By ROCAYA SUMNDAD OTICAL
MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur — The Bangsamoro region ought to be a prime tourist destination in the Philippines. Its lush forests, clean beaches, waterfalls and waters teeming with colorful marine life boost the region as a tourism pride of the country.
However, decades-long political strife and terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups had made governments issued warnings against all travel to this region.
With the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which was the product of peace negotiations between the Moro armed groups and the government, the Department of Tourism (DOT) believes Mindanao would become a major tourism area, attracting more local and foreign visitors who will stay longer.
The Bangsamoro homeland is not only culturally rich. It has vast array of natural landscapes and seascapes with different types of environs one would not wish to miss.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism )MTIT) is losing no time to promote the region as a prime tourist destination.
To showcase the pristine gems and tourist spots of the Bangsamoro homeland through the “art of photography,” MTIT kicked off on Aug. 10, its region-wide photo contest dubbed “Bangsamoro: Revealing its Hidden Treasure”.
The photo competition, which is spearheaded by the Ministry’s Bureau of Tourism, will run from Aug. 10 until around 5PM on Sept. 20, 2021, and it is open for all interested participants across the Bangsamoro region.
The priority areas of the theme of the photo contest are as follows: community-based economic sites and activities, social enterprise, gastronomies, eco-tourism and adventure tourism, sun, beach, diving and marine sports tourism, cultural, religious, historical parks and landmarks, meeting, incentive, conference, and events.
BARMM Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim hopes that the rest of the country [and the world] would get to see the region’s rich tourism, trade, and industry assets.
“It’s also prim and proper that this initiative comes from us, the locals, of this beautiful region as well. Because at the end of the day, there can be no better ambassadors of this region than those who live in it as well,” Ebrahim said.
It is time to visit this beautiful region of people in diverse ethnicity and cultures. (RSO)