Reception, dinner party welcome balikbayan

BALIKBAYANS received on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023 a warm and festive reception and party following the resumption of Balik Cebu program and the Sinulog Festival this year.

The Balik Cebu and other Sinulog events were halted for two years due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

On Thursday morning, balikbayans were received with a welcome reception at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA). They were greeted by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and other stakeholders.

A dinner party, organized by the Balik Cebu committee at the Ayala Cebu Terraces ground, also treated the balikbayans to a free dinner upon presentation of their passports and identification cards.

During the dinner, balikbayans were served with traditional Filipino and Cebuano fiesta dishes and desserts, paired with musical and dance performances.

The committee has prepared around 200 slots for the dinner party.

Tetta Baad, Balik Cebu committee chairperson, earlier told reporters at the airport that such activities served as a relaunch after a two-year hiatus of Sinulog events, particularly Balik Cebu events.

For the last 22 years, Baad said they always had a welcome reception at the airport and dinner party for international arriving passengers.

In her speech during the party, Baad hopes that the balikbayans will enjoy their stay in Cebu while inviting them to join the remaining activities of the Sinulog Festival, including the most awaited Sinulog Grand Parade and street dances on Sunday, Jan. 15 at the South Road Properties.

“After the Sinulog Festival, I’m sure many of you will continue to stay and try to visit as many locations as you can,” Baad said.

She added that the Balik Cebu Committee has prepared a booth inside Ayala Mall, which was put up in partnership with different tour operators. A lot of tour packages also await balikbayans.

“If you have plans to go to Bantayan, to Camotes and to other places, they (tour operators) may be able to help you,” Baad added.

Balik Cebu program is not exclusive to Cebuanos but also for people from other parts of the country. (EHP)