CONTINGENTS representing the Carabao Festival of Gandara town in Samar was hailed champion in the “Festival of Festivals” competition on Sunday’s Samar Day celebration.
The Carabao Festival group who won the grand prize of P250, 000 will also join Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals in Tacloban City next year.
Meanwhile, last year’s grand winner, the Mayaw-Mayaw Festival of Pinabacdao, emerged as a runner-up. Festivals from the towns of Paranas, Sta. Rita, Villareal and Catbalogan City also participated in the event.
Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan said she hopes the celebration will promote the tourism industry and the entire province.
She said Samar is blessed with several natural assets that could draw in tourists, especially local visitors being her first target.
“We don’t have to start big. What I am thinking is to attract backpacker kind of tourists considering our limited facilities like hotels or inns,” she added.
The governor vowed to allocate funds to improve tourism-related facilities like road construction that would lead to tourist destinations.
The projects could be charged under the Maintenance, Operating and other Expenses (MOOE) or from the 20 percent development fund of the province.
Tourism Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes, the guest of honor during the celebration, said she is happy that the governor is spearheading the promotion of Samar as a tourism destination.
She said the Festival of Festivals is no longer a mere playground demonstration but rather a showcase of culture and way of life of the people across Samar.
Last year, more than 30,000 tourists visited the province to see its various tourism destinations notably the Sohoton Caves in Basey and the Langun-Gobingob Cave in Calbiga. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)