Maripipi Mayor Canonoy Caingcoy and DOT-8 Assistant Regional Director Rina Apostol inspect a display station on pottery products during the mock tour on October 23, 2023. (Photo courtesy of LGU Maripipi)
Maripipi Mayor Canonoy Caingcoy and DOT-8 Assistant Regional Director Rina Apostol inspect a display station on pottery products during the mock tour on October 23, 2023. (Photo courtesy of LGU Maripipi)

PIA Biliran

NAVAL, Biliran (PIA) — The island municipality of Maripipi in the province of Biliran is all set for the Australian Coral Adventure Cruise Visit on November 2, said Maripipi Mayor Joseph Canonoy Caingcoy in an interview.

Maripipi, which is famous for Sambawan Island, is one of the tourist destinations in Eastern Visayas that will be visited by the Coral Adventurer cruise ship from Australia in November, with passengers composed mainly of retired professionals and some elite individuals from the United States and Europe. The other cruise visits are Padre Burgos in Southern Leyte, Biri and Capul Islands in Northern Samar, and Babatngon and Palompon in Leyte.

According to Caingcoy, three mock tours were conducted in Maripipi to ensure the readiness of the preparations for the first international cruise visit in the province of Biliran.

The first locally initiated mock tour was conducted on September 14 with Mayor Caingcoy, who acted as guest with trainees on community tour guiding; the second on September 26; and the third on October 23, participated in by some key officials and personnel from the municipal, provincial, and regional tourism offices, LGU Maripipi, a travel agency, and the cruise ship.

Caingcoy said that some 60 passengers from the more or less 120 passengers of the cruise ship, composed mainly of retired professionals and some elite individuals from the United States and Europe, will disembark for cultural immersion in the local lifestyles, traditions, and heritage of the island town.

The visitors will be offered a grand welcome upon their arrival at the Maripipi Roro Port around 8 a.m. on November 2. The 60 passenger guests will be divided into two groups. The first group of 30 will proceed to Barangay Agutay, where they will be immersed by local craft tradesmen in the production of various products made of local raw materials from nito, such as bags, decorative materials, and other products. The visitors will also be entertained by a group of dance performers in the barangay.

The other group of 30 will proceed to Barangay Casibang, where the major immersion activity will be on how the residents produced the age-old industry of the town, the pottery making using raw material called galut. Two of the famous pottery products, which until now have been used not only by the residents of the island town but also in some towns of the province, are daba, a native casserole used for cooking food, and biso, a water container.

Aside from the immersion in pottery making with seven stations on how it was produced, the visitors will also be introduced through a demonstration on the local production of sulirap, a native material from coconut leaves used as walling in houses and even in some local houses; the production of brooms out of coconut leaves; the production of dried fish; how to produce coconut oil called hatok using a native piece of equipment called kaguran; and a cooking demonstration of local food such as paksiw, humba, and other native food products using daba.

In Casibang, the visitors will be entertained by the Ginalutan Festival dancers, a festival dance of Maripipi that originated from the raw material used in pottery making called galut.

What adds to the various products that will be offered to the visitors, aside from the local delicacy sinaging, will be the newly conceptualized local juice made of ganas, or camote tops.

After their visit to the two barangays, the visitors will proceed to Sambawan Island, the primary tourist destination of the island town and one of the tourism potential destinations in the province of Biliran and in Eastern Visayas.

Mayor Caingcoy said despite the big challenge faced by the island town officials and residents in hosting such a big international event, with the help of the provincial government of Biliran through the Provincial Tourism Office, the regional office of the Department of Tourism in Eastern Visayas, and other government offices and private individuals, he saw it as a big opportunity in showcasing and promoting the tourism potentials of the island town in the international arena.

Caingcoy further said that if the November 2 cruise visit will be successful, it was promised by the cruise organizers that another international cruise visit will be made in Maripipi in May 2024. (MMP/RSV/PIA Biliran)

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