Feature: Adventure plus heritage, tourism come-on in Southern Leyte
By Bong Pedalino
Maasin City (12 October) -- Tourists visiting Southern Leyte province are assured of spectacular sights on land and water, including natural physical workouts according to their interests -- plus a nourishment for the soul, as the packaged tours will surely have visits to pilgrimage and cultural sites.
This was the consensus that developed after a two-day tourism value chain workshop held at Maasin Country Lodge here last week.
Nedgar Garvez, Provincial Tourism Officer, summed it all when he said that in Southern Leyte "adventure and hereitage blend."
"The iconic destination for tourism in the province is Limasawa island, site of the First Mass in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia," Garvez stressed during the workshop process wherein the attractive locations were thoroughly brainstormed as to priority sites.
Aside from its religous and cultural signifcance, other scenic spots like dive sites, prestine white beaches, and bat caves can also be found in Limasawa island, Garvez added.
This can be linked with other wonderful diving sites as in Napantao, San Francisco -- said to be the second best dive site in the world -- the whale shark watching in Son-ok, Pintuyan or take the challenge in entering the caves in Macrohon and frolic with the many waterfalls in any towns.
With the completion of the Agas-Agas bridge in Sogod, the province is now capable to welcome enthusiasts of extreme sports such as bungee jumping and zip-line rappeling, then proceed to pacific area to view the Guinsaugon memorial, escape to the twin islands of Hinunangan, especially during the times when the annual sandcastle-making festival is slated to be held, usually in June or July.
In-between these trips will be side visits to centuries-old churches, or to pilrimage shrines on their way back to Maasin, and drop by to see rare collector's items at Abiera museum, located in the heart of Maasin city.
Along the way, tourists can buy local but world-renowed delicacies like tres marias, salvarro, rosquillos, ampaw, or take a look and purchas handicraft products as souvenir items.
The two-day workshop was ably facilitated by Marietta Sumagaysay, a Professor at UP-Tacloban, with Racheal Capio, the Regional GTZ Representative, some NEDA-Regional personnel, and Cynthia Nierras, the Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]