News and UpdatesIn the NewsNegOr to introduce faith-based tours

NegOr to introduce faith-based tours


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The Department of Tourism-7 (Central Visayas) has begun its assessment and inspection of various destinations in Negros Oriental, as it prepares to develop packages on culinary, pilgrimage, and faith-based tours in the Province.

Riza Marie Macaibay, DOT-7 senior Tourism Operations officer, told the media in an interview Saturday that their visit to the Province last week covered site inspections, as well as talking to potential partners and stakeholders in the culinary and religious sectors.

“The visit is part of DOT-7’s mandate to develop new tourism circuits or activities, and specifically for Negros Oriental, packages on culinary, faith-based, and pilgrimage tours,” she said.

On Thursday afternoon, Macaibay met with Msgr. Julius Heruela, chair of the Commission on Church Cultural Heritage of the Diocese of Dumaguete, to discuss possible sites that can be offered for pilgrimage tours.

She informed Monsignor Heruela that DOT-7 has done the pilgrimage tours in Cebu and Bohol, and is now considering Negros Oriental, with its Catholic churches that were built during the Spanish era.

“For pilgrimage tours, this will be for Catholic churches, that is why we talked to the Diocese for inputs and ideas, and inform them of these activities, while asking their permission so we can tailor-fit the [tour] packages according to the Church’s guidelines and the demands of the market,” she said.

The DOT-7 is also partnering with other groups for the faith-based tours, such as the Silliman University Church, whose Protestant teachings has had a huge influence in Visayas the past 122 years, Macaibay said.

Local tour operators were invited to join the DOT Regional Office in the ocular inspections to help design tour packages that can attract new markets.

Representatives of the City and Provincial Tourism offices accompanied the DOT-7 team on this visit, which also included consulting with the people from the culinary industry, and looking at the unique dishes and delicacies in the Province.

Meanwhile, Monsignor Heruela welcomed the DOT-7’s interest in promoting and including the historical and heritage churches and sites of the Diocese as tourist attractions.

“Faith-based guided tours will provide the tourists an insight into the importance of these churches and their history, culture, and heritage,” he said.

Some of the heritage churches in the Diocese of Dumaguete include the St. Augustine of Hippo Parish Church in Bacong, the San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish Church in Dauin, and the San Isidro Labrador Parish Church in Zamboanguita, all in Negros Oriental.

In Siquijor province, which is also part of the Diocese of Dumaguete, the heritage churches/sites include the San Isidro Labrador Parish Church and convent in Lazi town, the St. Francis Parish Church in Siquijor town, and the Church of Our Lady of Divine Providence in the town of Maria. (Judy F. Partlow/PNA)



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