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Subic tourism school holds eco-kayaking course
Feb 07, 2013

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - Kayaking enthusiasts from various provinces in the country took to the water here recently, not to compete in a race, but to learn about how their favorite activity could help in promoting tourism in the Philippines.

The course, spearheaded by the Subic-based International School for Sustainable Tourism, consisted of a three-day training on kayak paddling, kayak guiding, and kayak safety with an emphasis on eco-tourism.

The course took advantage of the waters of Subic Bay, which varied from placid to choppy, and featured notable kayaking experts from here and abroad, who gave practical lessons on eco-kayaking.

According to Buzzy Budlong, a noted kayaking enthusiast who has led an 88-day kayaking expedition around the country, kayaking can be both a recreational activity as well as a boost to local tourism in the country.

"It can create jobs, boost sustainable tourism, and at the same time educate people about our coastal and marine resources," Budlong said.

Ogie Empeño, a registered scuba diver from the local government of Masinloc, Zambales, said they joined the course because they would be expanding their eco-tourism program in Masinloc Bay, featuring several resort islands and a unique mangrove island.

"This would be a big help in our efforts to conserve the bay area, as well as promote it to boost the local tourism market," he added.

The course was also attended by Bill Temby, a seasoned kayaking instructor from Australia, who gave lessons on basic kayaking skills.

Temby said that the Philippines has a very big potential when it comes to kayaking, given the lengthy coastline in the country.

But he noted the differences between kayaking in Australia and the Philippines.

"Well, the conditions are completely different to start with. I was teaching in Australian waters where we have issues like hypothermia," he said. "In Australia, it is competency-based and we instruct only with proper certification. It's much more regulated there."

Temby said he hopes that kayaking would be recognized as a tourist activity in the Philippines and that it would be standardized to ensure safety.

"It all comes back to safety," he said. (30)

Participants in the eco-kayaking course at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone pose with kayaking expert Bill Temby (sixth from left)

Participants in the eco-kayaking course at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone pose with kayaking expert Bill Temby (sixth from left)

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