The Garcia Hernandez’ Roxas Park was previously known as the President Manuel A. Roxas Campsite and was the pride of the Poblacion. The park’s original name was given prior to the election of President Manuel A. Roxas as president of the Philippine Commonwealth in 1946. It is often used as a campsite for provincial boy and girl scouts of the Philippines National Encampment.
The campsite has also been a common venue for spiritual retreats and recollections being held all throughout the year. In line with the park are two swimming pools that are fed water by a nearby spring that gushes out from its surrounding rocks. Visitors are highly encouraged to make use of the cottages surrounding the pools to enjoy shade for their activities and to hold afternoon picnics.
In recent years, the park was established to be the Garcia Hernandez’ One Town One Product project or the OTOP by the province of Bohol. The campsite has its camping ground, swimming pools and even hiking lanes but admittedly needs further improvement to draw in even more visitors than it has today.
Within the park, attractions such as the Maambong Spring Pool and the Seventh Heaven Caves are responsible for luring in visitors. Located inland along the national highway, the park is surrounded by mahogany trees, lush vegetation and a rich fauna collection. Adventurous tourists will find an open cogon field that they can use as a camping area. The cool and peaceful ambiance of the park is actually what led the locals to call it “Maambong”, which directly translates to ambient.
Sitting on a nearby hill are the Seventh Heaven Caves, another common tourist destination. The old and narrow path that leads to the caves has been reconstructed into a roadway to facilitate the accessibility and ease of travel to and from the site. Similarly, a viewing deck has been developed to give a fantastic panoramic view of the town’s countryside.
The park is being visited by more than 200 travelers per week, including both local and foreign tourists. To generate funds for the park, the Municipal Tourism Council has designed tour packages that include the park along with other tourist sites such as the caves, waterfall, beaches, shrines, heritage sites and even a hanging bridge.
The park is about 3 kilometers away from the Poblacion Hall and is about 53 kilometers away or an hour’s drive away from Tagbilaran City. The road headed towards Garcia Hernandez from Tagbilaran is interesting and scenic, including as it does a drive by the famed Baclayon Church and other massive and age-old churches. Crossing the coastal road presents a great view of the beaches, deep blue seas and rugged cliffs on one side of the road with views of rice and corn fields, coconut palm trees, tropical dwellings and native heritage homes on the other side.
The Garcia Hernandez’ Roxas Park is geared toward a full development program with the aim to conserve and preserve the town’s natural resources. In no time, local inhabitants will steadily see tourists increase in number as the community tries to develop even more tourism development programs for people to enjoy.