Around 100 tourists join Suroy-Suroy southern trail

Michael Vencynth H. Braga/FPL (The Freeman) - January 22, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Focusing on the heritage sites in the southern part of Cebu province, the first Suroy-Suroy Sugbo this year has officially kicked off yesterday.

The three-day southern trail, which concludes tomorrow afternoon, was participated by around 100 local tourists and “Balikbayans,” most of whom have joined the caravan in the previous years.

Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, who heads the Capitol’s committee on tourism, said the number of paying guests this time is higher compared to last year. Participants explored four of the 12 destinations of the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo during the first day.

The activity started off with the participants assembled at the Capitol compound at 7 a.m. and made the first stop in Carcar City where they were taken on a tour of the ancestral house of the Mancao’s, which was built in 1933.

The caravan then proceeded to the town of Barili, located in the southwestern part of Cebu province and known for its sought-after two-level Mantayupan Falls (also called by the locals as ‘Ambakan’), where the participants were greeted by the sound of the water cascading down to the lower level.

The first level of Mantayupan Falls measures 321.5 feet or 98 meters in height while the second one is 45.9 feet or 14 meters. The third stop was at the heritage park of Moalboal town where guests had their lunch. The area is situated near the coastline, so open that guests can witness the ocean glitters under the sun.

In Alegria, being the last destination for yesterday’s tour, participants got the opportunity to familiarize the history behind the century old Saint Francis Xavier Parish Church built in 1857.

In the same town, participants were also brought to the Demo Farm where experts shared knowledge on the organic farming method being practiced in the facility. A night of cultural presentations capped the first day of the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo 2015.

Magpale explained that the destination was reduced to 12 from 14 last year so that participants would have longer time to enjoy in every stop. She said this is the first time for the province to stage a southern trail that gives more emphasis to heritage sites.

Couple Lindsay and Chris O’connor, who flew in from New Jersey for a vacation in Cebu, joined the Suroy-Suroy Sugbu for the first time.

Lindsay said they want to enjoy beaches and other tourism areas before leaving the country by joining the southern tour. She added they intended to invite their friends to the activity the next time around.

The annual Suroy-Suroy Sugbo aims to promote and develop eco-tourism areas in the province. New stops have been added to this year’s caravan, which included for the first time the five-tier Aguinid Falls in Samboan and Mainit Spring in Malabuyoc.

Magpale said the province extended funds as subsidy to the local government units chosen as the destinations of the tour, including those that bore the brunt of the recent typhoons Queenie and Seniang.

“The amount varies depending on the kind of development,” she added.—(FREEMAN)

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