MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Aug. 28 (PIA)  --  Inspired by the positive feedback of the first cruise ship that docked in Limasawa in February this year, another one will be coming, this time a bigger one, and it will be in mid-March next year.

This was announced by Nedgar Garvez, Provincial Tourism Officer, during the Action Center cable TV program Tuesday.

The upcoming tour will have another set of passengers, mostly moneyed, retired foreigners, males and females, who enjoy travelling by ship to select tourism sites in many parts of the world.

In February 23, a cruise ship with around 100 passengers landed in Limasawa island, virtually recreating a scene nearly 500 years ago when the natives first made contacts with travelling Europeans led by Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese navigator under the services of Spain.

But while Magellan and his men were looking for famed islands in the orient that were rich in spices  --  and introduced a new faith in the process  --  the visiting foreigners in February 23 simply relished every moment of their fleeting stay in the island.

Garvez recalled that the guests broke agreed guidelines for their interaction with the townfolks of Limasawa, preferring instead a free-wheeling  mingle, such as eating the prepared meals by hand, strolling around freely, dancing the beat of the Sinugdan tune, and stayed longer than the allowed time.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) was the agency arranging with cruise ship travels in their destinations anywhere in the Philippines, in coordination with the concerned local government units of towns and provinces where the tourists are expected to land.

Next year’s schedule, March 12, barring unforeseen obstacles, is timed on the month in which Magellan’s fleet celebrated Mass in the shore of Limasawa, the day being an Easter Sunday, on March 31, 1521, and accounts in history books said it was the First Mass ever celebrated on land in the Philippines.

Garvez said it was just fine that the second cruise ship visit was set weeks earlier that the First Mass anniversary so as not to disturb the religious significance of the event.  (ajc/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)