• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The first leg of the International Open Water Swim Circuit, a brainchild project of the Department of Tourism-Western Visayas (DOT-6), will be held in Sipalay City in Negros Occidental on Feb. 18.
In a press conference at the Provincial Capitol Monday, Feb. 5, DOT-6 Regional Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez said 150 local and international swimmers are expected to participate.
Rodriguez confirmed that an eight-year-old child is the youngest participant.
The first leg of the international swimming race will start at Campomanes Bay Marine Reserve Sanctuary and will end at the Punta Ballo in Barangay 4.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Mayor Maria Gina Montilla-Lizares both welcomed the selection of Sipalay City as among the four venues of the international swimming competition, stressing that it will be an opportunity to showcase the area, which is known for its best beaches and dive spots.
With this exposure, Lacson said they are hoping that international participants will come back to Negros Occidental and visit Sipalay City again.
Rodriguez said the DOT is targeting to establish Western Visayas as a leading destination for sports and ecotourism and enhance human-nature connection through sustainable tourism practices and community-based initiatives.
The venues of the second, third and fourth leg of the swim circuit will be in Sicogon Island in Iloilo, Taclong Island in Guimaras and Boracay Island in Aklan, respectively. | GB