Press Release
July 1, 2009


Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile today (June 29) urged the Department of Tourism (DOT) to market the spectacular Sangyaw Festival abroad that would hopefully bring more tourists to Tacloban City and to the country as well.

The cultural festival, which was created by former first lady Imelda Marcos, was revived by Mayor Alfred Romualdez last year and is being held every 29th of June.

"The Sangyaw Festival is so impressive that it could be in the list of must-see attractions in the country," Enrile said.

"I strongly recommend to the Department of Tourism and to the people who are marketing our country's tourism assets abroad to include this spectacular festival," the Senate President said in his speech at the 120th Celebration of the Fiesta of Santo Niño de Tacloban in this city.

"My heart is filled with pride as I watch the enthralling and awesome showcase of Tacloban's finest talents during the Sangyaw Festival Parade. It must be mentioned that Tacloban City , and Eastern Visayas in general, is a gold mine of talents. I commend the festival participants for their creativity, talent and ingenuity in their performances," the Senate chief added.

Enrile also congratulated Mayor Romualdez, other local officials and the people of Tacloban for their hard work that made Tacloban the first city in Eastern Visayas to be classified as a highly urbanized city. He also noted that Tacloban is one of the cities in the country with the lowest poverty incidence.

"I salute the people of Tacloban for their determination, resilience and optimism especially during these most trying times. I respect and admire people like you who have the clarity of vision and commitment to pursue worthy goals," he said.

"I am with you on this journey toward economic and social development," Enrile declared.

Enrile recalled that Congress enacted Republic Act No. 9373 in 2008, creating two additional Regional Trial Court branches in the city of Tacloban to help improve the justice system for the benefit not only of the residents of the city and the province, but even the neighboring provinces as well.

"Speaking of economic development, we must not forget that these are turbulent times for the world economy. But I remain optimistic that our country will remain resilient and will withstand the alarming developments in the global economic arena," Enrile said.

"However, we need to be proactive. We need to unite and work collectively towards the attainment of our development goals. But our greatest assets are our people. Filipinos are blessed with a tenacious spirit and a prayerful and positive attitude towards adversities. We need to look within ourselves. Each of us can make a difference. Through sheer hard work and determination, we can rise above our present circumstances," he added.

"I trust that, with the brand of leadership that your beloved mayor, Mayor Romualdez, is known for, the people of Tacloban will continue to rise up to the challenge of facing the difficult times ahead. With the dynamism and enthusiasm of your local officials, the city of Tacloban will soon realize its development potentials and continue to be a vibrant local economy in the region," Enrile further added.

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