Saturday, March 23, 2019

Region X Tourism Officers and Representatives Tour Iligan

(Tuesday, 6th day of February 2018)


ILIGAN CITY – Tourism officers and representatives of the whole Region X gathered for the first time on January, they were invited for the turn-over of the Iligan Ethnic Center Building and to have a city-wide tour to know the city better and promote local tourism.

Tourism officers from nine cities and five provinces compose the Association of Tourism Officers in Northern Mindanao (ATONM). The officers arrived on January 30 and were scheduled for a city tour on the same day riding the tartanilya. A tartanilya or kalesa is a horse-drawn carriage which was introduced by the Spaniards to the Philippines in the 18th Century. It was used as one of the modes of transportation then but only the nobles and officials could afford its luxury. It was then considered as the “king of the road,” but because of the introduction of the modern motor vehicles, it became a rarity. Iligan City is just one of the few cities in the Philippines and the only place in Mindanao where one can find a tartanilya or kalesa still plying on its streets. It’s also fast becoming a tourist attraction and an iconic symbol of the city. True-blooded Iliganons may consider a tartanilya a common service as part of their daily lives but for non Iliganons, visitors, and tourists, it’s a sight to behold. (

The tour started from the historic Iligan City Post office, stopped over at Cheding’s (Pasalubong Center), round the Tomas Cabili Obelisk Rotunda, and the ride ended at the St. Michael’s Cathedral. The tour proceeded to the Buhanginan Hills, to enjoy a scoop or two of ice cream and to relax at the reflexology path walk at the City Hall’s Rizal Park.  The group then proceeded to the Paseo de Santiago to enjoy a meal and establish camaraderie.

“It was my first time riding a Tartanilya. The accommodation was warm and full of smiles from the locals. I am 100% sure that Iligan has potential when it comes to tourism,” Mr. Hami Evasco, representative from Misamis Occidental said. “I can only say, indulge and experience Iligan,” he added.

Ms. Beauty Rose Gandarosa, representative from Lanao Del Norte, expressed her awe: “It was my first time visiting Ma. Cristina Falls and had a ride on a Tartanilya. We were also very lucky to experience the Blue Blood Moon at the top of a hill as part of the Star Gazing itinerary of our tour. Friendly staff (Tourism Staff), Accommodating locals, and a lot more to explore, I am looking forward to experience Iligan again.”

“#BeautifulIligan #Excellent #SuperbServices and #TotalSatisfactionGuaranteed,” were but a few of the praises Ms. Baby Paler, Tourism Officer from Tangub City said during the Luau Party. “#BeautifulIligan because of the changes in the city, the roads are wider, and the efforts of the local government to focus its attention in promoting and preserving a nature-oriented tourism. #Excellent because the basic needs of the whole city and the tourist destinations are provided with water and electricity. #SuperbServices because the destinations are countless, the service providers are equipped, and city operations are superbly supervised. And the last one, #TotalSatisfactionGuaranteed because when you visit Iligan, tourism related establishments are blooming and the tourist destinations are unique only to Iligan. We should work better, not compete with each other, and create linkages,” she elaborated.

Mr. Michael Estarda Fuente, representative from Ozamis City stated: “The economy is quite good. I do believe that strong political strength is needed to acquire the big properties that Iligan has. The people are very friendly. I was so surprised that we were treated like family. I felt very comfortable. The welcome was superb. The government of Iligan is doing a great job at the cultural preservation, evident by the existence of Tartanilya. The tourism industry is rather robust. The people are friendly, the food are excellent, the security is astonishingly fail-safe. I would say Iligan has a complete X-Factor.”

Ms. Donna Belle Olado of the Iligan City Tourism Office said that these programs would never be possible without the support of City Mayor Regencia, City Administrator Atty. Sumaoy, the Philippine National Police, City Security Units, the Traffic Department, and the innate hospitality of the Iliganons. “We are doing our best to preserve and at the same time promote our culture and our natural environment,” she added.

– –  Kristoff S. / Web-CIO