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INTRODUCTION

Mountain biking is a relatively new form of recreation and sport, compared to hiking, fishing, and snow skiing (Fix and Loomis, 1998). Though new, it has been growing as a veritable form of outdoor recreation and is recognized as such. Despite the inevitable link to road cycling, mountain biking has branched off into something more specialized and diverse. This diversity among mountain bikes and the mountain bikers themselves pose a whole new challenge to managers, policy makers, and operators of parks and other outdoor recreation areas. The early 1990s saw an explosion of the popularity of mountain biking and mountain bikes itself. The 1992 figures showed a 66% increase or 25 million people owning a mountain bike compared to 1990, and in 1994 the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) estimated around 2.5 million to 3 million avid trail riders in the United States alone (Morey et al., 2000). The Philippines with its rugged terrain consisting of vast natural formations of hills and mountains is already well suited for various outdoor recreation activities, and are located close to major urban centers like Manila. Compared to temperate countries where most of the riding season is done a couple of months in summer, the Philippines can truly boast of almost year long riding. Planners, administrators, and even local government units should be able to recognize and utilize these new partnerships and markets. In 1999, with the creation of Executive Order 111 or the National Ecotourism Strategy, in cooperation with the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID), a framework for ecotourism based activity was created. Ecotourism was looked as a way to develop communities and give them awareness in protecting the remaining natural resources. Development of ecotourism-based outdoor recreation is a priority of many Local Government Units (LGUs) in the Philippines. But mountain bikingcentered areas are strangely absent, when ecotourism also recognizes mountain biking as a legitimate outdoor recreation activity (Cereno, 2010). When there are mountain biking events, the most well-known are usually done by private or corporate concerns, though LGUs are helping out more in recent times, for example the Panguil Eco Park in Panguil, Laguna and the Donsol Whale Shark Research and Ecotourism Sustainability Program in Donsol, Sorsogon. The Makiling Forest Reserve (MFR) is an interesting case. Primarily a laboratory for research and instruction of the University of the Philippines Los Baos (UPLB), it is also an integral watershed and is also well known as an ecotourism site. People who trek the trails in the MFR are either there for scientific purposes, or also for tourism. To travel around the MFR, the main (and only) known path is the Mariang Makiling Trail. The trail is considered multi-use. For hikers, mountain bikers, and the people of Barangay Bagong Silang, the Mariang Makiling Trail is the only way of access. Conflict among trail users can happen when travelling along the Mariang Makiling Trail. When a

mountain biker going downhill at a high speed meets a group of hikers standing in the middle of the trail then there will be trouble. Trail use and access is a hotly contested issue in foreign countries, where different interest groups lobby against each other for sole access of trails. Mountain biking gets a bad reputation among fellow trail users, especially on its supposed environmental impacts. But the statistics show that though bikes are perceived to be dangerous, they do not significantly add up to the tallies of accidents listed and known by managers of such parks (Cessford, 2002). In light of this, attempting to look at mountain biking with a scientific approach is needed to identify the possible potentials and problems. The mountain biking community, with its peculiarities and unique lifestyle needs to be looked at to add to the whole ecotourism experience. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The study will attempt to look at the state of mountain biking in the MFR, and to look at mountain biking as an ecotourism activity. Specifically, the study will try to address the following questions: 1. Who are the mountain bikers? a. What are their educational backgrounds, age, location relative to the MFR, income, riding experiences and skill level, etc.? b. What are their bike-related social networks, if they have one? c. What are their motivating factors to ride mountain bikes, specifically in the MFR? 2. What is the state of mountain biking in the MFR? a. What are the things that attract bikers to the MFR? What are the things that do not attract bikers to the MFR? b. What kind of mountain biking experience appeals to bikers who go to the MFR? c. How can mountain biking fit in the existing ecotourism activities in the MFR? d. How can it improve the protection and conservation practices in the MFR? 3. What is the capability of the MFRs management system to handle mountain biking? a. What are the current policies and rules in the management of the MFR, especially ones that cover ecotourism, and specifically mountain biking?

b. Is mountain biking being given any attention by MFR management? Does it view the mountain bikers with friendliness or antagonism? c. Is the MFR willing to work with bikers in the future, for their mutual benefit? d. Are there any steps done by the MFR management to increase awareness of mountain biking in the MFR (i.e. contests, marketing, etc.)?

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this study is to determine the potentials and challenges of mountain biking as an ecotourism activity inside the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve. The relationships between mountain bikers, the nature of the mountain biking activity, and the MFRs management system that support or hinder mountain biking will be analyzed. Specifically the study will attempt to: 1. Characterize the mountain bikers, their preferences and motivation, and their social networks; 2. Describe mountain biking, the thrills and experiences that appeal to people, and its contribution to the protection and conservation of the MFR; 3. Determine the Mount Makiling Forest Reserves management system that supports or hinders mountain biking, as well as looking at mountain bikings fit into their main objectives. 4. Recommend management strategies and actions to provide bundled services in support of ecotourism that incorporates mountain biking.

SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS

The study will be focused on the mountain biking activity in the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve (MFR) and the attendant management system applied by the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME). The qualitative nature of data gathering by means of survey and other primary data collection may be subject to the resource persons availability and reliability. It may be biased, and it can affect the reliability and accuracy of the data. Hence, it is proposed that more diverse group of resource people will be tapped for the surveys and key informant interviews.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Despite the presence of mountain biking in the Philippines, studies about the activity itself and the people who ride are non-existent. Most studies about mountain biking has been done in developed countries, where mountain biking is more widely practiced and common. The mountain biker in the Philippines is still very much an unknown entity. There have been no studies on the individuals who ride mountain bikes, from the people who ride them for fun, for work; or for competition and sport; in recent years or even at any given time in the Philippines. Park managers, especially those who do not offer mountain biking trails are clueless on what to do when these tourists arrive. Managers should have a database on which to plan a course of action to accommodate mountain biking, be it for trail access and/or access fees. In the case of the MFR, the MCME has no study and no data on the mountain biking population that enters the MFR. The lack of information on this particular group of tourists may slow down any move by the MCME to improve its existing ecotourism facilities and to plan and assign actions to the specifications of mountain bikers. Ecotourism is mentioned in Chapter 11 of the Makiling Conservation and Development Master Plan (EO 349), in which one of the goals is to establish and provide quality outdoor recreation opportunities and tourism facilities with the requisite services to the public. Hiking and camping are already well known, and recently bird watching. The EO 349 listed ecotourism and outdoor recreation as one of the major management objectives. In terms of Natural Resource Conservation, Ecotourism is a very useful tool to increase awareness and appreciation towards nature, as well as other benefits. Developing countries in particular have looked to tourism to help increase national foreign exchange earnings, GDP and employment rates, and to improve socioeconomic conditions in peripheral regions (Weaver, 1998, as cited by Stone, 2002). Ecotourism is activity-based, and one of these activities is mountain biking. Mountain bikers ride because they believe it is fun, healthy, it provides a physical challenge and it is a social activity (Goeft and Alder, 2001). The last point is important because social networks can help in the dissemination of information related to conservation. The goal here is twofold: one is to provide recreation and physical activities for people, and the other is to educate and to make more people appreciate nature. Mountain biking as an ecotourism activity can also be used to help in community development, as support services to accommodate mountain bikes that can provide employment and business. The Resort Municipality of Whistler in British Columbia in Canada is home to the worlds most famous mountain bike park, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park; and the community is more than capable in the handling of tourists (approx. 100,000 visitors

