by Jonas Reyes
April 17, 2015
Iba, Zambales — As the festival hailing the sweetest of all mangoes rolls out in this capital town, the “Dinamulag Fiesta 2015” this week launched the new twist in the province’s campaign to attract tourists through its “Adventure Zambales” sports tourism program.
Why the new tourism slogan Adventure Zambales?
Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. said he wants to show that this province is not just a place where the most delicious mango in the world is grown, but a haven for various adventure sports.
MANGO MUSE — Beaming in her intricately-designed mango-inspired costume is one of the muses of the ‘Dinamulag Festival’ during Thursday’s 2015 Zambales Mango Festival parade in the capital town of Iba. (Jonas Reyes)
At the opening of the 14th Mango Festival, Ebdane said Zambales is the place to be for the motocross challenge with its Iba Race Track; mountain bike adventures up the Highland Circuit; marathons at the famed Mt. Tapulao; and swimming competitions down in Uacon River.
“The only thing missing in this province are investors willing to put up hotels. I have already spoken to tourists here saying that if there were ample accommodations, other tourists would certainly flock the province,” Ebdane said.
He exhorted local tourism stakeholders and residents to participate in ways to attract more tourists and help improve native products and tourism-related services.
“The key here,” Ebdane said, is to entice these tourists by giving them a great product like the Zambales mango and create fun-filled activities that will make tourists come back every year.
Aside from the renowned mango, this year’s mango fest also features some of the towns’ great products such as the “bagnet” (crispy deep-fried pork) of San Narciso and San Felipe; the “pastillas” (milk candies) of Iba and Masinloc; and the “singkamas” of San Marcelino, among others.
Yesterday’s “Araw ng Katutubo (Indigenous Peoples Day)” of the festival showcased the many constructs of Aeta tribesman used since pre-Hispanic times, giving visitors a glimpse of Filipino ancestors’ way of life.
Tonight, beauty and grace will light up the stage with the Bb. Zambales 2015 Grand Pageant Night at the Zambales Sports Complex.
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