With the theme “Tourism and Development in the Community,” the congress emphasized the prospects, challenges, and opportunities of the tourism industry. It encouraged the convergence of efforts of different agencies in government and non-government sectors to craft a viable tourism industry that is truly competitive with the neighboring countries. This need is urgently with the ASEAN tourism integration in 2015.
In his keynote address, Sec. Mar Roxas of DILG urged the tourism officers to explore on the many opportunities the country has in enhancing the tourism industry. Tapping the natural attractions and other resources that abound in the community and integrating the rich cultural heritage could be the local government’s response in promoting a viable tourism industry in the community.
To showcase how LGUs and non-government agencies can collaborate in tourism industry promotion, the participants were toured around the province of Negros Occidental. The LGU Lal-lo group chose the Organic Farm Tour.
The group visited the May’s Organic Garden at Sitio Aning, Barangay Pahanocoy, Bacolod City. The farm is a five-hectare recreational site that boosts of its organic vegetable farming utilizing vermicomposting and zero waste management technology.
In the OISCA Silk Farm situated in Bago City, the group was oriented on silk processing, from growing of mulberry trees, rearing silkworm, harvesting cocoons, reeling, dyeing, spinning and weaving. It was learned that 80% of the silk needs of the country are provided by the company.
The group had lunch at the Buenos Aires Mountain Resort located at the foot of Mount Kanlaon in Brngy. Ilijan, Bago City. It features pool choices, water rafting, and sports facilities.
At the Ruins in Talisay City, the group heard of the love story of Mariano and Maria Braga and how the mansion was built, almost similar with the story of the Taj Mahal in India.
The Lal-lo delegation included Executive Assistant Simeon Israel Jr., Municipal Tourism Officer-designate Ms. Liezel Quiocho, Dr. Marcelo Raquepo, Dr. Maria Concepcion Abbang, Ms. Bernadette Ferry, Mrs. Dolores de la Cruz, Dr. Venancio Corpuz, Mr. Daniel Aguidan, Mrs. Emelita Collado, and Mrs. Merlyn Golino.#
- Marcelo R. Raquepo