Friday, 23 August 2019

Big beach party; big responsibility

GUMASA, Glan, Sarangani (June 4, 2016) - The biggest beach party in the country -- SarBay Fest -- celebrates its 11th year anniversary inculcating environmental activism to all SarBay citizens.

Sarbay is an annual event designed to embolden investment and encourage tourism in the long stretch of pristine waters and white sand beaches of Gumasa and also an avenue for the promotion and preservation of Sarangani Bay.

Adrenaline-packed events like Beach Volleyball, Beach Football, Skim Boarding Competition, Ultimate Frisbee Tournament, Triathlon, and Bancarera and the frolicsome activities such as Sand Sculpture, Pinta sa Baybayon, Zumba with the Legendz, Fire Dancing Competition, Bay Bodies, and Foam Party comprised the #sarbayevolution 2016.

But as the growing number of tourists join the summer festivity each year, so is the massive number of waste and disruption aftermath. To address this issue, since last year, a daily SarBay clean-up drive was introduced. It is a collaborative thrust of the provincial government, the municipality of Glan and the major sponsors keeping Gumasa clean while enjoying the party.

#IlovecleanSarbay has also been flooding the social media since last year. It is part of the environmental advocacies of SarBay fest.

Haydee Bernabe, Public Affairs Officer of SMART Communications, said, “we party like for 2 days but then we should leave the place as clean as we saw it as we arrived”.

Still part of this year’s environmental advocacy is e-trash bag given as part of the environmental fee given upon entrance. Every kilo of gathered garbage submitted by every person has an equivalent token given by SarBay partners Globe, Talk N’ Text, 2Go, and Coca-Cola.

Proof of Sarbay’s huge success just in the short span of time since it started in 2006 is the award it received in 2013 as the “BEST TOURISM EVENT” in the whole Philippines, given by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines of the Department of Tourism and the recorded 127,000 attendees of #sarbayforever 2015.

And for the first time this year, a “commitment wall” was made for the festival’s continuous awareness campaign calling the attention and involvement of all the stakeholders and attendees alike for its pursuit.

First-time Sarbay attendee Gen Japitana strongly commits and encourages to “respect the environment because you are only a tourist and you don’t have the right to ruin it.”

While April Kris Concha said that her little contribution is to “properly dispose her trash”.

Furthermore, “the simplest thing would really mean a lot like picking up your trash, putting it in the designated areas, simple things like that would be a great help”, said Bernabe. (Jenny Rose de Guzman for SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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