A GROUP of ambassadors and consuls from the United States of America (USA) visited the city last week in line with their annual trip to the different countries in the world.
Mr. Ariel Abadilla, consul general to the Philippines in Honolulu, Hawaii since 1994, said that this is now the third time that American ambassadors and consuls have conducted their tour and for this year they opted for the Philippines.
Abadilla further related that there were around 500 members of the tour group who arrived in the country and they were divided into several groups to visit any place they want in the Philippines.
He said eight members of the group decided to visit the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur to further strengthen the sisterhood ties between the Ilocos provinces and the US state of Hawaii.
Abadilla’s group arrived in Laoag on July 20 and they were met at the Laoag International Airport (LIA) by Laoag City government officials led by Vice Mayor Eddie P. Domingo and some councilors.
Right after their arrival, the city government, through Mayor Michael V. Fariñas, though who was then on official business, prepared a dinner for the visitors at the City Hall.
After their stay in Laoag, Abadilla expressed his gratitude, in behalf of the whole tour group. For the warm welcome and the hospitable of people of Laoag for taking time out during their visit.
He said the group enjoyed their stay in the city and in the province as they discovered that there are a lot of tourist attractions in the area as he stressed that he personally saw how Laoag and Ilocos Norte have now become very progressive.
He added that the group also wanted to find out the economic situation in the whole province since there are some in the group who are looking for investment opportunities around the world.
He further emphasized that the tour’s purpose was not only for pleasure for the group but also to assist the province in inviting prospective investors from other countries.
Prior to their arrival here in Laoag, the group first toured Manila, Cebu and Bohol.
Meanwhile, Domingo also expressed his gratitude to the group for choosing Laoag City and Ilocos Norte as their target areas in their visit to the country.
During the two-day stay of the group, Ms Elsa dela Cruz, the group’s coordinator to the province, said they visited Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, the Baruyen Viewdeck in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Pagudpud’s beaches as well as the Patapat Bridge in their first day.
In their second day, the group motored to the different historical churches in the province—St. William’s Cathedral in Laoag, and the Paoay Church, the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum in Batac, and the beaches of Currimao. Also during the second day, they went to Vigan City, Ilocos Sur to visit the province’s own tourist attractions.
The tour group was composed of Abadilla, Susan Robinson, Bob Robinson, Kit Ugata, Renee Ugata, Marilyn Apuya, Mel Felipe and Jean Jeremaiah.
Dominic B. dela Cruz