Make Bicol region number one again for tourism

LEGAZPI CITY – With the reopening of various industries in Bicol, Department of Tourism (DOT) V Regional Director Herbie Aguas eyes to make the region number one again for tourism. 

In an interview with Bicol.PH, Aguas said that he is looking forward for more stakeholders to join the run because Bicol has a lot to offer in terms of tourist spots and culture abundance. 

“Well, I’m looking forward na mas marami pang stakeholders would join us to make Bicol region number one again for tourism. Pag sinabi kasing Pilipinas, palaging namimention ‘yung Boracay, ‘yung Palawan. Well, we have Mayon Volcano, we have the whale sharks, we have Calaguas, we have the surfing, so why not,” Aguas said. 

Opening the economy paved the tourist influx for Bicol, resorting to revenge tourism that has started within the locals – exploring tourist spots to visit within the area. 

“Kumbaga ineexplore natin ‘yung sariling atin kasi nung pandemic doon natin narealize na ang dami pala nating pwedeng pasyalan sa sarili nating [lugar]. So that’s really a good sign that we are exploring our own,” Aguas added. 

Despite this, Aguas also shared that DOT Secretary Maria Esperanza Christina Frasco intends to advance through Filipino’s brand of service – instilling the trust to Filipino tourism workers.

The regional director also expressed his positivity with the current rate of the tourists for the first quarter of 2023, implying that there is a possibility that the region can surpass the number of visitors from the previous years. 

“’Yung target natin agad, nakukuha natin kaagad ‘yung 30 percent for the first quarter. And I think we will surpass the number last year,” he stated.

A teaser for Siram Project

DOT Bicol claims that there is indeed an increase in the tourist influx within the region due to the relaxed travel restrictions and requirements as of the moment.

In line with this, another project is set to make its debut for boosting Bicol’s tourism – through Bikolano culinary, the Siram Project.

“It’s about the culinary, ‘yung mga pagkain ng Bikolnon, so we’re making a circuit about that so that we can also try to showcase the food and culture of Bikolanos,” Aguas said.

The initiative shall enable tourists from inside and even outside of Bicol region to have a taste of the unique delicacies from different localities, highlighting not just the food itself but also the culture of Bikolanos. 

“We will be making a circuit na ‘yung gagayahin sa Cebu, ‘yung Suroy Suroy Sugbo. Suroy suroy means lakaw lakaw, so pag naglakaw lakaw tayo sa Bicol, anong makikita natin? Kumbaga this is a circuit na showcasing what’s in our culture and our area.” | Danica Roselyn Lim

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Photos: Renato Jao