every summer), yet remain highly conservationist. Despite the creation of the park, wildlife has flourished, as well as mountain bike trails. In the MFR, stores near the Mudsprings provide food and refreshment not just to hikers but to mountain bikers as well. However, these stores are the only auxiliary services found inside the MFR. Mountain biking provides a different challenge to the tourism industry, where the biggest and most profitable form is beach-based tourism, but ecotourism and other nature-based adventure tourism ventures are gathering momentum and mainstream attention. This study attempts to link up the mountain biker, the mountain biking activity, and the area together with its management system to find how these pieces will fit in the grand scheme of ecotourism inside the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve. Knowing these pieces and how these will melt with the existing situation in the MFR will give tourism researchers, managers, and conservationists the right product mix, the right management plan, and especially, the best conservation strategies that can accommodate mountain bikes and still achieve the overall objective in managing the MFR. For the stakeholders, understanding and harmonizing the different traits and parameters is critical if a mountain bike specific product will be introduced in the MFR in the future. For the mountain bikers, awareness that they are part of the grand scheme of nature conservation instead of antagonism will definitely help, and they can also take the initiative. Mountain bikers tend to have a social network that can be ultimately useful in the cause of nature conservation. The study also aims to assess the current state of the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve in the perspective of the mountain biker. It will assess the current state of the compatibility of mountain biking and the MFR. And when there are gaps in the function of need and demand, what can the mountain bikers and the MFR do to address the said gaps. The compatibility level will determine the policy recommendations, strategies and interventions, as well as enhancements to the existing amenities found in the MFR that is geared towards mountain biking.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE This chapter will explain about mountain biking, ecotourism, and the MFR. The history, kinds, and peculiarities about mountain biking will be looked upon in this chapter. Ecotourism and its peculiarities and potentials will be reviewed, as well as the current state of the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve.

Mountain Biking A mountain bike or mountain bicycle (abbreviated MTB or ATB (all-terrain bicycle)) is a bicycle created for off-road cycling. This activity includes traversing of rocks and washouts, and steep declines, on dirt trails, logging roads, and other unpaved environmentsactivities usually called mountain biking. The bicycles have evolved rapidly through the introduction of different technologies, and have therefore branched out into several different specialist disciplines. History The history of the mountain bike and mountain biking is not as long as other forms of outdoor recreation, but the origins are earlier than most think. Off-road bicycles have been referenced a lot of times in the 20 th century, it was a derivative of the road cycling and obstacle event called cyclo-cross in France, and the Roughstuff Fellowship in the United Kingdom in 1955 (Griffith, 2010). In Oregon, one Chemeketan club member, D. Gwynn, built a rough terrain trail bicycle in 1966. He named it a "mountain bicycle" for its intended place of use. This may be the first use of that name (The Chemetekan, 1966). In the United States in the 1970s, there are several groups of riders who claim that they contributed to the sport and hobby known as mountain biking today. In Crested Butte, Colorado and Cupertino, California, bicyclists got old cruiser bicycles of 1930-1940s vintage, fitted fatter tires and bigger, improved brakes. To add, gearing and motocross-like handlebars were fitted. These bikes were called Klunkers, as the term mountain biking or even the term mountain bike was not invented yet (Amici Design, 1999). Early forms of racing these klunkers would be downhill, as the riders would ride down fire roads and use their hub brakes so much they had to repack the bearings after every run, giving these races the name Repack Races. (Berto, 2008) In 1978 however, the first bicycle purpose-built for mountain biking was created by Joe Breeze. The first mountain bikes were basically road bicycle frames (with heavier tubing and different geometry) with a wider frame and fork to allow for a wider tire. The handlebars were also different in that they were a straight, transverse-mounted

handlebar, rather than the dropped, curved handlebars that are typically installed on road racing bicycles. Also, some of the parts on early production mountain bicycles were taken from the BMX bicycle (Kelly and Crane, 1988). The trend continued on until the 1990s, when the popularity and technology of mountain bikes exploded. Disc brakes, suspension systems, and new frame construction has pushed mountain biking to something that is today. Classification of mountain bikes and mountain biking Classification of mountain bikes are dependent on the suspension used, specifically suspension travel. There are hardtails, mountain bikes with front suspension but a rigid frame, Full-suspension, where both front and rear suspension are present, and rigid, which is a mountain bike but with no front and rear suspension. A rarer kind is the soft tail, wherein their frame allows for some flex to act as suspension. In classifying mountain bikes and mountain biking, the amount of suspension travel and the preferences of the rider are the references to look into. Cross Country and All-Mountain The most common form of mountain biking is Cross Country (XC). These bikes have the lightest weights and lowest suspension travel (80-120mm) of all mountain bikes. However, with the improvements in bicycle technology more sophisticated bikes offer more travel yet has lower weight relative to XC bikes (McCormack and Lopes, 2010). In XC racing, lightness is paramount, and bike companies are already offering frames and parts made of carbon fiber instead of the usual aluminum or steel. Trail bikes, being slightly beefier and heavier than XC bikes, are the next step in the ladder. They offer moderate travel (110-150mm) and have frame geometries that can handle downhill terrain slightly better than XC bikes (McCormack and Lopes, 2010). However this is being blurred by the appearance of the All-Mountain (AM) category. These bikes are capable of handling downhill trail sections a lot better except the most dedicated downhill bike, but have the climbing ability of an XC bike. They offer the most variations of suspension travel (120-170+mm) and most of these bikes suspension travel can be adjusted by adjusting the existing components found on the bike and its suspension characteristics (McCormack and Lopes, 2010). Downhill and Freeride Downhill (DH) and Freeride (FR) bikes represent the extreme spectrum of mountain biking. Both bikes offer extremely robust frame construction, advanced and robust suspension systems and travel (170mm- above 200mm), and specific downhill oriented geometry to handle the most technical of terrain in high speed (McCormack and Lopes, 2010). Freeride bikes however, are more diverse as it can include dirt jumping hardtails to short travel frames with DH frame construction and geometry, to full Downhill racing frames with slightly shorter travel and modified geometry for better maneuverability in tight trails (McCormack and Lopes, 2010). In terms of difficulty, Downhill and Freeride are the most difficult and advanced riding disciplines because of

the terrain features used and technical features like large jumps and drops. In downhill racing, speed is also the most important factor: a race against the clock from the top to the bottom. Peculiarities of mountain biking Mountain bike riding, by its very nature, is an activity mainly pursued on trails and similar features like old logging roads or fire tracks (Goeft and Alder, 2001). Mountain biking is regarded as a form of adventure recreation (Priest and Dixon, as cited by Goeft and Alder, 2001), where participants look for a degree of risk, excitement and peak experiences (Ewert and Hollerhorst et al, as cited by Goeft and Alder, 2001). In developed countries, mountain biking is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreation activities, with 25 million Americans owning one in 1992, andith an estimated 2.5-3 million trail users in 1994 (Morey, et al, 2001). Recreational riders are more open to where they ride, be it on plantation forests or natural settings, and stay away from artificial, plantation forests (Goeft and Alder, 2001). The range of riding opportunities in such settings is one of the main reasons such natural settings have experienced such biking growth (Hollenhorst et al., 1995 as cited by Cessford, 2002). However, creating trails solely for mountain bikes is a very expensive affair, so managers opt for the incorporation of bike use through shared use tracks (Cessford, 2002). This setup causes conflicts among the trail users because of the concept of recreation conflict (Goeft and Alder, 2001). The theory of goal interference is the foundation of this theory (Manning, 1986, as cited by Geoft and Alder, 2001). The theory proposes that conflict arises when the presence and/or behavior of one group of users is incompatible with the social, psychological, or physical goals of another group (Jacob and Schreyer, 1980; Gramman and Burdge, 1981, as cited by Goeft and Alder, 2001). User conflict, as a concept, is fairly well understood and demonstrably real (Sprung, 2004). Most of these conflicts are centered on the perceived negative impacts of mountain bike riding, and it is peculiar that most people regard mountain biking as one of the worst, if not the worst offenders. In developed countries, lobbying from hikers and environmental groups have caused some land managers to ban trails to mountain bikes because of that perception, though studies have demonstrated that all forms of outdoor recreation cause impacts to the environment (Sprung, 2004). Like other forms of outdoor recreation, mountain biking can prove to be a wise investment for the communities in which they pass, as it can stimulate local economies by attracting fellow mountain bikers and other outdoor recreationists to an area (NBPC, 1995). Opening trails and facilities attracts and revitalizes businesses, creates jobs, and increases public revenue. In the United States, many people prefer to visit places such as greenways and trails that are safe, yet offer scenic recreation and transportation. Businesses that can thrive and succeed with a trail or trail network include: restaurants,

