Mayon, amid restiveness, is top tourist draw
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—This city is looking at the Bicol region’s most recognizable but volatile landmark as the main attraction for at least 400 delegates from 21 member-countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) who will gather in this city in December, according to officials here.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Bicol, which is leading the preparations, is getting ready for Apec’s Informal Senior Officials Meeting (Isom) to be held in the Oriental Hotel in Taysan Hill, Sto. Niño Village, Legazpi City, on Dec. 8 and 9, said Bobby Gigantone of the regional DOT office.
The regional DOT has been arranging off-conference activities for the delegates and “if we will talk about attractions, we are proud of the majestic Mayon,” Gigantone added.
Legazpi City is expected to take advantage of the international media mileage that the conference will bring by ensuring there will be no hitches in hosting the Isom, particularly since “all countries will be looking at us,” Gigantone said.
Cedric Daep, head of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office, said the venue was safe even if the volcano erupted during the conference. Daep said the Oriental Hotel was about 15 to 16 kilometers from the volcano, which has been showing signs of restiveness and over which alert level 3 has been raised.
Aside from keeping the volcano’s 6-km radius permanent danger zone off limits to residents and tourists, Daep also said, that in past eruptions, “pyroclastic flow did not reach beyond 8 to 9 km of the volcano.”
Supt. Marlo Meneses, Albay police chief, said at least 2,000 policemen and soldiers would be tapped to provide security to the Isom delegates.
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