Pacete: Thanks for helping Silay tourism

THANKS… ab imo pectori! We are thanking everyone who helped the Silay tourism program from the bottom of the heart. I am also saying this personally after I have retired as tourism officer of Silay. My last day in office was January 8.

We have catapulted Silay to the peak of success as far as tourism is concerned. Silay City is now in the Hall of Fame as “Most Outstanding Tourism-Oriented Local Government Unit in the Philippines.” The award of excellence (Pearl Award) was given by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (AtopP). Silay won the award as Outstanding Tourism-Oriented LGU in the Philippines in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

With best efforts and cooperation of everybody, I was able to find my way up. I was chosen by Atop and DOT as Most Outstanding Tourism Officer of the Philippines (twice as champion and one time as first runner-up). Silay City got also other major awards in the last nine years for our Silay Cultural Heritage Program, Christmas Village, Tourism Month, Hacienda Adela Folklore Village, Ikaw-Ako Community-Environment Project, and Hugyaw Kansilay Festival (Charter Day Festival).

Silay City has its strong foundation on its leaders, especially the mayors, starting in its cityhood on June 12, 1957. We would like to salute the following mayors: Romulo Golez (1956-1963), Jose M. Locsin Jr. (1964-1967), Natalio G. Velez (1968-1986), Carlos H. Jalandoni (1986-1987), Ramon L. Jison (1988-1992), Edwin D. Velez (1992-2001), Carlo V. Gamban (2001-2007), Jose L. Montelibano (2007-2016), and the new mayor… Mark Andrew Arthur J. Golez (July 2016 to date).

Each of them has made a contribution that makes Silay “the seat of arts, culture and ecotourism in Western Visayas.” Silay is a major tourist destination. The airport is here. Our past and present leaders will always agree that Silay can only be in its best if the Silaynons are giving their best. Yes, we had seen our best in the past but the future has another best to come.

We also recognize our councilors (past and present) under the leadership of the vice mayors (past and present) for coming up with relevant ordinances and resolutions. The government employees (local and national) and the business communities have inspired us to work harder and be competitive. All religious sects and organizations in Silay have always displayed ultimate courage and determination to support the program. We always see them during our Charter Day parade.

In remembering, we always count the support of the Provincial Tourism Office, the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines, the Heritage Group, the Association of Tourism Officers of Negros Occidental, the Association of Negros Producers, the men and women behind the tri-media (TV, radio, print) and social media. All these groups are always with us.

Our operators, tour guides, and Mice (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events) promoters have never forgotten to bring their visitors to Silay to witness our heritage, enjoy our ecology and farm tourism, taste our hometown delicacies, and dine at our famous shoreline restaurants in Balaring.

We always have foreign partners for promotion, marketing, and program implementation… Ikaw-Ako, Vica, Moriomi, American Peace Corps, Australian Volunteers Group, French Volunteer Corps, and other nationalities who are always present during our evaluation on sisterhood alliances.

Many have been made possible because of our Friends in Tourism Silay who have shared us “panso bread” to tie friendship up to the sharing of the best food in town, and resources within their reach. We cannot forget you all. You have made our lives challenging. Our groups in the Tourism Office will always remember that you have made Silay sweet and could be sweeter in the future.

To all those who made things possible, I share my sweet goodbye! I am thanking my SunStar Bacolod family for the wonderful support… special thanks to Sir Jaime and editor Nanette.

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