Half a million bulbs light up Capiz festival

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
PDI Inquirer Visayas
Sunday, April 15
Across the Nation / A-22

ROXAS CITY — Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez lauded Capizeños for their fast-growing tourism industry as thousands flocked to the three-day Capiztahan festival that ended on Sunday.

Tourism is not a passive activity and there’s a lot of activity on the ground here. This augurs well for the future of tourism (in the province),” Jimenez told the Inquirer.

He cited the aggressiveness and joint efforts of local government officials and the private sector in promoting tourism.

Officials are very focused on tourism and they are making extra effort to make sure that all agencies of government know what they are doing,” he said.

Jointly organized by the provincial and city governments and the United Capizeños Foundation Inc. (One Capiz), the Capiztahan festival this year marked the 111th foundation day of the province. Capiz was founded on April 15, 1901.

The festival was also held in commemoration of the 64th death anniversary of the late President Manuel Roxas, the province’s most-prized son, who died on April 15, 1948.

The “Parade of Lights,” the highlight of the festival, drew around 25,000 spectators on Saturday evening, according to Vice Mayor Ronnie Dadivas, chairman of the city council’s tourism committee, citing police crowd estimates.

The parade, which featured 17 floats depicting flowers and sea creatures designed with at least half a million colorful electric light bulbs, snaked through Arnaldo Boulevard until it reached the city’s beach area where a 30-minute fireworks display was held.

Guests were also treated to nightly seafood fairs with the city’s famed oysters, fish, shells, prawns and shrimps at People’s Park along the beach.

Judy Araneta-Roxas, One Capiz chairperson, said the festival had become successful because the foundation, composed of Capizeño professionals and entrepreneurs, had coordinated and consolidated the efforts and resources of various government institutions and agencies in organizing the festival and promoting tourism.

The three-day festival also involved ground-breaking and inauguration ceremonies of projects including the city’s circumferential road, flood control project, government and business center, provincial hospital and privately run health center.

Jimenez said the tourism-promotion activities and investments put the province in a better position to draw in and accommodate more tourists.

Already known as the country’s seafood capital, the province can also become an attractive cultural and historical destination. The century-old structures include the Roxas City bridge and museum.

There is a very lucrative market for European and Japanese tourists who travel for culture and not primarily for the beaches,” Jimenez said.

Boosted by the new tourism campaign slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” Jimenez said tourist arrivals in the country have increased from 14 to 15 percent monthly and within the target of reaching 4.6 million tourists this year.

There’s room for growth (in tourist arrivals) in many areas in the country but Capiz is far more prepared than other areas,” Jimenez said.
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About Capiz Provincial Press Bureau

Capiz Provincial Press Bureau works hand in hand with the TANCO Administration to appropriately disseminate the accomplishments/achievements of the provincial government.
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