Spanish envoy likens Sta. Cruz Island to new paradise on earth PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 13:44

Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq on Sunday likened to a new paradise on earth the Great Sta. Cruz Island across the mainland Zamboanga, which the city government under Mayor Celso Lobregat’s administration intends to develop for eco-tourism spot.

“This is no doubt a unique island that can happen in the Philippines . . . this is a place where you can discover a new paradise on earth and I think it has great potential for tourism that is sustainable and environment friendly,” Ambassador Domecq said of Sta. Cruz Island where Mayor Lobregat took him and other Spanish visitors for swimming Sunday.

Domecq, probably the first and only European envoy to have ever taken a dip in Sta. Cruz Island, said that the island is an important resource for the people of Zamboanga that should be preserved and protected for future generation.

“That means, it becomes a livelihood for people who live on it but at the same time tourist arrivals should be facilitated so as not to invade on the environment. The development of this island should not be invasive; it should not be so much on structures or buildings,” the ambassador said when asked how he thinks the island should be developed.

“I think that is the idea that the mayor has in his head. I think that is the right way and if I were to advise, I would advise against building so much structures on the island,” he said, adding that the island’s natural habitat, its pink-sand and clean and clear water are something that make this (island) unique and beautiful in itself.

To recall, Mayor Lobregat on Sunday, about five hours before the commemorative program for the city’s 75th Dia de la Ciudad de Zamboanga, took the ambassador, his wife Lady Rosa Rufino, First Secretary Antonio Garcia and Zamboanga Consul to Spain Ramon Balaguer to Sta. Cruz Island on board two speed boats of the Philippine Navy.

While on the island, Lobregat led his Spanish visitors to swimming in the island’s crystal-clear water amidst the scorching sun. At lunch, they feasted on sumptuous seafood and later engaged in photo ops with people on the beach.

Also joining the trip were Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, Councilors Rudy Lim, Myra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar and Gerky Valesco  together with representatives from the Department of Tourism regional office 9. — Vic Larato