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Siargao, a tourism dev’t priority — Frasco

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Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco formally lauded the beginnings of the tourism recovery of Siargao Island during the opening ceremony of the 26th Siargao International Surfing Cup on Saturday, October 15.

“The resumption of this International Surfing Cup is not only a celebration of the fact that you have been able to put this up for 26 years, but also because you have been able to stage this notwithstanding everything that has come to pass…Truly, this international surfing cup is a celebration of the strength of spirit of the people of Siargao,” Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco remarked during her keynote address.

“The message of the Marcos Administration is that tourism is a priority. And with that, Siargao is a priority. In the next few years, your island will continue to flourish in partnership with the national government,” Secretary Frasco stressed.

The tourism chief also announced that the DOT identified infrastructure and gateway access as key solutions to key destinations such as Siargao, stating that “the national government is here to help Siargao recover, is here to help Siargao rise to the primary position that it deserves in the world”.

A tourism-first island, Siargao welcomed 14,404 tourists, with the bulk coming from domestic tourists, at 12,870 and 1,534 foreign guests for the first semester of the year, according to the Provincial Tourism Office.

Among the line-up of side activities of the World Surf League (WSL)-sanctioned competition are surfing masterclasses, communal yoga, salsa, arts and cultural show, a bazaar, beachside bonfire, sound sessions, beach clean-up drive, and a free concert.

Also present during the opening ceremonies of the week-long festival are Representative Fransico Jose “Bingo” Matugas of the First District of Surigao del Norte, Deputy Speaker Duke Frasco, Cebu Fifth District Board Member Michael “Mike” Villamor, Mrs. Toni Grace “TG” Villamor, 19th Congress Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe, General Luna Mayor Sol Matugas, Vice Mayor Romina Sajulga, WSL Tournament Director Gerry Degan, William Vincent “Vinny” Marcos, Atty. Lalo Matugas, Former Mayor Cecilia “Yayang” Rusilion, DOT Undersecretary Shahlimar Hofer Tamano, and DOT XIII Regional Director Nelia Arina.

Secretary Frasco also presented a one-million peso check to the Municipality of General Luna as a manifestation of the support of the national government to the international surfing competition of Siargao.

For non-surfers, the World Travel Award (WTA) 2022 World’s Leading Island Destination nominee, recently, reoffered a wide array of nature-based and sun and beach tourism activities at the Magpupungko Tidal Wave Pool in Pilar; tri-island hopping of Daku, Guyam, and Naked Island in General Luna; Sugba Lagoon in Del Carmen; Sohoton Cove in Socorro; and Coconut Mountain View in Dapa.

Siargao was recently applauded as Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Island in Asia in 2021 and was included among Time Magazine’s list of “The World’s 100 Greatest Places of 2021”.

“The message of the Marcos Administration is that tourism is a priority. And with that, Siargao is a priority. In the next few years, your island will continue to flourish in partnership with the national government,” DOT Secretary Frasco stressed.

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