3-day 'Summer sa Samar' launch concluded

April 22, 2015 9:36 am 

CATBALOGAN SAMAR, April 22 — The three-day familiarization tour to tourism-ready destinations in Samar has concluded on Tuesday with the local government raising optimism that the province will be included in future travel plans.

Governor Sharee Ann T. Tan, Vice-Governor Stephen James T. Tan and provincial board members led the summer campaign with the Department of Tourism Regional office headed by Dir. Karina Rosa Tiopes.

Joining the tour that kicked off Saturday night were local and national media practitioners, travel bloggers and tour operators.

The group witnessed the biggest fun launch dubbed as “Summer sa Samar.” It started with cultural presentation featuring Samar songs and dances through the Department of Education. There was a kiosk that featured Samar local delicacies and a neon street party and a grand fireworks display.

Speaking to reporters at the provincial capitol, Tan said the launch would start the development of tourism industry in the province, a dream coming to a reality.

Tan said that they are hoping Samar will develop into a top tourist destination in the country, eliminating the negative brands the province has for a long time such as being impoverished, hotbed of the New People’s Army (NPA) and its disaster prone.

The tour covered the loop in the towns of Paranas, Sta.Rita, Basey and Marabut.

The group experienced the torpedo boat riding in Ulot river dubbed as the Ulot Torpedo Boat Adventure on the first day of the tour.

On Monday, the group visited the longest bridge in the Philippines the San Juanico Bridge, and visited the Yolanda memorial near the bridge. Included in the itinerary was a historical and heritage tour in Moscada church and Basey parish Church.

On the second day, he group also explored Sohoton caves and enjoyed kayaking to the natural bridge. The group witnessed the traditional art of mat weaving in Basey near the Basiao caves.

The Marabut adventure was set on Tuesday through a hike to a nearby cavern for a good view of San Pedro Bay and Rock Islets. In a motorboat ride, the group explored the rock islets for swimming and snorkeling.

The three towns visited by the group is now being promoted as Tandaya trail, now dubbed as “Spark Samar.” The launching is considered as the spark that will start the flourishing of tourism industry for Samar.

Tandaya is the pre-Spanish name of the Island of Samar and the trail invites travelers looking for adventure to explore the unspoiled wonders hidden in Samar. The trail winds through the municipalities of Marabut, Basey, and Paranas, where islets, caves, and winding rivers are waiting to be discovered.

The group who joined the three-day familiarization tour is expected to send their recommendations and suggestions to the Department of Tourism as way to help improve in the promotion of tourism industry of the province. (PNA)

FFC/SQM/LIZBETH ANN A. ABELLA/EGR

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