04 Jul The Spot of community involvement
TAGUM CITY – The Kalagans, a Muslim tribe, stand to benefit from the newly opened Halal Certified The Spot Restaurant of Hijo Estate Resorts in Madaum, Tagum City as a source of marine resources for the food shop.
They are also actively involved in the business as Kalagan tribe’s dishes are included in the restaurant’s cuisine, Lani Sta. Maria, operations head of The Spot told reporters. She said The Spot will serve Kalagan, Tausug and Arabic-Middle East cuisine.
“This is an ecotourism spot, we involve the tribe in the community to take part in the business, so we include the dishes of the Kalagan tribe,” she said adding that about 1,000 Kalagans are living around the area.
Resort owner Rosanna Tuason-Fores said the opening of The Spot is “about crossing the borders and bridging gaps among various religions, practices and beliefs. This is important to me and the country.”
She also said “Beyond the economic gains and tourism contribution, the opening of this halal restaurant is our way of making a statement for unity among all our brothers and sisters especially here in Mindanao, Christians or Muslims, we can coexist in harmony by respecting our diverse culture.”
She thanked the Department of Tourism for being instrumental to the restaurant in relation to becoming Halal certified. The Spot is among the 15 tourism-related establishments recognized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) last April 7 during the Madrid Fusion as a Halal restaurant. Also, the restaurant is one of the few certified and accredited-Halal restaurants by the Halal International Chamber of Commerce and Industries of the Philippines (HICCIP).
Located beside twin rivers, The Spot comes as a native-inspired pavilion and dining facility. Goers like families aside from eating halal foods can enjoy fishing, kayaking and river cruising. An eco-tourism destination, The Spot is located within the 760-hectare mixed used tourist development in Mindanao the Hijo Estate Resorts. Of the vast area, about 3.5 km is home to century-old mangroves. Just 45 minutes drive from Davao International Airport, The Spot halal restaurant opens daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m..
Within the Tourism Industrial Economic Zone Authority (TIEZA) are two major tourism destinations, the Banana Beach Resort and Lanikai. The Banana beach resort provides guests with tropical-themed accommodations, delectable restaurant, water and land-based activities and land tours.
Lankikai, heritage home of the Americans in the 1920s is now turned into a boutique hotel with eight suites, recreational halls and world-class infinity pool.
The Spot is among the 16 establishments certified as Halal kitchen by Department of Tourism (DOT), DOT 11 Regional Director Roberto Alabado said in an interview. He said DOT is targeting about 50 in the Philippines. Of the number, 23 establishments are eyed in Mindanao.
The Halal Tourism Project of DOT which was launched in January this year was initially implemented in Manila, Boracay, Cebu and Davao.
He said DOT 11 is looking at Malaysia and Singapore as potential markets for Mindanao’s Halal tourism because of the availability of direct flights from Davao.
The Halal Tourism Project is making things easier for tourists who are looking for Halal tourism-related establishments, Alabado said.
Alabado said majority of the halal certified establishments are in Davao Region including the Southern Philippines Medical Center, the first and only hospital in the country with a halal-certified kitchen; Pearl Farm Resort in the Island Garden City of Samal; Hijo Estate Resort in Tagum City; Marco Polo Hotel-Davao, Tin Hat Boutique Hotel and Restaurant, Ecoland Suites, Park Inn by Radisson, Villa Margarita Hotel, Al Sultan Zabadani Restaurant and Rumah Kari Restaurant in Davao City.
In Zamboanga City, the qualified establishments are: Dennis Coffee Garden, Jimmy’s Satti House, Bay Tal Mal Restaurant, Palacio del Sur, Azenith Royal Hotel, Barcode Restaurant, Astoria Regency, Grand Astoria Hotel, Dislang Catering and Woodland Resort.
The list for Region 12 includes Family Country Inn, Greenleaf Hotel, the Farm Carpenter Hill, FB Hotel, Hotel San Marco and Alnor Hotel.
Text by Judy G. Quiros