convenience stores, bicycle shops, campgrounds and bed-and-breakfast establishments (NBPC, 1995). Traveling and access fees also contribute to the economic gains of having mountain biking. The study of Loomis and Fix in 1998 showed the potential economic impacts of a mountain biking trip to a well-known place for mountain bike riding, Moab, Utah. In 1998, a mountain biker has an estimated per trip value of $197-$205. And with an average number of visitors totaling 158,681 people yearly (Bigler, 1996 as cited by Loomis and Fix, 1998), the estimated annual impact is around $8,422,800- $8,770,300 (Loomis and Fix, 1998). Adjusted for 2010 inflation, the single bikers estimated per trip value would be $262.19-$272.84, and the total annual economic impact would be $11,209,947-$11,672,436. In one year, the site (Moab, Utahs Slickrock Trail) has produced a very good amount of income, considering that riding in temperate countries is more limited by the seasons. Bike trails and other related facilities improve the quality-of-life among individuals as these places are meant for outdoor recreation, as well as encouraging people to use non-polluting transportation alternatives when it comes to short trips (NBPC, 1995). This change of mindset among people improves the local environment and a healthier population. In some cases, it can be a source of local pride among the community, as the case of popular resort towns such as Whistler, B.C. in Canada, as well as Los Baos, which is already well known for other tourism activities. People who live close to these trails also benefit the same way as tourists, and more people living in suburban and urban areas want to have these kinds of recreation facilities nearby. The mountain biker Perceptions In developing a mountain bike-specific ecotourism product, the mountain biker has to be taken into account. Particularly important are bikers motivation and preferences when riding. Multi-use trails where hikers, bikers, and other users have to share the road can be a mistake for land managers, due to the concept of perceived crowding (Cessford, 1995). Mountain bikers tend to get a bad reputation for other trail users, and these perceptions remain. These perceptions are listed as the following: perceptions of environmental impacts, perceptions of safety hazards, and the perception that mountain biking is inappropriate (Cessford, 1995). For environmental impacts, this perception would come from several factors, such as tire tracks, which are distinctive, which may lead to a conclusion that mountain biking is causing the most damage without objectively looking at the other important processes taking place in the trail (Cessford, 1995). This can also be looked upon as scapegoating, where perceived conflicts were disproportionately attributed to particular groups (Jacob and Schreyer, 1980 as cited by Cessford, 1995).

When it came to the perception that mountain bikers are safety hazards: There were safety concerns about mountain bicycle use on trails, first would be cyclists going too fast for the conditions, cyclists not slowing down when going to blind corners, and mountain bikes move quietly and fast, surprising other trail users (Keller, 1990 as cited by Cessford, 1995). In a widely cited study in 1989 known as the Los Padres Study, the safety issues came from the habit of a few rogue bikers that go to the top of the trail and go downhill as fast as possible. Education (in the form of a brochure) and supplementary trail design dealt with the few rogue bikers, but out of the 1400 trail users surveyed, most of the mountain bikers they saw were polite and not safety hazards (Grost, 1989, as cited by Cessford, 1995.). To add, familiarity with mountain bike riding and cumulative experience with off-road encounters with bikes can change the perceptions of non-riders (Chavez et al, 1993 and Banister et al, 1992, as cited by Cessford, 1995). The third perception is the complex claim that mountain biking is inappropriate, even wrong. The earlier two concerns mentioned may be in part reflections of an underlying feeling that mountain biking should not be permitted in this area (Cessford, 1995). This third main type of conflict perception is based upon assumptions by walkers and also managers that personal characteristics, motivations, behavior types, environmental attitudes, and activity styles of mountain bikers are fundamentally different from their own (Cessford, 1995). To add, conflicts arose when the presence and behavior of other users was perceived to be disruptive to the physical and social components of recreational experiences (Jacob and Schreyer, 1980, as cited by Cessford, 1985). How conflicts arise between outdoor recreationists depend on their individual and/or group interpretation of the actions, motivations, preferences, and appearance of others. Simply put, the perceived conflict depends on how different others are perceived to be (Cessford, 1995). Profile Visually, mountain biking appears to be very different, the difference mainly is in the use of bicycles and associated equipment (Cessford, 1995). The difference in equipment can or is the basis of the perceptions of difference between people of different activities, or perceptions of different experience levels and commitment within the same activity (Bryan, 1979, as cited by Cessford, 1995). 1.1 Age and incomes Though very generalized, mountain bikers are over represented by males and younger age groups more often than all but the most extreme walkers (Cessford, 1995; Coughlan, 1994; Horn, 1994; Ruff and Mellors, 1993; Keller, 1990; and Gobster, 1998 as cited by Cessford, 1995). Although stereotypical, this descriptive difference has been associated with the wild teenager image of mountain biking in many comments and commentaries (Cessford, 1995). The average ages though would be around 30-38 years

old, and with a wide range of ages, from 15 to 39 years of age (Green, 2003; Morey et al, 2000; Goeft and Alder, 2001). When it comes to riding experience, mountain bikers tend to categorize themselves as intermediate to advanced, and would claim that they are mountain bikers (Green,2003; Morey et al, 2000). An average cost for a mountain bike would be $831, and would be 2-5 years old (Morey et al, 2000). In the market study by Donna Green in 2003, fifty percent of the riders she interviewed are earning more than $75,000 a year in their respective households, which makes them part of the upper middle class in America, which are mostly white collar professionals most of whom are highly educated, salaried professionals whose work is largely self-directed. Many have graduate degrees, with educational attainment serving as the main distinguishing feature of this class. Household incomes commonly exceed $100,000 (Thompson and Hickey, 2005). In the same study, most of the respondents own multiple bikes. 1.2 Social networks Social networks in the form of clubs are also noted, and the people who joined clubs tend to be more competitive and join more races compared to non club members (Goeft and Alder, 2001). 1.3 Orig Preferences The various styles of mountain biking gives a very confusing picture for managers who would want to offer a mountain biking specific product, as these various styles would also have different preferences. The range of riding opportunities is one of the main reasons why natural settings have experienced such biking growth (Hollerhorst et al., 1995 as cited by Cessford, 2002). People do travel to certain areas just to ride their mountain bikes, a significant trend in developed countries (Green, 2003). When it comes to trends of choosing a mountain biking destination, word of mouth and existing reputation deliver the strongest recommendations, and travel agencies are the least likely to help (Green, 2003). As mentioned earlier, mountain bikers prefer the variety of terrain and difficulty found in a destination, with downhills, curves of various radii, slopes, jumps, rocks, roots and some climbing sections (Green, 2003; Goeft and Alder, 2000). The number of trails are also important, as well as scenery (Green, 2003).The reputation of the area for riding, as well as the mountain biking community scored also quite high (Green, 2003). Mountain bike riders would also prefer to see wildlife, and avoid mechanized transportation (Goeft and Alder, 2000). Muddy, sandy, and paved surfaces are undesirable to mountain bikers, as well as overhanging branches (Goeft and Alder, 2000). Mountain bikers also tend to perceive that there are not enough mountain bike

