Daet, Camarines Norte (April 19, 2011) — Daet holds the week-long 'Bantayog Festival 2012' for the 8th consecutive years to commemorate the 92nd foundation anniversary of the province of Camarines Norte.
Camarines Norte officially became a province in April 15, 1920 and its capital town, Daet, takes pride in having built the first ever monument to the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, which was unveiled in Dec. 30, 1898, merely two years after he was executed at the Luneta on December 30, 1896.
Since the time it was unveiled, the Rizal monument, known to the local residents as 'Bantayog ni Rizal.' has been part of the consciousness of the people of Camarines Norte and it is from this landmark that the name of the festival was lifted.
Among the highlights in the remaining three days of the festival are: the Grand Festival Parade and Street Dancing Competition; Provincial Government Disaster Risk eduction Management Training; and the selection of “Ginoong Cam. Norte.”
Provincial Tourism officer, Debee Francisco, said this year’s Grand Festival Parade includes a moving choreography of 8 festivals that are held annually in various towns in Camarines Norte province and a street dancing competition with a top prize of P50,000.
The Department of Tourism reports that an average of 250,000 tourists has visited the province each year since 2010.
Josie Tallado, the province's first lady, sees the big potential income from tourism but said that tapping this would require building new road networks, resort-hotel facilities and an inter-island transportation system. The province now has a traditional tourist destination in Bagasbas beach and the beautiful Calaguas Island is fast becoming popular worldwide.
The province has 12 municipalities, 40 percent of which are coastal towns with rich fishing grounds and undeveloped beach resorts. It's capital town, Daet, is 6-7 hours away from Manila and 2 hours away from Naga City by land travel. (SONNY SALES)