PASAY CITY, Philippines—After two years of postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-awaited 33rd Philippine Travel Mart (PTM) was successfully held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City last September 30 to October 2, 2022. The three-day event was made possible by the Philippine Tour Operators Association Inc., Department of Tourism (DOT) Philippines, Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, BPI, Air Asia, Turkish Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, PLDT Enterprise, and the GUEST (Go on an Unforgettable Experience through Sustainable Tourism) App.
“The PTM provides an opportunity for everyone to learn a great deal about what the Philippine tourism industry has to offer in this new era of travel,” DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco shared in her speech delivered via video message. A notable feat of this year’s PTM was the participation of all 82 provinces of the Philippines, a first after several years since the launch of the country’s longest-running travel trade exhibition in 1994.
The province of Pangasinan, represented by its Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO), joined the PTM alongside the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and La Union at the Department of Tourism Region 1 pavilion. Since before the pandemic, Pangasinan has been a regular participant of the PTM, with some of its towns and cities represented by their respective tourism officers. Alaminos City Tourism Officer Miguel L. Sison and staff Mr. Reynaldo T. Livara Jr. accompanied the PTCAO throughout the event.
The Pangasinan booth caught the eyes of many visitors, most of whom were tourists eager to visit ecotourism sites as the PTCAO promoted the province’s new birdwatching tourism circuit mainly in Alaminos City, Bani, Lingayen, Mangatarem, and Balungao.
Meanwhile, during the second day of the PTM, Mr. Cris Zuniga, a native of Dagupan City, seasoned journalist, and former ABS-CBN news anchor, assisted the DOT-R1 in hosting the Region 1 Festival wherein each province of the region was introduced in a trivia contest featuring fun facts about them. While this was taking place, PTCAO representatives manned the Pangasinan Food Tasting Booth where they featured local food products such as calamansi crinkles from San Fabian’s Calamansian ed Lekep-Butao, Romana Peanut Brittle from Mangaldan, and Capito’s bocayo pastillas from Dagupan City.
This year, the Municipality of Bolinao, represented by Tourism Officer Mary C. De Guzman and staff from the Bolinao Tourism Office, won the Best Booth Award under the municipality/city category. Their booth, conceptualized and designed personally by Bolinao Vice Mayor Richard Celeste, in cooperation with the Bolinao Artist Guild (BAGI), Inc., headed by Mr. Wenn Pidlaoan Licuanan, was made of buri ornaments handcrafted by Bolinao weavers from Santiago Island. According to the Bolinao Tourism Office, they wanted the design of their booth to showcase Bolinao’s rich and diverse marine resources while also standing as a testament that anyone and everyone has the potential to be creators of something beautiful.
Photos: PTCAO, Department of Tourism Region 1