trails and that mountain bikes should be allowed in all trails (Goeft and Alder, 2000). Single track trails were desirable for recreational riders who race, and they also consider plantation forests to be desirable settings. Plantations are also desirable for purely recreational riders but dont prefer single track trails compared to others (Goeft and Alder, 2000). Mountain biking in the Asia-Pacific Region Asias biking routes are constantly redefining itself to cash in on the demands of visitors. Here you will find not only the highest mountains in the world, but isolated tribal regions, lush jungles, and dense forests. The terrain in Asia is very diverse and could be tapped for mountain biking, not to mention major bicycle and bicycle component manufacturers like Shimano and Giant Bicycles are founded and based in Asia, the former in Japan and the latter in Taiwan. Most European and American bicycle manufacturers have factories based in Taiwan or China or in Shimanos case, Malaysia, to outsource their manufacturing duties. Unfortunately, there has been no clear cut studies about mountain biking or the mountain bikers in the Asia-Pacific Region aside from Australia and New Zealand. Though mountain bike tours based in Asia have arrived and are now offering tours in various places like Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and many other countries.

Ecotourism There is no clear cut definition of ecotourism, and many people and organizations have their own definitions and understanding of ecotourism. Ecotourism, as defined by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) refers to responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well being of people. While no widely accepted definition of ecotourism exists (Campbell, 1999; Weaver, 1998 as cited by Stone, 2002), at a minimum, it is thought to involve travel to natural environments (Eagles, 1998 as cited by Stone, 2002). Others include more restrictive caveats, such as that it must be environmentally and socially responsible travel, that it should support conservation efforts, and that it should improve the welfare of host communities (Ceballos-Lascurain, 1993; Western, 1993 as cited by Stone, 2002). Parks and other forms of protected areas have been among the most common ecotourism destinations (Eagles, 1997; Boo, 1990 as cited by Stone, 2002). Developing countries in particular have looked to tourism to help increase national foreign exchange earnings, GDP and employment rates, and to improve socioeconomic conditions in peripheral regions (Weaver, 1998 as cited by Stone, 2002). To further enhance the marketability of ecotourism, the basic definition grew to many other classifications and definitions: Sustainable Tourism, Responsible Tourism, Naturebased Travel, Green Travel, Multi-Sport Travels, and Cultural Tourism are some of the different derivation from the basic definition by TIES.

History The onset of a recession in the early part of the 1970s effectively ended the postWorld War II boom in tourism growth (Murphy, 1985 as cited by Stone, 2002), providing an opportunity to reflect on two decades of tourism experience. Reasons offered for this widespread failure include: a lack of integration of tourism into the whole economy; little attention to qualitative/social impacts; the inability of plans to adapt to changing conditions (Getz, 1986 as cited by Stone, 2002); a focus on physical planning (Spandouis, 1982 as cited by Stone, 2002); and an obsessional showing of the economic benefits (Travis, 1982 as cited by Stone, 2002). What many began to realize was that in exclusively focusing on the positive economic aspects in the past, the many negative environmental, social and cultural impacts that can arise from tourism were allowed to develop relatively unnoticed. These findings gave tourism experts a chance to look at alternatives and what they can do to counteract these weaknesses. A call for more vigorous, active, and widespread planning and intervention is also needed, especially among governments (de Kadt, 1979,p.9 as cited by Stone, 2002 ). Many of the critics from this period echoed similar sentiments. de Kadt (1979) argued for a more proactive, equitable and participatory approach to tourism planning. He suggested that in order to gain the greatest net social benefit, planning that was more closely integrated with broader national policies and that had the mandate to examine alternative tourism development options was required. Gunn (1979) was also very critical of the fragmented, purely economic approach of the relatively few, in his opinion, planning efforts up to that point. To promote greater integration, he postulated that planning should be a continuous process of communication, feedback and collaboration among public and private organizations. To supplement continuous planning, he suggested that regional strategic planning, based on traditional/rational approaches, should also be applied to tourism. Its role would be to provide technical/expert guidance on the physical and program aspects of specific regional tourism planning activities. Baud-Bovy (1982) suggests that one of the major reasons behind the widespread failure of tourism plans up until that point had been the insufficient detail given to problems that arose during the implementation phase. He highlights three interdependencies in tourism between tourism development and socioeconomic development; between the various elements of the tourism sector itself (resources, markets, infrastructure, people, etc.); and between tourism and outdoor recreation.

Peculiarities of ecotourism Impacts of ecotourism 1.1 Positive impacts

Ecotourism, being heavily dependent on natural areas pose a different set of challenges and traits than mass tourism. Ecotourism is also seen as a conservation and development tool in the sense that it can provide local economic benefits as well as maintaining ecological integrity through the use of low impact, non-consumptive use of resources (Stem et al, 2001). However, this success is a double edged sword, and can lead to its demise (Boo 1990; Jacobson and Robles 1992, as cited by Stem et al, 2001). The tourism industry could be an alternative livelihood source to people, as well as a major source of foreign exchange; employment generation, contribution to government revenue, improvement of infrastructure, and individual and corporate income generation (Prakash, 2005). Ecotourism entails understanding the culture and natural history of the environment, it can also be a means for conserving the areas natural and cultural resources (McDill, 1999).
Ecotourism includes in its appropriate implementation the creation of an

infrastructure assisting in the economic development and political progress the local population. Also it provides a resource for training of the visitors to the locale about environmental concerns and wilderness preservation, in addition to encouraging a respectful attitude towards different cultures and human rights. This type of tourism can offer a sustainable alternative compared to more detrimental activities, such as intensive agricultural production, hunting, lumbering, mining, etc. in rural areas (Collins, 1998; Ross and Wall, 1999; Van der Duim and Caalders, 2002 as cited by Aiksz, 2010). 1.2 Negative impacts Tourism, more generally, also often detrimentally affects the social and cultural fabric of local communities (Boo 1990; Brandon 1996; McLaren 1998 as cited by Stem et al, 2001). Will ecotourism continue to occupy a relatively small niche, or will it have the capacity of absorb larger numbers of tourists and hence provide employment on a wider scale within communities (Hurni and Kohler 1998 as cited by Godde, 1999). Although ecotourism relies upon a minimal impact approach to tourism, successful endeavors may draw increasing interest and a correspondingly higher number of tourists. Tourism impacts, such as solid waste generation and habitat disturbance, can seriously threaten the resources upon which ecotourism depends. There is also the economic-culture divide, where communities that live in known tourism areas may choose to trade their cultural heritage and significance for tourist money. This can throw a community and its cultural and social systems off balance and cause disharmony and conflict (Godde, 1999). Another problem is whether to develop an ecotourism product in an area at all. Communities where ecotourism ideas are always getting impressed among them, are often reluctant and even uncooperative, be it community-based or otherwise (Godde, 1999). Another problem these ecotourism programs face is the balancing of the local areas control with external forces, for example travel agencies and others. A mismatch of priorities between the ecotourism area and the external forces (e.g. travel agencies

and airlines) can cause conflict and problems for both parties. On the other hand, if both parties can settle their differences and agree with one another, the influences of external forces can be hugely beneficial (Godde, 1999).

