‘LANG-AY’ FESTIVAL EYED TO FURTHER BOOST MT. PROVINCE TOURISM
Cultural dancers perform a native dance during the Etag Festival in Sagada, Mountain Province. The municipal cultural dancers also join the annual Lang-ay Festival celebrated by the Mountain Province in April. (Photo courtesy of Liza T. Agoot/PNA File photo)
BAGUIO CITY — The local government of Mountain Province expects the annual “Lang-ay Festival” to further boost the tourism industry of the province, Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan said in his State of the Province Address (SOPA) on Monday.
“We are optimistic that the Lang-ay Festival will be an avenue through which we could showcase our tourist spots, culture and, of course, our beautiful Mountain Province as a whole,” Lacwasan said.
Lang-ay is an ethnic language of the Bontocs meaning to share the happiness, wisdom, promote family solidarity, hospitality, peace and nurture friendship with partaking of the native rice wine.
This year’s Lang-ay Festival, which is now on its 15th year, runs from April 1 to 7 with the highlight of the festival on April 6. It coincides with the 52nd Foundation day of Mountain Province on April 7.
The activities are held at the capital town of Bontoc, which is one hour away to the famous tourist destination Sagada.
He also said they have to work closely with the Lang-ay Cultural Festival steering committee, partner agencies and the private sector for the preparations.
The provincial government has allocated PHP4 million for the twin events in April.
The governor said tourism is an economic driver and they want Mountain Province to benefit from it.
In 2018, the provincial government through the tourism office started the validation of the different tourist attractions in the whole province and conducted a profiling and data collection needed for the tourism guidebook.
All these, Lacwasan said are part of the crafting of the five-year Provincial Tourism Development Plan, which was already approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Also part of province’s tourism preparation is the holding of tourism-related seminars, training and workshops for the stakeholders.
Lacwasan also reported that 96,857 tourists visited and stayed in the different accommodation establishments in the province from January to September 2018.
Out of the number, 8,146 were foreigners, the governor said.
The province’s Tourism office also shows that the top five foreign visitors are from France, United States of America, Germany, South Korea and Japan.
Mountain Province also recorded 337,858 day-time tourists in the province during the same period. (PNA)
Photo by Liza Agoot/PNA