LEAD Movement attends the First Public Consultation on the Metro Ilocos Norte Tourism Master Plan

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The LEAD Movement, being a tourism stakeholder in the province, gets invited to the First Public Consultation on the Metro Ilocos Norte Tourism Master Plan.

The invitation by Hon. Imee Marcos, Governor of the Province of Ilocos Norte, reads:

In connection to the formulation of the Metro Ilocos Norte Tourism Master Plan, encompassing initially the Cities of Laoag and Batac and the  Municipalities of San Nicolas, Paoay and Currimao including infra-support facilities and major establishments therein, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, in coordination with the Palafox Associates will conduct the First Public Consultation on the Metro Ilocos Norte Tourism Master Plan on Monday, 23 August 2010, at 9:00 A.M., at the Provincial Capitol Auditorium, Laoag City.

In this regard, we are inviting you, including your municipal Tourism Officer, City/Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator, City/Municipal Engineers for the mayors, to attend said Public Consultation. Your inputs during the Consultation will help achieve a realizable and workable Tourism Master Plan for Metro Ilocos Norte.

Your attendance is highly appreciated.”

Part of the proposed Metro Ilocos Norte Master Tourism Master Plan

Arch. Felino “Jun Palafox, Jr. of the Palafox Associates. Sir Jun was born in Batac and raised in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.

Urban and environment planner Miss Karmi Palafox, Project Manager, and EnP Paolo Fresnoza of Palafox Associates

Hon. Imee R. Marcos, Governor of the Province of Ilocos Norte, and Arch. Jun Palafox

Gov. Imee Marcos and Arch. Jun Palafox with the members of the Sanggunian Panlalawigan and the mayors of the different Municipalities of Ilocos Norte in attendance

Workshop 1: Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis

Workshop 2: Visioning Workshop

Presentation of group outputs

For the series of workshops, the attendees are divided into smaller groups; grouping is by tables. LEAD works with the Pasuquin-Burgos-Pagudpud cluster.

In the SWOT Analysis Workshop, strengths that get included are our natural heritage consisting of pristine beaches, primary forests, vast agricultural lands and long stretches of coastline and a rich cultural heritage. Some of the weaknesses that get mentioned are lack of facilities, uncooperation, old-fashioned mentality, unwillingness to accept change, tunnel vision, etc. Among the opportunities, the usual more income and employment in the province, more investors coming in, progress, etc. Political will, oppositions, un-eco-friendly practices like slash and burn farming, illegal timber poaching, blast fishing and others are mentioned under threats.

In the Visioning Workshop, draftsman Leo Doctor of the Planning and Development Office of the LGU of Pasuquin expertly puts into drawing the vision of the group — to be a model ecotourism destination in the Philippines sustained by the cooperation of all sectors and the judicious use of the natural resources of the Philippines. The poster makes the Top 3 in the contest wherein no less than Gov. Imee Marcos and Arch. Jun Palafox are the judges. The Laoag group comes in first.

The workshoppers

LEADers Benny Arce and Tina Tan in a photo op with Gov. Imee Marcos and Arch. Jun Palafox

In Arch. Jun Palafox’s presentation, entitled “Development Principles, Design Concepts, Best practices for tourism around the world, Potential Tourist Attractions”, he points out, “Ilocos Norte has more natural resources than some countries, but we seem to take it for granted.”

He adds, “Ilocos Norte can be the North Gateway of the Philippines.”

It’s great working with other stakeholders in the province for the province in an initiative by Gov. Imee Marcos under the guidance of world-renowned Palafox Associates, a trail blazer in Green Architecture and the same architectural firm that redesigned the State of Brunei Darussalam.”

As Gov. Imee says, “Simula pa lamang ito [This is just the beginning].”

More about the Initial Public Consultation and Workshop on the Metro Ilocos Norte Tourism Master Plan on BlauEarth’s Blog
Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Ilocos Sandboarding by the LEAD Movement on video

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Sand boarding at Laoag's sand dunes @ Yahoo! Video

View video: Sand boarding at Laoag’s sand dunes @ Yahoo! Video

LAOAG, ILOCOS NORTE — loQal team visits Laoag’s famous sand dunes to experience the thrill of riding on a 4×4 and also to try on an activity that has already gained popularity in the region – sandboarding. Video produced by loQal.ph

Ilocano organic farmer Nestor Acosta’s green message


Old-style farming is considered to be modern again. The growing environmental concern in relation to unnatural farming practices such as genetic modification and the use of artificial chemicals has led many farmers worldwide to revert to quaint agricultural practices.

