Cebu officials welcome balikbayans at airport

OFFICIALS from various government agencies yesterday welcomed 171 returning Filipinos, or “balikbayans,” and foreign guests from the United States and Canada to participate in the Fiesta Señor celebrations.

For 10 years now, the traditional welcome of arriving balikbayans and foreign tourists led by the Department of Tourism (DOT) is done every Thursday before the actual Sinulog grand parade.

The balikbayans were welcomed at the airport yesterday by Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Tetta Baad of the Cebu City Tourism Commission, Provincial Board Member Agnes Magpale, former tourism director Patria Aurora Roa and Director Ahmed Cuizon of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Magpale, chairperson of the Cebu Provincial Board tourism committee, said they cannot get the exact number of returning Filipinos who come home for the Sinulog, because unlike yesterday where arrivals were in bulk, other balikbayans arrived on board different flights since last week.

Baad said balikbayans from Los Angeles, California were organized by one Milagros Gonzales, while those from San Francisco were organized by one Undo Pacaña. These are the balikbayans who can be easily counted. (more)

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