CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Quincentennial celebration for the arrival of Christianity in the country is a chance for Cebu to boost its tourism industry.
This was the statement of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on the ongoing plans for the Quincentennial Anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines to be celebrated in 2021.
Garcia recently met with Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma to discuss the activities the Catholic Church will be holding for the celebration, with activities dispersed throughout the year starting April 2021 to January 2022.
“We assured them that we will of course support this. Dunay usa ka activitiy himuon sa province. Since there will also be highlights sa ubang areas, I suggested that perhaps we can work together para mamarket sad namo (ang Cebu) on the tourism side,” said the governor.
(We assured them that we will of course support this. There is one activity that will be done in the province. There will also be highlights in other areas. I suggested that perhaps we can work together so we can market Cebu on the tourism side.)
In particular, Garcia is looking into the beautiful churches in Dalaguete, Argao, and Bantayan as highlights for the province that would focus on cultural and religious tourism.
Bantayan’s St. Peter and Paul Parish showcase a beautiful Quadratura that resembles the European churches, but this time painted by Leyte artist, Aris Avelino Elardo Pastor.
Argao’s bamboo piano is also another tourist spot that deserves a highlight. The town has been holding concerts pre-pandemic and the provincial government is hoping for its return soon.
Garcia hopes that the Quincentennial Anniversary would help boost the tourism industry that has been gravely affected by the pandemic.
Prior to that, the provincial government will be able to “test the waters” with the mini Suroy-Suroy Sugbo in Bantayan Island, as the Bantayan Airport will accept its first landing plane on November 27, 2020.
At least 80 tourists will be arriving at the airport, and this will kick start the mini Suroy-Suroy, which will focus on the three towns of Bantayan: Sta. Fe, Madridejos, and Bantayan.
The activity will give the provincial government a chance to study the best way to revive the tourism industry amid the ongoing pandemic. /rcg