The “Rainbow River” is one of the sought-after attractions at the Sibalom Natural Park (SNP) after it was featured by the United Nations Development Program-Biodiversity Finance Initiative (UNDP-BIOFIN) in February.
SNP Protected Area Superintendent Anthony Evangelio, in an interview Friday, said a writer of the UNDP-BIOFIN admired the multi-colored precious stones found at the Mau-it River during his visit and named the river that stretches along the SNP as Rainbow River. The name became popular and the spot now attracts visitors.
“We have tourists visitors in the area almost every day,” Evangelio said.
He said that the Mau-it headwater stretches from Barangay Aningalan, San Remigio to Indaga Creek in Barangay Imparayan, Sibalom and incredibly rich in semi-precious stones such as quartz, jade, and onyx that are being processed into jewelry by locals.
“Tourists could really appreciate the semi-precious stones at the Rainbow River during this dry season because of the shallow water,” Evangelio said.
With the newly discovered attraction, tourists are advised to only view or take pictures and don’t pick the stones as souvenirs for the area to be preserved.
Local jewelers are only allowed to pick up the small pieces of stones downstream and not within the protected area.
The semi-precious stones are among the resources covered by the Republic Act 7586 otherwise known as the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act (NIPAS) and the RA 11038 or the Expanded NIPAS Act of 2018 to be preserved within the SNP.
Aside from the Rainbow River, other attractions inside the park are the rare but now-blooming Rafflesia speciosa, considered to be one of the largest flowers that could expand up to 22 inches in diameter, Visayan warty pig, Visayan Tarictic and Walden’s hornbills and Visayan spotted deer. (PNA)