Organizers shrug off threats to Strawberry Fest

Feb 17, 2017

LA TRINIDAD, BENGUET – Organizers are adamant to continue this year’s celebration of the Strawberry Festival despite numerous threats that may jolt the event.
Tourism officer Jude Yunzon said the municipality of La Trinidad is prepared for the upcoming celebration of the 36th Strawberry Festival with the theme “Sustaining the Fruits of La Trinidad’s Agro-Eco Tourism” launched early February and will last until the first week of April 2017.17
He said that tourists who will come to join in the event have nothing to worry about the security of the festival, addressing the alleged bomb threat brought by a social media post of a certain Jesse Watari Bolante last week regarding a screenshot of a memo from assistant provincial director of BPPO, which the latter, and the PRO-Cor, immediately nixed.
“On-going pa rin yung preparations namin kahit na may mga kumalat na threat. Meron namang mga local policemen nana ka-designate per area to secure the municipality of [La] Trinidad kahit bago pa man kumalat yung hoax,” said Yunzon.
From approximately five million last year, the tourism officer also said  tourist in-flux is expected to double this year because of the exciting event lineup they have prepared so they also make sure to double the safety.
Aside from the bomb threat, monetary assistance is also La Trinidad’s main scare.
In an interview with municipal tourism officer Valdred Olsim, only 17 percent of the target budget is currently in the municipality’s hands which Yunzon considers a challenge, but not a threat.
Yunzon clarified that despite the lack of finance, Benguet is backed-up by sponsors and private guarantors that keeps the event in good shape.
“Another thing, if ever magka-aberya, may back-up tayong Trade Fair kung saan yung mga private individuals naman yung magbabayad sa municipality,” added Yunzon.
The Strawberry Festival will showcase Owik tan Tayao, Street Dance, Drum and Lyre, & Float Parade, Strawberry Cake Fest, Mr. & Ms. La Trinidad, and the first-ever Amazing Race, among other listed activities.
Yunzon assured the visitors and constituents of Benguet that this year’s festival will be one spectacular event. Wendell L. Roque, UB Intern

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