The Provincial Government of Sorsogon led by Gov. Chiz Escudero today thanked the Department of Tourism Region V for the recognition it accorded the province as having the most tourism development projects from 2019 up to 2021.

At the same time, Escudero expressed hope that the beautification of the province, which was done while the country was in various stages of lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will attract more local and foreign tourists once people are comfortable enough to travel again.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa ating DOT Region V sa pagkilala sa ating lalawigan bilang No. 1 sa buong kabikulan pagdating sa mga tourism development projects sa loob ng halos tatlong taon kong panunungkulan bilang gobernador,” Escudero said.

He gave credit to his team at the provincial government, especially the Sorsogon Provincial Tourism Office headed by Bobby Gigantone, and lauded the cooperation of the province’s 14 towns and one city for elevating the standard of tourism a notch higher.

“International and local borders are opening up again due to the improving environment as a result of decreasing COVID-19 cases. So, it is a matter of time before people will start traveling extensively again. Hopefully, all our efforts will put the province in the map of international and domestic tourism,” said Escudero, who is running in next year’s elections for a fresh six-year term in the Senate.

The Plaque of Commendation was handed to Gigantone by DOT Regional Director Herbie B. Aguas recently, together with another award, this time in recognition of the Provincial Tourism office’s “Digital/ Social Media Campaign” that led to #MahalKongSorsogon as the most discoverable and used hashtag on Instagram.

“A special thanks to our honorable governor, Chiz Escudero, for his continuous efforts that paved the way for the tourism industry in our beloved province to see its most progressive days so far. The numerous tourism development projects we have had in the past three years have brought us to this moment when all of our hard work is appreciated,” Gigantone wrote on his Facebook account after receiving the double recognition.

“The lines ‘Hindi pwede and pwede na’ and ‘Kada Sorsoganon Magdanon’ ring true as these powerful messages brought out the camaraderie and hard work among our fellow Sorsoganons,” he added.

Aside from the beautification of key tourist spots and the construction of tourism-related infrastructure for the last three years, it was also under Esdudero’s term that the province was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest Philippine folk dance.

The province has also become a favorite location shoot for movies and TV shows, including the current top-rating teleserye of GMA-7 “I Left My Heart in Sorsogon” starring the governor’s wife Heart Evangelista. #MahalKongSorsogon