Balikbayans to enjoy treats on Sinulog festival week

IN LINE with the celebration of the Santo Niño fiesta, Balik Cebu has announced that they will be hosting a free Filipino buffet dinner for at least 200 balikbayans.

Balik Cebu is a program of the Cebu City Government and the Cebu Provincial Government in coordination with the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) and other tourism stakeholders.

The program was initially designed to assist Sinulog festival visitors in their needs to encourage more overseas Filipinos to come home.

Tetta Baad, Balik Cebu committee chairperson, said on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, that the initiative, which started in 2000, also aimed to promote tourism, particularly in Cebu Province.


After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Balik Cebu booth was relaunched on Friday at the Ayala Center Cebu Level 1 concierge desk area.

Baad said interested balikbayans may approach their booth to register by presenting their passports and possibly enjoy some perks.

She said reservations for the Balik Cebu balikbayan events would be on a first come, first serve basis.

“We have already reserved 100 tickets for those still arriving. In fact, we are going to hold a symbolic airport reception in the morning of Jan. 12 with Mayor Michael Rama,” said Baad.

The free dinner will be held at the Ayala Terraces grounds on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 6 p.m.

Guests could bring up to four family members to join. They will also be given free tickets to a mini Sinulog activity at the welcome dinner, said Baad.

Apart from this, Baad said Balik Cebu can also help book tour packages through the Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialists.

Among those present during the launch were former Department of Tourism 7 Director Patricia Aurora Roa, Cebu City Liaison Officer for Worldwide Balikbayans Cinbeth Orellano, City Councilor and chairperson of the tourism committee Joy Pesquera, and MCIAA general manager Julius Neri Jr.