CEBU CITY, Philippines – Despite the bad weather, participants of the first Suroy-Suroy sa Sugbo 2022 said they had an insightful and immersive experience on Cebu province’s culture and heritage.
One of those who attended this year’s Suroy Suroy sa Sugbo was Barbara Echevarria.
Echevarria joined the group of over 400 tourists and travel enthusiasts who participated in the comeback of the province-wide tour activity.
The retired flight attendant grew up in Cebu but she told reporters that the Suroy Suroy last Friday, November 18, opened doors for her to learn more about her hometown.
“I’ve travelled all over the world, and I realized that Cebu has a lot to offer because of Suroy Suroy,” said Echevarria.
She also said that she wanted to share her experiences and what she learned about Cebu to her family.
“I have a lot of stories to share with my family after this tour. This is genuinely educational for me,” she added.
Among the many “new things” that she discovered during the Suroy-Suroy were the hablons in Argao town.
“I love fashion & (hablon) impressed me a lot… I think we can promote this to a wider audience. This took my breath away,” Echevarria added.
Echevarria had been planning to join Suroy Suroy in the previous years but was unable to do so due to her work.
“Now I’ve got the time so I joined,” she added.
Jane Pelayo, also from Cebu, said she enjoyed the first day of the three-day excursion.
Like Echevarria, the 49-year-old from Minglanilla town said she learned a lot about Cebu during the trip.
“Na enjoy ko. Daghan food (so di gyud ka magutman),” Pelayo said, who joined the activity with her longtime friend.
Suroy-Suroy sa Sugbo went into a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local and national government officials, led by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, also joined this year’s Suroy-Suroy called Southern Heritage Trail.
It covered the southern portion of Cebu province.
On the first day, participants toured the towns of Minglanilla, San Fernando, Sibonga, Argao, Dalaguete, Alcoy and Boljoon.
Each locality showcased the best of their culture and heritage by featuring famous tourist spots, and food and delicacies.
Guests were also treated with colorful, cultural performances highlighting the destinations’ history, culture and more. These are the Sugat Kabanhawan Festival (Minglanilla), Sikoy-Sikoy Festival (San Fernando), Bonga Festival (Sibonga), Torta Festival (Argao), Utanon Festival (Dalaguete), Siloy Festival (Alcoy) and Bolho Festival (Boljoon).
Packages for this year’s Suroy Suroy ranged between P11,000 to P16,000, according to Provincial Tourism Officer Maria Lester Ybañez.
These covered the costs for transportation, accommodation, food, to name a few, for the entire three-day-four-night tour.
Ybañez said Suroy Suroy served as a promotional and marketing activity to allow tourists a closer and immersive experience with the province’s towns and cities.
“Once ma introduce na sila (sa destinations), basically (they might think of returning there)… We are letting them see and feel and have a taste a little bit of everything,” Ybañez said.
The Suroy Suroy sa Sugbo 2022 will run from November 18 to November 20.
On the second day, guests will visit the towns of Oslob, Santander, Samboan, Ginatilan, Malabuyoc, Alegria, Badian and Moalboal.