Daang Kalikasan old logging road from Pangasinan to Zambales reopens, attracts tourists, environmentalists

HSBC Philippines
Mangatarem
Daang Kalikasan is a 54-kilometer winding road over the crest of hills and mountains. Photo courtesy of Daang Kalikasan Facebook

Daang Kalikasan, an old road directly linking Pangasinan to Zambales used by illegal loggers, has partially reopened and quickly became a local tourist hot spot in Northern Luzon.

The reopening of the scenic Daang Kalikasan’s Mangatarem, Pangasinan side was discovered by people to have a beautiful view from the winding road on the crest of hills and mountains.

The road instantly became an Instagrammable and selfie spot for travelers with its commanding view of the awe-inspiring surrounding areas, even with its deforested state.

The Pangasinan and Zambales provincial governments are reportedly eyeing the road to become an eco-tourism draw and are already engaged in tree planting activities to reforest the mountainous site.

The 54-kilometer Daang Kalikasan road connecting Umangan, Mangatarem in Pangasinan and Guisguis Sta Cruz in Zambales is expected to be completed in 2021, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The construction of the 14.6-kilometer road on Mangatarem side started in 2017 along the highway on the Zambales side, with the intention to have both ends meet in the middle of 2021.

DPWH Ilocos Region project engineer Willer Bince said about three kilometers remained under construction in the four-lane road with PHP1.13-billion funding. The Pangasinan side is targeted to be finished before the rainy season.

Afterwards, construction will begin on the 30-meter bridge and some five kilometers of road that will connect Mangatarem and Aguilar towns.

Daang Kalikasan has drawn thousands of tourists. Photo from Daang Kalikasan Facebook.

The construction of the bridge and the road at the boundaries of Mangatarem and Aguilar towns is estimated to cost an additional PHP300 million and PHP400 million respectively, Bince added.

Daang Kalikasan was actually an old logging road that was used by illegal loggers to allow their heavy duty trucks and harvested trees to pass across mountainous terrains and forest areas. But since illegal logging stopped, the abandoned road has been widened, improved, and spruced up to provide the fastest and shortest link from Pangasinan to Zambales and vice versa.

Daang Kalikasan even in its partially reopened state is already drawing tourists from the province and neighboring localities for its picturesque scenery though many areas are bare and just screaming and begging to be reforested.

We can only imagine the whole area covered by a wonderful lush green forest. The people will surely enjoy the faster and scenic experience of traveling through Daang Kalikasan.

We can learn from the past mistakes and teach ourselves and show the world that we can take care of our environment and be good stewards of God’s gift of nature.

More road and bridge projects have been completed or in the process of completion to provide faster travel and scenic routes, among them, Siquijor’s new road that gives motorists access to Butterfly Sanctuary and Bandilaan Mountain View Park, Samar’s Basey Bypass Road leading to Sohoton Cave and Balantak Falls, and the soon-to-be completed Mindoro Island Circumferential mountain road bringing the tourism activity from Oriental to Occidental.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the people of Pangasinan and Zambales for the upcoming completion of Daang Kalikasan road that is expected to spur more economic activity and tourism in the two provinces!

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Eldan Sambatyon
Eldan is an experienced online content writer who finds fulfillment in sharing the good side of the news to Filipinos.