By Myra M. Tambor
THE PROVINCE of Samar and the Municipality of Palompon in Leyte, all from Eastern Visayas region, bags two prestigious Pearl Awards of the 12th Department of Tourism and the Association of Tourism Officers in the Philippines (ATOP), during their national convention held in Iloilo City last October 4-7, 2017. Palompon, Leyte bested other entries for the category of best tourism event in sports for the entry Abre Grande – Lawig Tourism Sports Festival. This activity showcases various environmental, cultural and social events in one occasion.
The municipality got the 1st place of the Best Tourism Event – Sports category. Palompon is already a Hall of Famer for the “Best Tourism Oriented LGU-Municipality level”. On the other hand, the province of Samar bags the 1st runner up place for the Best Tourism Oriented LGU – Provincial level, sharing it with the province of Ilocos Norte who also got the same award. Champion of this category is the province of Davao Del Norte. Vice Governor Stephen James T. Tan personally received the award for Samar along side with the Samar’s provincial board members and the Tourism office headed by the tourism officer Mr. Marvin Piczon.
Started as a tourism program, Spark Samar has now become the flagship program of Governor Sharee Ann Tan, intertwining the value chain of tourism to pursue development efforts of the province.