Elements of ecotourism Ecotourism has four major elements: Environmental education, Economic benefits, Visitor enjoyment, and Heritage conservation (Cereno, 2010). Environmental education aims to give new insights and idea to visitors how the environment affects their lives, and how it is integral to them, yet as people progress, the environment gets the short end of the stick. There are many cases in human history that because the environment was in the way, natural areas were destroyed or altered in the name of progress without thinking of the consequences. Ecotourisms one main goal is to educate people to at least instill a new sense of appreciation for the environment. The next element, Economic benefits, is a very straightforward affair. The act of tourism brings money. From the operator of the ecotourism site to the peripheral merchants and vendors selling whatever wares they have, to the travel agencies and touring specialist companies who offer these special tours, tourism offers them a chance to make a good source of income and possibly, to learn new and more useful skills. In sum, community-based mountain tourism should not be seen as an enterprise that will solve all, or even most, problems. While community-based mountain tourism has potential to bring economic, ecological and socio-cultural benefits, it contains several inherent dilemmas that must be recognized (Godde, 1999)

Potentials of ecotourism In developing countries, tourism or ecotourism has become one of the economic sectors that generates substantial income and maintains conservations of protected areas. For example, in Kenya in Amboseli National Park the income obtained from ecotourism is 18-20 times more than the income obtained from agricultural activities (Thedros Atlabachew, 2002 as cited by Gobena, 2008). Scwenk (2002) indicated assessment of ecotourism or simple nature tourism does not need more facilities and depends on locally obtained facilities or natural capital of the poor that can be managed locally (Gobena, 2008). Local communities gained in stature and income by introducing ecotourism to rural areas as component of natural resources management through creating diversified livelihoods for local people (Van Ter Beek, 2001 as cited by Gobena, 2008). Moreover, natural resources can provide economic potential through ecotourism beside other uses (Couralet, 2004, as cited by Gobena, 2008). If properly planned and

managed, ecotourism may minimize the environmental impacts while significantly contributes to the protected areas (Strasdas, 2002).

Requisites for sustainable ecotourism An important pre-condition for ecotourism is high quality of resources. In cases where some degradation has already taken place, the resources have to be restored back to the undisturbed state (Prakash, 2005). There have been numerous examples worldwide where ecotourism instead of delivering desirable benefits, has led to various negative social and economic impacts. In most of these cases, it is a result of the promotion of a loose and unorganized collection of activities that simply let ecotourism activities happen based on market forces (Brandon, K. as stated in Lindberg and Hawkins, 1993, as cited by Prakash, 2005). In order to make ecotourism successful in a long-term, local people should have a sense of ownership towards the project. They should be social actors rather than passive subjects, should manage the resources, make decisions, and control the activities that affect their lives (Cernea, 1991; Lindberg and Hawkins, 1993, as cited by Prakash, 2005) in short, they should be empowered to mobilize their own capacities (Prakash, 2005). To start with, analysis of the current state of the facilities concerning aspects such as capacity, seasonality, visitor flows, variety, and state of services, promotion activities, prices, community involvement, waste disposal, and sanitation was conducted. Moreover it aimed at the identification of the authorities in charge and the rules and regulations concerning the set up and the running of a tourism business. Second; an analysis of the tourism characteristics (origin, demographics, and purpose of visit, likes and dislikes, length of stay, means of travel etc.) must be done. An additional activity done by the research team was to do site identification to find core attractions with attractive features for possible visits by future (eco) tourists. These attractions are the principal assets that a region or a community can offer tourists (Prakash, 2005).

Despite governments having the means to pursue ecotourism, the biggest gains have come from the private sector. Since the mid 1960s the role of private landowners in providing outdoor recreation opportunities has become increasingly important as public forests and parks have become crowded and less able to meet outdoor recreation demand (Owens 1964). Today, much nature-based tourism takes place on private lands (Bird and Inman 1968, Tjaden 1990, as cited by Mcdill, 1999). However, landowners who want to promote ecotourism operations on their lands need more information about ecotourism and about running an ecotourism business. This information includes knowing about the natural resources that can serve as a base for ecotourism activities, the needed infrastructure, environmental concerns, business information, and barriers to implementing such an operation, among others (Mcdill, 1999). Although research has addressed nature-based tourism as an activity, little is still known about the provision of ecotourism itself and the factors affecting its success or failure. Interviewing people with knowledge and expertise on the subject will provide an important knowledge base

which will contribute to improving the promotion and management of nature-based tourism. These activities can be considered ecotourism if they provide economic and social benefits to local communities and support conservation of natural resources in the area (Mcdill, 1999). In other countries, especially in countries with winter and accessible, mountainous terrain ski resorts become mountain bike parks to provide people with mountain bikes places to ride in the spring and summer months. These parks then revert to being ski resorts in the winter. Privately owned, these resorts offer attractions, accommodations, and access. Examples would be the world-famous Whistler-Blackcomb resort in Whistler, British Columbia in Canada, Les Gets, France, Fort William in Scotland, and Leogang in Austria. The Philippines however has begun its move towards making privately owned bicycle-related recreation areas, bicycle trails have opened up inside Manila like in McKinley Hill in Bonifacio Global City, and the Camp Aguinaldo Bike Adventure Zone inside Camp Aguinaldo, the La Mesa Watershed Eco Park, Nuvali in Santa Rosa, Laguna, Philips Sanctuary and the newly opened Bathala Bike Park in Rizal. However most of these are privately owned concerns, with the exception of the Camp Aguinaldo trail. When it comes to government-owned and operated protected areas, studies has been done but cooperation between government, the private sector, and the local populations in protected areas proved quite inconsistent. Ecotourism is mostly done with a large-scale, national approach but it does not necessary mean that all potential ecotourism sites have the same set of characteristics. Prakash made a study of the potential of ecotourism in a known national park in Ghana in 2005 and observed that National ecotourism planning would ask for a large scale approach, including national governmental departments, and its feasibility can therefore be doubted. This is especially so, when considering the decentralization processes that have been going on during the last decade and which the current government will probably continue, with the emphasis that is being put on the involvement of the private sector in Ghana, and lastly with the general shortage of finance. Also, ignorance of the inter-relationship between tourism and environment, and lack of coordination and cooperation between those responsible for the management and development of environmental tourism destinations, are much to blame for ecological degradation of the resources, social disruption of the fringe communities and economic leakage of the revenues. Thus although the tourism industry is represented at ministerial level in Ghana, its interests are not fully integrated with those of various ministries, like the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Environment. The issue of funding ecotourism plans is something that might be addressed at national and local governmental level, but the private sector will probably be the largest actor. But the people who frequent these sites cannot be overlooked and denied. The peoples feedback towards sites and the different things they can offer are very important in gauging a sites ecotourism potential. It is a main goal of the government to strengthen the countrys status as an internationally competitive tourist destination. Tourists travel to different places for varying reasons and therefore in order to develop

