Got you, fam: DOT vows to help prop up Bulacan tourism

Published June 11, 2021, 2:39 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The promotion of cultural heritage and natural sites in Bulacan is seen as essential in reviving the province’s tourism industry, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.

A TRIVIA FROM SEC BERNA— DOT Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat delivers her message in front of the Tecson House in San Miguel, Bulacan. The tourism chief says that her mother, Rosie Lovely Tecson-Romulo, is related to Simon Tecson, the original owner of the house. (Photo from the Department of Tourism)

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat has vowed to help bring in more tourists to Bulacan as a way of helping it rebound from the economic losses caused by the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“So much history happened here in Bulacan, and when the province opens to tourism, we will make sure that more people from the NCR region will spend a day or more touring its heritage structures and ancestral homes and learning more about the birth of our nation,” Puyat said.

The DOT chief visited on Thursday, June 10, several tourism sites in Bulacan where she apparently traces her roots.

“I’m really looking forward to spending the day in historic Bulacan, reminiscing about the stories I heard growing up. As you might know, my family has deep roots in this province. My mother being a Tecson, is related to Simon Tecson, the original owner of this house,” Puyat said during her speech in the historic Tecson House in San Miguel town.

Aside from tours at heritage sites, the DOT also aims to promote farm tourism in Calumpit; culinary tourism in Malolos, Marilao; and ecotourism sites in San Miguel, Doña Remedios Trinidad, San Rafael, and Norzagaray as part of its long-term recovery plan for the province.

The department will also provide the required technical assistance to ecotourism sites in the province for its safe reopening to tourists.

A “food mapping” project in Bulacan was also approved by the DOT’s Office of Product and Market Development (OPMD) in the effort to further encourage tourists to visit the province, if only to check out its local cuisines and delicacies.

The project will involve a series of capability-building seminars and workshops, food inventory and audit, among other activities in different municipalities and cities in Bulacan.

The government’s pandemic task force recently approved the resumption of leisure travel between areas under the (National Capital Region (NCR)-plus bubble—which includes Bulacan—and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) areas from June 1 to 15.

As of May 26, Bulacan has 62 existing and newly-accredited accommodation establishments, 55 of which are now operational.

Meanwhile, 16,756 tourism workers in the province who have been affected by the pandemic have already received financial aid under the DOT and the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) cash assistance program.