BAGUIO CITY – Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos on Saturday said that her province and the City of Baguio could forge a stronger collaboration in terms of tourism.
“I’m hopeful we could collaborate with the City of Baguio and the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte to do tourism projects and tours together,” said Marcos in a quick news briefing with members of the Baguio media.
The lady governor and her brother, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos were among the special guests during the street dancing parade program of the annual Panagbenga Festival.
She said “we learn a lot from Baguio, tourism is just new in Ilocos Norte, but for so long, Baguio is truly a leader in tourism,” said the governor.
“So we must combine the classical tour of the north, Baguio, Rice Terraces and the colonial lowlands of Ilocos Norte,” she said.
The governor cited some natural wonders of Ilocos , like the Sand Dunes which would be a “perfect back-up to the Cordillera mountains and the Solsona-Apayao area which provides the same cool weather being located 3,600 feet above sea level, among others.
“So it’s the synergy that we must have to exploit, lets collaborate with each other,” said the governor, noting that the overcrowding and heavy traffic being experienced in Baguio can be sent it to Ilocos Norte.
Marcos said they also experience similar challenges like that of Baguio, especially with the tourists arriving in their seaports in cruise ships, making accommodation problem in their province.
She emphasized that tourists’ needs could be addressed when places in the so-called “Solid North” will help each other.
On the sidelines of her talk on tourism collaboration, she also congratulated Baguio for its designation as a UNESCO Creative Cities site.
In the Ilocano vernacular, she said “agbiag ti Solid North (long live Solid North),” as she expressed gratitude to the people of the city and the Cordillera as a whole for their warm welcome.
Former Senator Bongbong Marcos in a message during the program also said “I can only wish you a continuing Panagbenga Festival, I know that it will not just be a tradition in Baguio but a part of Philippine tradition.”
He also extended his greetings to the organizers and participants.
The son of the late strongman Marcos ended his short message, saying “Dios ti Agngina kadakayo apo (May God bless you).”
Meanwhile, notable groups who participated in the festivities were delegations from Ilocos provinces, Cordillera, sports heroes from the region, members of the Cordillera Association of Regional Executives (CARE), sister city delegations from other countries and provinces in other regions. PNA-northboundasia.com (Photo by Thom Picaña/NPN)