LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat commended Pangasinan not only for its beautiful sceneries but also for its great potential in culinary and farm tourism.
In stating this during the 9th National Tour Guides Convention Masquerade Ball on June 18 at the Sison Auditorium, she specifically mentioned the local products of various places in the province to include Mangatarem’s tupig (native delicacy), the famous Bonuan bangus of Dagupan, and the mouth-watering longganisa of Alaminos City.
As such, the tourism secretary who traced her roots in Salasa, Bugallon, noted that with the recent closure of Boracay, tourists can still have other equally beautiful sites throughout the country that are worth visiting such as the renowned Hundred Islands located in Alaminos City where one can enjoy island hopping and food tripping, as well.
Stressing that the national government is keen on promoting farm tourism in highly agricultural places in the country, she mentioned about the Teraoka farm in Mangatarem town, a 200-hectare farm that grows high value crops like lettuce, eggplant, tomatoes, papaya, ampalaya, mangoes and herbs where vermiculture is applied.
The tourism secretary also noted that the current government is seriously undertaking the promotion of “responsible tourism,” a campaign that will teach tourists about the values of caring for the environment.
According to her, everyone should learn from the Boracay-experience and become more conscious in following environmental laws. In this way, the need to undertake sustainable and responsible tourism is the main goal of the DOT to further boost the industry.
Praising the role of the tour guides, the DOT secretary noted that their role is very vital in promoting the tourism potential of the places they represent.
During the event, the new set of officers of the national tour guides federation were elected from among the 15 associations who attended which composed of about 200 local tour guides coming from the various regions in the country.
The three-day event was also highlighted by the Hundred Islands tour with mangrove planting at the site and the visit of former Environment secretary Regina Lopez of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundations, Inc., during the plenary and general assembly on June 18.
Earlier, Vice Governor and currently Acting Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr. who was joined by Provincial Administrator Nimrod S. Camba, treated the participants for a Governor’s Night party last June 17.
In welcoming the participants, Vice Gov. Calimlim said that the provincial government under the leadership of Gov. Amado I. Espino III has considered tourism as among its vital program. Lauding the role of tour guides being the face of each locality, he stressed that tourist guiding is a calling in which it significantly can make or break the beauty of a specific place.
The provincial administrator, on the other hand, thanked all participants for coming to Pangasinan despite bad weather. The beauty of the province significantly speaks of its grandeur despite the heavy rains, he said.
Among the invited guests include Congressman Leopoldo N. Bataoil who graced the opening night on June 16 and DOT Regional Director Martin S. Valera on the final night. (Ruby R. Bernardino)