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Capitol to showcase “Big 5” destinations

CEBU, Philippines - Five breathtaking destinations in the south will soon be showcased by the Cebu Provincial Tourism Office.

“The Big Five” which will be launched soon features the scenic town of Alegria, mouth-watering delicacies of Argao, the enchanting town of Alcoy, natural wonders of Aloguinsan, and the mesmerizing museums of Boljoon.

The five towns promote conservation of natural and cultural heritage and engaged in community-driven tourism by providing alternative livelihood to the locals.

Provincial Tourism Officer Joselito “Boboi” Costas said the five destinations were chosen based on the preparedness of the organizations in the respective community. The five are also part of the list of potential eco-tourism sites proposed by the tourism office more than a year ago.

Costas said that the tourism program introduces the new and updated community-driven and community-managed destinations in the south where locals will mainly serve as tour guides and suppliers.

The tour guides of Alegria and Alcoy are all farmers, Alegria’s guides work for the Saint Peter Academy of Alegria Foundation Inc. (SPAAFI) Demo Farm, which advocates organic farming and ways that promote health and wellness.

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In Alcoy, the guides are leaders of the community-based organization, Kapunungan sa mga Mag-uuma sa Yutang Lasangon sa Bulalacao (KMYLB). Youth volunteers will be the tour guides in Argao.

Aloguinsan’s guides are mostly fishermen from community-based organizations that manage the town’s ecotourism assets like the Bojo River Cruise, Hermit’s Cove and protection of the town’s coral reefs.

 The tour guides in Boljoon belong to the Asosasyon sa mga Boljoanong Mamumuo sa Turismo (ASBOMATU), a community-based organization supported by the local government.

“Most of the tour guides went through a 16-day basic community-based eco-tourism training, we divided the eco-tourism training into four modules,” Costas said.

The “Big 5” tour will include the Farm to Table Tour in Alegria, Hermit Cove and Bojo River Cruise in Aloguinsan, Culinary Journey in Argao, Heritage Walk in Boljoon, and Birding Tour and Nature Trek in Alcoy.

“The tour will be three days and two nights but right now we are thinking if individual tour ang imong kuhaon we make sure that it will cost cheaper dili molapas og P1,000 ang mabayran,” Costas said.

The tourism office is also planning to feature next the beautiful destinations in the northern towns of Cebu and is on the process of developing and discovering new sites. — Dulcelyn T. Insong (FREEMAN)

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