Garcia Hernandez’ Roxas Park
The Garcia Hernandez Roxas Park, otherwise formally known as the President Manuel A. Roxas Campsite is the pride of the town. Within the park are the well-visited Maambong Spring Pools and the Seventh Heaven Caves.
The site is only a short 3-kilometer drive away from the Poblacion’s municipal hall. From Tagbilaran City, it is only an hour drive, about 53 kilometers away. The trip to Garcia Hernandez is scenic and interesting when traveling from Tagbilaran City going southward since one will pass by the famous Baclayon Church plus other old and massive churches in the succeeding towns.
Traversing the coastal road is also rewarding with intermittent views of beaches, the blue sea and rugged cliffs on one’s right side and on the other, views of rice and corn fields, coconut palm groves and tropical dwellings of Boholanos including heritage homes.
The park lies a bit inland from the national highway, characterized by tall mahogany trees, lush vegetation that includes rich fauna. An open cogon field is usually used as a camping area. The cool and peaceful ambiance of the place led the inhabitants to call it “Maambong”, meaning “ambient”.
Within the park, and on a nearby hill, is where the Seventh Heaven Caves are situated. The old path that leads to the cave has been developed into a roadway to facilitate ease of travel to the site. A viewing deck has been constructed and gives a panoramic view of the town’s countryside.
Adjacent to the park are the swimming pools which are fed by a spring that gush out from rocks. From the pools the water flows out towards a rolling terrain planted to rice. There are two swimming pools. Cottages are provided at the sides of the pools to give bathers shade and a place to hold picnics.
The park was named after President Manuel A. Roxas, prior to his election into the presidency of the Philippine Commonwealth in 1946. Today, it is a much used campsite by the provincial boy and girl scouts as well as private campers. In 1981, it was the venue of the girl and boy scouts of the Philippines’ National Encampment. Spiritual retreats and recollections are also held there throughout the year.
The Park has been identified and established by Cluster IV of the Province of Bohol as Garcia Hernandez’ One Town One Product (OTOP). As a campsite, it has to have camping grounds, swimming pools and hiking lanes. The park has all three; although the area needs to be developed and facilities and amenities provided to further attract more visitors.
At present, the Park is being visited by more than 200 weekly visitors and tourists who generate income for the town coffers. To create more income, the Municipal Tourism Council has designed tour packages that include other sites of the town such as a hanging bridge, caves, waterfalls, beaches, shrines and other heritage sites.
Now, Garcia Hernandez is geared towards full development. A community-based tourism development program is underway with the main aim to conserve and preserve the town’s God-given assets by enabling community-based organizations to plant and maintain flowers, fruit bearing trees and other tropical fauna and flora in the park and in its access roads.