Bantay, Ilocos Sur- Fine beaches, majestic falls, adventurous experience and historical sites which become part of the history… these stunning spots keeps tourists from the different countries coming back in the Province of Ilocos Sur. For a sustainable tourism industry, Provincial Officers led by Governor Ryan Singson, tourism officers and other agencies led the ground breaking ceremony for the creation of Caniaw Heritage and Eco-tourism Park at Brgy. Taleb, Bantay, Ilocos Sur to harness and preserve the nature while developing the field of tourism in the province. Caniaw Heritage and Eco-tourism Park proposed project was funded by the provincial government. It is set to become another tourist destination in the province with adventurous activities to interact with the nature. It will cover a total land area of 20 hectares. Bike trail, camping sites, high and low roping activities, cottages, and function hall will be constructed within the area. The place is the sanctuary of a variety of fifty-five (55) kinds of mature trees and different kinds of species. To preserve the natural beauty and habitat of such species, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur works hand –in-hand with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the construction of the proposed project. “Before pursuing this project we consulted the DENR to make sure that no single tree will be cut. All design was approved by them. We created the project not only for the sake of tourism but also to protect our nature and maintain the natural beauty,” Gov. Ryan conveyed. With its dense forestry and greenish surroundings, Caniaw Heritage and Eco-tourism Park can truly attract travellers where everybody can enjoy and appreciate the beauty of nature developed by the creative minds of humans to create a perfect sanctuary away from urban life.
The Kannawidan Festival brings an avenue to showcase the different agricultural and industrial products in the province. As part of the vital capital of Ilocos Sur, the farmers as well as the traders are given recognition through a special activity conducted for them. Different local agricultural products were displayed and showed to the public during the Agri-pinaka Contest. In here, the farmers vied for the prize for having the biggest, heaviest plus size and hybrid crops they have grown. The unusual sizes of crops attract many people to peek in to the different booths of agricultural products such as the heaviest cauli flower with 1.9 kilos, the biggest and longest upo with 3.9 kilograms width and 97 centimeters long, the biggest squash with 10 kilograms weight and with circumference of 115 centimeters and the biggest pepper with length of 70 centimeters. Governor Ryan Singson said in his message during the awarding ceremony, this goes to show that farming is one of the fundamental assets towards the province’ prosperity. His administration continues to prioritize agriculture to bring more developments and introduce more technology. He further averred that the best practice of Ilocos Sur in corn production is being duplicated by other provinces. “The other provinces signified their interest in adopting our best practices. We are very proud to share this to help more farmers in our country,” Gov Singson added. In order to attain sustainability and viability of the quality agricultural production of the local farmers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 1 thru the Regional Agricultural Training Institute committed to help in marketing the different products. Training Center Superintendent Dr. Rogelio Evangelista emphasized the focus of the government on farming and enterprising. The goal is that every farmer should be an agriprenuer- a farmer at the same time an entrepreneur. Their products should not just pass on to middlemen and serve just as a producer. In the province of Ilocos Sur, the provincial government also gives importance of the different one town one product of the municipalities. Aside from the agri-pinaka contest, a trade fair was launched to showcase and to open bigger markets for these local products.
Vigan City- In one, two, three… the grounds of the Provincial Capitol twinkles with colourful lights as the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur headed by Gov. Ryan Singson launches the lighting of the giant Christmas decoration inspired by “toy factory” alight in front of the Capitol. Toy Factory is this year’s Christmas theme to give importance and happiness to the Ilocano children. The scheme was adorned with big candies, different kinds of toys and lots of gifts. Life sized Santa Claus and Belen were place on the sides of the structure. Right after the ceremonial lighting, children rise on the stage to play the toys and touch the giant candies and gifts. “Of all these we should not forget that love for the family is the true essence of Christmas and our children always put smiles into it”, Gov. Ryan conveyed. Before the ceremonial lighting, four choral groups from Nueva Segovia, Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative (ISECO), University of Northern Philippines (UNP) and PGIS choral serenade the attendees with melodious Christmas songs. The activity was also graced by Senator JV Ejercito who was in the province for the celebration of the 3rd Ilocos Sur invitational rides. “I was honored to be here to witness the lighting of your Christmas decoration. It was very attractive and I was relaxed and all my tiredness fades through the songs rendered by the singers.” Sen. Ejercito added. PGIS crafts different stunning Christmas decoration each year to make the façade of the Provincial Capitol more interesting, colourful and attractive to the residents and tourists. Every craft has its own story to tell but all of these give essence in the celebration of Christmas. People flocked to witness the lighting ceremony. This now serves as another tourist attraction in the province especially at night. Many residents are now taking their “selfies” with the stunning structure. Meanwhile, Christmas songs are now being played in the famous Ilocos Sur dancing fountain.
