CAMIGUIN, Philippines – All road and ferries lead to Camiguin Island for one of Mindanao's grandest festivals – the 40th Lanzones Festival from October 20 to 27.
Lanzones or buwahan as called here is the staple fruit produce of this pearl-shaped island blessed with cold, hot, and soda spring, waterfalls, white sand beaches and peace-loving people.
Camiguin, situated between Bohol in the north and Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental in the south, is one of the Philippines' most visited island, and banks on the green tourism industry.
The festival is more meaningful this year as the province of Camiguin won the National Competitive Council's 4th Most Competitive province and Mambajao, the island capital, won as the Most Competitive Town for 6th to 3rd class town last October 24.
The Department of Trade and Industry-led NCC bestows the national award for local government units with best practices.
The distinction, now its seventh year, is given to deserving LGUs by the Department of Trade and Industry through its competitiveness bureau.
Governor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo said that they always bank on the province's tourism appeal that is unique compared to other provinces.
Romualdo said that they were expecting tourist arrivals here to exceed 1 million, surpassing the 800 thousand last year.
"We want tourists to come here to relax and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer," Romualdo said.
"We always envision to develop the island-province with sustainability and environmental consciousness in mind," Romualdo said.
In 2018, the island produced 810 tons of lanzones which were exported across the country. And judging from the harvest this early, the province is expected to surpass that mark.
On October 25, at the Mutya sa Buwahanan, Romualdo said that the province was set to embark on a water district development project.
As a town blessed with bountiful water supply, Romualdo said that a businessman was surprised that water just flowed freely here.
Taking steps to conserve water, the provincial government will establish a water district that would serve the town, delivering safe, potable water to households. Taking cue from the water crisis in Manila, Romualdo said that the water cost is affordable, way below from the cost of other provinces and cities.
“We will not wait for the time that we will suffer because of water shortage. We have to act now,” the governor told the crowd at the coronation of Mutya sa Buhawanan beauty pageant held at the provincial capitol grounds October 25.
Romualdo also called for developing the island's food production so as to not to rely for food from the mainland.
"We are now working to implement a province-wide agriculture program that would encourage residents to plant crops so we would not have to depend on the mainland Mindanao for our food requirement," Romualdo said. – Rappler.com