LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — It’s all systems go for Albay’s Daragang Magayon Festival 2016 (DMF 16) that is expected to rake in even more tourists than in previous years.
The festival kicks off March 28 and rolls on until the end of April this year.
Albay’s reputation as a world-class cultural and eco-tourism jewel becomes even more passionately irresistible to tourists with its recent designation only last March 18 in Lima, Peru as a world Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which has now also included Mayon Volcano in its tentative list of World Heritage Sites.
The designation further consolidates Albay’s global position in culture and eco-tourism, and adds more glitter to the 2015 title given it by the Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA) as a “new frontier tourist destination.” The province was co-winner of PATA’s first-ever USD1-million CEO Challenge.
Albay Governor Joey Salceda said his province has amply demonstrated the true concept of beauty with these recent recognitions and designations, and the world is invited to visit Albay and see and feel for themselves what it truly offers. The true spirit of beauty and love for the environment, he stressed, is what Albay celebrates through its Daragang Magayon Festival which is now on its 18th year. The province is among the country’s top tourist destinations, accounting for a credible share of foreign arrivals.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has declared the province as a “tourism powerhouse.”
In December last year, the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) declared the 201-year-old Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga town as a National Cultural Treasure, attesting further to Albay’s role in the country’s cultural heritage.
To be participated in by movie and TV celebrities and artists, Salceda said DMF 16 also aims to help further consolidate the Albay-Masbate-Sorsogon (Almasor) tourism alliance that clusters the three Bicol southernmost provinces as the “Soul of the South” of the country’s tourism industry.
One of the DMF 16 highlights, the popular Legends Showdown, a parade of Albay’s mythological giants, is slated in the afternoon of its opening day. The parade also ushers in a chain of searches, among them the Daragang Magayon Pageant, which has consistently produced world-class beauties and winners in both national and international beauty competitions through the years.
Another is the now famous ‘Sayaw kan Tolong Bulod (Dance of the Three Mountains)’ which deals with the legend of Albay’s three mountains – Mounts Mayon, Masaraga and Malinao. The feature debuted on stage during the DMF 2013 edition and has progressively captivated the public.
Albay’s culinary arts also provide gustatory adventures for both foreign and domestic tourists to savor the province’s ethnic cuisines in its popular food gardens. Other festival come-ons include dance competitions, art and photo exhibits, trade fairs, sports festivals, concerts and beer plazas for the entire month.
DOT has consistently showcased Albay in many international tourism fairs, the latest of which was the March 10-13, 2015 Marche International Proffesionels d’Immobilier at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, an annual show participated in by influential property players worldwide. Johnny Nunez/PNA/northboundasia.com