Puyat advocates for cultural and ecotourism in the new normal

LAGUNA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) elevates cultural tourism and ecotourism in the new normal as these will heighten domestic travel in the province amidst the pandemic.

DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat (center) with DOT Region 4A Chief Tourism Operations Officer Marites Castro (leftmost), Ma. Donnalyn Brinas, Liliw Tourism Officer and Administrator Mary Maileen Sulibit, and Laguna Provincial Tourism Officer Gina Austria (rightmost)

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat reiterates that the DOT will promote Laguna as a safe and sustainable tourist destination. This strategy to highlight Laguna’s cultural and ecotourism sites was arrived at as the DOT Region 4A prepares to launch the Green Corridor Initiative (GCI), its flagship domestic program.

DOT Secretary Puyat with Ruthie Tsorou of Villa Escudero against the Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant
DOT Secretary Puyat with Ruthie Tsorou of Villa Escudero against the Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant

Laguna is the great outdoors we are looking for near Metro Manila. It’s rich in natural resources and cultural tourism products that most domestic travelers have been wanting to experience again since the community quarantine started almost a year now. I am here to spread the word that it is safe to come here. There’s so much to do,


Bernadette Romulo-Puyat

DOT Secretary

Nagcarlan Mayor Lourdes Arcasetas (right) presents the ingredients of espasol, a classic rice cake delicacy in Laguna
Nagcarlan Mayor Lourdes Arcasetas (right) presents the ingredients of espasol, a classic rice cake delicacy in Laguna.

On Tuesday (Feb. 9), Puyat revisited Laguna to further evaluate the GCI’s proposed tourism circuit and activities. These include the Tayak Nature, Adventure and Wildlife (TANAW) Park in Rizal, espasol making demonstration in the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery premises, and the uraro and shoes making demonstration at the White House in Liliw. The tourism chief earlier visited the Dona Leonila Park at Sampaloc Lake and Casa San Pablo.

DOT Secretary Puyat together with Rizal Mayor Vener P. Muñoz and Vice Mayor Antonino A. Aurelio at the TANAW Park
DOT Secretary Puyat together with Rizal Mayor Vener P. Muñoz and Vice Mayor Antonino A. Aurelio at the TANAW Park

“TANAW Park is now one of the leading tourist sites in the municipality of Rizal. I am also happy to share an approved ecotourism site under the Regional Ecotourism Committee (REC). Little did we know, there are still many sites and products waiting to be discovered in Laguna, such as the museum in Nagcarlan and the tsinelas production site, among others. All these and more provide a sense of belongingness and pride for the host communities and a genuine travel experience to tourists now more than ever,” she said.

Liliw Mayor Ericson Sulibit, Liliw Tourism Officer and Administrator Mary Maileen Sulibit (center), and a local maker (right) of the uraro, a cookie delicacy in Laguna
Liliw Mayor Ericson Sulibit, Liliw Tourism Officer and Administrator Mary Maileen Sulibit (center), and a local maker (right) of the uraro, a cookie delicacy in Laguna

Puyat also added that the tours and activities under the GCI can be flexible, and tourist attractions within the local government units (LGUs) of Rizal, Nagcarlan, Liliw, and San Pablo City are registered under the DOT and with the respective participating LGUs.

Some of the many intricate creations in the property of the well-celebrated Filipino artist Patis Tesoro
Some of the many intricate creations in the property of the well-celebrated Filipino artist Patis Tesoro

“We will continue finding new ways to bring back tourism to this region. To ensure safety, the tourist attractions that will be a part of the circuit must be registered under the DOT and the concerned LGU. This will help us monitor and guarantee the safety of the travelers, workers, and host communities,” she added.

A peek inside the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery
A peek inside the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery.

Other non-GCI sites visited by the tourism chief were Patis Bed and Breakfast in San Pablo, Villa Escudero in Quezon, and Ted’s Kitchen in Sta. Cruz.

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist spots in Southern Tagalog? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on FacebookTwitterInstagramBloglovin, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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