KITE FEST. The Poblacion beach of Sipalay City, Negros Occidental is adorned with colorful kites during the just-concluded 8th Burangoy Kite Festival. The Kite Association of the Philippines declared Sipalay as the “Kite Tourism Capital of the Philippines” on March 31 as part of the event held from March 30 to April 3, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Sipalay City Tourism Office)

BACOLOD CITY – The City of Sipalay in Negros Occidental has been declared the Kite Tourism Capital of the Philippines during the staging of its 8th Burangoy Kite Festival over the weekend.

The plaque, which was conferred by the Kite Association of the Philippines (KAP) headed by its president Orlando Onkingko, was turned over by Supervising Tourism Officer Jerick Lacson to Mayor Maria Gina Lizares at the Government Center on Monday.

“The KAP confers to the City of Sipalay the title ‘Kite Tourism Capital of the Philippines’ in grateful recognition for the enduring commitment in promoting the traditional Filipino kite culture as an annual tourism activity,” the plaque dated March 31, 2022 read.

Lacson told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) the declaration is an affirmation of the city’s efforts in promoting sustainable tourism by showcasing the kite festival as a family-friendly activity, kite flying as an eco-friendly sport, and kite making as a venue to promote local arts and culture.

“Most importantly, the kite itself is our symbol of hope to soar high and recover from the impacts of the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic and Typhoon Odette,” he said.

Lacson added that the latest recognition received by the city serves as a challenge for stakeholders “to strive, to innovate, to be better, and to improve” Sipalay’s image and quality as a tourist destination.

This year’s Burangoy Kite Festival, which was among the activities alongside the city’s 21st Charter Anniversary, was the first after it was suspended for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The kite flying exhibitions were conducted from March 30 to April 3 while the actual competition was held on March 31 at the Poblacion beach.

For the second time, the festival showcased colorful and unique kites made of various materials except for plastic in support of the local government’s “no plastic policy”.

The annual Sipalay kite festival is the grand winner in the Best Tourism Event (Sports) City Category of the 2018 Pearl Awards organized by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines and the Department of Tourism.

Its official name “Burangoy” was coined from the words “burador” or kite, and “barongoy”, a local term for flying fish. (PNA)