San Fernando, Cebu — Christopher Java’s paintings and bust sculptures of Cebuano personalities were among the sights in the San Fernando leg of Suroy Suroy Sugbo Southern Heritage Trail on Friday morning, November 15, 2019.
Java, 64, sat beside his artworks under the shade of the tree beside the San Isidro Labrador Church as delegates gathered in the church yard for the Suroy Suroy program.
He was sketching a portrait of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia with the church at the background.
“Ako na ning gisugdan gabii pagtawag nila nako. Gihangyo man ni Mayor [Neneth Reluya] nga naa ang simbahan aron remembrance niya (Garcia) dinhi sa San Fernando,” Java told CDN Digital.
(I started this last night when they called me. The mayor asked me to put the church on the background so it can be a remembrance of the governor here in San Fernando.)
Java, a native of Barangay Sangat, San Fernando, is currently affiliated with the municipality’s tourism office, where he leads projects pertaining to arts.
According to Java, institutional tours like the Suroy Suroy Sugbo has become an avenue for the local artists to showcase their talents to both local and foreign tourists.
Today, Friday, is the first of the three-day Suroy Suroy Sugbo Southern Heritage Trail.
At least 147 paying tourists and other guests from the corporate sector and representatives of government agencies participated in the tour caravan.
Cultural performances greeted the delegates as they arrived at the heritage sites of each host town which serve as venues for the program.
Each town also presented their native delicacies, which are offered in buffet courses in each town.
The tourists stay for about one hour in each host town.
The Southern Heritage Trail covers 22 towns in the south portion of Cebu with Minglanilla as the kickoff point.
Maria Lester Ybañez, Provincial Tourism Division head, said the Local Government Units (LGUs) should take the tour as an opportunity to introduce their new attractions, especially those which are not yet known to tourists.
The Capitol has shed out P6.6 million or P300,00 of cash assistance to each of the 22 participating towns for their preparation in hosting the Suroy Suroy Sugbo delegates.
Ynañez said the amount is an “investment” for the tourism marketing strategy of the province for the component towns and cities.
Garcia started Suroy Suroy Sugbo in 2004 with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2005, the Capitol took the lead in hosting the tour. /bmjo