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AFTER attracting Standing Room Only (SRO) crowds night after night at the Clamshell 1 in History Town of Intramuros, the WOW Philippines Pasundayag sa Northern Mindanao seeks to raise the bar higher next year when it takes its colorful festival to the SM Mall of Asia.
   
“It’s a done deal,” said Catalino L. Chan III, regional director of the Department of Tourism Region 10 shortly after Northern Mindanao’s 20-day cultural festival celebrating the Best of  Region X literally ended with a bang on June 14 with a spectacular fireworks display. “We’re signing the agreement this month in Manila to bring this event to even more people at this premier venue.”
SM Mall of Asia is the second largest shopping mall in the country (after SM City North EDSA)  with a land area of 42 hectares and a gross floor area of some 410,000 square meters. Located at Bay City, Pasay City near the SM Central Business Park and the Manila Bay, the mall has a maximum capacity of 4.2 million people and attracts a daily foot traffic of 200,000 people.

Attracting a crowd estimated at 75,000 persons during its three-week run, observers noted how WOW Philippines Pasundayag sa Northern Mindanao has consistently been the most popular regional presentation to date in terms of crowd-drawing power.

“Talagang hinihintay ng mga tao ang Northern Mindanao,” said Mang Inggo, a long-time food concessionaire near Clamshell 1, the venue which hosted WOW Philippines series of regional presentations. “Ang kita ng food stall ko ay tatlong beses ng average daily sales ko kasi ang daming pumaparito upang mapanood ang Northern Mindanao.” (People really wait up for the Northern Mindanao presentation. The daily average sales of my stall triples whenever Region 10 is in town because so many people come to watch.”)

In fact, during its last three days hosted by the province of Misamis Occidental and the cities of Tangub, Ozamiz and Oroquieta, visitors were often reluctant to leave the Clamshell as the popular Sinanduloy Rock Band of Tangub City rang down the day’s presentation with its patented medley of current and past hits which saw both visitors and hosts gyrating on the dance floor.

Pasundayag Northern Mindanao is a presentation aimed at bringing the Region’s best people, places, tourism festivals, sports, adventure and culture to the heart of the nation’s capital and populace.

“This is a good venue to take a glimpse of Northern Mindanao and what we can offer to tourists,” Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions Eduardo Jarque Jr. noted.

For six hours daily, every day for 20 days a cultural festival of street dancing, craft demonstrations, tutorials on playing of indigenous musical instruments, dance clinic, ethnic sports exhibit, film screening, interactive showcases on adventure, arts culture, wellness and cuisine and mini-trade fair of agricultural products, processed foods and handicrafts, travel and accommodation packages lured visitors from all over the metro.

Contingents to this year’s edition of the Pasundayag were actively participated by the region’s eight cities (Cagayan de Oro, Tangub, Oroquieta, Ozamiz, Iligan, Malaybalay, Valencia, and Gingoog) and four provinces (Camiguin, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental. 

Alternating venues between Metro Manila and Northern Mindanao, Pasundayag Northern Mindanao 2009 took off from where its previous edition hosted by Iligan City left off with the theme “Pasundayag Northern Mindanao Wellness/Adventure Tourism and Cultural Expo” on December 11-14 at the Gaisano Citi Supermall. 

Like the Iligan edition, Pasundayag Northern Mindanao 2009 also showcased the wellness and adventure destinations in Northern Mindanao like spas, health clinics, therapeutic centers, extreme sports and adventure trips, services, wellness cuisine and indigenous/traditional medicine from the region’s 10 indigenous tribes.

“Our focus on wellness tourism and adventure sports rang a bell with health-conscious tourists and expats who are constantly seeking new ways to renew their minds, bodies and spirits while enjoying the sights, textures and sounds of the region’s culture and destinations,” Chan said.

“Wellness tourism means good life, healthy food or a recreation facility where people can relax physically, spiritually and emotionally.”

A highlight of the latest Pasundayag was the demonstration zipline, monkey bridge and rock climbing wall set up by Iligan City and event sponsor Habagat which proved popular with the young and adventurous visitors.

During its last three days, the Pasundayag reached out further through the mass media through its participation in the national celebration of the country’s 111th Independence Day.

Indigenous people from Cagayan de Oro’s Malasag Eco-Tourism Village led by Datu Nilo Gabao and the Indakolon Band of the Manobo-Tigwahanon tribe, the famous “Kadang-Kadang” stilts acrobatic team of the Manobo-Matigsalog tribe of  Quezon, Bukidnon; Bag-Ong Ozamiznon Dance Troupe of Ozamiz City, Oroquieta City’s Cultural Troupe, and the Kagay-an Performing Arts wowed the crowds at Quirino Grandstand with their spectacular and colorful dances and exhibitions.

Nearby, the Region 10 Singing Ambassadors shared the spotlight with famous artists like Charice Pempengco, Bayang Barrios, Smokey Manaloto, and child star “Santino” for the 111th Independence Day program aired over NBN-4 with a much-applauded pastiche of famous Pinoy folk songs and ballads.  The quintet also performed at the International Sea Congress held at the  Manila Ocean Park.

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