DOT commends Matagoan festival event organizers
Tabuk (26 June) -- Lauding the local officials and event organizers for their efforts in making the 8th Matagaon Festival successful, Director Purificacion S. Molintas of the Department of Tourism of the Regional Office (DOT-CAR) said that this "year's celebration has greatly improved" compared to last year's event.
Sharing her observation, she said that several details required by the DOT in the celebrating festivities had been added such as the use of symbolism, singing of the Tabuk Hymn which was also launched on the first day of the festival, well organized program, organization of a reception committee, establishment of a theme, and more participation from the different sectors in the community.
"Maintain these improvements and continue to add more feature in your festival," she encouraged.
This year's theme of the 2nd Founding Anniversary and 8th Matagoan Festival is'Making Tabuk the new economic frontier of the North through eco-tourism."
In her speech, Molintas ensured the support of DOT-CAR in making Tabuk achieve its dream as an eco-tourism destination, saying that as the DOT Director, she could influence funds and budget to come to Tabuk coursed through the different agencies.
She disclosed that recently, she was called by a committee in Congress to defend the funding of the Tabuk-Bontoc road to certify that said areas are indeed tourism zones.
She also committed that Tabuk could avail of DOT's services such as planning, product development, capacitation, training and promotion services. With this note, she asked the locals to observe several standards in sustaining an eco-tourism destination.
She pointed out the need to protect the local resources such as the Chico River where the famed water rafting is taking place. She said that if Tabuk wants to be an international white water destination, the people must ensure that it is protected from garbage and from all forms of exploitation in the locality.
Another standard she pointed out is the need to come up with an environmental interpretation and education in any activity in eco-tourism. She said that cultural practices in environmental protection and preservation should be integrated in the eco-tourism undertakings.
Molintas also stressed that eco-tourism activity should benefit the local residents who could work as guides, sell handicrafts and souvenirs, producers and farmers, tourism establishment owners and workers and several others.
Visitor management she said is also crucial in the industry, explaining that visitors should be well entertained and accommodated. She encouraged the participation of every community member as frontliner in dealing with tourists coming here.
"We should be all tourism friendly," she said. However she said that this does not mean sacrificing our culture just for the visitors. She said that the local government units should formulate a Tourist Code of Ethics for tourists to also observe during their visit in the municipality or the province.
In advertising the tourist packages, she reminded that responsible marketing should be observed.
"We have to work together towards the vision of becoming an economic frontier through eco-tourism," she said as she urged the people to continue their quest for the cityhood of Tabuk. (ggd/PIA-Kalinga) [top]