Agusan Norte conducts 6th Baoto Festival
by Robert E. Roperos
BUTUAN CITY (September 28) -- The provincial government of Agusan del Norte, in cooperation with the municipal government of Jabonga conducted recently the 6th Baoto Festival.
The three-day festival kicked-off with a tree-planting activity participated by some 300 high school and college students of this city and the province of Agusan del Norte on the first day.
On the following day, the students were given lecture on the basics of mountain-climbing, caving and boating where the participants underwent actual mountain-climbing and caving somewhere in the mountainous area of Jabonga.
According to Daniel Calo, Agusan del Norte Provincial Community Affairs Officer, students from different schools in Butuan City and Agusan del Norte were invited to this activity not only to foster camaraderie among them but as well as to promote tourism in the province. "We have a lot more to offer in our province, it's only a matter of how are we going to promote the tourist cites that we have here. Through this activity, we could be able to promote Agusan del Norte and Butuan City's culture and tourism", Calo said.
Calo also said, with this festival spearheaded by Gov. Erlpe John Amante, it is hoped that the province will be placed in portals of tourism industry not only in the region but in the entire country, as well.
The third and last day marked the highlight of the festival. Participants of the Baoto (meaning boat or banca) race gathered at the competition site, particularly in Jabonga pier facing the famous Lake Mainit, known to be the 4th largest lake of the country.
According to Calo, participants came from as far as Zamboanga del Norte and Davao City. Others who competed in the 30 kilometer-race came from Cagayan de Oro City and from the neighboring municipalities including the local boatmen of Cabadbaran, Nasipit, Tubay, Jabonga, and Butuan City.
Now on its sixth year of staging, this year's Baoto Festival is partly sponsored by Mc Donalds, Columbia Sports gear, Nature's Spring, San Roque Metals Incorporated (SRMI) Mining Corporation, San Miguel Corporation and Nestle Philippines, among others. (PIA-13) [top]