The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) has strengthened its partnership with the Municipal Government of Paoay and the Paoay Sand Dunes Service Cooperative through a Memorandum of Agreement to promote and preserve “iconic” tourist attractions in the town.
Paoay is home to the Paoay Lake National Park and the Paoay Sand Dunes, both regarded as premier destinations for rowing competitions and film locations, respectively. The lake has served as the venue for multiple installments of the International Regatta Competition, while the sand dunes was the location of “Himala,” which was voted “Best Film of All Time from the Asia-Pacific Region” in the 2008 CNN Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc, Mayor Shiella A. Galano, and Mr. Gilbert de los Santos represented the concerned parties during the signing of the agreement that aims to protect the livelihood of cooperative members, boost development, and use the tourist attraction as a pillar of the municipality’s recovery.
“Having this agreement strengthens and reinforces the bigger responsibility of our cooperatives there [Paoay] to take care of the sand dunes, which would mean sustainability in terms of the ecology and environmental importance, and the preservation of the sand dunes,” remarked Mr. Xavier Ruiz, Senior Tourism Operations Officer of the Provincial Government.
The MOA underscored the role of the cooperative in the upkeep of the Paoay Sand Dunes Art Installation. The Municipality of Paoay, on the other hand, is in charge of overseeing the Paoay Sand Dunes, assisting in the information campaign and promoting the art installations, extending other services as needed, and developing and enforcing rules and policies for tourists and visitors.
The newest attractions established in the town are “Balancing Act: A Colored Cairn in the Field Sand,” a solar-powered sculpture, and “Reflection of Rebirth,” mirror installations that highlight the vastness of the tourist spot.
Paoay has been a popular destination for thrill-seekers interested in dune-bashing, sandboarding, and 4×4 driving. The town also pioneered film tourism in the province by hosting major multimedia production companies. (Rod Sadian)
(Source: Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte)