Press Release
July 1, 2018

Boracay of the East?
Angara eyes expansion of tourism in Aurora

Senator Sonny Angara said that apart from Baler, other beaches and tourist spots in Aurora should also be promoted in order to sustain tourism growth in the province and to spread the benefits of tourism to other municipalities.

"In order to sustain the tourism growth of Aurora, we need to expand. Kilala na ang Baler. Dapat ay maipakilala at tangkilikin din ang iba pang mga beach sa Aurora para ang lahat ng bayan nito ay umani ng benepisyo mula sa lumalagong turismo," said Angara, former congressman of the lone district of Aurora province.

The senator has cited Dinadiawan beach in Dipaculao and Casapsapan beach in Casiguran as among the pristine beaches in Aurora that are not known yet to tourists.

"Ang hindi alam ng karamihan, mayroon din kaming Boracay sa Aurora. Habang sarado pa ang Boracay, magandang pagkakataon ito para ma-promote ang iba pang tourist destinations ng bansa, lalo na sa mga pinakamahihirap na probinsya," he said.

From 10,782 tourist arrivals in 2007, Baler received 1.2 million tourists in 2017. Boracay attracts 2 million tourists every year.

The lawmaker stressed that the boost in the tourism industry would generate more jobs that would help alleviate poverty in the provinces.

Angara, chairman of the Senate local government committee, urged local governments to invest in tourism and develop the necessary infrastructure and facilities that would entice and make it easier for tourists to visit the area.

"We should improve our road networks and fix our airports. Even Baler could attract more tourists if the establishment of its airport would be fast-tracked," he said.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat visited Baler on Saturday as she graced the 16th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day as guest of honor.

"Baler is fast-becoming a surfing haven for international and local tourists. Pero ang maganda sa Aurora, bukod sa beaches, dadayuhin din ang mga masasarap na pagkain dito," the tourism secretary said in an interview after the event.

Angara accompanied Puyat on a food tour to showcase Baler's famous pako salad, suman, peanut butter, coco jam, among others.

Celebrated every June 30, the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day was enacted into law in 2003 by virtue of Republic Act 9187. It honors the act of benevolence in 1899 when then President Emilio Aguinaldo issued a decree stating that the 33 Spanish soldiers who survived the Siege of Baler be treated as friends, not as prisoners.

This year's theme paid homage to the late Senate President Edgardo Angara who authored the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Act and who aggressively promoted ties with Spain, which resulted in various development projects of the Spanish government in the Philippines.

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