Why It's Important You Take the Cuyambay Route When Climbing Mount Paliparan

Friday, May 06, 2016

Roasted cashew: favorite snack of kids from the Dumagat community of Cuyambay

Brgy. Cuyambay in Tanay, Rizal is a community of Dumagat. This group of indigenous people, like most in the Philippines, are historic practitioners of commonly considered unsustainable practices such as kaingin (slash-and-burn farming) and paguuling (small scale charcoal production). While kaingin had generally faded out into practice, paguuling still remains rampant in Cuyambay. Fortunately, most of its residents have been inspired by the pro-environmental initiatives of nearby Masungi Georeserve. So, in an effort to transform the community's unsustainable practices into something sustainable, Cuyambay has opened its very own Mount Paliparan to the public, making way for an ecotourism initiative that is designed for both protection and profit.
cuyambay dumagat
Cuyambay's leaders and residents decided to put their natural heritage to good use

Related Adventure: Ultimate Guide to the Masungi Georeserve

I've already discussed the background of Paliparan in this guide to the mountain. In this post, I'd like to delineate the reasons why you must patronize the Cuyambay trail instead of any other trail to Paliparan. It basically lists down all the reasons why Cuyambay's effort should be appreciated, plus other interesting facts.
mt paliparan tanay
The view from Paliparan's peak

Its intentions are noble 
As mentioned above, the Dumagat want to protect and preserve their ancestral domain as well as to give sustainable livelihoods to its people. Properly implemented ecotourism is a great way to achieve this. And Cuyambay is off to a great start. They have reached out for inputs from advocates such as myself as well as immersed and involved the youth in their plan to preserve their heritage. It's very exciting and should give all of us in the travel and outdoor community much hope. 
cuyambay tanay
Cuyambay's youth with Kagawad Rose (wearing cap) during Celineism's Paliparan exploration

Related Adventure: DIY Guide to Mount Paliparan

You'll get to plant trees
Outdoor communities have been suggesting mandatory tree-planting during climbs. Cuyambay is making that a reality. Every registration is inclusive of an endemic seedling cultivated by a Dumagat that will be planted on scheduled events. Of course, tree-nurturing should also be incorporated but this is a great start. 

You'll get a chance to experience the ways of the Dumagat
Hiking Mount Paliparan can be paired with a trip to Sitio Tuoy where a more essential community of Dumagat lives. Here, you'll see how satisfied they are with a simple life, how courteous the kids are because of non-exposure to television and the Internet. It's a nice way to get yourself a little more perspective. 
Ka Carling, one of the elder Dumagat, makes a living making barbecue sticks from buho. He's one of the many residents of Cuyambay banking on tourism for a more stable livelihood
Matmat from Sitio Tuoy roasting cashew nuts

The mystique of Tungtong Falls
A series of interconnected waterway that is punctuated with numerous falls lies on the foot of Mount Paliparan. Tungtong Falls is another magnificent natural wonder that can only be seen in Cuyambay. 

The magnificent Tungtong Falls
Perhaps the overgrown character of Mount Paliparan is its greatest strength. You can even believe that here is where the wild things are, but it's important to remember that in every tourism endeavor is a chance to provide sustainable livelihood to a community. This is what we hope will happen to Cuyambay. I hope you join us.

Know more about how you can help other communities through tourism by checking out Celineism's Spread The Impact series as well as these 8 basic etiquette rules all modern travelers should know.

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