Vigan City- The Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) here at Leona Florentino house in Calle Crisologo becomes an instant attraction as tourists and residents flocked to experience the Horror House since it was opened on October 25, 2016. In celebration of the Halloween, the Provincial Government headed by Governor Ryan Singson came up with a concept and designed the second floor of the PTO as house of horror. Inside are different creepy monsters, ghost characters such as white lady, zombies, vampires, witches, and nun ghost called Valack. You can also see other fearful creations in every corner of the dark rooms. “Since it was opened, countless curious people came to see what’s inside the house. This is in a way to promote tourism in our province.” Provincial Tourism Officer Ryan Astom said. He added that there are different set of ghost characters every day which makes the horror experience exciting. This thrilling experience suits those who are adventurous and those who are seeking for an exhilarating Halloween vacation. Most of the audiences falling in line in front of the horror house every afternoon are teens and students.
Thousands of Ilocanos flocked at the grounds of Vigan City airport to light up the night during the black light run- Ilocos Sur edition on October 31, 2016. Three thousand four hundred (3, 400) registered runners joined the fun run which was initiated by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur headed by Gov. Ryan Singson through the Color Manila Run Company. The night shines as the runners filled with neon colors that illuminate in blacklight. They are sprinkled with water to let the colors stick to their bodies. The run has no time limits to let the participants enjoy the track as different colors throws into their bodies and glows in the dark streets. “I and my colleagues enjoyed the night. This is very unforgettable and unique experience. It’s so overwhelming. We thank our Governor Ryan for bringing this event in our province. Ibig lang sabihin nito na hindi pahuhuli ang ating probinsya sa ibang mga probinsya”. Lowel Hernadez, expressed. After the run, the participants continued the fun where everyone throws powder into the air while dancing in to the beat of the DJ’s. In the party a surprise dance contest was held. The contest was participated by five groups and the winning group received 10 thousand pesos from the Governor. “Thank you Color Manila for lighting and coloring our night. You made thousands of Ilocanos happy. To all the participants my sincere thanks because our event turned successful through your cooperation. We will be again conducting this event next year”. Gov. Ryan added.
Meanwhile, the night becomes more colorful and sweet when a man proposed to his partner on the stage. The noise of the crowd turns solemn to give opportunity to the man to speak the greatness of his love to his partner. He hugs her partners as he received the sweetest “yes” in his entire life. The event was considered as the biggest regional fun run conducted by Color Manila.
Vigan city- Food enthusiasts taste different famous variety of street foods as Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur highlights street food festival during the celebration of Tourism Month. Street food has been a favourite of almost Filipino, this leads the Provincial Tourism office in featuring street foods in the celebration of tourism month in the province. The tasty, easily available and comforting street food was all set along the Encarnacion Street at the Heritage City. Isaw (chicken or pig’s intestine), Betamax (steamed blood), kwek-kwek (quail egg), biko-biko (rice cake), and adidas (chicken feet) are some of the famous street foods serve by the exhibitors. The food was safe and hygienically prepared to ensure everyone’s health. “We serve street foods but we observe proper handling and we make sure that our exhibitor has their health permits.” Mr. Ryan Astom added. The festival makes more enjoyable through the audience participation in kwek-kwek and one day old chicken eating contest. Performers from Manila also entertain the audience by rendering lively music. “Street food serves as a comfort food for almost Filipino and most of us, if we go to a certain place always first thing that comes in our mind is to look for the place where we can eat delicious street foods, these leads us for conceptualizing Street food festival”. Gov. Ryan express. The Provincial Tourism Office also conducts extemporaneous tour guiding and bicentennial logo making contest. 1st place Jayson Frado received seven thousand pesos, 2nd place Edwin Sarona received five thousand pesos, and 3rd place John Paul Ragandap received three thousand pesos in tour guiding contest. 1st place Jayson Manuel received twenty thousand, 2nd place Canfon Mark Cadaydayen received fifteen thousand and 3rd place Aubrey Terry received ten thousand pesos in Bicentennial logo making contest. Meanwhile, Ilocos Sur will celebrate its 200 years of independence since the big Ylocos Province on the Spanish period was separated as a province from Ilocos Norte in the year 1818.