CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Almost two decades after it was erected, the Cebu Pacific Flight 387 Memorial Shrine in the town of Claveria in Misamis Oriental province, will have a makeover this year.
The provincial government is poised to transform the landmark as a major tourist destination in Misamis Oriental complete with a souvenir and café shop.
During the 21st anniversary commemoration of the air crash on Saturday, Gov. Yevgeny Emano said he saw the shrine in an almost dilapidated state; the wooden bridge leading to the edifice and the seats in front of the shrine are worn, and the toilet was also unhygienic.
“We will be renovating the whole area. We will also install a roof above the seats so people who visit can be shaded, and it (will be) totally face-lifted this year," Emano said.
The governor said as early as 2013, he had already intended to renovate the tourist spot but plans were always delayed due to the ongoing land dispute between Gingoog City and the municipality of Claveria where the shrine sits.
“Only then will we turn over the proceeds once the court has ruled to whichever LGU (local government unit) the shrine belongs,” Emano said.
The governor took notice of the growing number of tourists who visited the shrine not just on weekends but also on weekdays due to its proximity to the newly-opened Gingoog-Claveria highway which is a shortcut diversion to the Cagayan de Oro-Butuan highway.
During the anniversary commemoration alone last Saturday, around 500 mountaineers took part in the activity.
The mountaineers were instrumental in retrieving the remains of the Cebu Pacific Flight 387 victims when the airliner dove to the hillside of Mt. Sumagaya in Claveria in February 2, 1998, killing all 104 on board. (PNA)