Sunday, 11 April 2010

Marinduque needs lift as a major tourist draw

MARINDUQUE should be promoted as a major tourism destination in Luzon because of its vast resources and natural beauty, Ilocos Norte Rep. and senatorial candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Friday.

“Marinduque is known worldwide for its colorful Moriones Festival and that’s good, but it has so much more to offer in terms of world-class attractions and facilities that we must and will capitalize on to boost tourism, spur economic activities, and uplift the quality of lives of Marinduquenos,” Marcos said during a visit to the island.

“Once the Marinduque air and seaports are modernized, a larger volume of local and foreign tourists can be lured to visit its little-known but awesome white sand beaches, dive sites, trekking and hiking trails, and a climate comparable to Tagaytay,” he said.

Marcos is pushing for a bigger airport and sea port in Marinduque to allow more local and international direct flights and cruise liners to come in.

Marcos, who engineered a tourism revival in Ilocos Norte during his term as governor, said the Marcopper mining site, shut down for years, could be redeveloped, particularly its 18-hole golf course, housing facilities and hospital building for medical tourism.

He was confident that Marinduque’s beauty, its charming people and its Moriones Festival could easily attract tourists.

“Marinduque is a diamond in the rough, and I am looking forward to the chance to lead efforts to make it a key tourism destination through the establishment of modern infrastructure,” he said.


Rep. Bongbong Marcos, while on a visit to Marinduque during the Lenten season, took occasion to underscore the importance of tourism in helping to solve the problem of poverty in the country.

Speaking with local media in Boac, Marinduque, Bongbong noted the popularity of the Moriones Festival as a tourist attraction.

“Tourism can alleviate poverty,” the congressman and senatorial candidate said. “The various downstream activities generated by increased tourist influx can provide income opportunities for all. A good program like what you have here is worth emulating.”

Bongbong, along with wife Louise Araneta, their three sons, and sister Irene Marcos, attended the opening of the Moriones Festival.

During the welcome ceremony, the Marcoses were accorded the “Putong”, a traditional rite that seeks to drive away bad luck and promote good health for the visitors.

Bongbong was also given a Morion Mask as a token of goodwill from the local government.

Although the province is a known administration party bailiwick, Marinduque residents and supporters trooped to the streets to watch the motorcade of the young solon.

Marinduque Governor Bong Carrion also pledged his support for the senatorial candidacy of Bongbong.

“I consider Bongbong as my brother since the former president told me to look after him. He can rely on our full support,” Carrion said.

Bongbong and family also met with Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista, 3rd Bishop of the diocese of Boac, during his visit to the centuries-old Boac cathedral.

In keeping with the Lenten season, Bongbong also urged voters to contemplate and take stock of their relationship with the creator.

“We should not forget the spiritual aspect of the Moriones festival,” he said. “It is a celebration of our culture and religion. We should remind ourselves why we do the things that we do and reflect on the sacrifices that we make.”


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