The First Tourism Summit for the Province of La Union was launched September 24, 2019 at the Bangko Sentral Hall. In the morning, different tourism stakeholders attended seminar and plenary sessions about culture and tourism. The summit was capped by a Grand Ball where the First Provincial Tourism Awards were meted to different tourism establishments and Local Government Units in the Province.

Paradiso Beach Resort in Samara owned and managed by Mr. Shyr Ampaguey won one of the Best Entrepreneur’s Award for consistently maintaining their DOT accreditation for three consecutive years and consistently being awarded by other sectors for maintaining excellent tourism values and standards.

A big surprise to everyone and even to those who received the award, the Top Municipality who was adjudged as Best Implementer of Tourism Development Plan Initiatives is the Municipality of Aringay. Pugo came in second while Sto. Tomas came in third. Aringay edged out the two towns for participating actively during the pre-write up sessions conducted by the Provincial Government for Tourism planning. Since the town has conducted its own tourism planning workshop among different stakeholders, it was smooth sailing for the Tourism Core Team when they presented the proposed plans in the Provincial government sponsored trainings in Manila, Damortis, Sto. Tomas and in San Juan. When the document was presented for technical review, it received accolades from the Provincial Technical Review Team for being customized to the needs of the Municipality, for being comprehensive, for being relatable and practical, for being attuned to the overall tourism roadmap of the Province and for being complementary and adherent to existing ordinances and plans of the Municipality and the Province and lastly, for having a Municipal Council (Sangguniang Bayan) that adopted and ratified the recommended Municipal Tourism Development Plan.

The event was attended by Hon. Josephine M. Dacanay, Chairman of of the Committee on Tourism and Cultural Heritage together with two other members of the said Committee, Hon. Isabel Diaz and Hon. Genoveva Obra. They were ably accompanied by Ms. Sandra De Vera, Municipal Tourism Officer Designate, Dr. Rolando Q. Mallari, Co-Chair, MTCAC, Technical Working Group Members Ms. Laida G. Rico, Ms. Marsha Jovita S. Aquino, Ms. Julie San Andres and Mr. Richard Uychoco. Mr. Shyr Ampaguey who is also an active and regular member of the MTCACA joined the Aringay Team as Paradiso is an awardee too.

Kudos to Mayor Eric O. Sibuma and the Sangguniang Bayan for another feather to their leadership’s cap!

Aringay Agraniag