Sand Festival in Ilocos Norte boosts local tourism, economy

April 29, 2015 4:52 am 

LAOAG CITY, April 28 — Creating a surprising crowd of tourist in the past years, the sand festival dubbed “Himala sa Buhangin!” is now again set on foot to bring more employment as a boost to Ilocos Norte’s local tourism industry and economy.

The festival which is now on its third year is set to stage artistic installations of world-renowned artists in the Philippines and international in the like of Leeroy New and Raphael David.

New will feature installations made of bamboo and other indigenous materials subject for burning as part of the festivity’s ritual while David’s will unveil the most awaited sculpture of Flavio, the iconic Philippine character played by Fernando Poe Jr. in the film series ‘Panday.’

Behind the outdoor arts, dances and music festival is an effort to boost the province’s local tourism industry and economy.

Several retail stores, food establishments as well as the construction force and hospitality industry get a big boost yearly as the festival takes place in the vast land of Paoay Sand Dunes.

Marcelo Bacud, 58, who is in-charge of the construction of the massive art installation of New said that up to 30 laborers from Brgy. Nagbacalan, Paoay, Ilocos Norte benefit from the construction yearly.

Bacud said, he and his co-workers were thankful for their job opportunities since majority of them depend on seasonal fishing and search for construction works in their area.

The Provincial Tourism Office also reported a significant increase of tourists visiting the sand dunes throughout the year to experience 4X4 riding, sand boarding and other sand sports activities.

Food stores, souvenir shops and inns nearby also grew in order to accommodate over 300,000 tourists visiting the province during holy week alone.

Last year, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte recorded over 1.5 million tourists during the summer season.

Governor Imee Marcos said this growth in tourism “unlocks jobs to bring not mere growth, but genuine, transformational jobs-rich growth.” (PNA)

FFC/LGA/CDG/EBP

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