Himala to draw more tourists

PAOAY, Iloos Norte, April 28– More attractions are expected during the Himala’ (Miracle) Festival slated on May 10 at the vast track of sand dunes in Barangay Suba, this town.

Himala sa Buhangin is the biggest outdoor arts and music festival in the north which is expected to gather the biggest party-ready crowd this year.
The festival is one of the major events under La Milagrosa Provincial Fiesta initiated by Governor Imee Marcos to draw more tourists and visitors during summer season.

The festival was first launched in 2012 to honor the patroness of the province, La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc.

This year’s festival will highlight sand sports like 4×4 racing competitions, sand castle making, sand boarding, Zorb ball riding, sand castle and other entertainment like belly and fire dancing. Various unique art installations and Arabian-inspired parties are also back in the lineup.

The whole-day event also brings together the hottest rock bands and artists in the country, headlined by the “Prince of Rock” Bamboo, the former front man of the band Rivermaya and one of the resident judges of the hit reality singing competition, The Voice of the Philippines.

Elaine Lubguban, the media desk officer and one of the organizers of the event, said famous artist Leeroy New is returning for another installation.
She also revealed that Gerry Leonardo, a teacher from the Philippine High School for the Arts and famous Filipino visual artist, will be crafting a fiber glass sculpture of Elsa, the iconic protagonist from the most celebrated classic Filipino film, “Himala.” It will be publicly unveiled during the event.

The 88-kilometer sand formation at the borders of Paoay town was chosen as the venue for the event as an opportunity to further strengthen its potential in tourism.

“In the past, the folks in Paoay would decry over these sand dunes because they couldn’t farm there, but local and foreign movie directors came and shot films here. As a result, the residents got instant jobs. Tourists are fascinated with the 4×4 rides and sand boarding. It provides income to the people. Indeed, this is the true ‘himala,’ Governor Marcos said. (Freddie G. Lazaro with reports from Grazielle Mae A. Sales, PGIN-CMO)