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Celebrating Bicol's Folk Epic
Legazpi’s colorful Ibalong Festival will kick off on August 10 with a new twist showcasing sports and environment tourism. Festival events lined up during the three week revelry are aimed to attract national and international tourists, according to City Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal.
The festival will feature sports tourism with the hosting of the Dragon Boat Competition where 18 teams will compete paddling their way in the waters of Albay gulf.
The Mayon Trail Run, now on its fifth year, would also offer hundreds of local, national and international runners the unique experience of running a 21 kilometer race traversing the Lignon Hill, river channels, Mayon volcano gullies, the five-storey lava wall and Camp 2 of the Mayon summit.
Rosal said that the new events showcasing the Ibalong Festival now on its 21 year would be an avenue to promote Legazpi as the “City of Fun and Adventure.”
Other sports tourism activities lined up to give visitors an atmosphere of fun and adventure are: the Mayon Lava Front watch, the lava zip line and touring the surroundings of Mayon Volcano by the use of All Terrain Vehicle (ATV); Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament at the 18 hole golf course in Barangay Lidong, a village at the foot of Mayon Volcano in this city.
This year Ibalong Festival carries a P10 million funding from the City coffers.
Along this line, Maria Ong Ravanilla, regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) was impressed of the events lined up by the festival organizers saying that “Ibalong Fest is a reflection of Bicol culture and character that molded us for who we are and what we are.”
Ravanilla said the festival has made the city as “the gateway to Bicolandia,” a “convention city, ”and now it is tagged as the “City of Fun and Adventure.”
She said 18 national convention are expected to be held here in the second half of this year to the first half of next year these include: Climate Change Adaptation (CCA)-Tourism National Summit to be held on Aug 23 to 25, this year; the 32nd Bicol National Association in America (BNAA) Convention to be held here in July next year, the Alpha Phi Omega International Convention; and League of Municipalities of the Philippine (LMP) national convention.
The three-week festival this August will also feature its regular event this include the Ibalong Festival Street Dance Presentation, Mutya ng Ibalong Beauty Pageant, and the Ibalong Epic.
Rosal said as the city economic growth is gaining headway, it will also showcase in their festival activities the infrastructure development projects such as the P50 million Passenger Terminal Seaport at the Legazpi Boulevard, the concrete road projects leading to the Southern Luzon International Airport (SLIA) site in Daraga, albay.(PNA)