South Cotabato, Cebu forge sisterhood ties

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/17 August)—The provinces of South Cotabato and Cebu have finally forged sisterhood ties, a development expected to boost the tourism potentials of the former.

South Cotabato Vice Gov. Elmo Tolosa said the memorandum of understanding for the sisterhood was signed last August 13 by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy.

“The sisterhood ties with Cebu province will be beneficial to us, especially in promoting our province as an eco-tourism destination,” Tolosa said.

He noted that South Cotabato has much to learn from the vibrant tourism industry of Cebu, harnessed through the latter’s 442 years of existence.

Tolosa said the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, which he chairs, passed a resolution of appreciation for Cebu province in line with the sisterhood ties.

Earlier, Pingoy said that Garcia offered the sisterhood arrangement in a bid to help boost the province’s tourism potentials.

Garcia went here last July 18 and was the main guest of the culmination of the T’nalak festival and the province’s 45th founding anniversary.

Pingoy noted that a sisterhood with Cebu will augur well for South Cotabato since the former is already known in the international and domestic tourism circuit.

He hoped that the sisterhood ties could help change the negative perception of those outside Mindanao against the province.

“We are very peaceful here, there is no trouble in our province. Our people are warm and friendly,” Pingoy said.

South Cotabato’s established tourism destination is the scenic town of Lake Sebu, home to three lakes.

As an added ecotourism adventure, the provincial government has put up a zip line in the town, which allows patrons to view the several waterfalls dotting the area.

Lake Sebu is also rich in culture, being the home of the T’boli tribe which weaves the famous t’nalak, a colorful cloth made from abaca fiber.

Efforts have been put to also place the other towns in the provincial tourism circuit. (Bong Sarmiento/MindaNews)