Abra dreams to turn heads over its amazing tourism

BANGUED, ABRA – Abra dreams to make heads turn over it amazing tourism.
Dubbed #ABRAmazing, an initiative by Abra lawmaker Joseph Bernos for his province’s tourism for 2018, Abrenians expect a tourism boom.
The Abra Pasalubong Center near the famous Tangadan Tunnel in San Quintin town, an infrastructure project Rep. Bernos initiated wayback in 2016, is now ready to welcome local and foreign tourists seeking local ecological adventures.
“#ABRAmazing aims to reverse the negative perception of people about our province,” Bernos explained. “We have a fewer tourist arrivals in our province compared to our neighbors in the region, and this calls for strategy that will transform the public’s perception.”
“With the number of visitors who pass by the Pasalubong Center, we hope to have many people sharing photographs of wonderful sceneries in Abra in social media with our official hashtag #ABRAmazing, and purchasing products that are uniquely Abreño,” Bernos said, citing the handicrafts and processed foods produced in the province. “We hope to spread the word through our recent visitors, and to harness the power of social media to make Abra known as an eco-tourist destination.”
Bernos earlier used the ABRAmazing tagline and has stuck, being catchy and unique.
“Abra has many natural wonders that haven’t been explored, even by our own constituents,” the Abra lawmaker said.   ”Those have been so hidden, only the residents living nearby know about it.  It is indeed amazing that we are a host to a number of natural marvels, yet we do not use it for the good of our people.”
Last year, the GMA News program, Biyahe ni Drew, coordinated with Rep. Bernos’ office and made a feature on Abra, highlighting its distinct culture, cuisine, and natural wonders.
Bernos is seeking to invite more media outlets and travel blogs to cover not only natural sceneries in Abra, but also its cuisine and history, and the province’s remarkable people.
The “Kaparkan Falls” in hinterland Tineg town has sparked interest among netizens, citing how beautiful the falls is and how it managed to remain unknown in the past years.  “I am happy that our efforts are starting to be noticed by travelers, bloggers, and adventurers here and abroad,” he said.
Bernos, a member of the administration, said he will take a pro-active stance in pushing for more funding on tourism-related infrastructure, livelihood training projects, and environmental conservation programs from national government agencies to Abra and other provinces in the country needing such assistance as another budget season looms.  “I will see to it that the administration will recognize the need for more infrastructure programs in (Abra), especially in pushing for more improvements in making agricultural lands and tourist destinations more accessible.”
“I will also keep in touch with agencies that can help develop the capabilities of communities nearby these tourist sites in improving their livelihood while maintaining the natural beauty of these sites.”
“Our work on tourism is not only centered to the promotion of our natural wonders; it is also about empowering people’s lives through tourism,” Bernos explained.
Bernos added that he will continue the work in introducing legislations to have many of Abra’s unrecognized eco-tourism jewels recognized as priority tourist destinations, “giving them preference in development projects geared towards improving economic activities of the people while ensuring the maintenance of their pristine appearances and of its surrounding environs.”
He has introduced House Bill 3634, or the “Kaparkan Falls Ecotourism Act,” providing for the declaration of Kaparkan Falls in Tineg, Abra as an ecotourism destination and providing for a multi-sectoral council that will ensure its development. ACE ALEGRE / ABN

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