CALAYAN, Cagayan – Nestled between Batanes province and mainland Luzon is a promising island in Cagayan province called Calayan, a 19,600-hectare island endowed with rich marine resources and home to pristine white sand beaches, enchanting caves, and waterfalls, and a majestic lighthouse.
Poised to become Cagayan’s next tourism flagship destination by 2025, local tourism stakeholders in the island have been strengthening their capabilities to lure more tourists to the area until Super Typhoon Egay wrought severe damage to major infrastructures that link Calayan from other islands and mainland Luzon.
With a resilient character as islanders, Calayan Mayor Joseph Llopis urged his constituents to start anew and build up better.
While pledges of support are underway from the national government and other national line agencies for the repair of its seaport including major roads and bridges, the local chief executive challenged every residents to do their part and help each other to be able to rise again.
“We are resilient people of this island. There was no casualty amid a strong typhoon. So, may I reiterate that the cut-off time for pre-emptive evacuation is 5 p.m.,” said Llopis as he earlier issued a memorandum circular specifying the guidelines on how to properly respond to typhoons and other calamities.
For now, the local government unit is focused on rebuilding its communities through the spirit of “bayanihan.”
As housing aid to the almost 400 totally damaged houses on the island, each beneficiary received PHP10,000 in financial assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, along with the distribution of relief packs from public and private donors.
The local government has also allotted PHP1.5 million for the immediate repair of school buildings in time for the opening of classes this month.
"We need to strengthen our disaster preparedness and ensure to help those who need it most. Let us do our part as responsible citizens while the government is doing its best for us,” said the mayor to his constituents.
Calayan is now accessible via plane through Sky Pasada every Tuesday and Friday, and passenger vessels MB Eagle Ferry, MB Ocean Crown, and MB Rosario. (PNA)