VIGAN CITY – “This Kannawidan Festival will be the grandest festival that will happen in the history of Ilocos Sur!”
Thus exclaimed Provincial Tourism Officer (PTO) Ryan Astom when asked to describe the 2018 Bicentennial Celebrations of the founding of Ilocos Sur during a press conference at his office here January 23 evening.
“It will be a celebration much bigger than previous Kannawidan Festival for, aside from the usual cultural presentations, there will be a grand balikbayan day, big stars to entertain us every night and a 3-day rhythm festival which is a 3-day beach party in Sta. Catalina to be graced by movie celebrities and bands with the theme ‘Air, Water and Fire,’ the first of its kind in the province,” he said.
Astom said that the provincial government has been preparing this grand festival since 2018 when Governor Ryan Luis Singson and other provincial officials have gone to the US and other parts of the world to invite all Ilocanos and their families to come home for the global reunion under the theme ‘Intayon 2018’ and see for themselves the transformation of the province.
“Local and foreign tourists need not worry when it comes to accommodation. Our province can accommodate 10,000 tourists at the same time. All they need to do is to log on to our office’s fanpage at FB and type Sure Ilocos Sur, and there, they can see all the available parking areas, hotels and transient houses and everything about our province,” he said.
He advised all visitors, upon arrival, to visit the Provincial Tourism Office at the Heritage Village entrance south of Vigan Plaza Hotel for all their tourist needs like accommodation, destinations and tour guides.
He also called on all General Services Officers of all municipalities to help in the maintenance of cleanliness particularly along the national highways and town roads so as to show to all visitors that Ilocos Sur is not only progressive but also clean.
“In 2016, we had a recorded 1.2 million tourists who visited our province and in 2017, it rose to 1.5 million. We keep on improving our tourist destinations even outside Vigan so that these tourists will be ‘locked up’ here in our province. All they need to do is log on to our FB fan page or visit us at our tourism office for all their tourist needs,” he said.
Asked on the possible help the PTO could extend for the development of that big, RSQ Techno-Farm and Museum in San Juan town, he invited the owner, Roland Quilala, to visit him at the PTO office so his office can assess what possible help the Provincial Tourism Office can extend since it is a private museum.
“Their tourism officer should also coordinate with us, as in all other tourism officers in all municipalities, so we can develop all these tourist destinations for the development of tourism in our province,” he said.