SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Ancient — The Western Visayas Department of Tourism Regional Office (DOT 6) encourages Antique Dealers to experience tourist attractions in the province so they can share and attract other tourists.
Western Visayas DOT Legal Counsel Sedfrey Cabaluna in his inspirational message during the Northern Antique River Festival held in the province said that Antique has natural attractions like the river which is clean and could be a site of several unique activities for tourists.
“We should value and preserve our natural attractions like the river,” he said.
On October 26, the first of the two-day festival was held on the Bugang River in Barangay Guia in Pandan Municipality, while the second day was held on the Lagdo River in Barangay Tuno and the Butong River in Barangay. Tigbaboy, all in the city of Tibiao.
He mentioned that because of these bodies of water, the province can organize river tubing races.
After the tubing races, a pleasant boodle lunch by the Lagdo River marked the launch of Antique as the “indigenous lechon capital of the Philippines.”
The provincial government prepared 15 roast suckling pigs to be served to participants.
A local dish prepared by La Escapo Mountain Resort in Barangay Tuno won the culinary challenge.
The resort prepared dishes such as chicken pandan (chicken marinated in pandan leaves), tamwa-an or fried shredded cassava rolled into two-inch balls, and linanggawan na tambo or bamboo shoots mixed with other ingredients and vinegar.
In an interview on Monday, Tibiao tourism manager John Paul Fernando said they hope to attract more tourists to their town through the festival.
The festival was started by Calawag Mountain Resort owner Flord Nicson J. Calawag to promote the tourism industry in their town.
He said that with such activities, there are more and more tourists, mainly domestic tourists, who come to Tibiao because of the unique experience they have.
“Our tourist arrival is increasing now,” he said.
He said that in 2015 there were only 12,000 tourists who visited Tibiao; 29,000 in 2016 and 67,000 in 2017.
“Our tourist arrivals, although affected by the closure of Boracay, are starting to increase again in 2019,” he said.
He said that from January to October this year, 70,000 tourists visited the municipality.
“We hope that by the end of the year, we can reach the targeted 100,000 tourist visitors,” he said.
He said that although most of the tourists are domestic, there are also Koreans, Russians and Americans who come to Tibiao after visiting Boracay Island in Aklan. (NAP)