Lumba’g Laag sa Sugbo

By: Cris Evert B. Lato-Ruffolo June 22,2019 - 08:02 AM

DAANBANTAYAN, Cebu– There is so much passion among Cebuanos in whatever we do and for Cebu City, that passion is evident in the annual celebration of Cebu Business Month (CBM).

I’ve been covering CBM events spearheaded by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) since 2006 when I was a young intern for the CDN paper so I have seen the progress that happened in the quantity and quality of events which have been mounted in the last 13 years.

This year’s CBM has Lilu Aliño as chairperson and with her at the helm, there are at least 18 events embracing the theme “Innovation in Action” covering areas such as entrepreneurship, information and communication technology, and tourism.

My favorite part has always been the tourism forum. As a young reporter, I loved spending hours sitting in a cold room listening to people speak about what their companies and organizations do to bring about sustainable development to local communities.

But I’ve always felt that something experiential was missing in the entire tourism discussion. I thought people in the cold room need to go out and see Cebu to really see its beauty, culture, heritage, food and people.

Finally, in 2017, CCCI tourism chairperson Edwin Ortiz and the dynamic Bert Mendoza joined forces to create a race. Sir Bert suggested to name the tourism race as “Lumba’g Laag sa Sugbo” and Sir Edwin adding the tagline “A race to Cebu’s hidden attractions.” Habagat came in as a partner along with the Department of Tourism. Local government units supported as well.

It has to be noted that “hidden” in this term is not exactly remote or inaccesible. For many of Cebu’s destinations, they are simply not known; hence, the need to promote them.

I joined the 2018 race which took us to the southern parts of Cebu where I saw what the town of Dalaguete can offer from reef to ridge. Its pride of place is not just its moniker of being the “vegetable basket” but also its beach and park. It sure is an underrated attraction down south.

Dumanjug’s charm is often promoted with their roasted Bisayang manok made from native chicken using local spices. But I think the potential to make it big in tourism is in its people and the heritage structures that remind us of a bygone era that shaped this town’s beautiful past.

Samboan is yet to be explored and Aguinid falls is really just the tip of a big iceberg that the local government can utilize to improve the local economy and give jobs to people.

In this year’s edition of Lumba’g Laag sa Sugbo, we were taken to the northern part of Cebu.

Here’s a confession: I live in the town of Liloan but I have never been to the Bagacay Lighthouse, an important national marker that showcases an example of Americal colonial architecture. On Friday, June 21, I stood by its base admiring how our history gives us glimpses of what has been and what could be. Near the lighthouse is a gated, high-end development of a well-known developer. A local told me that is where he used to play as a child. The area near the lighthouse is still his children’s playground.

We found our way to the Cebu Safari and Adventure Park in Carmen town. I took my son, Nicholas, there two weeks ago and we were both mesmerized by the variety of flora and fauna which are now thriving in this park.

On our way to Tabogon, we passed by Catmon’s Duko-Duko Eatery to satisfy our cravings for pochero. This is a must-visit stop for delicious, hearty meals.

As we followed the race participants to Tabogon, we got lost. The road we passed by was known as Provincial Road; rough and bumpy but dear Lord, what a view of God’s creation in blue, green and white.

White clouds hovered over sugarcane plantations and green mountains set against an azure sky. We have this sight in the city too but not as expansive and majestic.

We finally located the site of the first surrender of the Japanese forces during World War II in Barangay Caduawan in Tabogon town. Race participants counted the number of words and letters enshrined there.

We ended the day in Daanbantayan, in a resort that I did not know that exists. Its called Golden Sands Destination Resort. This is literally hidden, very apt for Lumba’g Laag sa Sugbo’s theme. The owner says the property has been with the family since the 80s but it was only last year that they decided to open it as a resort. More than one kilometer of beach line of white powdery sand facing Cebu’s blue waters.

How can I not be in love?

As 80 individuals from 20 teams continue the Day 2 of their race today, one thought runs in my mind: I’m taking my children further up north next month on their birth month to see more of their hometown, Cebu.

I was asked before why I cannot leave Cebu and why I keep coming home to Cebu.

It’s not really that hard to give an answer.


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TAGS: CDN Digital opinion, Cebu Business Month, Cebu columnists, columnist Cris Evert Lato Ruffolo, Lumba'g Laag sa Sugbo 2019

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