The seven Baguio-Benguet lucky summer visitors enjoyed the four-day red carpet treatment afforded to them by the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club (BCBC) and its partners from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday.
The 7 lucky visitors from Bacoor City, Cavite and Mariveles, Bataan were this year’s beneficiaries of the annual Search for the Baguio-Benguet Lucky Visitor after the resumption of the face-to-face search following a 3-year lull caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ciara Balmaceda, 26, and a resident of Bacoor City, Cavite, expressed her gratitude to the BCBC and its partners for the wonderful treatment they gave them after she and her partner Ivan Magahis, 26, also of Bacoor City, Cavite, were chosen from a Victory Liner bus with body number 2091 to be the initial recipients of a 4-day red carpet treatment from the media organization.
She pointed out that the experience that they had during their 4 days of stay in the city and visiting various tourist destinations in Baguio and Benguet will be treasured for a lifetime.
For his part, Magahis claimed that words are not enough to express their gratitude to the BCBC and its partners for the special treatment they got after being chosen as this year’s lucky visitors, saying that they will forever remember this one-of-a-kind experience that they had when they visited key tourist destinations for free.
On the other hand, Joan Veles, 38, a sari-sari store owner from Mariveles, Bataan, said that they will have a lot to share to their province mates on the various tourist destinations in the city and nearby Benguet which they were able to visit for free courtesy of the BCBC and its partners.
She was in the company of Ivy Cayabyab, 30; Lea Cayabyab, 26; Rechelle Ramos, 36; and Ginalyn Billones, 37 when they were chosen by the members of the BCBC selection committee from the Genesis bus that was also flagged down in the search area at the Flying V Gas station in Pugo, La Union.
The 5 lucky visitors from Mariveles, Bataan were supposed to spend the night in Burnham Park that is why they only brought with them limited clothing and that they did not expect to be chosen as among this year’s recipients of the red-carpet treatment from the prestigious media organization.
Under the search, first time visitors to the city will be chosen by the members of the BCBC selection committee in random interviews that are conducted with the passengers of Baguio-bound buses in the designated search area at the Flying V Gas station in Pugo, La Union.
Pugo Mayor Kurt Walter M. Martin welcomed the lucky visitors while they were disembarking from their respective buses and during the mini-press conference that took place at the Flying V restaurant.
Mayor Martin expressed his gratitude to the BCBC and its partners for including Pugo in the itinerary of the lucky summer visitors as this will definitely help in promoting the municipality as a worthy destination while visitors are en route to their destinations in Baguio, Benguet and La Union.
The lucky visitors then paid a courtesy call to Tuba Mayor Clarita Sal-ongan at the municipal hall grounds where a simple program was held attended by Councilors William Abanse, Eugene Gabino and Oliver Paus and officials and employees of the municipal government and other national agencies in the locality.
Further, the lucky visitors also paid separate courtesy calls to Baguio and Benguet officials during the duration of the red carpet treatment.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong welcomed the lucky summer visitors at the City Hall, Benguet provincial tourism officer Eliazar Carias welcomed them at the Benguet Provincial Capitol while Councilors Belmer Elis, Bartolome Baldas and municipal tourism officer Valred Olsim welcomed the visitors at the Strawberry Valley Hotel in La Trinidad town.
The annual search was spearheaded by the BCBC in partnership with the Baguio city government, Benguet provincial government, Pugo municipal government, La Trinidad municipal government, Police Regional Office–Cordillera, Benguet Rep. Eric Yap, Philippine Veterans Bank, Philex Mining Corporation, Smart Communications, Department of Tourism–Cordillera (DOT-CAR), Department of Transportation–Cordillera, Land Transportation Office–Cordillera, Department of Public Works and Highways–Cordillera, Liga ng mga Barangay–Baguio chapter, PLDT, Benguet Electric Cooperative, Baguio Water District, Baguio Country Club, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio (HRAB), Panagbenga Secretariat, Polig’s Berry Farm, BEACON Hill and Eco Park, The Ridge, Tam-awan Village, Igorot Stone Kingdom, League of Associations at the Vegetable Trading Post, National Grid Corporation, SN Aboitiz Power–Benguet, Camp John Hay Manor, Hotel Supreme, Benguet Provincial Police Office, Baguio City Police Office, Tublay Municipal Police Station, La Trinidad Municipal Police Station, Tuba Municipal Police Station, Pugo municipal government, Pugo Municipal Police Station, Abanao Square, SM City Baguio, R&R rest room, SkyRanch Baguio, Mark AMedia Solutions, Flying V Gas station and restaurant, Rep. Mark Go, Councilor Michael L. Lawana, Councilor Maximo Edwin, Jr., Engr. Rocky Aliping and former Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan. By Dexter A. See