MLQ3 to meet Ilocos Norte bloggers

Manuel L. Quezon III

Malacañang Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III, grandson of the Commonwealth president, is coming to the province on May 4 for a couple of engagements. Himself a blogger, he wishes to meet Ilocos Norte bloggers in the afternoon. I am helping his staff identify participants, and I have so far listed twelve, aside from myself.

  1. Tina Tan –
  2. Edwin Antonio –
  3. Ericke Tan –
  4. Shermon Cruz –
  5. Guien Garma –
  6. Marianne Pasion –
  7. Tricia Domingo –
  8. Sherene Ruiz –
  9. GD Baltazar –
  10. Jonas Paul dela Cruz –
  11. Peter La Julian –
  12. Ritchelle Blanco Dejolde –

I have met Manolo Quezon on several occasions, especially when I was still teaching at Colegio de San Juan de Letran, the alma mater of his illustrious lolo. At the Intramuros school, the Quezon family always graces the August birthday celebration of the Ama ng Wikang Pambansa. I am a fan of The Explainer, his television show where issues are discussed with great detail and insight. Also, he is supportive of the Philippine Blog Awards where I have been a national finalist three years in a row in the society, politics, and history category. I really look forward to May 4.

This is the first time bloggers here are coming together, and I am thinking of finally initiating the Ilocos Norte Bloggers Commune. In other parts of the country, bloggers have long organized their respective societies which allow them to initiate activities and write for common causes and advocacies. Now is time to do it here.

Do you know of any other serious blogger who might be interested to join the activity?

Bloated and overwhelmed

YES, the tourists came in droves.

Six Hundred Eighty Thousand—that, the provincial government says, is the number of tourists who flocked to Ilocos Norte during the Holy Week.

Many think the figure is bloated, and I am trying to understand why. That number, plus the province’s population of around 600,000 combines to 1.28-M. With the country’s population at 92-M, that means 1 of every 77 Filipinos were in Ilocos Norte during the week. It is simply unimaginable, some say, although ‘unimaginable’ could be something positive. Even with a most generous margin of error of, say, 20 percent, the figure is still huge. Boracay, for instance, only usually has around 800,000 tourist arrivals for an entire year, and we know the figure is credible because there is a proper headcount at the Caticlan Port en route to the famous beach.

Personally, I think the method by which they arrived at the statistic is rough at best. Capitol tourist staff counted occupancies in hotels, lodges, and home stays, and, in addition, also data from traffic and tourist centers. The duplication in headcount was thus very possible.

But don’t get me wrong, dear karikna, I honestly believe, and know for sure, that there was indeed a dramatic rise in tourist arrivals here, and I am happy with this development. Living near La Elliana Hotel, La Preciosa Restaurant, and other tourism-related establishments gives me a layman’s feel of how things are going on for tourism.

 “Major restaurants and small time carinderias noted the dramatic increase of tourists this year. Customers who wanted to taste Ilocano cuisine like bagnet, longanisa, empanada and miki had to line up in queues for them to get served,” says a Capitol press release which also reported that “All hotels and transient homes with a capacity of 2,600 rooms were booked and spillover went to private houses to homestay and others set up tents around the major destinations.” It cited Texicano Hotel which has only 50 rooms but received 468 guests during the week.

Sounds sweet, though this is both an accomplishment and a wake-up call. Officials admit that tourists had to wait for at least two hours to get a decent meal, half a day to get billeted. You know how stressful that could be for people who just want to have fun. Good thing there were very few, really few, foreign tourists. Continue reading “Bloated and overwhelmed”


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Herdy Yumul

Blogger/Columnist/Book Author


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