SunStar Eye: Unveiling Camotes’ ‘enchanting beauty’

CAPTIVATING. San Francisco’s captivating Lake Danao, where the soli-soli grass is found. The grass serves as the inspiration for the town fiesta’s Soli-Soli Festival that is celebrated every March. / KFJ
CAPTIVATING. San Francisco’s captivating Lake Danao, where the soli-soli grass is found. The grass serves as the inspiration for the town fiesta’s Soli-Soli Festival that is celebrated every March. / KFJ

THE Province of Cebu, through its tourism program dubbed Suroy-Suroy Sugbo, brought 450 local and foreign tourists to the beautiful islands of Camotes to show off the tourism jewels of the main towns, namely Pilar, San Francisco, Poro and Tudela.

Guests arrived on Saturday morning, May 11, 2024, in Pilar on Ponson Island, the first stop of the two-day Suroy-Suroy Sugbo: Enchanting One Camotes.

They were greeted with scrumptious seafood, including Imbaw shells, saang, tuyom and swaki. Tourists were also treated to classic Filipino savory dishes like Pork Humba and Bistek, complemented by the smoky goodness of grilled shrimp, eggplant and the irresistible lechon.

Putting Pilar on the map

Pilar Mayor Manual Santiago noted that his town lies nearly 100 kilometers from the Cebu Provincial Government headquarters, requiring a sea travel of at least three hours. Nevertheless, the mayor emphasized that despite the distance, the Provincial Government remains attentive to the needs of the island town.

Santiago lauded the Province’s Suroy-Suroy Sugbo program for placing the island on the radar of tourists and investors, as this will accelerate developments on the island.

Despite its remote location, Ponson Island holds significance in the country’s history, as it was one of the passage islands during the expeditionary journey of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.

Santiago hoped that tourists had an amazing time enjoying the culinary journey and that they would consider revisiting in the future to enjoy the town’s beautiful beaches. The towns of Camotes are surrounded by pristine beaches and lush landcapes, offering a glimpse into the serene island life in the archipelago.

VIP guests, Lapid’s pledge

This year’s Suroy-Suroy Sugbo were attended by Sen. Lito Lapid and his son Mark, the chief executive officer of Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority. Some delegates of the International Association of Women Judges, who had a three-day convention in Cebu City, also joined the excursion.

During his speech, the senator pledged P1 million in financial assistance to the Pilar. The lawmaker added that he will also extend assistance to other towns of Camotes.

After exploring Pilar, the participants of the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo headed to the town of San Francisco, their second stop for the day, where they were treated with the town’s local dishes, vibrant culture and warm hospitality.

On Sunday, May 12, they will head to the towns of Tudela and Poro. / with KOC

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