tourism to suit these people certain factors must be put in place. Visitor management refers to managing visitors in a manner which maximizes the quality of the visitor experience while assisting the achievement of the areas overall management objective (Hall and McArthur, 1996 as cited by Prakash, 2005). This is very important if tourism is to remain the second income earner to the country or improve (Prakash, 2005). In another African-centered study by Gobena in 2008, this time centered in Ethiopia, found out that offering tourist facilities and services and creating job opportunities for members of local communities are positive impacts of tourism activities whereas seasonality in tourism and leakages are negative impacts. The negative impacts of tourism might be able to aggravate poverty and consequent deterioration of tourism resources or natural resources whereas the positive impacts contributed to reduce degradation pressures on natural resources. However, it admits that assessing these impacts whether positive or negative is impossible in the Third World due to difficulties in measurement and a lack of local control over the industry (Lea, (1988). Okello (2003) as cited by Gobena, 2008) stated that in areas, where tourism impacts on country and society, there may well be conflicts with competing demands for other sectors of the economy, or with community interests at large. The ecotourist With the increasing popularity of ecotourism, knowing the people that enjoy ecotourism is a valid concern among managers and planners. But with the twofold approach of ecotourism of both conservation and enjoyment, do the people who enjoy ecotourism have a certain mindset and attitude, compared to the people who enjoy mass tourism. It might, however, be questioned to what extent the growing popularity of ecotourism is related to concerns about damage to the environment itself (CeballosLascurin 1998; Fennell 1999; Page and Dowling 2002; Sharply 2001; Wight 1993 as cited by Wurzinger and Johansson, 2006). Higgins (1996) and others have therefore pointed out the need for a deeper understanding of ecotourists environmental concern (Wurzinger and Johansson, 2006). Though the issue of ecological attitudes and orientation of tourists is addressed in various studies (Choi and Sirakaya, 2005 ; Ryan et al. , 2000 ; Weaver, 2002 as cited by Uriely et al, 2006), the plethora of studies on ecotourism and ecotourists has not described and identified how the environmental orientation of tourists translates into demand terms that might advance economic sustainability of ecotourism ventures (Uriely et al, 2006). Moreover, little is known about tourists understanding of the concept of ecotourism (Wurzinger and Johansson, 2006). In planning and marketing, understanding the tourists individual knowledge would be a requirement (Wurzinger and Johansson, 2006). For three decades or so, people have changed and modified their approaches to the environment, and is perceived in many forms: anthropocentric and ecocentric (Uriely et al, 2006). The anthropocentric view looks at the environment as something to be protected for the maintenance and improvement of humans, while the ecocentric view values the environment and nature as it is, promoting its conservation and improvement due to its intrinsic value (Uriely et al, 2006).

Todays rapid deterioration of global ecosystems is accompanied by an increasing number of consumers, primarily in Western Europe and the United States, who believe in an environmentally friendly and responsible way of life. They are often referred to as environmentalists (Thompson and Barton, 1994, as cited by Uriely et al, 2006). Environmentalists see environmental responsibility to be an altruistic motivation, giving up luxuries for the environments sake (Uriely et al, 2006). ecotourists have been found to favor pro-environmental attitudes and to adhere more to an ecocentric than an anthropocentric perspective (Luzar et al.1998; Weaver and Lawton 2002 as cited by Wurzinger and Johansson, 2006). This means that the ecotourists were more nature oriented than human oriented (Wurzinger and Johansson, 2006). Further analysis from Wurzinger and Johansson showed that ecotourists expressed a significantly higher level of environmental concern compared to city tourists, but they did not differ significantly from nature tourists, indicating that the nature tourists in their environmental beliefs could not be distinguished as a group separated from the ecotourists. When it comes to awareness and knowledge of ecotourism, the ecotourists expressed a significantly higher level of knowledge than the nature tourists and the group of city tourists (Wurzinger and Johansson, 2006). The results suggest that there exists a relation between the amount of focus on nature in the trip and the basic level of environmental concern, that is, environmental beliefs; this relation is also partly mirrored in tourists attitudes toward ecotourism (Wurzinger and Johansson, 2006). Ecotourism in the Philippines In the Philippines, Ecotourism was given a kickstart when the National Ecotourism Strategy (NES) or Executive Order 111 was signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on June 17, 1999. It was created in cooperation with the New Zealand Agency for International Development (NZAID). It calls for the establishment of Ecotourism development in the country and to do so, three specialized organizations are established: The National Ecotourism Council, the National Steering Committee, and the Regional Ecotourism Committee (National Ecotourism Strategy, 2000). The NES has 3 fundamental points: Sustainable management of natural and cultural resources, Environmental education of local communities, and the development of products. The NES was created with these policy statements as its base: The State shall develop and promote tourism while enjoying the participation of the Filipino people in enhancing the growth and competitiveness of the Philippine economy; and The State shall ensure the sustainable use, development, management, protection, and conservation of the countrys environment and natural resources and cultural heritage for the enjoyment of the present and future generations. With the creation of EO 111, creating new sites or improving existing ones will be legitimized and be given proper attention and funding from the National and Local government and the private sector. This can also help in the creation and growth of new markets. It makes perfect sense to the Philippines, because according to the data in the

NES, there is no shortage of data in tourism in the country, and the numbers are positive. In 2002, 8.7% of the countrys GDP came from tourism according to the NES. The NES also stipulated that involvement by the government, non-government organizations, government-owned corporations, the private sector, and international organizations/bilateral agreements, and outdoor recreation associations. In the Philippine tourism scenario, tourists involve families, students, club members, and religious pilgrims, which are different from ecotourism seeking tourists who are older and live in developed countries (NES, 2002). Family trips tend to be day trips that are one to two hours away from their homes. A family with higher income can go for longer durations and farther distances. Students travel for educational trips, for example elementary and secondary level students travel en masse to certain destinations in a single day. Clubs and enthusiasts band together when they perform trips and they have a wealth of information from specialist shops and experts. Membership in these clubs can range from students to professionals and retirees. In the corporate world, activities for the workforce may take form in team building activities and tourist retreats, and these activities are planned accordingly by the staff. Pilgrims are religious devotees who target certain areas with religious significance and value (NES, 2002). Ecotourism-seeking tourists are often in their 40s and upwards and traditionally come from Western Europe and North America with more recently from Japan. Other Asian nationalities are likely to follow the trend in the medium to long term. As a broad generalization, Europeans are observed to be seeking culture and lifestyle experiences, North Americans like wilderness and nature products, and Asian markets prefer to undertake specific adventure activities in the outdoors (NES, 2002). The inventory of ecotourism tours being sold based on nature, culture and adventure products compiled during the NES Study revealed a product mix of: 28 culture-based tours, 45 naturebased tours, and 23 adventure-based tours. The inventory takes an inclusive approach to ecotourism. There are indications that only 25 percent of tours are packaged by private tour operators while 70 percent are offered by either DOT or a provincial or municipal tourism office. Community cooperatives or clubs sells the remaining five percent (NES, 2002). Although beach-based tourism remains mainstream in the Philippines, for the past few years, ecotourism has slowly been gaining attention. Private sector operators have noted that tourists from major source markets have matured from the city tours to more nature and adventure-based experiences (NES, 2002). Visitor arrivals to protected areas, natural parks and other adventure destinations were analyzed during the NES study. The most recent statistics from PAWB (1998) show that about 572,000 domestic and only 7,600 foreign tourists visited protected areas. Domestic visitors and Balikbayans are the countrys main market for ecotourism. Although yielding a lower financial return the domestic market, composed of families, student groups, young professionals and pilgrims, is likely to remain significant (NES, 2002). A campaign is needed to raise awareness of the importance of the environmental and ecotourism attractions in order to combat the

lure of shopping malls and to attain long-term ecotourism management objectives (NES, 2002). The Mount Makiling Forest Reserve Located in Luzon and is 65 kilometers south of Manila, Mt. Makiling is an inactive volcano 1,090m in height. Regarded as one, if not the most well known biological area in the Philippines (Lapitan, Fernando et al., 2010) Mt. Makiling is well known as the home of the University of the Philippines Los Baos as well as other important offices and facilities like the ASEAN Biodiversity Centre headquarters, a geothermal energy resource, a watershed and water source of industrial, agricultural, and residential sectors of the CALABARZON region and as a major ecotourism site (Lapitan, 2007 as cited by Lapitan, Fernando et al., 2010). The mountain also serves as an important catchment area for SE Asias largest freshwater lake, Laguna de Bay (Lapitan, et al., 2010).

