Ribbon-cutting to open the City Tourism Office CBST roadshow on December 9, 2019, with city tourism assistant officer Demetrio Alvior (in white shirt) and Cebu City tourism officer Joy Avila at Fort San Pedro. (Photo courtesy of Michie Meneses)

The Cebu City government is keen on signing a sisterhood agreement with Puerto Princesa City to open more cultural exchange, business, and tourism opportunities.

City Tourism Office (CTO) senior operations officer and promotions marketing chief Michie Meneses said this was related to them by Cebu City executive assistant Jojo Labella during their roadshow to promote Puerto Princesa’s community-based sustainable tourism (CBST) sites and the Subaraw Festival next year.

Meneses, with city assistant tourism officer Demetrio Alvior and several employees, are currently in Cebu City for a three-day roadshow that started December 9 and will end on December 11.

Guests visiting the roadshow at Fort San Pedro, Cebu City.

She said the proposal to sign a sisterhood pact with Puerto Princesa was one of the “positive results” of their CBST touring show in the “Queen City of the South”.

Meneses also said its tourism office is also interested in the CBST ordinance that Puerto Princesa is implementing.

“Si executive assistant Jojo Labella po ang nagsabi. Sabi niya kung wala pa nga daw pagawan na. Kasi way back 1990s pa may economic connections na tayo sa kanila sa Cebu City,”Meneses told Palawan News in an interview Tuesday.

“Nagpro-promote tayo ng mga CBST destinations natin. Tuwang-tuwa ang local government unit (LGU) ng Cebu City. Pinapa-check nila kung sister city na tayo with them dahil kung hindi pa, magpapasa daw sila ng resolution na maging sister city tayo. Ang event na ito ay part ng promotion ng city tourism office para sa iba’t-ibang destinations natin kasama ang Puerto Princesa Underground River at Subaraw Festival next year,” she added.

City Tourism Office (CTO) senior operations officer and promotions marketing chief Michie Meneses (with shades on her head) pose for a photo with foreign guests who visited the roadshow booth at Fort San Pedro, Cebu City. (Photo courtesy of M. Meneses)

Meneses said they are holding the roadshow at Fort San Pedro, a former military defense structure in Cebu City built during the Spanish colonization under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.

Meneses said part of the roadshow is a cultural presentation featuring indigenous dances to bring the interest of the people who visit the fort.

“First-ever daw tayo na local government unit to have this event here,” she said.

Meneses said the majority of the foreign tourists who visit Cebu City are Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese. They are the same who also top Puerto Princesa’s annual tourist arrivals.

She said foreign guests who have seen their roadshow have expressed interest to visit the city, especially when they learned about the daily Cebu-Puerto Princesa City flights.

“Kahapon (Monday) may nakausap na kami na group of tourists na interesado na pumunta sa Puerto Princesa, lalo na noong malaman nila na may daily flights from Cebu to our city. Ang iba namang nakapunta na dyan na taga-dito, nagugulat na may iba pa palang CBST destinations. Ang iba nagtatanong how to go there,” she said.

The CTO’s roadshow to promote the city’s CBST sites and Subaraw Festival took off last year. Meneses said it was first brought to Luzon in Manila and Quezon City, and this year in the Visayas in Bacolod and Cebu City.

She said their next target is to take the roadshow to Iloilo.