The three-day, two-night Suroy-Suroy Sugbo 2018 Adventure Round South successfully ended last January 26 with 37 guests, mostly balikbayans, in praise of Cebu’s cultural heritage, attractions, and hospitality.
They visited the towns of San Fernando, Argao, Dalaguete, Boljoon, Oslob, Samboan, Santander, Ginatilan, Alegria, Moalboal, and Barili, as well as the cities of Carcar and Talisay, where they got to taste local food and delicacies, and were treated to cultural presentations and local dance and songs. A few also went swimming with whale sharks in Oslob and canyoneering in Alegria.
From the Capitol, the guests first made a short stop at the municipal hall of San Fernando before proceeding to Argao, where Mayor Stanley Caminero personally welcomed them and Vice Governor Agnes Magpale inside the town’s Archdiocesan Shrine and Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel.
The guests also got to listen to melodious music from the church’s newly restored pipe organ, which has been silent for forty years and was functional again only last December 2017. After the firing of the town’s colonial period-but-still-functional cannons to officially welcome them, the guests lunched on local Argao food and were treated to Cebuano music performed by the Colawin Rondalla; a fashion show featuring the hablon creations of Dexter Alazas; and demonstrations on hablon weaving, torta making, and tableya making.
From Argao, the guests went up to the mountains of Mantalongon in Dalaguete town, where Acting Mayor Jeffrey Belciña met them with a brass band playing favorite Cebuano songs. They were also treated to a helping of local delicacies. The guests got to bring with them fresh vegetables, Mantalongon being the “vegetable basket of Cebu,” before leaving for Boljoon town, where they visited the Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio de Maria Parish Church and the church’s museum. With Mayor Merlo Derama leading his townsfolk in welcoming them, the guests were served with refreshments right next to the town’s El Gran Baluarte.
From Boljoon, the guests proceeded to Oslob, where they got to experience again the tolling of church bells for the age-old six-o’-clock Angelus. Prior to dinner at the town’s beautiful heritage park located by the sea, the guests visited the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception church as well as the cuartel (colonial era barracks) close to it. Mayor Jose Tumulak Jr. wished the guests well during their short stay and requested that they tell their relatives to likewise visit the town, which is the site of the world famous whale shark watching.
After spending the night in Oslob, the guests started the second day of the tour by proceeding to the Sanayon in Santander, where Mayor Marilyn Wenceslao introduced them to her town’s own specialty delicacies.
From Santander, the guests went to Tangbo, Samboan, the site of the magnificent Aguinid Falls, and the Samboan heritage park, where they visited the San Miguel Archangel parish church, the baluarte or watchtower, and the town’s museum. Ma. Victoria “Marivic” Calderon, the wife of Mayor Emerito Calderon and head of the town’s Tourism and Heritage Council, acted as their guide. Samboan also served them local food and delicacies for lunch.
From Samboan, the guests traveled to Ginatilan for the San Pedro Calungsod shrine right next to the St. Gregory the Great parish church, then to Alegria for a tour of the Que Alegre Demo Farm, where they were introduced to organic farming and the wonders of turmeric and moringa, while other guests went canyoneering.
From the farm, which her husband Dr. Gilbert Magallon managed, Mayor Verna Magallon brought the guests to the Alegria heritage park, where she treated them to entertainment showcasing local talents, dances, and songs, as well as demonstrations on pottery making, corn milling using a wooden mill, and coco coir making using coconut husk.
The guests then went to Moalboal, site of the famous year-round sardine run, where a live band serenaded them during dinner at the heritage park by the sea. Vice Mayor Paz Lingling Rozgoni welcomed them with a message encouraging them to discover the many things Moalboal has to offer. The guests also got to dance the night away before a fireworks display culminated the second day of the three days, two nights tour.
The third and final day gave the guests the chance to stroll on the beach, explore the resorts where they stayed for the night, or to take a dip in the pool or the sea, before leaving Moalboal for Barili town, where they visited the Sta. Ana Archdiocesan Shrine parish church and its museum.
Chicharon and lechon
From Moalboal, the guests dropped by Carcar City for a taste of its delicious chicharon, ampao, and other products, as well as to buy their favorite locally made shoes and sandals before proceeding to Talisay City for final stopover of the tour.
Talisay’s sinulog dance contingent, which won first place in this year’s Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan, greeted the guests upon their arrival. Vice Mayor Allan Bucao, representing the city, gave the guests a short history about the city.
Colorful performances during a sumptuous dinner with Talisay’s famous lechon in abundance, and a four-minute fireworks display capped off the tour, to which Vice Governor Agnes Magpale profusely thanked Talisay for the grand culmination program.
In a speech, she urged the guests to spread the news about Cebu.
“Please tell your relatives and friends…maanindot na kaayo ang Sugbu nga inyong gibiyaan (that the Cebu you have left behind is now very splendid),” she said.
She also thanked the participating towns and cities for the hospitality they have shown the guests and for trying to “outdo” each other in making the guests feel at home.
The guests, indeed, for their part, cited the warm hospitality as something they would not forget about the whole experience.
Heracleo Salgado, 76, and his wife Emerinciana, 72, gushed about the beaches and how they were always exceptionally welcomed.
Heracleo, originally from Madridejos, and Emerinciana, who was from Barili, left the country in 1976 and had come back only for the fourth time. It was their first time to join the Suroy-Suroy since becoming US citizens and living in San Francisco, California.
“Akong na-amaze-san gyud kay welcome ta tanan sa kada town ba…. Nindot kaayo ang hospitality ((What amazed me so much was we were made to feel welcome by each town…. Their hospitality was very nice),” Heracleo said.
“Yes, mao nay importante kaayo (that is the most important),” Emerinciana chimed in, promising to bring their daughter, who is in the US, with them the next time they join the Suroy-Suroy. #