Koronadal to host student journalists’ conference

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said the week-long NSPC, slated Feb. 18-23, will coincide with the province's Kawayan Festival, an annual festivity held every February that showcases South Cotabato's popular bamboo arts and crafts.

"We have lined up various showcases, not only about our bamboo industry, but all our products, our rich cultural heritage as well as our prime natural tourist attractions," she said in a press conference this morning.

The NSPC, which will gather at least 4,000 campus journalists from various parts of the country, will open on Feb. 18 and will be highlighted by a grand fireworks display at the South Cotabato Sports Complex.

To add glitter to the event, Fuentes said the opening day will be capped by a governor's night featuring a cultural and fashion show that will showcase the works of homegrown designer Ivan Raborar.

But Fuentes said the Kawayan Festival will formally open on Feb. 11 at the Productivity and Technology (ProTech) Center and will be highlighted by a bamboo furniture display, trade fair, techno seminars, bazaars, various competition and nightly shows.

Ber Advincula, ProTech Center manager, said they designed this year's Kawayan Festival as complementary activity to the province's hosting of the NSPC.

He said delegates and other visitors will be treated with an array of products from the province and various parts of Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao.

Cesar Sulit Jr., South Cotabato tourism coordinator, said they have also prepared at least two tour packages for the NSPC delegates.

He said the first package will cover a 10-hour guided tour to the famed Lake Sebu and its seven waterfalls while the second package will cover the farm resorts and other agri-industrial destinations of the provinces in the towns of Tupi and Polomolok.

Dr. Allan Farnazo, assistant schools superintendent of South Cotabato, said they are hoping to help further promote the province through the hosting of the NSPC.

"After the event, we want these student-delegates to really remember their experiences here in our province for a long time. They will practically be our new ambassadors. Some of them will write about it and will get them published. Just imagine the publicity that we will be getting," he said.

Farnazo said such gain will more than compensate the province's investment for the activity that so far reached at least P5 million. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)