Transforming Camp Into Eco-Tourism Park

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija - Owing to its unique mountainous areas, natural lakes, coastal areas and clean environment, Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation, (FMMR), the biggest military camp in Central and Northern Luzon, is being developed by military leaders into an eco-tourism zone.

Major General Gregorio Pio Catapang, Commander of the Army's 7th Infantry Division, (7ID), said that during their ocular inspection along the 44,970 hectares FMMR, top military leaders came up with an idea to also develop it into a possible site for an eco-tourism park, saying the camp has the potential to be developed as an ideal tourist destination due to its vast area and natural terrain features.

A recipient of three Gold Cross medal for bravery, a rare achievement in the military, Catapang said the camp can be also used for educational tour, good venue for sports activities like golf, mountain trekking, swimming, running and simply leisure walking.

The camp also offers various amenities where family and friends can relax, sing, dine and stay together.

He said that Fort Magsaysay, the home of the 7th infantry Division, Philippine Army with vast land area that is remarkably known for its eco-friendly environment, has an amazing flora and fauna atmosphere enveloped by rainforest and trees of different varieties that go together by a merry chirping of the birds, signifying that the place is a bird-safe haven.

''We will see the death of insurgency and the birth of peace, prosperity and development in Regions I and III'', said Catapang, one of the ''Heroes of EDSA."

''We will transform the 7th Infantry Division as one of tourist destinations in Nueva Ecija. You haven't been to Nueva Ecija if you haven't visited Fort Magsaysay, the home of the Kaugnay Troopers,'' the soft-spoken Army commander said.

The 7thInfantry (Kaugnay) Division, celebrated the Philippine Army's 116th Founding Anniversary last Friday with theme ''Serving the people, Securing the Land.''

In a bid to create environmental awareness, Catapang said that among the activities during the Army anniversary were a rally game featuring off-road vehicles to test the endurance, initiative, and determination under severe road condition; Man versus Machine; Fun Run or ''Takbo para sa FMMR'' to enhance relationship between the military and civilians that promotes FMMR as eco-tourism destination; and Fun Bike or ''Bisekletahan Sa Fort Magsaysay,'' a rally trail-bike game featuring off-road bikes.