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The much-awaited summer festival in La Union, SILLAG Poro Point Festival of Lights, is expected to draw in 150,000 visitors to participate in the various activities during the 3-day festival on April 6, 7, and 8 at the Poro Point Freeport Zone, City of San Fernando, La Union.

Launched in 2012, SILLAG Festival is a project of Poro Point Management Corporation (PPMC) in partnership with the Provincial Government of La Union. PPMC is a subsidiary of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.

The Poro Point Lighthouse, a unique historical landmark inside the Poro Point Freeport Zone, serves as the focal point of the festival. Sillag comes from the Ilocano word “sellag” which means moonbeam or illumination from the moon.

PPMC President & CEO Atty. Felix S. Racadio shared that, “Sillag Festival is the staging point and rising star to accomplish a much bigger objective which is to promote development beyond the confines of the Poro Point Freeport Zone.” He added, “Through Sillag, we at PPMC, under the leadership of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and the new set of high ranking officials of BCDA, aim to attract domestic and foreign tourists to encourage business and commerce in the City of San Fernando and the rest of the province.”

SILLAG has been integrated in the tourism efforts in the Province of La Union since 2013 with its inclusion in the annual foundation anniversary celebration of the province. A steady increase in the number of festival attendees has been recorded over the years. From a crowd of a mere 4,000 in 2012, the crowd estimate was placed at 131,000 in 2016, thus, contributing to the growth of the tourism industry in the province.

Hope as the Central Message

To grasp the rich symbolism incorporated in Sillag Festival, it is important to understand that lights are used in main events to underscore the parallelism with the Poro Point Lighthouse as a beacon of hope.

The Sillag Village demonstrates the importance for people to have a strong sense of community while helping each individual to be resilient and to believe that one can always hope for a better tomorrow. The Sunset Run for Hope gives the anticipation that as the day ends, a bright new day beckons. The Street Dancing Competition with light adornments shows that each person can be a source of light to his fellow human beings. The Hope Lanterns represent the collective aspirations of the people of La Union for a bright future.

Through these meaningful activities, Sillag Festival offers visitors a unique experience in La Union as a counterpart of Baguio City’s Panagbenga Flower Festival and Clark’s International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

Poro Point Baywalk and Events Center as Venue of Sillag

The festival is held at the Poro Point Baywalk and Events Center. This project was inspired by the growing interest of the public to visit the Poro Point Freeport Zone highlighted during the annual celebration of SILLAG Festival. The facility includes a 1.3 kilometers baywalk fronting the San Fernando Bay. It features a bicycle lane, parks, playgrounds, picnic area, gazebos, amphitheater and Commercial Strip.

The Commercial Strip is available for lease to investors and Small and Medium Enterprises to promote the participation of local businessmen in the development of the zone. The Commercial Strip has 44 cut lots with a size of 400 square meters for each cut lot. The anchor locator, Adeline’s House of Food and Beverages and Atrium Travel and Tours, is on its final stage of building construction. The contracts of two (2) other locators, Lemon Hub and Five M Food Park, have been approved by the PPMC Board, while nine (9) other prospective locators have either submitted their signed term sheets or paid their reservations. The presence of these locators is foreseen to draw more tourists to the area and enhance the competitiveness of the Zone.

Strategic Partnerships – Key to Sillag’s Success

PPMC takes cognizance that key to the growing success of SILLAG Festival is the strong partnerships sustained over the years.

SILLAG is run by a multi-sectoral Executive Committee and Working Committee which include government agencies - the national and local government units, government corporations, various branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, and from the private sector - Poro Point Freeport Zone locators, the academe, civil society organizations, private companies and private individuals. The various media infrastructures, particularly those who have given positive reviews about the festival played an essential role in inviting and increasing the public’s interest and participation.

Among the festival partners of PPMC/BCDA are: The Provincial Government of La Union led by Governor Francisco Emmanuel “Pacoy” R. Ortega III; Representative Vini Nola A. Ortega; Ms. Jennifer Joan Ortega-Manguiat; Representative Pablo C. Ortega; City Government of San Fernando, La Union; City Mayor Hermenegildo A. Gualberto; Municipal Mayors of La Union; Department of Tourism; Tourism Promotions Board; Department of Trade and Industry; Universal Robina Corporation; Thunderbird Resorts and Casinos; Poro Point Industrial Corporation; Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc.; La Union Electric Company, Inc.; Leading Edge International Aviation Academy, Inc.; Union Galva Steel; Megapines Realty and Development, Inc.; SMART Communications; PLDT; AQN Communications; Philex Mining Corporation; Northern Real Estate Developers Corporation; 101.7 Love Radio and Aksyon Radyo; Theta’s Von Fitness Center; Holcim Philippines, Inc., Philippine Information Agency - Region I and Various Media Infrastructures; Philippine National Police – Region I; Philippine National Police – La Union Provincial Office; City of San Fernando, La Union Police; Northern Luzon Command – Armed Forces of the Philippines; Coast Guard District Northwestern Luzon; 580th Aircraft Control and Warning Wing, Philippine Air Force; Naval Forces Northern Luzon, Philippine Navy; Philippine Military Academy; Philippine Marine Corps; Special Operations Command and 81st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army; Bureau of Fire Protection - Region I; Philippine Red Cross La Union – San Fernando City Chapter; Department of Education - Region I; Commission on Higher Education - Region I; Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines; Barangay Poro; Barangay San Vicente; Barangay San Agustin; Barangay San Francisco; Barangay Canaoay; La Union Conventions and Visitors Bureau; La Union Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants Association; Association of Tourism Industries and Networks; Fun Cycling Club; La Union Cosplay Organization; Chamber of Commerce and Industry of La Union; Association of Tour Guides of La Union; San Juan Resorts, Restaurants and Hotels Association, Inc., Bauang Tourism Council; Saint Louis College; LORMA Colleges; Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University; Union Christian College; Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center , LORMA Medical Center; La Union Medical Diagnostics Center and Hospital; Bethany Hospital, Inc.; Mr. Franco Jubilo and Gawad Kalinga.

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