s By Cecille Suerte Felipe - (PHOTO - The windmills of Bangui have become popular attractions in Ilocos Norte. FERNAN NEBRES)

MANILA, Philippines - The new tourism brand “It’s more fun in the Philippines” fits Ilocos Norte to a T because “we have more fans in the province,” Gov. Imee Marcos said, referring to the giant wind turbines in Bangui town.

Marcos, who led the launching of Ilocos Norte’s tourism campaign “Paoay Kumakaway” recently, said Ilocanos can relate to the latest Philippine brand since the province is home to the biggest fans in the country.

“It’s more fun in the Philippines aptly describes Ilocos Norte, because we have the biggest fans, as in electric fans – the windmills,” she said. Marcos, accompanied by her celebrity son Borgy Manotoc and her balikbayan family, unveiled the province’s new tourism slogan meant to encourage more local and foreign tourists to spend their summer vacation in the province.

“Ilocos Norte is a land that basically has it all, from natural to man-made attractions, sumptuous food offered by warm and fun-loving people,” said Marcos during a press conference yesterday in Quezon City.

She said the 22 towns in her province are offering various tourist attractions.

“On top of the list are the white beaches – Saud White beach and the Blue Lagoon at the northern tip of Pagudpud. The beaches can still provide a calming and stress-free stay because they are not crowded,” Marcos said.

“One can enjoy the sand and water without fear of invading the personal space of tourists. Noise is kept at minimum so one can lay back and enjoy the beach without distractions.”

Imee Marcos noted that adventure and sports in Ilocos Norte are also unique compared with other adventure hubs in the country.

She added that the province is also proud of its 84-square kilometer sand dunes, known as the Sahara of the North and the only desert-like barren region in the Philippines, which is best for sand boarding and 4x4 off road adventure activities.

“Ilocos Norte is also rich in heritage sites. We have the famous baroque type St. Augustine Church located in Paoay which was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993 and the architectural and engineering milestone of its time – the Cape Bojeador (Burgos) Lighthouse overlooking the West Philippine Sea, a national historical landmark and a national cultural treasure,” Marcos said.

She said Ilocos Norte is also dotted with various architectural structures and engineering wonders from pre-Spanish up to post World War II artifacts. Another attraction, Marcos said, is the Patapat viaduct, a concrete coastal bridge that stretches over a kilometer, considered the fourth longest bridge in the country.

“Ilocos Norte is also a part of the rich Philippine political history since one of its locals was once the president of the country. To know more about the late former President Ferdinand Marcos, a trail dubbed as ‘Marcos Trail’ was established, exploring olden times at the Marcos ancestral house and viewing the president’s preserved remains,” she said.

Marcos added she is also proud of the province’s delicacies, including empanada, kornik, longganisa, bagnet, and pinakbet. “Tourists can also eat the dishes in Kangkang Café like the poki-pokie, utong, cabatiti. These are not bad words but are innocent vegetables,” Marcos said, laughing.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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