Department of Tourism - Region 10
DOT 10 LAUNCHES 1st MISAMIS ORIENTAL DIVE FESTIVAL
BALINGOAN, MISAMIS ORIENTAL - The Department of Tourism Regional Office 10 (DOT 10), in partnership with the Philippine Commission on Sports and Scuba Diving (PCSSD), the Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental, municipalities of the Gingoog Bay Alliance, and local dive stakeholders of Misamis Oriental, officially launches the first Misamis Oriental Dive Festival, November 25.
The Misamis Oriental Dive Festival is a component of DOT 10’s DIVE NORTHMIN Campaign which aims to promote Northern Mindanao as a premier diving destination of the country.
Running from November 25, 2021 to January 2022, the MisOr Dive Festival will gather dive professionals, underwater photographers and marine life enthusiasts from various points of Mindanao and the country to join its key events such as the Underwater Photography Webinar and Competition, the Dive Spotters’ Training, the Dive Tourism Awareness Seminar, and the Scubasurero & Coastal Clean-up.
“We welcome the Misamis Oriental Dive festival to the Philippine dive industry circuit of events contributing to the growth and development of the industry, and sustaining the country’s position as a world-class diving destination,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
“This is the first time that Dive Tourism is launched in the Province [Misamis Oriental]. Without this initiative, we would not have been able to start the promotion of our dive potentials. This event is indeed paving the way to make Misamis Oriental included in the main dive tourism events in the future,” Atty. Jeffrey C. Saclot, the Misamis Oriental Provintial Tourism Officer added.
On the other hand, Rowena M. Sorioso the Head of the DOT Office of Product and Market Development for Dive and OIC Executive Director of PCSSD expressed her excitement for the Dive industry in Misamis Oriental. “A lot of DOT 10’s initiatives have been very supportive of our programs especially in conducting their own dive-centric activities. We see that there is potential as an emerging destination because we see the unique attractions both underwater, topside, hospitality, and infrastructures,” she said.
“I would like to commend our Dive Tourism Stakeholders who have shown immense passion, appreciation, and concern for our dive sites here in Region 10. Your love for diving equates to its sustainability and the preservation of our treasured dive sites will forever be a source of honor and pride for all of us. For the past two years, we have been carefully exploring the pristine waters of Misamis Oriental and have discovered beautiful dive sites and underwater treasures that we would like to share with the world. And now, that day has finally come,” DOT 10 Regional Director Marie Elaine S. Unchuan said.
When asked about what he sees in the near future for Dive Tourism in Misamis Oriental, world renowned underwater photographer Bo Mancao said “I expect good things! This is what I consider an incubator for a lot more events and hopefully will get more people interested in the underwater world. So I’m hoping that this will spark the interest of a lot more Filipinos to go diving and eventually, we can promote this around the world.”
Top underwater photographer and writer Ram Yoro, who is also the trainer for the dive spotters training, expressed his anticipation for more divers and dive photographers in Misamis Oriental with the launching of the Misamis Oriental Dive Festival. “From what I’ve seen in the dives that I have done here, the dive sites are world class not only for macro but also for spectacular wide angle dives. They also have unique dive offerings which will surely draw diver enthusiasts from all over the world. So Misamis Oriental, I say, be ready for the onslaught of divers and underwater photographers after the pandemic,” he said.
The online culmination program and awarding ceremony for the Misamis Oriental Dive Festival will be in January as part of the 9th Kuyamis Festival of the Province of Misamis Oriental.