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IN PARTIDO AREA: Town enacts law to achieve tourism boost

By Sonny Malate


SAN Jose, Camarines Sur --- The municipal government here has established a council that will work to create strong linkages and collaboration with the tourism stakeholders in public and private entities.


Called the San Jose Partido Culture, Arts, and Tourism Council (SJPCATC), the body, which was created thru Municipal Ordinance 008, series of 2022 authored by Councilor Bobby H. Clutario, is mandated to identify projects and programs that will ensure the advancement and promotion of the local tourism, its culture and arts, which the administration of Municipal Mayor Jerold B. Peña considered as flagship program.


“The council is tasked to conduct coordination and partnerships with other government agencies, and non-government organizations to be able to achieve the purpose of its creation,” the mayor said.

AN old house along Calle Real in San Jose, Camarines Sur.


Specifically, the council’s mandate are: planning and formulation of annual plan on culture, and the arts; documentation of the town’s cultural heritage and its inclusion in the Local Development Plan; formulation of programs and recommendations to develop and sustain local cultural and artistic talents and cultural industries; and coordinate with appropriated affiliated cultural agencies of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).


The mayor said that the LGU San Jose sets the Council’s formal launching on November 17, 2022.


As Chairman of SJPCAT, Mayor Peña has already initiated plans that aim to strengthen partnerships with the NCCA, the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Bicol Region as well as different stakeholders in the private sector.


Among the offshoots of his initiative include the conduct of a workshop on Digitization and Archiving of Public Records and Documents in the town with NCAA representatives as trainer-facilitators on November 14-15, this year. The activity is to be participated in by personnel of the municipal library, barangay secretaries, and other stakeholders from nearby areas.


Future engagements with the NCCA and DOT Bicol concerning the LGU’s initiative to develop Calle Real as a tourism hub have already been organized.


Formerly Rizal Street, Calle Real is a long thoroughfare situated in the town’s poblacion where a century-old municipal building, a Hispanic Catholic church and convent, old residential houses and other structures built during the Spanish era are located. The ancient structures serve as testimonies of the rich historical past and heritage of San Jose.


Coordination was already made with the owners of the old residential houses who are now living abroad. They signified their interest and support to the LGU’s plan to preserve the antiquity of their houses.


Clutario said that in time a Tourism Master Plan will be crafted jointly by the executive and legislative departments of the municipality to define clearly its destination roadmap.


The town of San Jose is noted for its beautiful beaches and pristine resorts e.g. the Busdak and Suhoton resorts in Barangay Adiangao, which is known for its enchanting Adiangao Cave. Aside from these two tourist destinations, the town also feels proud of the new leading tourist attraction – the RMG Flowing Resort – a privately-owned leading tourist attraction in Barangay Danlog.


Clutario said that aside from its conventional thrusts on tourism, the local government encourages too the emergence of novel ideas that will further develop the local tourism industry to become rosy and bubbly.


He made mention the health and wellness tourism that will consistently goes along with the LGU’s proposed facility for emotionally-disturbed adolescents. It plans also to push for the pilgrimage tourism with the Archdiocesan Shrine of Saint Joseph as pilgrimage site along with other religious destinations not only in San Jose but in other towns as well.


The October Fest: Kooltura asin Musika, which was conducted last October 15-19, has provided the town with a festive and colorful atmosphere through the holding of live band competition, bikini babes and hunks showdown, food bazaar and night market. A colorful and merry mixture of music, dance and light spirits and fireworks display dominated the Talisay Port Area in Barangay Dolo where it was held.


The event, which drew crowds even from the neighboring towns, was perceived to drumbeat the LGU’s campaign for the town’s tourism, culture and arts.


Clutario also bared their plan to revive the Harana Festival, and the adoption of the DTI’s One Town One Product (OTOP) program and the organization of the San Jose Performing Arts Team.


Harana Festival, a DOT-accredited cultural event dates back to the time of former mayor, Gilmar Pacamarra. A celebration of sweet music and passionate love of natives of Bicol, this festival surely captivate once more the hearts of locals and tourists alike.


In coordination with DOT-Bicol, a One Town, One Product shall be adopted by this municipality. The mayor said that the product can possibly be Biko, a local sweet delicacy made of polotan (glutinous rice). This delicious local food, a delight to young and old alike, is perfect for family occasions and as pasalubong.


To develop further the talents of the young ones, the San Jose Performing Arts Team was organized with 13 to 22 years old students as pioneering members. The talented young ones will enjoy free scholarship and other benefits from the local government unit.


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