Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 12's  selling missions and travel exhibit of "The 12th Paradise" in the cities Iloilo and Bacolod in Western Visayas from March 20-24, 2014 were both successful.

Spearheaded by Region 12 tourism Director Nelly Nita Dillera, the week-long event dubbed "Luring Iloilo/ Bacolod to12th Paradise" was aimed at showcasing the region's local destinations, services, products and the people's rich culture. It also aims to entice more Ilonggos and people from Bacolod and nearby places to visit Region 12. 


The "12th Paradise" is Region 12's tourism brand.

A product presentation and business meeting/matching with different tourism stakeholders from both Regions 12 & 6 was held last March 20, 2014 at Diversion 21 Hotel in Iloilo City and as well as in Bacolod City on March 24 wherein Region 12's tourism stakeholders consists of tour operators, resort owners and those from different LGU's presented what they can offer to their counterparts in the area.


From March 21-23, visitors flocked to the activity center of SM City Iloilo as various booths displaying SOCCSKSARGEN's products of delicacies, arts and craft are exhibited. There were also booths of different accommodation facilities offering lowest promo rates. Cultural presentations of various dances from the region performed by Hinugyaw Cultural Dance Troupe from the City of Koronadal was an added attraction.
Certified crowd-drawer. Hinugyaw Cultural Dance Troupe was the event's resident performers
during "Luring Iloilo to 12th  Paradise" held at SM City Iloilo

DOT Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncato was the keynote speaker during the opening ceremony, he lauded DOT-12's effort in attracting more tourists in Western Visayas to visit Region 12. 

"What Region 12 has started with Region 6 is a classic example of a great partnership. In the long run, it will not only benefit Region 12 but Region 6 as well,” Boncato said. 

The assistant secretary for Mindanao of  the Department of Tourism also added that DOT is now  busy looking for new sites and attractions in the country and according to him many of these sites can be found in SOCCSKSARGEN. Among the region's top attractions are the white sand beaches in Gumasa in Glan, Sarangani, the country's highest peak - Mt. Apo, which can be accessed via Cotabato Province and the town of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato.
South Cotabato showcased the "T'nalak Experience" on the 2nd day with a fashion show featuring T'nalak haute couture creations by Ivan Raborar [ MORE PHOTOS ]
According to Region 12 tourism Director Nelly Nita Dillera, DOT-12 has chosen Western Visayas particularly the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo for its first road show outside Metro Manila because people from these areas and of Region 12 share a common heritage and language. Majority of settlers in Region 12 hails from Western Visayas.

SOCCSKSARGEN or Region 12 is composed of the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato (North), Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and the cities of Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan, General Santos and Cotabato City.

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