Celso takes Spanish envoy to Sta. Cruz Island for a dip PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 27 February 2012 13:34

In his desire to promote the eco-tourism potential of Sta. Cruz Island, Mayor Celso Lobregat together with other city officials yesterday took Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Domecq and his party to the island for a dip.
On board two 35-knot speed boats of the Philippine Navy, Lobregat and the ambassador together with their entourage that included Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, the ambassador’s wife Lady Rufina and First Secretary Antonio Garcia of the Spanish Embassy left the navy’s Majini Pier in Upper Calarian shortly before 10 a.m. yesterday.

Before heading for the island’s pink-sand beach, the speed boats cruised around the Great Sta. Cruz Island to give the visitors a glimpse of the island and its natural habitat. About 15 minutes later, the boats under heavy security landed on the beach, to the surprise of other picnickers who arrived on the island much earlier.

“Oh, great! This is a paradise. Very beautiful,” the Spanish visitors exclaimed as they set foot on the beach, facing the mainland Zamboanga.

After a brief tête-à-tête and photo ops with people around, Lobregat, who was sporting short-pants, took off his polo shirt and headed for a dip in the crystal-clear water of the island. Shortly, Ambassador Domecq, his wife Rufina, First Secretary Garcia and other Spanish visitors dressed their swimwear up and joined the mayor in the water under the scorching sun.

After almost an hour of swimming, Lobregat and his Spanish visitors went up the beach and feasted on sumptuous seafood for lunch served under the trees as the sea-breeze made the ambiance fresher at high noon.

Obviously enjoying their time on the island, the Spanish envoy and his wife went swimming again after lunch and took photos of their interest.

At past 1 p.m., Mayor Lobregat decided to call it a day and cruised back to the mainland as they had to grace yet the commemorative program of the city’s 75th Dia de la Ciudad de Zamboanga at 3 p.m. with Ambassador Domecq as the keynote speaker.

The program was preceded by a civic-military parade that started from City Hall and wound up at the JFE Memorial Sports Complex.

Also joining the Sta. Cruz trip were Councilors Rudy Lim, Mayra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar and Gerky Valesco together with representatives from the Department of Tourism regional office 9. — Vic Larato