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Intramuros in festive mood today as DoT launches ‘Best of the Regions’ cultural show
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Rachel Castro-Barawid
Date: 2003-01-31
Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon leads today’s grand opening of the first-ever “Best of the Regions” cultural extravaganza at Pueblo Pilipino along Sta. Lucia and Anda streets in Intramuros, Manila. The year-long event is a major component of the Visit Philippines (VP) 2003 campaign of the Department of Tourism which aims to lure some 2.4 million tourists to the country.

Some 65 policemen will be deployed to secure the 22,000-square-meter, airconditioned clamshell tent at the old Ateneo site (now Pueblo Pilipino), the venue of the festivities.

The “Best of the Regions” gives visitors a sneak preview of the best of what each province has – from its festivals, culture to products, attractions and its people. Each of the country’s 16 regions will have a whole

month to showcase their finest assets through various activities that include cultural shows, trade fairs and exhibits. For the initial salvo, the Southern Tagalog Region composed of the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Marinduque, Palawan, Quezon, Rizal, Mindoro and Romblon takes center stage for the entire month of February.

“Through the Best of the Regions project, we hope to bring in

one place the best of the country’s 16 regions and make them accessible and affordable to visitors,” Gordon said.

In the morning at 10 a.m., visitors will be treated to the renowned Higantes festival of Angono, Rizal and a parade by the Angono Marching Band. At the official launching at 5 p.m., a world-class gala show featuring classical performances and a mini-concert by young singer Aiza Se

guerra will be held to open the festivities.

Performers of the gala show are the UST Symphony Orchestra, tenor Jonathan Badon, soprano Nanette Moscardon-Maigue and flutist Antonio Maigue, classical guitarist Lester Demitillo, and the 30-piece Musikito band. Palawan’s Sinika Band and San Pedro, Laguna’s Karangahan Philippine Dance Troupe will also perform for distinguished guests and local gove

rnment officials.

A spectacular fireworks display will cap the opening rites of the Best of the Regions event.

Visitors to the Southern Tagalog Region’s arts and crafts fair in the clamshell will find a variety of products such as handicrafts, processed foods, garments, jewelries, fruits and other local produce.

DoT Region IV director Louella Jurilla said that this is the perfect time

for Southern Tagalog Region to showcase its treasures and assets such as exceptional destinations and a fine tradition in arts and crafts.

Specially-designed tour packages such as beach and diving holidays in Palawan, heritage tours in Batangas and art tours in the Rizal-Laguna loop are also available at budget-friendly prices and big discounts.

Visitors will also be treated to dail

y performances of cultural groups including the Bayanihan Dance Company and Banda Kawayan.

Also within the confines of the clampshell are miniature attractions of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao – the Banaue Rice Terraces, Bahay Kubo, and Torogan, a traditional Moslem Mindanao house.

Several craft demonstrations as well as indigenous games like patintero, sungka, bunong-braso, and tumbang-pr

eso will be held to entertain the audience. The clamshell is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Tourists can also sample the regional cuisine offered by the participating provinces at various street cafes and food carts that are available around the area.

Meanwhile, a new traffic re-routing scheme takes effect today as the stretch of General Luna Street in Muralla to Postigo will be closed to traffic Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. to give way for the VPY festivities. Minor streets in the area from Gen. Luna, Muralla, Victoria, Sta. Potenciana, Real, Anda, Postigo to Sta. Lucia will be closed everyday except Mondays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Also closed on Fridays and Saturdays are the streets of Basco, Arzobispo, and Beaterio cor. Gen. Luna.

Parking fees for the street parking slots along Padre Burgos and Bonifacio Drive will be waived for visitors on Feb. 1.


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