MISOR TOURISM. Dance performers in Higaonon indigenous attire perform on stage during the launching of Misamis Oriental's local food showcase as part of the provincial government's celebration of National Tourism Week on Monday (Sept. 26, 2022). The provincial government vows to provide platforms for farmers and local entrepreneurs to showcase their local products as part of tourism promotion. (Photo courtesy of MisOr Tourism Office)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Misamis Oriental provincial tourism office joined Monday the national celebration of Tourism Week by providing a platform to local entrepreneurs and farmers.

Lawyer Jeffrey Saclot, provincial tourism officer, said the week-long celebration also coincides with the International Tourism Day on Sept. 27 in time for the province’s revival of food exhibits dubbed "Pagkaon Sa MisOr Unlimited."

"This will showcase again the local food products made by the micro, small, and medium enterprises in the province, and the produce from our agriculture sector," Saclot said.

Saclot said this year's tourism activities are also aligned with Governor Peter Unabia's agenda on "goal-oriented tourism" that encourages agriculture productivity in the province to complement tourism programs.

Erlinda Unabia, the provincial tourism council co-chairperson, said with Misamis Oriental's nature-based tourism sites, the provincial government only needs to tap potential resources that can contribute to economic development.

"The province is a gold mine in the tourism industry, and we must tap available resources and make the most out of this paradise. We need not seek treasures far away, because it is already in our land, culture, and hearts," she said.

During the food tourism exhibit opening at a mall in this city, Opol Municipal Mayor Jay Bago said the local government has institutionalized tourism by integrating it the newly-organized Office of Culture, Arts, Tourism and Sports.

Bago said while the town is known mainly for its beaches, they also intend to promote natural resorts in the hinterland communities and as a means of promoting the indigenous culture of the Higaonon living in the communities.

"We also give importance to the IPs (indigenous peoples), the Higaonon, their cultural and ancestral rights, they should not be left behind in the development of our local tourism," he said. (PNA)