Landscape The Makiling Forest Reserve has a total land area of 4,244.97 hectares, and is delineated by law to have a buffer zone (1,652 ha) to protect the existing forest reserve inside (Lapitan, Fernando et al., 2010). The buffer zone is located from the areas with 0% slope to the maximum of 18% slope. Any higher than 18% makes it part of the forest reserve itself. Prior to the 1998 declaration of the buffer zone however, fringe areas of the reserve have already been encroached either by farming or real estate (Lapitan, Fernando et al., 2010). Generally, the MFR is rugged and mountainous. Being a watershed, the MFR is further divided into 4 subwatersheds, each of them located in a municipality inside the MFRs borders. These are the MolawinDampalit, Tigbi, Greater Sipit, and Cambantoc subwatersheds. All of these subwatersheds provide water for many purposes among the populace of the 4 municipalities in 2 provinces where the MFR is located: Calamba, Los Baos and Bay in Laguna, and Santo Tomas in Batangas.

Climate Mt. Makiling has 2 main seasons: A rainy season starting from May to December and dry months are from January to April. Wind patterns are dry, and it causes the lower elevation areas to be dry but the higher elevation areas wet due to continuous light density precipitation and vapor condensation (CDM-SSC-PDD, 2007). During the wet months, the southwest monsoon will provide most of the rainfall in the area due to

its circulation of cyclonic winds (CDM-SSC-PDD, 2007). Temperatures in 2006 show a mean temperature range from 26.2 to 28.8 degree Celsius. April is the warmest month, with a maximum of 36.1 and low of 22.2, while January was the coldest with the lowest at 20.4 and a high of 31.8 degree Celsius (CDM-SSC-PDD, 2007). The measurements were taken in the National AgroMet Station in UPLB.

Rainfall In 2006, the annual rainfall recorded by the National AgroMet Station in UPLB was 2,299mm. According to the CDM-SSC-PDD study of 2007, the reading for 2006 was lower than the average taken from 3 areas in UPLB which was 2,397mm in the 1990s. The same study also mentioned that the MFR got a total of 188 rainy days in 2006, with the heaviest rains falling in September, and the most number of rainy days a month is July, with 22 days of rain. Extreme events have yet to happen in these areas, according to the study.

Soils and Geology Mt. Makilings soil belongs to 4 series: Lipa, Macolod, Gulugod, and Makiling. Macolod is the dominant series in the area, which is a clay-type of soil (CDM-SSC-PDD, 2007).

Legal Framework Under RA 6967 of 1990, the MFR is under the control, jurisdiction and administration of the University of the Philippines Los Baos (Lapitan, et al. 2010). The law stipulates that the reserves primary role is to be a training laboratory for scientific and technical knowledge on the preservation, conservation, and development of the forest and natural forest therein, including the flora and fauna (Lapitan, et al. 2010). Another source of information is the MFR and Laguna de Bay Master Plan created in 1996 through EO 349 of then President Fidel V. Ramos (Lapitan, Fernando et al. 2010). Another legitimizing action is Presidential Decree No. 705, or the Philippine Forestry Reform Code. This law governs forest management in the country, while Proclamation 1257 of 1998 sets the guidelines on the activities inside a buffer zone to ensure the integrity of these areas from further damage and encroachment.

Biodiversity Flora

There is an amazing amount of flora present in the MFR. Both endemic and foreign, it has been estimated that 2,038 vascular plant species are present in the MFR (Pancho, 1983 as cited by Lapitan, Fernando et al. 2010). Dipterocarp species are found here, even IUCN-listed as critically endangered ones like Parashorea malaanonan, and Myristica philippinensis, and vulnerable species (Diospyros blancoi, Diplodiscus paniculatus, Artocarpus rubiovenius, Celtis luzonica, Macaranga bicolor, to name a few). Undergrowth species found in all of the MFR include Arenga pinnata, Donax cannaeformis, Neotrewis cumgii, Selaginella plana, and Strombosia philippinensis. The Rafflesia manillana, thought to be extinct in the MFR was found again in 2002 (Fernando et al. 2001, Abraham et al. 2004), but it is only found in Molawin-Dampalit and the Greater Sipit subwatersheds only. Fauna The MFR also boasts of impressive numbers of fauna. Prior to 2004 it was reported to be home to more than 45 species of mammals, 181 species of birds, 65 species of reptiles, and 22 species of amphibians, together with at least 7,000 species of insects (Lapitan, et al. 2010). A survey done in 2004 in just the Greater Sipit Watershed yielded a surprising amount of endemism: 62 species in this subwatershed are known to be only endemic to the Philippines, with 14 only endemic to the Greater Luzon faunal region (Abraham et al., 2004, as cited by Lapitan, et al., 2010). Some species found are considered rare or threatened: the Philippine Eagle-Owl (Bubo philippinensis), the Philippine Warty Pig (Sus philippnensis) is considered endangered, and the Philippine Pygmy Fruit Bat (Haplonycteris fischeri) (Lapitan, et al., 2010). Human The MFR has its own share of people living inside its borders, and it has been legitimized by the municipality of Los Baos by giving it official status as a barangay. Ecotourism is also seen as a tool for development, and an activity such as mountain biking can give these people different means of income to supplement whatever they have by means of services to mountain bikers and the maintenance, construction and improvement of trails. There is a caveat however; especially in the case of the MFR. Protected areas (like the MFR) are important destinations for a growing tourism like ecotourism given that it uses diverse nature, landscapes and biodiversity as major attractions. In these protected areas, there might be a potential threat to, and an opportunity for conservation of natural resources. Organization and Personnel The Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME) is the specific unit of UPLB to handle the responsibility of managing the MFR. It was designated in the meeting of the Board of Regents in 1998 (Lapitan, Fernando et al. 2010). Aside from management of the MFR, the MCME aims to conduct research and demonstration programs on mountain ecosystems development, and to develop and execute plans of

