From the LEAD Movement Files

December 23, 2005 (Published by the Ilocos Times)

The apple trees that the LEAD (Laoag Eco-Adventure Development) Movement planted in Adams, Ilocos Norte are now bearing fruits that are ripe for picking. The LEAD Movement, a group of adventurers with a common passion for nature, the outdoors and adventure, was formally formed on October 16, 2004 with a goal of promoting responsible adventure tourism. Sometime in November 2004, LEAD Movement with the Pinay 7 Summits mountaineers explored the virgin forests of Mt. Pao and were captivated by the natural charm of this hidden town in the northeastern side of Ilocos Norte. During subsequent exploration treks in Adams, they found a treasure trove of rainforests with rare flora and fauna, centuries-old trees lining a canopied-walk, 8 breathtaking falls, each distinct from the others, the Bulo River, stretching all the way to Bangui town, the unique culture of the people of Adams (a mix of 3 tribes), the quaintness of the poblacion, the pleasingly cold climate, all perfectly complementing each feature to make Adams a potential adventure and sports tourism center. After unearthing Ilocos Norte’s treasure that is Adams, LEAD Movement, set its sights on spearheading the transformation of this quiet upland town into a unique paradise of adventure.

In a joint-effort with the LGU of Adams and the DOT regional and local offices, LEAD Movement sponsored a BMC (Basic Mountaineering Course) to train interested Adams locals as trek/tour guides. The graduates then formed the AMO (Adams Mountaineering Organization).

Rubber-tubing or kayaking at the Bolu River, trekking at Mt. Pao or Pico de Loro, rock climbing, rappelling and falls hopping to Pao, Aki, Anuplig, Sisilugan, Mareprep, Kanayupan falls, bird watching at Pico de Loro, mountain biking or dirt biking to Sitios Bokarot or Malaggao, picture-taking or picnicking at the vast Lovers’ Peak (which gives the best panoramic view of the mountains surrounding Adams), souvenir hunting (Adams locals are good basket-weavers), shopping for mandarin oranges, seasonal lanzones and rambutans, juicy dwarf pineapples, tapuey (rice wine), Adams coffee and mountain rice are among the bests that Adams can offer.

The Department of Tourism Regional Office saw the potential of Adams and included it in “The Philippines Bests Program”. For WOW Philippines, a unique and colorful sports and adventure showcase, aptly dubbed “The Best of Ilocos Region… more than you can imagine”, was unveiled at the Clamshell I Pavillion in Intramuros on December 5, 2005. Adams was the highlight of the entire showcase. A walk over the hanging bridge entrance to the mountain replica, complete with 2 waterfalls and a cave, depict Adams. Visitors were raving about the originality of the concept and its artistic merits. It was designed by another pride of Ilocos, Architect Rex Hofileña.

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