Cebu’s most well-known tourism junket goes by the name Suroy-Suroy Sugbo. It is a program instituted by the province’s lady governor Gwendolyn Garcia. The next Suroy-Suroy Sugbo is scheduled on June 11 and 12, 2012.
The next scheduled tour will be Suroy-Suroy Sugbo – Explore the Midwest. This particular tour, which has the highest rating among the four itineraries of the Cebu tourism program, consists of visits to Toledo City, Tuburan, Tabuelan, Aloguinsan, Pinamungajan, Balamban, and Asturias. Governor Garcia met with tourism officers and local officials from the participating areas, on May 17, 2012. She reminded them of the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo standard that must be maintained in receiving the guests, in the presentations, accommodations, food, and so forth.
A provincial tourism officer said that the June tour can accommodate around 250 participants. The tour package, which includes an overnight stay in resorts in Toledo City and Balamban, costs between Php3,000 and Php6,000.
Capitol artistic director Junjet Primor mentioned that the Midwest package offers big events because of concurrent fiesta celebrations in Toledo City and in Tuburan. Both these locations will showcase their respective festival competitions for the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo event. Toledo City has the Hinulawan Festival, and it celebrates its annual thanksgiving in honor of its patron St. John of Sahagún (a Castilian town that’s also called San Facondo), every June 12.
The name Hinulawan is a combination of two Bisaya words, hinaguan (struggled for) and bulawan (gold). It is also an old name for Toledo City. During a 2011 installment of Suroy-Suroy Sugbo Midwest, four features of Toledo City were highlighted in the Hinulawan Festival: Golden Harvest, Golden Friendship, Golden Treasures, and Golden Faith.
In 2011, Suroy-Suroy Sugbo Midwest included promotion of products from the featured towns. These products included sweet potato cookies and organic farm crops from Aloguinsan as well as the native delicacy called budbud, in Pinamungajan. The visitors also cruised along Aloguinsan’s Bojo River. Their tour convoy departed from Capitol at 8 a.m. for a church visit in Balamban, via the Naga-Uling road.
In the town of Pinamungajan, the festival that Suroy-Suroy Sugbo guests may get to see is called the Pamuhoan Festival. Pamuhoan, which is a Bisaya word for harvest, is in honor of the town’s patron, Santa Monica. The town’s mayor Geraldine Yapha said that having the festival deepened the sense of identity that the residents of Pinamungajan have. Pinamungajan first joined Suroy-Suroy Sugbo Midwest in the year 2008.
He Shi Jing, the Chinese consul general who, with his family, participated in a few of the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo installments, said that the localized program is good for promoting Cebu to the world. Members of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry were also regular participants in the program.
Suroy-Suroy Sugbo is one of Governor Garcia’s programs that are up for institutionalization into the provincial government’s systems. If it successfully becomes one of the province’s institutions, then it will continue even after Governor Garcia’s term ends in 2013.
For the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo – Southern Heritage Trail conducted last January 18 to January 20, 2012, visitors went to twenty-two municipalities in a span of three days. The tour allowed the visitors to experience southern Cebu’s food, culture and history. During a special pre-visit that took place, Governor Garcia’s entourage and guests were greeted with songs and dances. Tour guides for the trip were a pair of grade 6 students who spoke in English to describe the tourist spots. The stops on the Southern Heritage Trail were the following:
3. San Fernando
Another itinerary of Suroy-Suroy Sugbo that, in previous years, has also been conducted during the month of January is the Northern Escapade. It includes the towns of Bantayan, Madridejos, San Remigio, Medellin, Sogod, Carmen, Santa Fe, Liloan, Consolacion, Bogo, Tabogon, Compostela, Borbon, and Catmon, plus the city of Danao.
The fourth and perhaps the shortest of the four Suroy-Suroy Sugbo itineraries is Enchanting Camotes. Every April, it shows visitors around the scenic spots of Poro, Tudela, San Francisco, and Pilar.
To find out how you can tour our beloved province with Suroy-Suroy Sugbo, you may call the provincial tourism office at telephone number (032)511-7022, (032)253-5642 or (032)253-3766 for your inquiries. The office is at the second floor of BAEx Building, Capitol Site, Cebu City.
You might also want to visit the booth that the tourism office set up in SM City Cebu to market the tour. This booth is located on the lower ground floor, in front of Chester Enterprises. To view the promotional video for the upcoming Suroy-Suroy Sugbo – Explore the Midwest, you may go to http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150951943631122 where you can also find the Facebook page of the official TV channel of the Cebu provincial government.