January 29, 2023

For their outstanding tourism programs, the municipalities of La Trinidad, Benguet and Bauko, Mountain Province were awarded by the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines in their respective categories on Oct. 5 in Paoay, Ilocos Norte.

La Trinidad won as the grand champion in the best tourism week/month celebration and first runner-up for the best tourism event for its Strawberry Festival 2018 during the annual Pearl Awards.

Municipal Tourism Officer Valred Olsim said the town’s recent win is unexpected, knowing the roster of shortlisted nominees from various LGUs. 

He said the town bagged the top spot perhaps due to its policy-based implementation of activities, which is institutionalized by an ordinance, and the La Trinidad Tourism Week is a pioneer in the region.

“The celebration dwells on the perspective of digital transformation in line with the international tourism celebration theme as well as the creativity and resourcefulness in event execution,” Olsim said.

In winning second place in the tourism event category, the panelists suggested for the municipality to improve more on its branding and labeling of its strawberry products to go away from the “Baguio City” brand.

He said the judges also suggested for the aggressive promotion of La Trinidadas a brand in its strawberry jams, strawberry wines, and other strawberry by-products and related products.

Meanwhile, Bauko LGU was given special award for its “Begnas di Bauko” for Best Tourism Event as thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest.

The annual Department of Tourism-ATOP Pearl Award is in recognition and acknowledgement of the men and women behind the great contribution in community development, through responsible, credible, equitable and sustainable tourism practices, the valuable contributions of the local government unit and their respected tourism officers in the country. – Ofelia C. Empian