10 Cordillera local governments cancel tourism events

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BAGUIO CITY – Ten local governments in the Cordillera recently cancelled the conduct of their crowd drawing and tourism-related events in the light of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 scare as part of the preventive measures that will control the spread of the said disease in the region.

Kalinga Gov. Ferdinand Tubban, upon consultations with concerned provincial officials and stakeholders, cancelled the activities that were lined up for the province’s 25th founding anniversary and 4th Bodong festival while La Trinidad Mayor Romeo K. Salda, upon coordination with the executive committee, also cancelled the conduct of this year’s Strawberry festival scheduled for next month.

Further, Besao Mayor Johnson Bantog II, upon coordination with representatives of concerned sectors in the municipality, ordered the cancellation of the town’s upcoming fiesta and Ubaya festival in the first week of March to prevent whatever problems that will arise once there will be sick people who will be attending the lined up events.

Sagada mayor James Pooten issued a recent advisory cancelling all tourism-related activities in the municipality but foreign and domestic visitors are still welcome to visit the different private tourist destinations in the locality while Tinglayan and Pasil officials, both located in Kalinga, issued similar advisories to prevent the influx of people in the said localities that might contribute in the current scare.

Aside from La Trinidad, the other municipalities in Benguet that issued advisories on the temporary cancellation of tourism-related activities include Atok, Bakun and Kabayan which host scenic ecotourism destinations being frequented by foreign and domestic tourists wanting to explore potential tourist destinations in the country.

Buguias also announced late Friday afternoon the cancellation of their Town Fiesta, scheduled to be held on the first week of March.

Other local governments are contemplating on making the appropriate announcements on whether or not to postpone the conduct of their town fiestas and other crowd drawing events earlier scheduled for the later part of this month and next month considering the need for them to consult the different involved stakeholders putting into consideration the latest situation of the COVID in the region.

Tourism is one of the major economic drivers among different provinces, cities and municipalities in the region considering the presence of scenic ecotourism sites that are present in the said areas, thus, the Cordillera is one of the preferred areas to visit by foreign and domestic nature lovers.

Initially, major events of the Panagbenga or Baguio Flower Festival were postponed from their original schedules this month to selected dates next month wherein the grand opening parade will be conducted on march 21, 2020, the grand streetdancing parade on March 28, 2020, the grand float parade on March 29, 2020 and the week-long Session Road in Bloom on March 30 to April 5, 2020 while the Baguio Blooms Exposition and Exhibition at the Baguio Convention Center gourds will likely be extended up to April 15, 2020 to allow exhibitors to recover their investments for their participation in the said trade fair.

Among the favorite tourist destinations in the Cordillera include Mount Pulag in Kabayan, Benguet; the rice terraces in Banaue, Ifugao; the caves in Sagada,, Mountain Province; the strawberry, cutflower and vegetable farms in La Trinidad and other vegetable-producing areas in Benguet; the majestic and towering mountains in the central Cordillera; trekking sites In the different provinces; the Chico River white water rafting in Kalinga; the Sleeping Beauty in Tinglayan, Kalinga and the operating and abandoned mine sites in Benguet.