54-year old Nestor Acosta, a native of the town of Bacarra and a farmer for 34 years now, has gone back to the basics in regard to his farming methods. The year 2000 was a turning point in his life as a farmer. The words of a certain public servant — “Agpaili koma ti saba, ngem tattan isumetten itti agpaaway. Awan kadin itti daga itti away? (Bananas should be sent to the city, but now they are sent to the countryside. Are there no more lands in the countryside?)” — were like thunder to him. He took the public servant’s words as a challenge. He worked up a plan, leased additional pieces of land, and went back to natural farming techniques.

He uses only chicken manure fertilizer in his 10-hectare veritable organic vegetable and fruit farm. Through integrated farming, he is able to yield more high quality, better tasting gourd, bittermelon, papaya and long green beans which he and his family sell at their vegetable stall in the Bacarra public market. To date, he has 230 cinta and red lady papaya trees. His younger guapple trees are nearing maturity.

Manong Nestor has earned several awards for his outstanding efforts in sustainable agriculture. Four years in a row, from 1990-1993, he was awarded an Outstanding Farmer in Region I. He is also a Gawad Saka awardee for converting a wasteland into a year-round green integrated farm. In 2008, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Foresty, and Natural Resources Research and Development – Department of Science and Technology (PCARRD-DOST) sent him to Korea for a study-visit. “I learned much from that visit. It was an exchange of organic farming ideas between the Philippines, which I represented, and Korea,” he said.

I asked him what are the usual problems he encounters and he said, “So far, none.” He humbly adds, “It is good business for the family.”

Young red lady papaya fruits

Quality sitaw or long green beans

Balayang banana tree. Balayang banana heart is excellent for Filipino kare-kare dish.

Gourd (also known as patola or kabatiti) and ampalaya leaves are Ilocano favorites

“The whole town of Bacarra, as well as the entire nation, should adopt organic farming practices for better health and longer life,” Manong Nestor said when I asked him what he wanted to tell his fellow Ilocano farmers.

Nestor Acosta, Brgy. 40 Buyon, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, Philippines 63-926-6157764
Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Say no to single-use plastic bags with an Envirosax eco-bag

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Lightweight, super strong (holds up to 44lbs), durable, fully washable and fade resistant, Envirosax, the original designer reusable bag, is available at Red Dot boutique in Laoag for only 395 php.

Unrolled, the chic eco-bag measures 19.5″ x 16.5″, yet folds to a mere 4″ x 1.5″ pouch. A built-in snap button holds the pouch for an easier upkeep. Just toss it into your purse, or put it in your pocket, and you’re ready to go shopping. As a matter of fact, it offers versatile functionality.

There are many designs and colors to choose from. Get your environment message across in a fun and fashionable way.

Photographed by Blauearth. Red Dot boutique, F.R. Castro St, Laoag City, Ilocs Norte, Philippines


Know the facts about plastic bags

  • Somewhere between 500 million and a trillion plastics bags are consumed worldwide each year.
  • Less than 1% of bags are recycled. It costs more to recycle a bag than produce one. It costs $4,000 to process and recycle 1 ton of plastic bags, which can then be sold on the commodities market for $32.
  • Plastic bags photodegrade, which means they breakdown into smaller, more toxic petro-polymers, which eventually contaminate soils and waterways.
  • When ingested, these microscopic particles can become catastrophic to wildlife. Nearly 200 different species of sea life including dolphins, whales, seals and turtles die due to plastic bags. Birds, as well.
  • By using a cloth bag, we can save 6 bags a week. That’s 24 bags a month. That’s 28 bags a year. That’s 22,176 bags in an average lifetime.
  • If just 1 out of 5 people did this, we would save 1,330,560,000,000 bags over our lifetime.
  • Bangladesh has banned plastic bags.
  • China has banned free plastic bags.
  • Ireland took the lead in Europe, taxing plastic bags in 2002, and have now reduced plastic bag consumption by 90%.
  • More countries have also banned, or are moving towards banning the plastic bag.
  • Reducing plastic bags will reduce foreign oil dependency.
  • China will save 37 million barrels of oil each year due to their ban of free plastic bags.
Read more on the data released by the US Environmental Protection Agency
plastic bag nightmare 001image by Zainub via flickr

E.a.r.t.h now. E-nvironmental a-wakening, r-esponsibility (shared responsibilty), t-ransformation, h-ope. A message by the LEAD Movement

Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED