CLARK, Pampanga—In partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) Regions 1, 2, 3, and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and the Alliance of Travel and Tour Agencies of Pampanga (ATTAP), with support from the Subic Clark Alliance Development Corporation, the first ever run of the North Luzon Travel Fair was held at the SMX Convention Center in Clark, Pampanga last November 18 to November 20, 2022. The Province of Pangasinan was represented by its Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO) at the said event.
“The Philippines is open. The Philippines is ready to receive tourists and investors from all over the world, and north Luzon is ready to lead the way to light up northern Philippines,” Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco announced proudly as she addressed hundreds of tourism stakeholders present at the North Luzon Travel Fair.
As DOT Secretary Frasco made her rounds, she met with DOT Region 1 Director Joseph Francisco “Jeff” R. Ortega and Bolinao Tourism Officer Mary C. De Guzman, who gifted her a Filipiñana dress made by buri weavers from Bolinao’s Santiago Island and local business Kawayan PH, and fashion specialist Ryan Ciero.
The event, with the theme, “Weaving the Way to Recovery,” featured north Luzon’s rich weaving industry and unique weaving products. The DOT Region 1 invited four weavers to represent each province of the region. Ms. Bethy Carolina, a buri weaver from Santiago Island, Bolinao proudly represented Pangasinan at the travel fair as she deftly showcased the traditional weaving practice of her town.
An exciting highlight of the event was the Hibla ng Lahi Fashion Show which featured models working the runway clad in modern and chic ensembles made out of Abel Iloko, with buri accessories to complete each look. Pangasinan Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Officer Maria Luisa Amor-Elduayan walked the runway alongside fellow provincial tourism officers from Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union, as well as two representatives from Pangasinan’s PTCAO and other participants from different provinces.
The hosting of the first North Luzon Travel Fair stood as a testament that provinces in northern Philippines are more than ready to not only jumpstart tourism after a two-year hiatus, but to improve and diversify traditional industries to stay relevant and alive in the fast-changing tourism industry.
Photos: MANL, GMRR and MKPT