Batac City eyed as “City of Parks”

New tourism developments are being planned by the provincial and city governments to make Batac a ‘city of parks’ in Ilocos Norte.

Governor Imee Marcos revealed conceptual plans during her State of the Province Address in October 28 in transforming Batac centro into a park city promoting environmental sustainability.

“Ang siyudad ng Batac City, may planong maging ‘park city’ at ipagkakabit-kabit ang pitong parke mula sa (Mariano Marcos State University) lagoon, Aglipay Park, Marcos Park hanggang plaza sa sentro, tuhog sa Ricarte Park, papuntang Billoca lake at abot pa sa San Pedro eco-park,” she announced.

Ilocos Norte Tourism Officer Aianree Raquel said “Batac (is envisioned to be) a city with most number of parks and the widest public spaces.”

The Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center in Batac City remains to be the top destination in the province for local and foreign tourists.

After the transfer of the remains of the former president at Libingan ng mga Bayani, the redevelopment and expansion of Batac City center will provide new attractions and further boost tourism in Ilocos Norte, Raquel said.

“We’re very confident that tourist influx in Batac City will continue with these new development efforts.”

The overall theme of the plan is “heroic Ilocanos,” a celebration of the heroic tradition of Ilocanos featuring famous and outstanding Bataqueños.

Regarded as the ‘Home of Great Leaders,’ Batac City is the hometown of significant heroic figures including former President Marcos; Gregorio Aglipay, the founder of the Philippine Independent Church; and Gen. Artemio Ricarte, the Father of the Philippine Army.

The initiative is part of Governor Marcos’ call to make Ilocos Norte “livable, sustainable and resilient” by creating more public spaces where Ilocanos can exercise their creativity while upholding their own culture.

Governor Marcos said public domain such as town plazas, beaches and lake fronts, terminals, bars and restaurants are places where “we congregate and form social capital, volunteer associations, and bind friendships.”—(Jennifer T. Pambid, PGIN-CMO)