‘Balik Cebu’ lines up tours, shows

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

THIS year’s Balik Cebu program promises exciting activities for Cebuano returnees, an official said.

Balik Cebu program chairperson Tetta Baad yesterday said they will show the balikbayan groups Cebu’s cultural attractions such as Suroy-Suroy Sugbu and the Paseo sa Kabilin or Heritage Walk.

Entrepreneurs Wilson and Melanie Ng sponsored one of the tour activities, the modern cultural show “Biyahe” in their newly-opened Lakwatsa Resto Lounge.


Baad said they have tied up with the Cebu Association of Tour Operators on the tour programs, including the quick excursion in Panglao, Bohol.

More balikbayans are also expected to arrive in Cebu in time for the Sinulog celebration.

On Jan. 17, Baad said, the Balik Cebu Committee will welcome the arrival of the balikbayans from the United States at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Ayala Center Cebu will also make room for more seats for the Balik Cebu dinner party, for the expected influx of balikbayans who arrived last December. The welcome dinner party is scheduled on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

“From the 200 seats for balikbayans, we are expanding it to 500 to 600 seats so those who arrived last month can join the welcome party,” said Baad at the sidelines of the opening of the Balik Cebu booth at the Ayala Center Cebu yesterday.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 is expecting some 300 retired Filipino-Americans with families to arrive in Cebu on Jan. 20, according to DOT 7 Director Rowena Montecillo, in a separate interview.

She said the balikbayans will join the grand parade and participate in other Sinulog events.

“We are happy with the arrangements because the group that handled these returnees said they wanted to sell Manila but they also received more inquiries about Cebu, that’s why they are coming here,” she said.

The Balik Cebu program is sponsored by the Ayala Center Cebu and Cebu Holdings Inc., in partnership with the Cebu City Tourism Council, Department of Tourism, Sinulog Foundation Inc., and some volunteers from the private sector.

The booth at the Ayala Center will serve as an information center for Sinulog events.

Tickets for some Sinulog events such as the grandstand passes for the grand parade and the Balik Cebu dinner party will be made available at the booth.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 12, 2013.


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