Guv: Revive glory of Pampanga River

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Friday, May 16, 2014


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Provincial Government is eyeing to revive the old glory of the Pampanga River through the conduct of river cruise and other water sports activities, establishment of floating Inns to attract more tourists and investors.

Initially, Pampanga officials conducted yesterday a 12-kilometer river cruise from the town of Apalit traversing the towns of Calumpit in Bulacan, Macabebe and Masantol.

To get the support and convince the national government, Governor Lilia Pineda invited Friday to join her in a cruise some officials of the national line agencies who can work and do something for the future tourism development of the Pampanga River.

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The governor stressed that Pampanga River has so many natural resources that need to be taken cared of to maximize its potentials as an effective tourism magnet of the province.

Pineda said helping Pampanga River to revive its old glory is one way of protecting and preserving the environment.

Thus, the governor appealed to the families along the river to stop throwing garbage into the river and maintain its order and cleanliness.
The governor was accompanied by Department of Tourism Regional Director Ronnie Tiotuico, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Director Remedios Ongtangco, Pampanga State Agricultural University President Honorio Soriano, Jr, Department of Interior and Local Government Provincial Director Myrvi Fabia, NEDA Region III Assistant Regional Director Victor B. Ubaldo, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Assistant Regional Director Loreta Malaluan, officials of the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education.

For the local government unit, the river cruise was also graced by Board Members Ricardo Yabut, Nestor Tolentino, Apalit Mayor Oscar Jun Tetangco, San Luis Mayor Venancio Macapagal, Masantol Mayor Dan Guinto, San Simon Mayor Leonora Wong and their respective Sangguniang Bayan members led by their vice mayors.

The provincial government officials who also experienced the cruise were Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Angelina Blanco, Provincial Budget Officer Nida Manalad, Provincial Planning Officer Fernando Henson, Provincial Investment and Promotion Officer Engr. Lulu Alingcastre, Pampanga Action Center for OFW Concerns Head Ma. Eliza Munoz, Provincial Tourism Officer Arwin Paul Lingat, Provincial Library Officer Bessie Macabali, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Arthur Punsalan, Provincial Agriculture Officer Crispin Guintu, Provincial Veterinary Officer Dr. Augusto Baluyot, Jr. and Provincial Accountant Benjie Yuzon.
Blanco said her team together with Tetangco prepared all the necessary equipment and the venue preparation that started under the bridge of Sulipan in Apalit.

Blanco said the river cruise provides travelers a unique way to travel as it represents life in the slow lane, sailing along at a gentle pace, soaking up the scenery, with plentiful opportunities to explore riverside towns en route.

“It is a supremely calming experience, an antidote to the pressures of life in surroundings that are comfortable without being fussy or pretentious, with good food and enjoyable company courtesy of Edna Vitug, executive assistant of the governor.

Lingat said they will convene all the municipal health officers along the Pampanga River to come up with a ecotourism event recognizing the importance of the Pampanga River in the lives of the Kapampangan.

Tiotuico said the Pampanga River has so many things to offer in the tourism industry of the province.

However, he added that there is a lot to do in terms of social preparation, environment protection and infrastructure development that could be done collectively by the national and local government units and the people themselves to create tourism investment friendly community.

Jun Sigua, political officer of Apalit said barangays along Pampanga River has so many local products to offer soon the river cruise becomes a regular tourism activity.

The Pampanga River is still a good source of fish and other sea foods by the fishermen who are still relying their means of livelihood on the river.

It can be noted that the province derived its name from the Kapampangan words "Pangpang ilog" meaning "riverside" where the early Malayan settlements were concentrated along the Rio Grande de la Pampanga (Great Pampanga River). (Joel P. Mapiles/Pampanga PIO)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 16, 2014.

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