I was elated to find out that the "Preserving Heritage for Progress" program of the City Government of San Fernando, Pampanga which I initiated in 2001 won its third award last October 6! The Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) selected the program as the winner of the Heritage Tourism Award of the Best Tourism Practices – Special Award Category "in cognizance of the innovative and valuable effort, passion and commitment of the City Government to ensure the protection and promotion of the City's priceless architectural heritage by restoring and preserving the same for the benefit of the future generation of Fernandinos and the Filipino people."
Mayor Oscar S. Rodriguez and City Tourism Officer Ching Pangilinan received the award in behalf of the local government from Tourism Secretary Joseph "Ace" Durano and Tarlac Representative Gilbert Teodoro at awarding ceremonies held during the 7th ATOP National Convention in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. There were only two winners for the Special Award category, the other being the Environment and Sports Tourism Award given to Benguet's "Mount Pulag Climb."
The "Preserving Heritage for Progress" program was recognized in 2004 by the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) as one of its" Top 10 Best Practices" and by the Galing Pook Foundation as one of the "Trailblazing Programs" of the year. (Photo on the right by Karlo de Leon)
Updates: The Pyestang Tugak - 4th Annual San Fernando Frog Festival was postponed to October 23 and 24. I was supposed to blog about it today. Oh well! For information on schedules, contact the City Tourism Division at (045) 9615684.
I also had to cancel all my local travel plans this month. And to think I was already looking forward to some whitewater rafting in Kalinga! Sayang! But the reason behind the cancellations are even more exciting travel plans. Hehe! So watch out for it in the coming week or two.