The first Panglao International Dive Festival (June 12-15) was develop to attract more tourists in the province of Bohol and to bring the diving and marine life much closer to everyone. Panglao has been regarded as one of the premier diving spot in the country and it is since then a thriving business for both local and foreign-owned dive resort in this municipality. Furthermore, Panglao Dive Fiesta will be another reason to show the wonderful tourist spots not only in Panglao but as well as the whole province of Bohol, according to Panglao first ever woman Mayor Leonila Montero during her speech at the opening program of Panglao International Dive Fiesta held in the morning of June 12, 2014 at The Block, Parking View in Tawala, Panglao. Coincidentally, the opening date was chosen to honor Philippine Independence Day. This year is the 166th commemorative year of Philippine Independence celebrated in the whole country.
Binibining Pilipinas-Miss World 2006 Anna Maris Igpit is one of the leading proponents of this festivity and is being groomed to be the next Panglao Tourism Officer. Current Panglao Tourism Officer Darwin Menorias helps in organizing the first-ever dive festival bringing in major sponsor, mostly from the diving resorts and facilities.
To gear up this event, a lot of activities are laid to spark the clamor for this occasion. Photo contest online and exhibits are included in this 4-day weekend event.
“We want to be known not just another province popular with party places but as a municipality that visions only the best for all the resorts owner here in Panglao,” said Anna.
Panglao is indeed noted as a top class and haven for dive spot and a chill walk along the coast of Alona beach is just one of its evidence. Alona beach gained popularity decades ago when a local actress of the same name came to this place to shoot a commercial scene. Since then, it spiked the local tourist attraction to this 1.5km stretch.
A walk in the afternoon will give you a scenery where locals spent the afternoon to swim or either wait for the sunset. You will see a lot of children innocently enjoying their day at the beach.
But of course, there are also foreign tourists and travelers visiting the famed beach. Notable are Europeans and Chinese nationals. In fact, when we walked along the white sandy beach, one masseuse offering massage service mistook us for a Chinese national. She approached us talking in English with a classic Pinoy diction. We immediately spoiled her momentum to cut the chase and told her that we are not Chinese and we are making a story here to promote more tourists to come in their province.
Aside from massage and diving, Alona beach also offers boat ride and boat hopping to Balicasag Island for a minimum of Php 1300 to Php 1800 fee.
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