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LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Pangasinan continues to make big waves in tourism and cultural development evident with two more Pearl Awards (Best Tourism Practices of the Philippines Awards), bestowed to the province this year for its Tourism Month celebration (1st runner-up, best provincial tourism month celebration) and Pistay Dayat, dubbed as Pangasinan’s mother of all local festivals (2nd runner-up, best provincial tourism event/festival).
Governor Amado ‘Pogi’ I. Espino, III bared during his first 100 days report which he delivered at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) session hall on October 10 that the province of Pangasinan has maintained its status as a perennial top contender in the prestigious Pearl Awards given by the Department of Tourism and the Association of Tourism Officers’ in the Philippines (ATOP).
Expressing gratitude for the tourism awards received by the province on October 6 during the 17th ATOP National Convention held in Clark, Pampanga, Governor Espino stressed that the provincial government under the administration of his predecessor, former Pangasinan Governor and now 5th District Representative Amado T. Espino, Jr. set the pace of the province’s cultural reawakening and tourism boom.
It can be recalled that a milestone undertaking for the province’s cultural and tourism development master plan had been realized with the establishment of the Center for Pangasinen Studies which was jointly initiated by the provincial government and the University of the Philippines (UP).
Later on, a consortium of five Higher Education Institutions based in the province have joined the CPS for the wide-ranging research, preservation and enrichment of the province’s cultural heritage and for the promotion of tourism to maximize more economic opportunities for Pangasinenses.
Launching the CPS lecture series, former UP Vice President for Public Affairs and now Commission on Higher Education Commissioner Prospero de Vera, III, a Pangasinense who hails from Tayug town, delivered the inaugural lecture which focused on “The Challenges and Opportunities for a Federal Philippines”.
The provincial chief executive disclosed that CPS will soon launch cultural mapping activities in three pilot municipalities which will be funded and guided by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
On tourism activities, the provincial government through the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO) on September 29 sponsored the 1st Pangasinan Tourism Youth Conference and hosted the 3rd Regional Tourism Convention in partnership with Alaminos City government.
More tourism and industry immersion tours are now offered in Pangasinan. It was learned that a Lingayen – based travel company has already started accommodating tour packages which include Lingayen heritage tour, Pangasinan aquaculture and culinary tour, Bolinao escapade tour and Hundred Islands’ tour.
In cognizance with the tourism promotions master plan, Governor Espino had also launched the weekly coastal clean-up drive which enjoins Capitol employees who are clustered in four teams, to clean every Friday afternoon at designated areas on the Lingayen beach.
After the Lingayen beach area, other coastal areas in Pangasinan shall be visited by clustered teams from the provincial government for the series of weekly coastal clean-up.
By Dexter A. See