Faith-based tourism in Cebu mulled

By Rosalie Abatayo |January 08,2019 - 01:46 AM

The St Michael the Archangel Church in Argao town, south Cebu is one of the churches built centuries ago. CDN FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Going around Cebu’s tourist spots will soon be more than just about the sights.

It will also be about understanding the faith behind stone churches and other structures that were built centuries ago.

The Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) has started working on developing faith-based tourism in Cebu, which is home to several centuries-old churches and Spanish structures.

Joselito ‘Boboi’ Costas, head of the PTO, said they were in the stage of preparing the community for this type of tourism.

Costas said they had started to train locals to conserve their cultural heritage sites, giving the locals’ the chance to participate in their own tourism industry.

“Di man na madali-dali nga i-implement dayon nato. So, we’ll prepare the communities. We plan to start it [faith tourism] this year (2019) just to lay down groundwork or social preparation for this kind tourism kay we don’t want to rush it. Ultimately, we want the communities to benefit from it,” Costas said.

The PTO is currently having conservation works in a watchtower in Barangay Obong in Dalaguete town as a preparation for the launch of the faith-based tourism.

“In the case of Obong, we’re training the locals to work on the structures themselves. Gitudloan namo sila unsaon ang mga conservation measures. Sila na mismo ang nagpatching sa mga materials,” said Costas.

Costas said the PTO had seen more hope for the locals to appreciate and love their own destinations with this setup.

“It means that they want the community to be aware and to be conscious of their cultural heritage, and that would bring them to love their cultural heritage, which in turn will call them to action to protect the structures,” he added. /bjo

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