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Cebuano dances, songs, to welcome balikbayans

By: Vanessa Claire Lucero January 07,2016 - 04:29 AM
Members of the Balik Cebu committee cut the ribbon during the official opening of Balik Cebu Booth in Ayala Center Cebu. (CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)

Bong Dy of Ayala Center Cebu, Alice Queblatin, Tetta Baad, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, Patria Aurora Roa, Cebu Daily News publisher Eileen Mangubat, OIC Cynthia Monzon of the Department of Tourism Officer Grace Paulino accompanied by Miss Cebu pageant finalists open the Balik Cebu booth at Ayala Center Cebu. (CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)

In aligning itself with  Cebu´s new branding, ´Cebu: Where the Heart Sings´, the Cebu City Tourism Commission is using this as the theme for the annual Balik Cebu welcome party, said CCTC chairperson Tetta Baad.

The barrio fiesta   dinner to be held at the Terraces of Ayala Center on  January 14  will be  hosted  by Cebu Holdings Inc. for about 300 returning Filipinos and visitors who come to Cebu for the Sinulog and feast of the Sto. Nino.

Cebuano songs will be performed by Sinulog Idol winners. A grand stage production will feature  the Danceport Team, Cebu festival dances,  and a Sinulog dance  by the award winning Lumad Basakanon.

Tickets for the dinner  ,  grandstand seats for the Jan. 17 parade, and  other events, including brochures  on   sight-seeing and tours in Cebu, are available at  the Balik Cebu booth which opened yesterday at Ayala Center Cebu.

The opening was also graced by Vice Gov.  Agnes Magpale.

Baad said the Balik Cebu program, now on its 15th year, will continue its tradition of a festive  airport reception for arriving balikbayan passengers in peak flights on Jan. 14.

At the booth, balikbayans will be able to buy tickets to events happening during the Sinulog week, including the Sinulog Grand Parade on January 17 and Miss Cebu 2016 on January 13.

Balikbayans will also be able to book package tours through the booth.

(The Capitol-led Suroy-Suroy Sugbo countryside tour exploring towns and nature spots in  southern Cebu on Jan 20 to 22 is already fully booked.)

This year, a group of 60 balikbayans are expected from San Francisco, 40 from Las Vegas and another 120 to 200 from Los Angeles, though more balikbayans are anticipated.

While most returning Filipinos still hail from the United States, Baad noted that balikbayans from European countries such as Germany, Switzerland and Sweden, as well as those from the Middle East increase year on year.

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