sustainable management of the MFR. MCME is also partially responsible to generate resources and income for its continued operations and management of the MFR. The 4 subwatershed divisions are MCMEs doing. They have 50 people working in the institution. Ecotourism in the MFR Ecotourism is present in the MFR. Activities like hiking and camping are the most popular activities, and recently bird watching has become popular (Cereno, 2010). Peak season comes during summer months, as many people climb and trek during the Holy Week gatherings. Another attraction is the Makiling Botanical Garden, a well known picnic spot and park. With new and existing facilities built and repaired, the MBG is a favorite nature viewing spot away from Manila, and a favorite destination of educational trips. The MFR also has some events that encourage people to come. The Makiling Challenge, a trail running challenge, and the Makiling Quest, a long distance adventure race has been a fixture among nature enthusiasts. During the Holy Week period, an initiative called Make It Makiling is done to encourage hikers to keep the MFRs hiking trails clean and safe. Mountain biking in the MFR Mountain biking in the MFR is present the whole year, as the Mariang Makiling Trail is multi-use. The only time that it is closed for mountain bikes during the Make It Makiling event in Holy Week to prevent unwanted accidents between hikers and bikers, and when typhoons come. XC up to DH riders go to the Mariang Makiling Trail to ride, so varying speeds and skills of mountain bikers are seen in the trail. With the variety of bikers coming up and down at various speeds, it is imperative that conflict be managed in the form of trails that branch off the multi-use Mariang Makiling Trail. An example of government intervention to develop a trail network for mountain bikes is the work done by the Hong Kong SAR Government to develop trails for the Tai Lam Country Park. Mountain bicycling in Country Parks is controlled under Regulation 4 of the Country Parks and Special Areas Regulations (sub. Leg. A of Country Park Ordinance, Cap 208 of Hong Kong Laws), any person interested in cycling on the designated mountain bike trails in country parks can apply for a permit from the Country and Marine Parks Authority. No permit fee is required. At present, there are about 7,000 valid permits (IMBA, 2011). With mountain biking getting more and more attention in Hong Kong, the SAR government decided to assess the existing trails at the Tai Lam Park with the help of the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA).

METHODOLOGY

A combination of qualitative and quantitative data will be used for this study. The data will concentrate on trends of mountain bikers, and especially their socioeconomic profile to determine what kind of services and facilities these people want in a future mountain bike-specific facility inside the MFR. It will also look into how mountain bikers in the places near and far from the MFR look at mountain biking as a whole, as an activity, and as a part of the ecotourism movement. Data collection will be carried out from September to November 2012. Prior to this, permission from the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME) will be asked to check on existing primary data, particularly the visitors log of the MFR from 2011-2012. Resource persons will be included from the MCME and individuals that can be directly involved in mountain biking will be included through key informant interviews, and as well as surveys from the different mountain bikers who travel to the MFR and UPLB campus. Mountain biker Survey The information taken from the different kinds of mountain bikers in the area is the focal point of this study. The socio-economic profile and opinions matter for the mountain bikers will be the future beneficiaries of this study. Their opinions on trail design, trail facilities and amenities, ecotourism, and willingness-to-pay for these kinds of facilities will be taken accounted for. There will be no restrictions and criteria to respondents, as long as the person has a mountain bike, the person will be considered as a respondent. Riding style is also not a restriction, as mountain bikers tend to follow different riding styles and disciplines, each of them requires a certain mountain bike for the task. To ensure better participation of the mountain biker population, grouping them by riding style will not be done.

Survey description The mountain biker survey will be designed to assess and look at the different points and views and opinions of the different mountain bikers that travel within and inside the MFR. It would consider their choices and preferences in possible future trail design, features, and access (Goeft and Alder, 2001) to the MFR. In addition, it will also gauge the mountain bikers willingness to pay extra for mountain bike specific access in addition to the already existent ten peso entrance fee offered by the MCME to enter the MFR. Lastly, it also assesses the awareness and possible cooperation of the mountain biker to possible current, and future MTB-centered activities like trail building and maintenance, and MTB-related nature advocacy. First, the survey will tackle the demographics of the different mountain bikers, such as their name, age, gender, and address. Their cycling experience, bicycle type; and number of bikes can tell a lot on how a mountain biker takes this activity seriously. Their experiences in mountain biking competitions will also be looked upon, as well as their favored events (Morey et al.,2000; Goeft and Alder, 2001).

Their estimated cost of their bicycle/s and their average yearly income can provide information on how much mountain bikers want to pay for an additional mountain bike specific facilities and amenities in the MFR. Mountain biking can be prohibitively expensive, especially with the amount of sophistication of modern and contemporary mountain bikes, and people who can pay for such bicycles can also in theory pay for such facilities. Also a direct question on their willingness to pay by the means of a price range will be ample enough. Another question set will tackle the awareness of the mountain biker on his/her known riding areas. A mountain biker will have knowledge of pure trail networks that he/she can use, not just travelling by bicycle to a certain location by road (disparagingly called XC-road by some). Is the MFR a well known enough place for mountain bikers? And if they are aware of the MFR as a mountain bike destination, do they think the existing Mariang Makiling trail is enough for them, or they want something for themselves? Opinions on what they want in a trail are also considered. A trait of mountain bikers is their social network; many would band together to form a club or organization. But are these groups just people with matching jerseys, or do they have ideas to make the riding experience better not just for themselves, but also for other people who share the same passion for mountain biking? A question set will delve into the social aspect of the mountain biker, whether their banding together in a group have some merits to help out in the making of a possible MTB-specific area inside the MFR. Will they help out in building, or when the administration want to promote the activity inside the MFR, will they provide the initiative to help out.

Key Informant Interview People who work inside the MFR have the best sources of information on how the situations unfold in the field. Therefore key informant interviews will be done to know the workings of the MFR and how can a future manager work on this to cater to mountain biking inside the MFR and provide these services to their target audience.

Secondary data collection Together with the mountain biker survey, the records of the MCME especially mountain bike related visits will be checked and analyzed. The time frame will be from January 2011 until December 2011. The number of mountain biking visits will provide information on existing traffic of mountain bikers to the MFR and their potential earning to the MCME and the MFR. Considering there was an 100% increase in entrance fees in the Mariang Makiling Trail and further access from 5 pesos to 10 pesos in 2011, the effect of this increase will also be analyzed on visitor occurrences.

GIS Map Analysis Geographic Information System (GIS) maps of the MFR will be procured from the ERSG laboratory and will be analyzed to check the possible areas of the MFR that can be used for mountain biking. GIS integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information (Environmental Systems Research Institute [ESRI], 2010 as cited by Rahman, 2010). It can be also used to plot and analyze tourist movement and locations relative to the MFR, to make an inference to a mountain bikers riding habits and preference or lack of, to the MFR. Using the GIS data, conservation areas can be identified, possible mountain bike routes, and existing trails in the MFR can be identified. Many scholars now agree that ecotourism should require a two-way link between tourism and environmental conservation (Rahman, 2010), and knowing where the tourist spots are relative to the conservation and laboratory areas will help in planning. In addition, GIS data can help plot where mountain bikers are located in relation to the MFR, so that planners can anticipate who the major users of the MFR are when it comes to mountain biking. Spatial data like land use, topography, elevation, rainfall, transportation networks and facilities will be combined with non-spatial data that includes socio-economic characteristics and demographic data (Bukenya, 2012). The spatial data will come from existing maps from the ERSG, and the non-spatial data will come from the biker survey.

Statistical Analysis The use of a survey in this study necessitates the use of a survey design. The survey will also make use of random sampling. The samples are located in different areas in Laguna that are in close proximity to the MFR. Mountain bikers stop by Baker Hall for refreshments and rest. They also stop by at bicycle shops to look at new parts or for repairs. A well known shop in Laguna is Green Planet Cycle shop in San Pablo, Laguna and it has a branch in Los Baos. The Mariang Makiling Trailhead is another site for samples. Mountain biking and cycling events are also used as sample sites because of the number of potential respondents. The formula to get the sample size is: N= N z pq

N d + z pq
Where p= perceived value of the population q= 1-p d= margin of error (=0.3 to .05) z=1.96 (95%)

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Potentials and Challenges of Mountain Biking in the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve (Thesis Proposal) Paolo S. Mendioro Master of Science in Natural Resource Conservation November 21, 2012