Simala

Church of the miraculous Virgin Mary in Simala, Aragao

Cebu southern towns prepare food, songs, and dances for guests who joined this year’s Suroy-Suroy Sugbo Southern Heritage Trail tour that kicked off today from the Provincial Capitol.

The first stop of the three-day tour was the town of Minglanilla, where visitors had their fill of Cebuano food specialties budbud pilit paired with ripe mango as well as danggit.

A carabao race to highlight the town’s Kabanhawan Festival was also held.

All seven towns that came after Minglanilla treated Suroy-Suroy guests to a hearty welcome. Students, local officials, and other residents lined the street waving flags to greet the convoy of buses and vehicles carrying travellers bound for Cebu’s southern municipalities.

At the town stops, guests check out churches, plazas, and other structures that date back to the Spanish era.

There were exhibits of products, from woodcraft to pottery goods to delicacies, in some of the towns.

In Argao, guests had snacks of torta and sikwate (hot chocolate drink made from tablea or bitter chocolate rounds) and students acted as tour guides and took people around the kabisera or capital. The kabisera or capital is the heart of the Spanish settlement in Argao. The church of Argao, which retains its original stone structure, was built in 1832. Its belfry contains nine bells brought by galleon to Cebu.

Last stop of the tour was Boljoon, with its historical Patrocinio de Maria Church and museum that contains archeological diggings unearthed from the town.

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