By Saul E. Pa-a
SAN PABLO CITY, Laguna, (PNA) -– San Pablo City Mayor Loreto S. Amante confirmed on Friday that tourism organizers notified that the city’s “Coconut Festival” bagged this year’s “Best Tourism Event Festival” City Level Hall of Fame award.
Mayor Amante also accepted the invitation to personally receive the much-coveted “Pearl Award” as Hall of Famer during the 14th National Convention of the Department of Tourism (DOT) – Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) slated on October 2 to 5 this year at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation in Legazpi City, Albay.
The city’s 17th Coconut Festival romped off with the “Best Tourism Event Festival Category City Level for 2012” in last year’s 13th National Convention of the DOT-ATOP held in Dakak Park and Beach Resort in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte.
As three-time consecutive “Pearl Award” honoree, the city’s coconut festival is now elevated to the “Hall of Fame” distinction.
The city also copped 2nd place as “Tourism-oriented Local Government Unit (LGU)” for 2012 and won for its Tourism Officer Maria Donnalyn E. Briñas-Eseo another “Pearl Award” as “Best Team Leader.”
Mayor Amante who served as the City Administrator prior to election as city mayor was chairperson of the San Pablo Coconut Festival and Trade Fairs Committee last year.
Then City Historical, Arts, Culture, and Tourism Officer Laviña F. Abrenica-Nuñag and Donnalyn E. Briñas-Eseo received the harvest of “Pearl Awards” for the city in behalf of then Administrator Amante.
Meanwhile, Laguna Governor Jeorge ER Ejercito Estregan pinned hopes of bagging the DOT-ATOP “Best Tourism Event of the Year” for the third consecutive year as “Hall of Fame” awardee for the “La Laguna Festival.”
“La Laguna Festival” Overall Chairperson Delto Mike Abarquez who heads the Laguna Tourism, Cultural Affairs and Trade Office (LTCATO) expressed “this will be a reaffirmation of the goal of the province to become a top tourism destination.”
Governor ER Ejercito and wife Pagsanjan Mayor Girlie Maita Ejercito have been at the forefront of conducting the sales pitch for “Bagong Laguna, Una Sa Lahat” as the country’s top tourism destination besides home of the country’s economic zones, industrial parks and investments hub.
The province has been a consistent nominee and awardee for the “Best Tourism Event of the Year” in 2011 and 2012.
Joining the Governor’s dream team and tourism workforce are his wife Pagsanjan Mayor Ejercito who is also president of the Laguna Chapter of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), Provincial Tourism Head Gina Austria, LTCATO head Abarquez, IRTO Head Bong Arcanghel and Public Information Office head Vic Pambuan.
The province is also named top contender in the “Best Tourism Oriented LGU Category” and for Pagsanjan’s “Best Festival-Municipality Level for “Bangkero Festival” and “Best Tourism Event for Arts and Culture” for Pagsanjan Foundation Day.