MADAUM, Davao del Norte, May 17 (PNA) -– A newly-opened 760-hectare Hijo Estate Resorts, a mix-use tourist development along the Davao Gulf in Madaum, is now open to the public.
In the 60s, the Hijo Estate Resorts was an agricultural farm and popularly known as the Hijo Plantation. It was the first banana plantation that made its first shipment of cavendish bananas to Japan on May 21, 1969.
Hijo Resources Corporation president and chief executive officer Rosanna Tuason-Fores said with the rich natural resources inside the estate, it would be best to share it with the people.
Situated at the center of the Davao Gulf, she said one can absorb the natural landscape and the purity of nature.
“Absorb Hijo with its rich resources, release yourself and take in the beauty,” she said in a briefing with members of media from the cities of Davao and Tagum.
The Resort is part of a master plan of the Hijo Estate Tourism Development where it has an investment of P250 million for the infrastructure and land value combined.
Fores said the development is continuing and will do it by phases even as talks are ongoing with an international partner for converting the existing wharf to an international port making it an agricultural gateway in Mindanao.
The Hijo township project is composed of several components from resort, residential, international port, commercial and mix use development.
Although she did not disclose the identity of the partner, she said they intend to start ground works within the year.
“We wanted to help small farmers market their produce direct to the international buyer by accessing the port even as she stressed that while they partner with a foreign company, still we set the bar,” she said.
Within the estate also is a 120 hectares land classified as Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), while some 100 hectares will be for residential villas with 1,000- sq.m. per area for prospective owners.
Meanwhile, Fores said with the opening of the Hijo Estate Resorts to the public, they noticed that people also look for quality leisure resort.
She noted that with tourism as the third or fourth biggest industry in the Philippines, this new tourist landmark (Hijo Estare Resorts) is an addition in the country.
She said the resort includes Banana Beach, the world’s only beach inside a banana plantation, and Lanikai Heritage House, the original plantation home that is now open to the public.
Both Banana Beach and Lanikai offer resort accommodation and world-class swimming pools designed to cater to individuals who wish to indulge in seaside luxury. It also features the Spot, a private fishing spot stocked with talakitok, bangus, and, once in a while, a barracuda.
Among the tours offered within the property includes a unique twilight safari that lets visitors witness wild boars roaming around at dusk. It also has the daytime forest tour, a river cruise, and an orchard tour that allows visitors to pluck fruits straight from the trees (depending on the season).
The Hijo Estate Resorts is the only company that offers banana plantation tours that showcase how bananas are propagated, raised, harvested and packed for export to markets all over the world.
The resort had its soft opening last year and since then traffic kept on increasing both for domestic and foreign tourists. It recorded some 1,600 tourists in April 2012. (PNA)