TOURISM BOOST. The municipal governments of Naval and Maripipi, both in Biliran province, is pushing for a homestay arrangement in a bid to bolster its tourist arrivals. Upper photo shows the Higatangan Island in Naval and Sambawan Island in Maripipi(lower photo), the main natural attractions of the two towns, respectively. (DOT-8)

TACLOBAN CITY – As part of further promoting Higatangan Island and Maripipi Island as tourist destinations in Biliran province, the municipal governments of Naval and Maripipi had sought the help of the Department of Tourism to conduct homestay training for island residents who are willing to open their doors and rooms to accommodate guests.

Homestay program plays a pivotal role in the country’s tourism industry allowing tourists to have authentic experiences from the local culture, traditions, and way of life.
A total of 26 participants from the islands joined the training.

DOT 8 Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes lauded Naval Mayor Gretchen Espina and Maripipi Mayor Joseph Caingcoy for their passion for promoting tourism and the support they extended to the trainees.

She also lauded the two officials for putting tourism in the centerpiece of their developmental programs and for pushing for homestay in their respective municipalities.
Mayor Espina was excited about the homestay training as the town will again host its annual summer festival which is held in Higatangan Island.

The Higatangan Summer Festival 2024 is scheduled this April 5 to 7 and is expected to be attended by hundreds of visitors and tourists coming not only from the region but those coming from other parts of the country as well.

Higatangan Island is blessed with several rock formations and white sand beaches, turquoise-colored seawater good for snorkeling and diving, an underwater grotto, and is also famous for its shifting sandbar.

Meanwhile, the island town of Maripipi is also surrounded by pristine water, and beaches and is known for Sambawan, an islet located around five kilometers from the town proper and declared as a marine sanctuary ideal for diving and snorkeling.