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Magayon success at CCP to perk up Albay tourism

Legazpi City — Tourism in Albay is expected to get further boost after the  successful staging of Albay’s ballet epic Daragang Magayon: An Istorya ni Mayon, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines main theater which drew raves from critics and a mixed crowd of celebrities. Albay’s tourist arrivals expanded by 24 percent last year. In 2011 it grew 17%, much higher than the national growth. Its effects are now discernible in the local economy Sponsored by the Albay provincial government, the presentation of the province’s mythical epic in ballet form forms part of the local government’s strategy to drumbeat its tourism promotion program. It was a collaborative effort of three Filipino artists and a popular dance company, and tells the story of the mythical origins of Albay and its people’s heritage, in a distinctive and substantive core narrative and worldview milieu. Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said they plan to present the show in other venues outside of CCP, and possibly even become a basis for a movie. “We thank our supporters, the audience, and most particularly art critics and our media friends who gave us good reviews,” he said. The presentation also set records in local cultural annals. Among others, it went on record as the only collaborative effort of three known artists, the first full-length ballet of a provincial epic, and the first multi-media-backed ballet interpretation in the country. Critic Pablo A. Tariman wrote: “The most encouraging thing about “Daragang Magayon: An Istorya Ni Mayon” is that it was spearheaded by the provincial government of Albay as part of its tourism pitch.” “Very few in government believe in the immense power of culture to perk up the tourism landscape. Albay, for one, has a formidable tourist attraction in the presence of Mt. Mayon . It didn’t occur to many that the legends surrounding the magic mountain can be transformed into a cultural attraction,” he added.
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