Monday, July 15, 2024

Second Ibabao Festival Seen To Draw More Tourists To Northern Samar


Second Ibabao Festival Seen To Draw More Tourists To Northern Samar


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The provincial government here is upbeat about drawing more visitors to the province through the month-long celebration of 2nd Ibabao Festival, showcasing its culture, rich history, local products and tourism destination.

Citing their experiences last year, Vice Governor Clarence Datu said the festival was proven effective in inviting tourists to the province as observed by the lone airline operating the Manila-Catarman flights.

“The flights to Catarman have been overbooked. Philippine Airlines (PAL) is planning to add two more flights weekly starting June or July,” Datu told reporters in a press briefing at the provincial capitol here late Sunday.

Currently, PAL flies to Catarman from Manila four times weekly using an 86-seater turboprop aircraft every Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Northern Samar provincial tourism officer Josette Doctor said the 1st Ibabao Festival attracted local tourists but this year, there were already foreign travelers taking photos during the float parade on Sunday.

“This is what we want to achieve – to invite not just local tourists, but foreign visitors as well. We hope that more of them will come next year,” Doctor added.

On Sunday, the 23 participating towns from Northern Samar paraded their grandiose floats showcasing their bounty, culture and unique identity. The number has increased from just 19 participants in 2023.

John Allen Berbon, the provincial government’s information officer, said the event has drawn at least 18,000 spectators along major thoroughfares of Catarman, the provincial capital.

“The event, which signaled the opening of the Ibabao Festival, serves as a celebration of the province’s rich traditions and agricultural abundance, encapsulating the essence of community unity and creativity through a dazzling display of colors and creativity on the streets,” Berbon said.

Governor Edwin Ongchuan invited everyone to join various events of Ibabao Festival 2024, scheduled until June 19, 2024.

Among the activities are a cultural exhibit, which will feature 16th-century female Visayan dress and male attire; public lecture on local history; agriculture and tourism trade fair; a talent show; beauty pageant; tree nurturing, state of the province address, among others.

This year’s celebration, with the theme “Rediscovering Potentials through Sun, Wind and Tides,” focuses on its vast potential as the country’s next center of clean and renewable energy.

Ibabao is the pre-Hispanic name of Northern Samar, one of the three provinces of Samar Island.

Northern Samar became a province separate from Samar and Eastern Samar on June 19, 1965.

It is comprised of the towns of Allen, Biri, Bobon, Capul, Catarman, Catubig, Gamay, Laoang, Lapinig, Las Navas, Lavezares, Lope de Vega, Mapanas, Mondragon, Palapag, Pambujan, Rosario, San Antonio, San Isidro, Silvino Lubos, San Jose, San Roque, San Vicente, and Victoria. (PNA)