News and Events
Last year was a tough year for everyone -- in health issues, tourism, education, jobs, typhoons and almost every other aspect. 2021 through September has been marginally better. No typhoons yet this year, but COVID cases are at all-time highs in our region and vaccinations lag far behind. No mandated closure this year, but visitor counts are still very low. We've kept staff on, though sometimes at reduced hours, just to try to help everyone get through the pandemic.
Last year, we added a gazebo and catwalk overlooking the ocean and Mayon Volcano. This year, we're working in the gardens and adding a small building, the Pili Hut, near the forest entrance, to serve as a gateway, store, birdwatching deck, and restroom for a new camping area. Starting November 1, we'll charge a modest admission fee.
COVID precautions forced our summer reading program to change to individual tutoring, typically 2-5 students at a time and a similar number of volunteers, rather than the previous 60/40. Schooling by modules rather than face-to-face is doubly difficult for those who can't read ... and we're seeing pathetically poor readers all the way into high school! Ouch! Our 24 college students are doing better, with online classes, and are progressing and graduating more or less on track, without the ceremonies, of course.
With renewed interest in gardening, we see quite a few "plantitas" and "plantitos." Mirisbiris has also been popular with those who want to get outdoors and destress! Music is also great for destressing, and a talented local, blind musician, Mr. Jun Balinquit is providing live keyboard and guitar music on most weekends.