Don Salvador Benedicto (DSB) taking up the Eco Challenge
The youngest municipality of Negros Occidental, Don Salvador Benedicto more popularly know for its acronym “DSB” is situated 2,495 feet above sea level at the mid-center of the province, 47 kilometers of good highway from capital city, Bacolod. Its composite jurisdiction includes two barangays (barrios) from Murcia town, three from San Carlos City and two of Calatrava. Established as a town in 1983, it was intended to consolidate the area into a separate and independent local government unit to counter the insurgency concentrated here. The town got its name in honor of the late Vice-Governor Salvador Benedicto, who was part in setting the Revolutionary Government of Negros Island and Siquijor during the Japanese occupation last World War II. Today, this newfound town has surpassed geographical, economic and social challenges, with its 10-year strategic master plan for residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural & fishery development zones and because of this became a budding eco attraction in the province, albeit raw and emergent.
Though DSB is still pretty much rural, almost like a big barrio, it has already literally paved the way for bigger things to come, such as its infrastructure: impeccable picturesque highway that is the envy and adjudged “most beautiful” in the country. Its climate is moderate; cool for Philippine tropical standards with an even rainfall distribution throughout the year. Among its rural attractions are historical Barangay Igmaya-an, one of the strongholds of the province’s Revolutionary Government during the Japanese Occupation; the Monument in honor of its namesake, Don Salvador Benedicto; the picturesque mountain ranges of Mt. Mandalagan and Mt. Canla-on; the remarkable Rice Terraces, a mini-replica of Banaue’s; attractive Malatan-og Falls amidst the lush green forest, ideal for mountain trekking; the 45-meter Hanging Bridge at Barangay Igmaya-an and of course the Zigzag Road leading to the town and the impressive scenic freeway which provided the shortest route between San Carlos, the farthest city of the province to Bacolod, as well as network links to the rest of the Northern towns and cities. DSB prides itself with indigenous tribes still existing in the area and its folkloric fiesta “Kali-kalihan” commemorating the Feast of the Kali, a long lost culture of a genuine Filipino heritage and the oldest form of weaponry, the “Arnis or Escrima.”
DSB officials are working towards providing the town with careful and conscientious advancement, slow but sure steps towards Sustainable development with its community based rural and agro tourism. In no time, it will be the country’s next green getaway hotspot.
Last March 5, 2011, I re-visited DSB and gave a talk and presentation on Sustainable Tourism & Best Green Hospitality Practices, emphasizing the need to conserve its natural resources, with careful consideration for the local community while it embarks on new tourism development to ensure its sustainability for future generations. Attended by DSB’s town officials and educators, invited guests from neighboring First District of the province comprised of councilors, tourism officers and civic leaders were also present.
I was happy to see several acts from “Anagas” which was especially presented by DSB’s Cultural Consultant, play director and writer, Ismael Java. Anagas is an original Hiligaynon (regional dialect) theatrical presentation with a profound message about the environment.
With these inspiring simple townsfolk and sincere officials dedicating their lives on the preservation of their town, we will be working together for The Negros Initiative framework of Conservation, Community Social Responsibility & Sustainable Tourism.
The Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development, Inc. (SSTDI) is leading the greening of Negros Occidental and espousing Sustainable Tourism: experience culture, cuisine, conservation and meaningful visits to Don Salvador Benedicto and other local communities.
Don Salvador Benedicto is a proponent of The Negros Initiative led by SSTDI, a Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility framework to be implemented with institutional partners Green Hotels, The Clean Blue & Zero Carbon Resorts. Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs towards a green economy for destinations, cities and communities include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Prevention and Management. Educational programs can be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community in general. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.