A stack of solar-powered stones and mirror installations are just among the latest attractions at the Paoay sand dunes that tourists could look forward to on their next visit to this northern gateway of Luzon.
Located within the vast desert landscapes of Barangay Suba in Paoay town, the attractions’ safekeeping and management are being turned over to the local government unit of Paoay, represented by Mayor Shiella Galano, and the Paoay Sand Dunes Cooperative, represented by its chairperson, Gilbert de los Santos.
Namnama Bumanglag, a representative of the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office, confirmed this on Tuesday after the passage of an urgent resolution by the provincial board, which authorizes Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Paoay government and the Paoay Sand Dunes Cooperative to oversee the safety and upkeep of the tourist attractions.
“Once the MOA is signed, it shall be the duty of the Paoay government and the cooperative to install and maintain it,” Bumanglag said.
In pre-pandemic times, the Paoay sand dunes have been a popular filming destination for local and international production companies. It is also a favorite among thrill-seekers eager to try dune-bashing, sand boarding, and 4×4 activities.
Crowd-drawing events like outdoor concerts are held in celebration of the annual “Himala sa Buhangin.”
As the first and only province to receive a safe travel stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council, Ilocos Norte continues to promote new normal attractions in various parts of the province to entice more tourists and generate more jobs for the locals.
An increase in tourist arrivals and bookings in Ilocos Norte has been observed last summer with accommodation facilities getting fully booked and thousands flocking to pilgrimage sites and other key destinations in the province. (PNA)