Only estimated 1K tourists visited Bantayan Is. for Holy Week — CPPO chief
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Tropical Depression Agaton was one of the factors why there were only a thousand tourists visiting Bantayan Island for this year’s Holy Week.
Unlike the pre-pandemic days where several thousands would usually visit this island in northern Cebu because of its festivities, Police Colonel Engelbert Soriano, director of the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO), said that there were only minimal visitors there based on his personal inspection of the area on Friday, April 15.
“I was expecting na dadagsain yung isla dahil nga dun sa festivities nila pero di pa rin talaga nakita yung crowd [compare] nung pre pandemic,” Soriano said.
(I was expecting visitors would flock to the island because of the festivities there but the crowd in the island that I was only minimal as compared to the pre-pandemic time.)
“Kung matatandaan nung Monday, kinancel yung mga byahe ng roro dahil kay Agaton. Yung pakikipag usap natin sa resort owners, andaming nag cancel…parang may mga bookings na kinancel,” he added.
(If you can recall last Monday (April 11), the roro trips were cancelled due to Agaton. The policeman who spoke to the resort owners, said that many had canceled their trips…it seems many tourists have cancelled…it seems there were bookings that were cancelled.)
Soriano said that he had spoken with representatives of the Philippine Coast Guard and they estimated that there were only at least 1,000 incoming passengers for the island as compared to an estimated 80,000 visitors during this period in 2019 or during pre-pandemic time.
Soriano said that he already deployed at least two teams to monitor the island for its security purposes.
These two teams are made up of 18 policemen, who are mostly members of the Provincial Mobile Force Company.
Separate teams were also deployed in the north, south, west and east portions of Cebu province.
These teams were assisted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Bureau of Fire Protection and other force multipliers.
For the Sugat Pagkabanhaw in Minglanilla town in southern Cebu, Soriano said they had already laid out the safety measures as they were expecting a crowd to attend this activity.
He said that the station commander requested 21 policemen to augment their police force for this activity alone
He also said that they had adjusted their traffic plan because activities such as this would usually have an impact on the traffic in the area.
The festivities in Minglanilla are highlighted by two events: the Sugat, a play depicting the resurrection of Christ at Easter dawn; and the Sugat Kabanhawan festival street dance and ritual showdown competition in the afternoon.
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