PGMA dispels legend of the 'secret mountain'

September 9, 2009 10:30 am 

INITAO-LIBERTAD, Misamis Oriental, Sept. 9 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today dispelled the legend of this municipality's centuries-old forest called by natives as “Lasang,” by bravely entering it and coming out unscathed after several minutes.

The Chief Executive told the crowd who welcomed her that as a child, her grandmother would tell stories of the Lasang whenever they would pass by on their way to Iligan or to Cagayan de Oro to catch the flight back to Manila.

The President said her grandmother's stories include the legend that anyone who would enter the forest would never come out alive. This, the President said, was due to an “evil spirit” or monster taking sanctuary within the Lasang's thickly packed foliage and mountainous region.

According to the President, she only knew then that the forest's name was “Secret Mountain” and not Lasang Secret Adventure and Eco-tourist park that it is now known.

“But today, I am glad that finally I have been able to enter Secret Mountain and come out back in one piece,” she said.

The President said she has many good memories of her childhood spent in Misamis Oriental and in her grandmother's ancestral home in Iligan City. When she became President in 2001, she told the local government officials of the province to develop this area into a tourist spot.

The President urged officials to build on the area's attractive and mystical allure based on the stories and legends the place conjures.

“Lasang has the potential to be a big tourist attraction and I am glad that the Department of Tourism (through its Regional Director Catalino Chan) has done so much to improve the place's potential to attract more tourists,” she said.

Lasang's mysticism was not lost to media practitioners covering the events of the President in the province. Some even noted that the President's visit today coincided with the “magical” play on numbers of the calendar which happens every 100 years.

If September 9, 2009 were written numerically, it would come out 09-09-09 or “999” which to some superstitious believers is a lucky number because of its repetitive nature.

Further study of the official Presidential events today revealed that she had nine engagements from the time she arrived at Lugait, Misamis Oriental at 10 a.m. to her departure at around 1:30 this afternoon.

The President's schedule included her windshield inspection of the Holcim Cement Plant, the awarding of DoLE-ISLA program to the province's fisherfolk, the awarding of the Presidential Medal of Merit to Hanjin Philippines' immediate past president Jeong Shup Shim, the inauguration of the Misamis Oriental Provincial Hospital in Manticao, her visit to Lasang, lunch with the province's officials, and her meeting with the Cagayan de Oro League of Councilors and the CDO press corps. (PNA)



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