MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/24 October) – The City Tourism Board launched last week the private sector-led Bukidnon Highland Games (BHG) 2012, which aims set to promote Bukidnon as a destination for outdoor adventure and highland games.
“This is to showcase the other side of Bukidnon aside from [being the] home of Kaamulan, the famous cultural attraction”, Maite Abellanosa, chair of the tourism sector of the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BKCCI) said in a press conference on Friday.
BHG 2012, organized by Ohana Adventures, will take place on November 30 to December 2 in Malaybalay City.
Dr. Rachito Abellanosa of Ohana Adventures described the games as a private-public partnership meant to boost tourism in the province without having to build new structures.
“This will showcase what we already have. We have the natural landscape to be a destination (for outdoor adventure and sports tourism),” he added, citing Bukidnon’s terrain, among others.
Among the games slated in the three-day event are tail run (man and dog tandem), hybrid duathlon, clinics for soccer, skateboard and Frisbee, agility demonstration and wacky games. Organizers also scheduled fitness challenges, fun match dog show, and night run on the opening day.
Tournament games for the second day will include skateboarding competition, cross country mountain bike race, soccer, and Frisbee.
For the final day, organizers set rock climbing, trail run and an adventure race.
Organizers admitted that the scheduled games are a shortened version of their initial plan, which drew the support of international companies selling outdoor adventure gears.
Abellanosa agreed to suggestions from the board to include Lumad rituals and to ensure proper waste disposal.
The board was also worried that Lumad evacuees from San Fernando town had occupied the stage at the capitol grounds, the central venue of the games.
Catalino Chan III, regional director of the Department of Tourism-10, welcomed the games as it offers a new destination in Bukidnon.
“I’m happy about it because Bukidnon only has one major event (Kaamulan) every year,” he said, adding the tourism board should schedule year-round events. He also suggested including in the itinerary fun events common to the province but new and memorable experiences for the visitors.
George Tabios, a former member of the tourism board, lauded the support extended by the board to sports tourism as a “first-time”.
Ohana Adventures announced that the BHG is a partnership between the city government and the provincial government with the DOT and the Department of Trade and Industry as assisting agencies. Seventeen companies are sponsoring the event, it added. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)