The island village of Higatangan in Naval town, Biliran, is now ready for the return this week of the two-day summer festival.
Organized by the local government of Naval, the event aimed to boost local tourism, said Mayor Gretchen Espina, who stayed on the island during the weekend to personally lead the preparation for the return of the Higatangan Island Summer Festival on April 29 to May 1, 2023.
“We are very much excited to receive a lot of people to promote tourism after how many years of pandemic. We will again host this festival to boost not only Naval’s tourism but also the whole province of Biliran,” Espina said in an interview Wednesday.
During her three-day visit to the island over the weekend, Espina said she met with local business operators on the island who either went home from Metro Manila or abroad for this summer.
“For almost three years, a lot of hotels and resorts have stopped their operation because of the absence of tourists on the island due to pandemic restrictions. Through this festival, we are hoping that this will help revive tourism so that the businesses can now recover from their losses with the help of tourists who will participate in the festival,” Espina added.
The municipal government prepared various activities and competitions such as beach-music festival, volleyball, kite and mountain bike competition, boat and kayak race, shore casting tournament, fire dancing and bikini contest.
Tourists may also rent kayak, flamingo raft; try the henna or permanent tattoo; relax at the wellness station, buy souvenir items; observe mat weaving; enjoy the shifting sand bar; cliffing diving; manta towing; or dive at the Capilla del Mar.
The island although closer to the Calubian town in Leyte province, is still part of Naval town and derived its name from the word “atangan” meaning to wait for.
The island is very famous for its long sandbar which extends about 200 meters and shifts to the left during the summer months or amihan (northeast monsoon) and to the right during the rainy months or habagat (southeast monsoon). (PNA)