by Sean Marcelo of City Information Office
ANGELES CITY- It’s a back to back victory for this highly urbanized city as it once again bagged the Grand Prize in the recently concluded 11th Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines – Department of Tourism (ATOP-DOT) Pearl Awards held at the Royce Hotel and Casino in Clark Freeport Zone.
Under the Best Practices in Community-based Responsible Tourism – Heritage Conservation Category, Angeles won with the entry, “Safeguarding Angeles City Heritage: Success Stories and Beyond” which highlights the city’s efforts in protecting, promoting and sustaining its heritage legacy.
“We are deeply overwhelmed with this accolade from the Department of Tourism. This goes to show that we are on the right track in protecting and promoting our heritage, our cultural identity, our treasures,” said Angeles City tourism officer, Dr. Richard Daenos.
In 2015, Angeles City won the award for t he first time with its entry, “Revitalizing Heritage in Angeles City” beating Silay City and Compostela Valley, during the 10th ATOP-DOT National Convention held in Davao City.
This year, the competition is a neck and neck showcase between Angeles City and Silay City.
For his part, Angeles City Mayor and League of Cities of the Philippines President Edgardo Pamintuan extended his congratulations to the city’s tourism stakeholders from the public offices and its private counterparts.
“No local agenda could ever be possible without the partnership between the government and the community. In Angeles City, we are grateful because public and private partnership is very much alive,” said Mayor Pamintuan.
“The award is yet another milestone for the city as far as tourism governance is concern. And that being said, we are continuously sustaining our efforts in shedding the “red-light” tag of our beautiful city,” Pamintuan added.
The ATOP-DOT Pearl Award is a competition open to all local government units (LGUs) with nine major award categories on the best tourism offices/clubs/associations, best practices in community-based responsible tourism (enterprise, heritage, and campaign), and best tourism events (sports/wellness/adventure, celebrations and festival).
The awards night is the culmination of the three-day national convention hosted by the Province of Pampanga. It aims to recognize the best tourism practices of different local government units across the archipelago.
Acting City Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno, together with ACTO Head Dr. Richard Daenos accepted the award in behalf of the city government.
Also present during the awarding ceremonies were Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, DOT Regional Director Ronnie Tiotuico, City’s First Lady Herminia Pamintuan, and NCCA-NCD Vice Head Peter de Vera.