Cavite may be an all-too familiar destination, being Metro Manila’s next-door neighbor and urban satellite. But despite its gentrification in recent decades, the province is home to many under-the-radar attractions hiding from plain sight, particularly in the interiors of Maragondon and Silang.
Rediscover the historical, cultural, culinary and countryside spots of these towns as AAP Lakbay rolls on its second caravan this year on May 28.
The drive tourism arm of the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP), the country’s national auto club, AAP Lakbay has been doing a series of “Drive, Dine and Discover” caravans across the country’s key destinations over the past decade to promote domestic tourism.
“The AAP Lakbay Cavite caravan will feature the lesser-known but equally exciting history, food, and crafts of the province as part of the tourism reboot of the Calabarzon Region,” says Marites Castro, acting regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Calabarzon, which is a major supporter of the event.
She said that the DOT regional office launched last December the Green Corridor circuit in Laguna which identified the destinations compliant with the government’s pandemic protocols. She added that the caravan is part of private initiatives to validate more “green circuits” which can be recommended to tour operators and travelers.
The caravan will swing by at Maragondon’s Church of the Our Lady of the Assumption, listed by the National Museum as a National Cultural Treasure, and the Bonifacio Trial House Museum where Katipunan Supremo Andres Bonifacio was given the death sentence by fellow Filipino revolutionaries in 1897 due to trumped-up charges.
Participants will also feast on native lunch onboard a bamboo raft cruise at the scenic Inuquit River, once adjudged as among the country’s cleanest and greenest body of water.
For souvenir shopping, there’s Likhang Maragondon, an award-winning local enterprise which is helping revive the town’s age-old weaving tradition and bamboo craft by making them available to a bigger market.
Meanwhile, pit stops in Silang include Cornerstone Pottery for artisanal craft, Ilayang Pulo Garden Center for plant shopping for “plantitos” and “plantitas,” and will be capped with a taste of heirloom delicacies at Asiong Caviteño Restaurant.
According to AAP Lakbay president Mina Gabor, the group is lining up more unique destinations off the beaten path through well-curated itineraries to spread tourism’s benefits to provincial communities.
The former tourism secretary noted that the caravans are worry-free trips which emphasize road safety, pride of place, and sustainable tourism.
The Cavite caravan is also supported by official fuel partner Petron Corp., Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), and Mapfre Insurance, which all share the advocacy of promoting domestic tourism and allied industries.
For details, log on to www.aaplakbay.wixsite.com, email [email protected] or follow AAP Lakbay on Facebook.