The city government is aiming to make the Subaraw Biodiversity Festival as an international event that would attract more domestic and foreign tourists to give Puerto Princesa’s economy a further boost, said Mayor Lucilo Bayron during its opening Saturday morning in Barangay Cabayugan.
“Subaraw” kicked off the celebration of the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) Day based on Proclamation 816.
The festival will continue until November 11, the declared PPUR Day.
Bayron said it is not far from becoming an international event soon that will not only promote the underground river but also provide income to residents of Cabayugan.
“Itong Subaraw festival ay naisakatuparan bilang national event kung saan marami ang mga nakilahok sa mga activities natin mula sa iba’t ibang lugar sa Pilipinas. Ito ay patunay na ang festival na ito ay hindi lamang talaga local event. Sa susunod hindi malayong maging international event ito at ‘yan ang magiging direksyon na rin natin,” Bayron said.
PPUR has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and affirmed as the New Seven Wonders of Nature on November 11, 2011.
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) superintendent Elizabeth Maclang said among the events lined up on the first day of celebration on November 2 photo and video exhibit featuring the underground river’s biodiversity, an agro-tourism fair, an invitational frisbee tournament, and open league volleyball.
Other major activities are Palarong Pinoy, PPSRNP Community Night, Subaraw Flight of the Fireflies bicycle fun ride, Miss Subaraw, SubaRun, and grand costume and float parade (see above schedule).
Maclang said some events will also be held in the center of the city starting November 5.
She said that the events offer income opportunities to everyone due to the number of visitors who are expected to come.
“Ang ilang araw natin na pagdiriwang ng Subaraw festival ay gugugulin natin para mapakita ang pagmamahal sa kalikasan at sa mga nakatira dito sa Sabang. Dahil dito dadayuhin ang Sabang kahit doon sa pinakamaliliit na mga vendors natin, sabi nga diba ang may magandang kalikasan ay may magandang kabuhayan,” Maclang said.
Maclang added that the festival only promotes conservation of the environment that is expected to be an international level event in the future.
“Of course, promotion sa ibang mga lugar na tayo ay nasa national level event na at leading to the international event,” she said.