De Venecia: Let’s continue to develop district’s tourism

FOURTH District Rep. Christopher de Venecia hailed the Bangusan Street Party of the 2019 Bangus Festival which, he said, has became grander, bigger and more tourist-oriented than in the past.

De Venecia , who attended the Bangusan Street Party along with the other guests on April 30, credited the success of the activity to no one else but Mayor Belen Fernandez who did not stop innovating and improving the Bangus Festivals as the years went by.

“This is the kind of governance I really appreciate about Mayor Belen. She is always on top of the situation,” he said. “She has a complete grasp of data to make the economy work.”

Palagi kong sinasabi sa ibang bayan na they have to work harder para ang kanilang sariling festivals ay maging sin-tanyag ng Bangus Festival,” the young congressman told newsmen.

He said the city officials is measuring up to the challenge to make the Bangus Festival as popular as the Sinulog, Dinagyang and the Pangabenga festivals.

Asked what Bangus Festival needs to do in order to reach the stature of the three popular festivals, he said: aggressive marketing and for the inclusion of Bangus Festival in the tourism calendar of the Department of Tourism.

“If I can return as congressman of the Fourth District, I will discuss this with my good friend Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat, how we can include Bangus Festival in the tourism campaign of the Duterte administration,” he said.

To launch a more effective marketing strategy, develop the festival’s design and other unique programs that will be welded into the Bangus Festival which are not seen in other big festivals in the country.

He said: “This is where cultural mapping becomes a must in order to find out the other attributes and character that are truly Dagupan, and from where the city can devise additional events “that will celebrate our heritage”.

At the same time, he lauded the Jayceeken of Dagupan for holding the “Takayan na Dayew”, an old singing contest over the defunct radio station DZRI in order to drum up the revival of the Philippine National Railways that have some idle properties and offices in Dagupan until today.  

“Of course, commercialism is important as sponsors are needed in order to bring the main festival drawers, the celebrities in the television and movie worlds as well as big bands,” he said.

“We can hopefully do this next year if we win a second term of office,” De Venecia added.

He acknowledged that Manaoag remains the center of pilgrimage tourism in Pangasinan but noted that the tourists coming in the town only for a few hours of prayers then go back home from where they came from.

He noted that though droves of tourists are coming to Manaoag every weekends, there is hardly a place where they can conveniently park their vehicles.

The many roads leading to Manaaog, he added, are too narrow and could not accommodate the big influx of vehicles to the town especially during the Lenten Season.

Manaoag not only needs infrastructures but also amenities like hotels and resorts that can accommodate tourists for a night or two and activities where they can indulge into while in the town.

“That’s what we will focus on. How we get people to stay in Manaoag as we need not promote the town any more being the the old pilgrimage center that it used to be,” he added.  

Noting that many of those flocking to Manaoag are law students praying for indulgence of Virgin Mary for her to guide them so that they can pass the bar examinations, De Venecia said there should be a special program in place for this kind of yearly devotees. (Leonardo Micua)

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