Talk about Czech marks on a hiking trail.
The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Manila, Mendel University, and Rafael Salas Park and Nature Center recently opened new tourist trails equipped with international marker systems at Mt. Kanla-on Natural Park in Negros Occidental.
With complete regard for its promotion of natural beauty, three color-coded trails using the colors of the Philippine flag were opened from Guintubdan to Buslugan Falls in red, to Oro Falls in yellow, and to Salas Park New Pavillion in blue.
The system is unified across several countries, but is entirely new to the Philippines.
Ladislav Havel, President of Mendel University, and Jan Vytopil, Deputy Head of Czech Embassy in Manila, opened the trail on November 23.
The Marker System installation project would not have been possible without the support of Carmelita Salas, the longest serving Philippine Ambassador to the Czech Republic whose family roots are in Negros, they said.
Vytopil said the marker system is the most widespread unified system on the world, and Havel stressed that the ease of marking “as well as its low cost, facilitates its use. The markers are basically just three stripes painted on surfaces along the trail.”
In Europe, where hiking is a popular pastime, the trails are usually marked by volunteers, the Czech officials noted.
The increase in inbound international tourists from Europe to the Philippines created the need to have a simple, economical, nationwide and unified system of tourist markers, they added.
According to Czech Ambassador to the Philippines Jaroslav OlsÌŒa Jr., the project “aims to let both domestic and foreign tourists explore the other beautiful but lesser known parts of the Philippines.”
The trail usually starts at an easily reachable public place, like a square or park entry, where the initial guidepost is located with directions marked by colored arrows and distances. The trail is then marked with basic markers.
Each basic marker is a rectangle sized 10 x 10 cm and consisting of three stripes: white-color-white. Four colors are used in between the two white stripes: red and blue to indicate longer and the most difficult trails, red for summit trails, yellow and green for the easier and interconnecting trails.
The color reference is used for ease of identification and forgoes any confusion with similar colors appearing repeatedly. The markers are ideally painted on fixed objects like trees or stones along the tourist paths.