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Coral Adventurer visits Maripipi town in Biliran

TACLOBAN CITY -- The arrival of the Coral Adventurer marks a historic milestone for Maripipi as it becomes the first town in Biliran province to feature on the cruise itinerary in the Philippines since Eastern Visayas joined the cruise tourism map in 2013.

Located in the northern part of Biliran province, Maripipi is an island town, where Sambawan, a marine sanctuary and island beach, which has captured the hearts of local and domestic tourists alike, is located.

"We are very thankful for the travel people who manage this cruise because the purpose of this travel focuses on cultural, lifestyle, and livelihood of the island. Through this visit, the visitors will learn what our way of life is," Mayor Joseph Caingcoy expressed his gratitude to the foreign visitors.

Just like in their previous stops in Biri and Capul Island, the 73 guests aboard the Coral Adventurer, predominantly Australian nationals, had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cultural richness of Maripipi.

Upon their arrival in the town, the guests embarked on a journey of cultural discovery.

The tourists were divided into two groups. One group, consisting of 49 guests and four crew members, visited Casibang village, while the other group, comprising 26 guests and four crew members, went to Agutay.

In Agutay, the group witnessed the nito weaving process, where residents demonstrated their traditional livelihood by crafting various products from a unique fern species, including handbags, hats, table mats, fruit trays, food covers, baskets, and decorative items.

The tourists also relished a leisurely swim in the serene waters of Candol Beach, enjoying both swimming and snorkeling.

The other group that visited Casibang village witnessed how residents engaged in pottery making, an age-old industry that once served as the island's primary source of income, supporting families and children's education.

In Casibang, the guests observed and participated in the traditional pottery making which the manual process involved clay preparation, molding, air drying, and cooking.

They had the chance to witness various traditional livelihoods, such as "puso" making, "silhig" making, "tuba" tasting, and indulged in local culinary delights like humba and lechon that delighted their palates.

The guests were also treated to traditional and festival dances throughout their stay in the town and had the opportunity to savor local delicacies such as "sinaging," a traditional food made from pounded banana and young coconut, biko (rice cake), and nilupak.

The adventure continued as the group explored Sambawan Island, taking a dip in its pristine waters and discovering the wonders of this marine sanctuary.

"Patience, persistence, and passion of each stakeholder made the Maripipi - Sambawan leg of the Coral Adventurer's visit a culturally enriching one for our guests. Their kind words and happy smiles more than compensated for the effort that each of us put in to make this a reality," said Department of Tourism Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes.

This is not the only time a cruise ship will visit Maripipi, as it was announced in September that another cruise ship visit is scheduled for May 2024. This second cruise ship belongs to the same cruise line that owns the Coral Adventurer.

"The principal of Coral Adventurer had already informed us that they will be bringing another set of guests next year to Maripipi because they were so happy with what they saw in the town," Tiopes announced last September.

Before the cruise ship's arrival, the local government unit and the tourism department conducted several training activities to ensure that everyone involved in the welcoming process was well-prepared to provide an outstanding guest experience.

After Maripipi, the Coral Adventurer set sail for Babatngon town in Leyte province for its guests to explore the municipality and the city of Tacloban, the capital of Region 8. Then they will sail to Cuatro Islas and Canigao Island before they head to Tagbilaran, Bohol.

Upon their return, the cruise ship will continue to explore the beauty of Eastern Visayas, with visits to Kalanggaman in Palompon town and to diving sites in Padre Burgos and Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte province. (DOT-8)

About the Author

Leonilo Lopido

Assistant Regional Head

Region 8

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