(Makati City) The Treasures of SOX Travel and Tour Expo opened at the Glorietta Mall on May 6 featuring Region 12 – SOCCSKSARGEN’s spectrum of tourism experience, ranging from folklore to culture, ecotourism and beach parties.
One of the highlights of the SOX experience for 2018 is the 12th Philippine Bird Festival (May 10-12), featuring the Baras Bird Sanctuary of Tacurong City which is expected to draw in birdwatchers, conservationists and nature enthusiasts from all over Asia.
Another highlight is the Sarbay Fest (May 24-26), dubbed the “Biggest Beach Festival of the South”, and Pyesta Kolon Datal (August 11-18), an international folklore festival that serves as venue for cultural exchange among various countries including the Philippines.
Debunking the long-held notion that Mindanao is not ideal for tourists due to its security issues, SOX Tourism Regional Director Maria Rica Bueno assured the region’s safety, emphasizing the vibrancy of the region’s international activities, such as the 12th PBF and the Pyesta Kolon Datal.
“We wouldn’t be promoting and coming here if we feel that our visitors will be endangered.” said Bueno.
This statement was further on fortified when Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo, herself a proud Mindanaoan, echoed Dir. Bueno’s statement on the region’s safety.
“Every time I go out of the country I always say ‘please don’t forget visit Mindanao, because it’s very safe there and we have everything that the tourists would want to see’, ” said Teo.
Meanwhile, various booths from the provinces of SOX featured indigenous and local products such as coffee, textiles, beads, and they also showcased some of the most sought-after nature destinations in the South.