Get a Glimpse of the Rare Palawan Hornbill in El Nido's New Hike Trail

Plus other creatures you can only see on the island.

(SPOT.ph) As one of the benchmarks in practicing sustainable tourism in the Philippines, Lio Tourism Estate in El Nido, Palawan continues to expand its list of activities that not only promotes the world's most beautiful island, but also encourages guests to be more mindful of the environment. There's bottom fishing, an eco-friendly way to experience the bounty of the sea by fishing without a rod or a reel; snorkeling and diving, to better see the marine creatures we continue to harm by our plastic consumption; and riding a bamboo bike, which not only lets you work out a sweat but also minimizes carbon emission. On September 21, Ten Knots Development Corporation—a subsidiary of Ayala Land Inc. and the developer of El Nido Resorts and Lio Tourism Estate—is officially opening Lio Hike Trail to the public.

The Palawan Hornbill (Anthracoceros marchei) is classified as "vulnerable" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Its decreasing population is caused by mining, quarrying, and logging practices in Palawan. Courtesy of Lio Tourism Estate
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This 3.8-kilometer trail allows El Nido residents and guests, whether from Lio Beach or from the town, to go on a do-it-yourself tour through a verdant forest. You can encounter endemic flora and fauna along the way, such as the Palawan hornbill (a.k.a. talusi in Cuyonon language), white-vented shama, the Philippine mouse-deer, and the Philippine long-tailed macaque. The trek ends at a view deck that's 82 meters above sea level and offers a stunning view of Cadlao Island and Bacuit Bay. There's a charge of P100 per head for upkeep of the trail.

The Philippine long-tailed macaque's (Macaca fascicularis ssp. philippensis) status is a little bit "better" than the Palawan hornbill. Classified as "near threatened," this subspecies of the crab-eating macaque is endemic in Philippine forests and woodlands, especially in the mangrove forests of Palawan. Courtesy of Lio Tourism Estate
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The Northern Palawan Tree Squirrel (Sundasciurus juvencus) currently has a stable population growth, according to IUCN. It lives in lowland forests in northern Palawan, including Lio Tourism Estate's mangrove stands. Courtesy of Lio Tourism Estate

"Our goal is to provide Lio visitors distinct holiday experiences in the outstanding natural settings of Lio Tourism Estate," Joey Bernardino, Ten Knots Development Corporation director of sales and marketing, said in a press statement. "We have realized that our success as a tourist destination lies in raising awareness that we have a highly unique environment that deserves to be enjoyed by future generations."

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Lio Beach, which is open to the public, is kept clean not only by the estate's staff but also by guests and residents themselves.
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
Local communities always join in its annual coastal cleanup. (Photo taken in September 2018) 
PHOTO BY Christa I. De La Cruz
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Aside from the launch of Lio Hike Trail, there will also be a series of activities along Lio Beach in time for the International Coastal Cleanup Day. At 7:30 a.m., there will be coastal cleanups along the estate's four-kilometer, public beach and at the four island resorts on Apulit Island, Miniloc Island, Lagen Island, and Pangulasian Island. This is simultaneous with an eco-run where joggers are tasked to pick up trash along the route and collect them in a sack. "Ploggers," as they are called, with the shortest time and heaviest sacks, will receive special prizes.

Lio Tourism Estate is in El Nido, Palawan. El Nido Resorts has properties on Apulit Island in Taytay, Palawan; and Miniloc Island, Lagen Island, and Pangulasian Island in El Nido, Palawan. For more information, visit the websites of Lio Tourism Estate and El Nido Resorts.

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