“Brilliant” and “superb” are not enough to describe Bayambang’s celebration of Tourism Week 2018. With exceptional competitions such as Awaran (Bayambang, Pangasinan, Tourism, History and Culture Quiz Bee), Anlong (Poem Writing Contest), Idamag (Tourism Advertisement Making Contest), Talintao (Photography Contest), Balitok (Mini-Museum Making Contest), and Ipatnag (Booth Making Contest), the week-long celebration not only featured the colorful history of Bayambang, but also its potential as a tourist destination and the many different ways it can be promoted.
“Walang makakapigil sa paglipad ng Balon Bayambang!,” stated the emotional Senior Tourism Operations Officer Rafael L. Saygo during his welcome remarks on the last day of the celebration. True enough, despite the threat of an impending super-typhoon, the Culminating Activity on September 14, 2018 pushed through to give guests and participating schools an afternoon to remember. The event gathered Mayor Cezar T. Quiambao, Local Council of Women Chairperson Mary Clare Judith Phyllis Jose-Quiambao, Vice-Mayor Raul R. Sabangan, Councilor Martin Terrado, Councilor Amory Junio, Councilor Benjamin Francisco de Vera, Councilor Mylvin Junio, Councilor Philip Dumalanta, Councilor Joseph Vincent Ramos, Liga ng mga Barangay President Rodelito Bautista, SK Federation President Gabriel Tristan Fernandez, department heads and employees of the local government unit, teachers and school heads, and students under one roof in a spectacular show of unity as they watch how tourism in Bayambang soars high.
Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) Chief Operating Officer Pocholo Joselito Paragas, who was ably represented by TIEZA Architectural and Engineering Service Sector Assistant Chief Operating Officer Engr. Nestor M. Domalanta, said “Tourism is a driver of economic development.” He proceeded to explain how 5.2 million jobs were created by the tourism industry in the past year alone, stating that “Kapag may turismo, may trabaho.”
“Dito sa Bayambang, ngayon lang nag-uumpisa ang mga aktibidad ng turismo,” Mayor Quiambao said as he explained how the Quiambao-Sabangan administration understands the importance of tourism to the progress of the town. Because of the lack of natural attractions, Mayor Quiambao encouraged the audience to “be creative, innovative” in promoting agri-tourism because Bayambang is an agricultural town. “Kapag may turismo, may progreso sa bayan ng Bayambang,” said Vice Mayor Sabangan who also shared his experience as a former Chairman of the Tourism Committee during his days as a councilor. Other towns may have mountains and beaches to attract tourists, he said, but Bayambang has one of the most important assets, and that is the good people in the municipality.
The Chairperson of the International School of Sustainable Tourism, who is the first woman secretary of the Department of Tourism, Dr. Guillermina T. Gabor, ably represented by Media Affairs Consultant Dr. Leticia B. Ursua, praised the activity, saying that “May this one-of-a-kind celebration be a model to each cities and municipalities in the region as well as the country.”
“My heartfelt appreciation also goes to the Municipal Mayor of Bayambang headed by Mayor Cezar Quiambao who is a staunch supporter of sustainable tourism and whose insurmountable support to this event surely helped and ensured that this celebration be a successful and meaningful gathering,” Gabor added.
Giving color to the Balon Bayambang Events Center were the different booths assembled by the participating schools for the Ipatnag contest. With Bayambangueño history and culture at the front and center, the participants made sure that the town’s key tourism elements such as Saint Vincent Ferrer, SingKapital commemoration, binasuan dance, and the Guinness World Record for the Longest Barbeque Grill were part of their display.
Aside from the thrilling performance by the Tococ National High School street dancers, an appearance by the Binibining Bayambang 2018 beauties, and the phone giveaways, winners of the different contests were also announced during the culmination. All winners received a plaque, a medal, and cash prize to recognize their exceptional aptitude and creativity in the different competitions. The following are the winners for the different contests:
Awaran (Bayambang, Pangasinan, Tourism, History and Culture Quiz Bee)
Champion – Mechaella Joy La Torre (Bayambang NHS)
1st Runner-up – Noime de Gamo (Tococ NHS)
2nd Runner-up – Kassandra Mata (Bayambang NHS)
Idamag (Tourism Advertisement Making Contest)
Champion – Warren Martinez (SVCSBI)
1st Runner-up – James Marc Aquino (Bayambang NHS)
2nd Runner-up – Jasper Deniel Claveria (Bayambang NHS)
Anlong (Poem Writing Contest – Elementary Category)
Champion – Annielyn Sinocruz (Bayambang CS)
1st Runner-up – Kinder teachers of Bayambang CS
2nd Runner-up – Marilyn Arenas (Bayambang CS)
Anlong (Poem Writing Contest – High School Category)
Champion – Vilma Mendoza (Bayambang NHS)
1st Runner-up – Cyra Joy Perez (Bayambang NHS)
2nd Runner-up – Ronald Serinella (Moises Rebamontan NHS)
Talintao (Photography Contest – Elementary Category)
Champion – Carl Steve Hendrix Domingo (Bayambang CS)
1st Runner-up – Irish Kelly Nucup (Bayambang CS)
2nd Runner-up – Joaquin Red Elixir Junio (SVCSBI)
Talintao (Photography Contest – High School Category)
Champion – Angelus Ferrer (Bayambang NHS)
1st Runner-up – Hannah Jemima Calimlim (Bayambang NHS)
2nd Runner-up – Patrick Vien Tomas (SVCSBI)
Ipatnag (Booth Making Contest)
Champion – Saint Vincent’s Catholic School of Bayambang Inc.
1st Runner-up – Pangasinan State University
2nd Runner-up – Bayambang National High School
Balitok (Mini-Museum Making Contest)
Champion – Bayambang NHS
1st Runner-up – Bayambang CS
2nd Runner-up – Tococ NHS
To formally close the program, Councilor Ramos, the Tourism Committee Chairman, expressed his sincerest gratitude to everyone for their continuous support in the different projects of the tourism office. These projects include the Saint Vincent Ferrer Prayer Park, the Langiran Aquaculture Park, and the proposed Tagpuan Farm, which will be a place “where your soul meets with nature.”