Whale Sharks or Butanding in Legazpi City

More foreign tourists are flocking to Legazpi City for the chance to interact with whale sharks, known locally as ‘butanding,’ which have stayed in the waters of Albay Gulf close to the seaport.

Donsol town in neighbouring Sorsogon has been known as the capital of butanding interaction in the country, an experience sought by guests from all over the world. That adventure is now also being offered in Legazpi City.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda said they are now working with the Legazpi City government and the provincial office of Albay eco-nautical tourism so they could participate in any process or structure to ensure the ecological integrity and sustainable enterprise of the activity. Tourism is a major industry in Albay which contributes substantially to its local economy.

Governor Salceda said the presence of butanding off the shores of Albay further enhanced the potentials of the province as a “must visit” tourist destination. Its other tourist drawers include the perfect cone-shaped Mayon Volcano, the Cagsawa Ruins and other the tourism assets.

He said the whale sharks in both Donsol and Legazpi would further boost the stature of Almasor as an eco-tourism paradise of the Philippine.   Almasor is a tourism alliance of the three southernmost provinces of the Bicol Region – Albay, Masbate and Sorsongon, which Governor Salceda organised last year as chair of Bicol’s Regional Development Council, to integrate their tourism assets.    

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