Lanao del Norte’s Mt. Inayawan to be declared ASEAN Heritage Park

2023 April 12

Mount Inayawan Range National Park in Nunungan, Lanao del Sur (Photo grabbed from Lanao del Sur Provincial government Facebook page)

MANILA – The Mount Inayawan Range National Park in Nunungan town, Lanao del Norte province is set to be declared as ASEAN Heritage Park (AHP).

In a public briefing on Wednesday, Nunungan Municipal Mayor Marcos Mamay said the official declaration will take place on June 28 of this year.

“Iyong Mount Inayawan Range National Park which will formally, officially declared ngayong June 28, so isa po siya sa ASEAN heritage. So sa sampung countries sa buong Asia, kasali po iyon (The Mount Inayawan Range National Park will be formally, officially declared this coming June 28, so it will become an ASEAN Heritage. Out of 10 countries in Asia, it is included),” Mamay said.

The ASEAN Center for Biodiversity defines AHPs as “protected areas of high conservation importance, preserving in total a complete spectrum of representative ecosystems of the ASEAN region.”

The declaration of an ASEAN Heritage Park aims to generate greater awareness, pride, appreciation, enjoyment, and conservation of ASEAN’s rich natural heritage, through a regional network of representative protected areas, and to generate greater collaboration among ASEAN member states in preserving their shared natural heritage.

Mt. Inayawan is a protected area and is considered the last frontier of the province. It stands on more than 3,500-hectare land area and is roughly 1,365 above sea level.

When officially recognized, it will become the 10th AHP of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Mamay invites tourists to visit their place as the local government is trying to push for their municipality as a tourism site.

Mamay said that Nunungan boasts three pristine lakes, four breathtaking waterfalls, and five natural caves.

“Then ang pinaka-famous po iyon pong wild berries o raspberry wherein iyan po ang pinakasikat po sa Nunungan. So hopefully magiging wild berries capital po tayo sa buong Pilipinas – abundant po iyong wild berries po sa atin (The most famous is our wild berries or raspberries here in Nunungan. Hopefully, we also become the wild berries capital of the Philippines as we have an abundance of wild berries),” he said.

He said there are three pathways to reach Nunungan from Manila or from Luzon, and that is through Cagayan de Oro, Ozamiz City, and Pagadian City which is the nearest with around one-hour land travel to reach the municipality.

Mamay assured local and foreign tourists that no harm will come to them as the municipality has been given a world peace award.

While in Nunungan, Mamay also invited visitors to have a taste of their local Maranao delicacies which include “amik” (pili and rice flour cooked in coconut milk), “dodol” (sticky rice flour in coconut milk) and “tiateg” (deep fried rice flour, egg with coconut milk), among others.

Marita Moaje