SAN FABIAN–Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos lives up to her billing as a festival queen in Pangasinan this time as special guest at the Darayat Festival with a difference: no greetings on giant tarpaulins this time.
Speaking to town folks in Ilocano and Filipino, Marcos said she does not consider herself a visitor in the town since her late father, former president Ferdinand Marcos, built a house where they used to vacation then known as Presidential House now known as Philippine Tourism Authority Resort.
“I am not a guest here because my father built a house here so I am also from San Fabian,” she said.
Marcos is known to some Pangasinenses as “festival queen” because long before she filed her candidacy for senator, she has been visiting the 44 towns and four cities of Pangasinan attending different festivals/fiestas.
Pangasinan is among the top three vote-rich provinces in the country with almost two million voters.
Marcos noted the similarity of tourism promotion in Pangasinan with her province Ilocos Norte – featuring fine beaches and old churches.
She said her province already average two million tourists visiting their tourist destinations each year.
“Our province is small and we’re having a hard time accommodating the influx of visitors so I will begin to send some of them here to San Fabian and in other areas in Pangasinan to boost tourism,” Marcos said.
She told local newsmen that coastal towns should learn from the Boracay experience by taking good care of their beaches.
She also encouraged them to improve their agriculture, too, side by side with their tourism.
She said coming to visit the town is like a homecoming because she knows of residents who once served in her father’s administration.
She reminded her audience that Pangasinan was a perennial winner in the Kadiwa rice production program of the Marcos administration and that it was her father that established the Pangasinan State University which now has nine campuses across the province.
She lauded teachers in the crowd in a program after the civic parade for being effective at multi-tasking outside of their primary duty in their classrooms.
Meanwhile, Marcos, a senatorial candidate for the May 2019 elections, said she immediately sent a text message to Cebu Mayor Tomas Osmeña, thanking him for the reminder, after he ordered the dismantling of her huge tarpaulin along General Maxilom Avenue in Barangay Carreta in Cebu to avoid impression she is “politicizing” the Sinulog Festival. (PhilStar Wire Service)
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