Pacete: Silay: Best Tourism-Oriented LGU

YES! Silay City did it again. For the third time, Silay City has been chosen by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines as the Best Tourism-Oriented LGU (City Category). This happened during the Pearl Awards Night at L’Fisher Hotel on October 4.

To be consistently consistent in getting the award, Silay has (with the collective efforts of the Silaynons) to come up always with thrillingly impressive events other than fiestas and cultural shows. The Pearl Award could be the pinnacle of Silay’s bravado performance (meantime) while waiting for more actions and challenges in the never-ending field of tourism.

Silay received three other awards: first runner-up for Most Outstanding Tourism Officer (yours truly); first runner-up for Best Tourism Month Celebration; and second runner-up for Best Tourism Event (Silay Christmas Village). If we have to see the distribution of Pearl Awards (in all categories) among towns, cities and provinces, Silay has the most number of awards (four trophies). The four entries of Silay won.

Winning is good but it is just a bonus to the commitment and dedication of the people behind the industry. The playing field in tourism is always anchored on teamwork and cooperation. Mayor Jose Montelibano and all his departments have provided us logistical and manpower support. We always adhere to conservative budget in producing excellent results. All our projects are connected with the infrastructure projects of the City Engineer’s Office and DPWH (buildings, roads, bridges and community water and electrification program). Silay Tourism strongly ties up with the campaign of the Silay City Health Office in providing Silaynons good health.

We rub elbows with DepEd in K to 12 program, Mother Tongue, Indigenous
Peoples Education, Leadership Training for Students, Teachers and Parents. PNP-Silay has provided our Tourism Program with 12 elements (policemen) to compose our elite Tourist Police Team under PO3 Joemarie Lachica. PO3 Lachica is the Most Outstanding Tourist Police Tour Guide after winning the award for three consecutive years. Our team is assisting the airport in Silay and escorts VIP visiting the city and the province.

We have close association with all religious groups (Catholic and non-Catholic), business sector, barangay organizations, national offices of the government, market vendors, workers, out-of-school youth, the handicapped, the fisher folks and the senior citizens.

Silay City strongly supports the Organic Agriculture Program by establishing the Organic Village in Patag with the assistance of Fresh Start Organics.

The cooperation of Ikaw-Ako (Japan-Negros Partnership for Environmental Protection), Moriumi (The mountain longs for the sea and the sea longs for the mountains), Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), United Nations Habitat, Government of Canada, Government of Germany, Government of Australia, and Government of America are always appreciated. They have provided us technical assistance.

We do not forget also the support of the City Council under Vice Mayor Mark Golez. Our tourism committee chair, Councilor Solomon Locsin, has facilitated and consolidated tourism-related documents needed to support our entry. He also headed the delegation from Silay (Solo, Ver, Panoy and Armin) when we had our oral defense at the Asian Institute of Tourism at the University of the Philippines. (I remember my college class in the Art of Argumentation and Debate).

The participation of Hugyaw Silay Inc. (NGO) under the leadership of Marissa Montelibano is wholeheartedly appreciated. She really is a good adviser. We also acknowledge the pillars of the Friends of Tourism-Silay: Emily Jison, Tess Sanchez, Pakha Guadarrama, Mon Hofileña, Betsy Gazo (Balay Negrense), Silay Heritage Foundation, Negros Cultural Foundation, Chin-Chin Uy, Thelma Quevenco, JohnEtabag (HPCo Family), Mecine Reyes (CAAP), Sir Noel Doloriac, Weng Jison, Jimmy Golez (Sun.Star family), Chona Gosiaoco, all friends from the media, and all of the others.

And we do not forget our Tourism-Cultural-Community Affairs Family, Provincial Tourism Office, Association of Tourism Officers of Negros Occidental, and Asosasyon sang mga Mangungumasa Adela.

To all, “Thank you very much for making Silay number one. Be proud to be a Silaynon!” Special Thanks to Gov. Freddie, Cong. Albee and Director Helen Catalbas of DOT Region 6. (I thank my wife, Rose, and children for considering my frequent absence at home.)
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