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PGMA cancels trip to Siargao due to bad weather

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo cancelled yesterday her trip to Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte due to stormy weather caused by typhoon "Emong" (Chan-Hom).

Inspite of the reported fair weather in Siargao Island, typhoon Emong continues to move towards Northern Luzon with maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kilometers per hour.

Emong has caused intermittent heavy rains in Metro Manila, where the President was supposed to take off this morning for the country’s surfing capital where she was scheduled to formally open the 2nd Siargao International Game Fishing Tournament in Pilar, Siargao Island.

The President’s attendance in the game fishing tournament was to promote Siargao not only as a surfing destination but also as the country’s game-fishing capital.

The President had opened the 1st Siargao Game Fishing Tournament In April last year.

Siargao, off the northeastern part of the Caraga region, first drew national and international attention as a surfing haven.

Although it ranks as one of the five best surfing sites in the world, Siargao Island’s second biggest asset – that of being a game-fishing haven -- has yet to break into the tourist industry’s lexicon of “must-visit” destinations.

Siargao Island’s niche as one of the best surfing sites rides on the crest of its powerful rollers or waves, including the ''Cloud 9,'' which is considered one of the world's top surfing waves.

Moreover, the island's centuries-old eco-system is a rich breeding ground for marine life such as marlins, groupers, rays, octopuses, tuna, crabs and squids.

Siargao Island also boasts of 8,760 hectares of mangroves, the biggest in the country, and a long stretch of coral reefs.

Once fully developed, the province’s tourism industry is seen as a major factor in uplifting the lives of the people.

The Arroyo administration has tapped the top dollar-earning tourist industry as one of the sectors that could greatly contribute to jobs-creation.

The President has ordered a surge in infrastructure, including tourism infrastructure, as a firewall to the slowing down of the global economy and as a springboard of the Philippines to First World economy.

Siargao Island has been included in the President's development of central Philippines as ''tourism center'' in her super regions economic plan.

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