with the pandemic slowing down. Batong Languyon is the best diving site in the country. It is also one of the best snorkeling spots in the west coast of Albay province,” Gonzalez said.

“Batong Languyon is our marine protected sanctuary and tourism destination with intact coral reefs and huge number of marine species,” he added.

The Albay west coast is home to natural white sand beaches. Five kilometers away from that area is a mangrove forest with an area of approximately 50 hectares.

Part of that mangrove forest is situated in Sitio Sawang of Barangay Cabadian where Miss Earth candidates from 30 countries planted mangrove a year ago.

Bob Porcalla, team leader of the patrol base 11 of the city environment office stationed at Sitio Tambac, Brgy. Maonon, here, said that Batong Languyon is the third best locally managed marine protected area (MPA).

The city government was conferred with the Para El Mar MPA Awards because of the project. Para El Mar MPA is a nationwide biennial event which showcases the best performing MPAs in the Philippines.

He said that Batong Languyon is also a nominee for the nationwide project of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources called Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK).

The other day, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources declared Ligao City as winner of regional MMK with a P2 million cash prize.

The City of Ligao was proclaimed the regional winner of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ (DA-BFAR) 2022 Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) Search for Outstanding Coastal Community.

Lawyer Demosthenes R. Escoto, BFAR national director along with BFAR regional director Ariel U. Pioquinto and Pedro P. Creo, fisherfolk director led the awarding and handed over the P2 million prize to Mayor Gonzalez along with other LGU officials.

Escoto commended Ligao City for remarkable efforts in the conservation of marine and coastal resources.

Gonzalez for his part expressed his gratitude to BFAR for its continuous support to its program.

Ligao City will compete for the national level competition of MMK representing the Bicol region.

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