By Ma. Lailani P. Tupaz
Published on May 19, 2019
NAVAL, Biliran – With over 3,000 visitors noted in the previous Higatangan Island Summer Festivals in this municipality, residents were encouraged to prepare local products and amenities for the possible influx of guests and tourists this year.
Rommel Salvatierra, information officer of the local government unit (LGU) of Naval, said compared with the last two summer festivals in the island where games, water activities, parties, and gigs entertained the visitors, this year’s events set on May 25-26, will showcase local food products, delicacies and livelihood activities of the residents such as mat weaving.
“Exploring more on the culture and inherent beauty of the island is also part of this year’s summer festival,” Salvatierra said.
He added that being aware of the visitors’ needs during the event, residents tend to become more enterprising and active partners in the economic activities of the island.
Higatangan Island, as a tourist destination in Naval and in Eastern Visayas, is now provided with a two-lane circumferential road to facilitate visitors to explore more on the beauty of the island with its lighthouse, Hagdan Resort, the rock formation and cliff diving site.
“In support to the local government’s tourism promotion, the Department of Tourism (DOT) recently provided LGU-Naval with two motorized bancas to cater visitors in their island hopping ventures,” according to Jerome Pitao, Naval tourism officer.
These bancas may also be used in visiting the “Capilla del Mar,” a new tourist attraction in Higatangan, he said.
Pitao added that the Capilla del Mar has a 12-foot cross and eight benches submerged in around 19-21 feet underwater.
Meanwhile, Lawyer Raymund Espina, municipal administrator, has assured security of guests, visitors and the residents as he installed Police Captain Chamberline Ludevise, Naval chief of police, as the incident commander during the two-day summer fest.
The administrator has instructed the Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Health, Bureau of Fire Protection, Naval Rescue Unit and the Biliran Electric Cooperative to report to the incident commander about peace and order related incidents.
Come May 22, three days before the said event, Espina has invited all point persons to join an ocular inspection at the island to ensure a safe, peaceful and successful summer event festival. (LDL/MLT/PIA-8, Biliran)