400 join Suroy-Suroy Sugbo amid downpour



AROUND 400 people joined this year’s Suroy-Suroy Sugbo Southern Heritage Trail, which kicked off Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, in Minglanilla town two years after it was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The flagship tourism program proceeded as scheduled despite the rainy weather on Friday.

Cebu Provincial Tourism Office (CPTO) head Marty Ybañez said the tour will help the Province achieve its goal of further promoting Cebu’s tourist attractions.

He said the number of this year’s participants is higher than the 147 visitors the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo drew in 2019.

This year’s Suroy-Suroy Sugbo will be held from Friday, Nov. 18, to Sunday, Nov. 20.

“This is basically promotions and marketing for the Province, so we cannot expect this will be an income-generating venture. But we are targeting to attract revenue and find out if this particular group will show interest in what we are offering. We will never know if some of them will be interested in adventure tourism, culinary, or farm tourism. Once they will be introduced, they will go back. It’s letting them taste, see and feel a little bit of everything,” Ybañez told the reporters.

Suroy-Suroy Sugbo offers several travel packages, with prices ranging from P11,000 to P16,000.

Ybañez said the registration fee will depend on the kind of accommodation the visitors will choose.

The participants visited some tourist attractions such as the Anjo World theme park in Minglanilla town, a museum in Sibonga, and Little Intramuros in Argao. Also featured were delicacies in San Fernando, Dalaguete, Alcoy and Boljoon towns.

Minglanilla

The group first started their tour in Minglanilla, where local officials treated them to a visit at the Anjo World theme park.

Aside from the local officials, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Board Member Stanley Caminero of Cebu’s Second District were present to entertain those participating in the tour.

Police Major Arieza Otida, chief of the Minglanilla Police Station, said 50 police and fire personnel and another 50 force multipliers from Minglanilla Traffic Command (Mitcom) were deployed in the area to man traffic and to ensure the safety of the participants.

Minglanilla Councilor and acting Vice Mayor Jay-R dela Calzada, chairman of the Tourism and Socio Cultural Committee, said Suroy-Suroy Sugbo will help improve Cebu’s tourism industry, which suffered significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the downpour on Friday, Caminero said he considered it a “blessing” for Suroy-Suroy Sugbo.

Caminero said participating municipalities are already excited to host the event as this would also help improve their economy.

Gertrude Abarquez, a Cebuano balikbayan who is based in Bohol, has joined the tour thrice.

For this year, Abarquez said she noticed that the tourism program initiated by Garcia had improved a lot from the previous years.

Abarquez and Garcia were classmates in school.

For this year’s event, some tourist buses were readied for the visitors. Each bus can accommodate 45 passengers.

Aside from the tourist buses, some participants who joined on Friday brought with them their private vehicles.

Among those who joined the opening salvo were officials of Cebu Province, Department of Tourism, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Philippine National Police.

Replicate

DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., who also witnessed the event Friday, said the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo should be replicated in other provinces in the country.

“What I see right now should be a template for other provinces to follow what you are doing right now,” said Abalos.

On Saturday, Nov. 19, the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo participants will visit the towns of Oslob, Santander, Samboan, Ginatilan, Malabuyoc, Alegria, Badian and Moalboal.

On Sunday, they will proceed to the towns of Alcantara, Ronda, Dumanjug, Barili and the cities of Carcar and Naga before heading to the final destination of Talisay City for dinner and a show presentation. (BBT, ANV / LMY, TPT)