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The declaration of ‘Abaca capital’ is expected to enhance tourism in Catanduanes.

LEGAZPI CITY, PHILIPPINES – Declaring Catanduanes as the Philippines’ abaca capital is a “very timely present” for the province’s residents, according to the Provincial Tourism Office, as the province celebrates the 6th Abaca Festival this month and the country’s tourism industry recovers from the epidemic.

“Since we are gradually but steadily resuming operations, “let’s just say 500 to 700 arrivals, but with a lengthy night stay, it would contribute more to the economy since it will imply more spending,” Carmel Bonifacio-Garcia, the province’s tourism officer, said in an interview on Sunday.

According to data from the Catanduanes provincial agriculture office, Catanduanes accounts for 89.4 percent of Bicol Region production and 36.2 percent of the country’s total abaca supply as of 2020.

Aside from abaca, the province is notable for stunning tourist attractions such as Binurong Point in Baras town, Puraran beach, Carorian Wonders in Bato town, and Bote lighthouse and cathedral.

Tuwad Tuwadan Lagoon, Hiyop Highlands, Paraiso ni Honesto, and Cagnipa Rolling Hills are tourist sites in Pandan; Our Lady of Sorrows Shrine in Calolbon town; Summit View Park in Viga town; and the coastline beaches in Virac town.

Meanwhile, the theme of the 6th Abaca Festival is “From May 24 to 28, “Uswag Abaca: Dagos sa Maogmang Isla” will be held.

The abaca hand stripping competition with MASK (modified abaca stripping knife), Arte Isla: The Abaca Edition, Abacantahan (band battle), Rawit sa Abaca (spoken word poetry), Indak Abaca (dance sport), AbacaSayawan (group dance competition), and vlogging competition, according to Garcia, are among the festival’s highlights.

“A group of motovloggers (motorcyclists) will also attend the event as part of the spectacular Bicol trip, in which they will visit the many provinces of Bicol, with Catanduanes as their final destination,” Garcia added.

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