EB Magalona town in Negros Occidental inaugurated and blessed another eco-tourism destination that showcases its famous seafood on Friday, June 3.
The Isla Madalag Eco-Haven features a bamboo restaurant built on stilts in the water beside a 5-hectare mangrove in Barangay Madalag, which serves SUTUKIL (sugba, tula, kinilaw) fish, crab, shrimp and seashell dishes.
At a smaller dining area connected to the main restaurant by a bamboo footwalk guests can feel the seawater on their feet during high tide.
A bamboo viewing deck next to the smaller dining area gives visitors a better view of the mangroves and the sea.
“Immerse with nature and satisfy your palate,” the sign that welcomes guests says.
Across the restaurant are houses painted in bright colors and bancas with colorful sails that lend a fiesta atmosphere to the place.
Guests can buy talaba, blue crabs and fruits on display in the colorful bancas.
EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon said the town government built the restaurant to draw tourists and provide a source of livelihood for the Madalag residents.
The restaurant is managed by the town government in partnership with the barangay. Guests will be asked to pay a P10 environmental fee to maintain the mangroves, the mayor said.
Many of Madalag’s residents have worked in restaurants and resorts elsewhere, and now can put their skills to good use in their own village. Even the restaurant’s cook is also from Madalag, he said.
The restaurant will initially be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the mayor said.
Jojo Vargas, the town’s environment and natural resources officer, said the Madalag residents are reaping the rewards of mangroves planted in the area through the years.
Visitors can rent bancas to tour the mangroves, the mayor said.
Malacon said the Madalag Eco-Haven will become another tourist destination for the 3rd District and Negros Occidental.
EB Magalona that is under Alert Level 1 plans on resuming its “Sabado Nights”, a night market that showcases the town’s seafood, in August, and its Seafood Festival in December, Malacon said.
They are also planning on opening a restaurant in Bacolod City where seafood from EB Magalona will be sold at reasonable prices, Malacon said.
Malacon said EB Magalona is a recent recipient of the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s Good Financial Housekeeping Seal.*