BAGUIO CITY – The eight persons working in several companies manufacturing export quality products in economic zones in Pampanga and Cavite assured city officials and mediamen that they will actively help in promoting Baguio, Benguet and La Union as a premier tourist destination for their relatives and friends in the future.
During the simple sendoff ceremonies Sunday at the Camp Peppot Ilagan in Burnham Park the two groups of lucky summer visitors were one in admiring the pristine beauty of the different tourist destinations in Baguio, Benguet and Union which they visited during their 4 days of being toured by members of the media.
Among the tourist spots that they admired were the city’s night market, the zipline rides in the Pugo Adventure (PUGAD) in La Union, the strawberry fields in La Trinidad, the mine tour in Balatoc, Itogion, Benguet and the La Presa in Tuba, Benguet as well as the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
The lucky summer visitors said because of the special treatment that they received from the city government and the local media, they will keep coming back to the city and will also contribute in promoting the city as a must-see destination among their co-workers in the companies where they currently work as factory workers.
Earlier, eight persons working in different manufacturers of export quality products in Pampanga and Cavite were separately chosen as this year’s Lucky Summer visitor.
The two groups of first-time visitors in the city were on board separate Baguio-bound buses and were chosen by members of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club (BCBC), representatives from the city government of Baguio and the Rosario, La Union municipal government during the search conducted within the premises of the Victory Liner stopover at Sison, Pangasinan Maundy Thursday.
The first group of lucky visitors was composed of sisters Luzviminda and Meladie Hillana, 27 and 25, respectively, who hail from Butuan City and their boyfriends Jesus Pelayo and Pergassie Jumenez, also 27 and 25, respectively, sho are natives of Angeles City, Pampanga, all employees of Coach, a manufacturer of expert quality bags and wallets based at the Clark Freeport Economic Zone.
The second group of lucky summer visitors were composed of Jonabeth Capili, 23, a native of Iloilo City; Maregin Bagun, 24 of Sampaloc, Manila; Jannela Rogador, 19 of Sta. Cruz, Manila and Cherry Balte,21 of GMA, Cavite. With them is Aldrich Sulit, 26 of Silang, Cavite, who is a frequent visitor of the city. All the said individuals are employees of a Taiwanese steel company operating inside the Cavite Export Processing Zone Authority.
The Hillana sisters and their boyfriends were supposed to stay overnight in the city with the primary purpose of enjoying its cool and romantic climate, scenic tourist spots and enjoy its pine-scented air, thus, they claim that they were so lucky to be recipients of a 4-day red carpet treatment from the organizers of the annual event.
For Capili’s group, she claimed their visit to the city was already planned as early as last year but they did not expect to be chosen as this year’s lucky summer visitor, saying that there visit to the city and Benguet will be the most memorable one in their lives considering the special treatment given to them and their chance to meet city and provincial officials.
The annual Search for the Lucky Summer Visitor is a joint project of the city government of Baguio, the municipal governments of Rosario, La Union, Tuba and La Trinidad, Benguet, the provincial government of Benguet, the BCBC, the umbrella organization of media practitioners, in partnership with corporate and individual sponsors.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan, who received the lucky visitors Thursday afternoon at the Baguio City hall, informed them of the rich history of the city that was highlighted by the statement that World War II started in Baguio City right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii because Japanese warplanes bombed the Camp John Hay gate the following day, while the war ended in the city because Gen. Tomoyoki Yamashita signed his surrender documents inside the Ambassador’s Residence located inside Camp John Hay on September 3, 1945.
“We are happy to welcome the influx of visitors because it clearly illustrates that Baguio is one of the preferred tourist destinations in the country because of our natural attractions such as our cool and romantic weather and well-preserved forests that provide us with our pine-scented air,” Domogan stressed.
Dhobie de Guzman, BCBC president and executive producer of ABS-CBN Baguio, described the search to be one of the most difficult searches that was done considering that the committee was only able to account for the lucky visitors shortly before lunch Thursday.
De Guzman expressed his gratitude to all the stakeholders of the activity because of their uncompromising support that have ran through the over five decades of the conduct of one of the city’s promotional events during the Holy Week break that keeps the members of the media busy.
By Dexter A. See