Home /

News and Updates


IPIL, ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY – To equalize tourism development and promotion as envisioned by the Marcos Administration under the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2023-2028, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco committed the support of the Department of Tourism (DOT)  in transforming Zamboanga Sibugay, dubbed as the “Center of the Zamboanga Peninsula”, into a tourism gem for the Philippines.

The tourism chief made the announcement on Monday (Feb. 26) during the 23rd Araw ng Zamboanga Sibugay where she was guest of honor. The event showcased a diverse range of events, creating an immersive experience that celebrated the province’s rich cultural heritage and applauded its remarkable achievements.

“My visit here has been an education, a purview into the vibrant cultural heritage and history of the proud people of Sibugay, one that we can draw from as Filipinos as a source of knowledge as well as pride. I can see here that you are the gatekeepers of the Filipino identity, a proud people who gives us a view into our rich pre-colonial history. And I am just so happy to witness that through the efforts of your very dynamic and visionary governor, we can rest assured that your history, heritage, and culture will be perpetuated not only in the minds of the people of Sibugay but in the consciousness of the Filipino nation,” enthused Secretary Frasco.

“For indeed, this is the thrust of our President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., that is, to anchor Philippine tourism not only on our world-renowned destinations which we will continue to support, but most importantly, on the strength of the Filipino identity. Consider this, not to be my last visit, but only a first of many as we usher in Zamboanga Sibugay’s journey towards becoming the tourism gem that it deserves to be, for it has already begun that same journey under Governor Ann Hofer,” she added.

In a spirit of camaraderie, Secretary Frasco likewise extended a symbolic hand, further stating, “Consider me as your sister in this journey towards the tourism development of Zamboanga Sibugay,” while highlighting that as a Cebuana she feels a kinship with the people of Sibugay considering that Frasco’s home province of Cebu led by Frasco’s mother Governor Gwen Garcia had recently inked a Sisterhood Agreement with Sibugay province.

Secretary Frasco, accompanied by Zamboanga Sibugay Governor Ann Hofer and world-renowned Subanen artist Ib’n Saud Salipyasin Ahmad, led the ceremonial ribbon cutting for the Khetuling Exhibit and the vibrant painting contest entries.

The subsequent Pusaka Fashion Show, showcasing local textiles, heritage pieces, and indigenous materials, became a testament to the rich cultural tapestry of the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Governor Hofer shed light on the significance of the Pusaka Fashion Show and Khetuling Art Awards in the annual founding anniversary, explaining that these events have become integral components, serving as platforms to honor and elevate the arts and culture of Sibugay.

“These endeavors underscore my commitment to nurturing and showcasing the unique cultural identity of Sibugay, with the ultimate goal of boosting tourism and economic growth in our province. That is why, we feel truly blessed today to have an esteemed individual (in Secretary Frasco) as our guest of honor, whose presence lends credence to our events and reinforces the symbiotic relation between a flourishing arts and culture scene and a dynamic tourism industry in our locality,” Governor Hofer shared.

Moreover, to position Zamboanga Sibugay, the sister province of Cebu, as an emerging arts hub, Governor Hofer announced a landmark memorandum of understanding with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), which designates Sibugay as one of the privileged regional arts centers nationwide.

Additionally, an agreement is in the works with the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) that will pave the way for an official cultural mapping of the province.

Secretary Frasco meanwhile disclosed the community-based tourism organization efforts of the Department, as well as its flagship heritage, culture, and arts caravan dubbed as the Philippine Experience Program (PEP), with the Zamboanga Peninsula leg set to kick off today, February 27 (Tuesday).


Published:February 27, 2024

Recent News