‘B.E.S.T.’ of CL as seen from expo provincial pavilions

The seven provinces of Central Luzon pooled together their resources for an expo that seeks to lure investors and travelers alike in experiencing the B.E.S.T. of the region.

B.E.S.T stands for Business Friendly, Environmentally Sustainable, Strategically Located and Tourism Destination.

Organized by the Central Luzon Growth Corridor Foundation Inc. (CLGCFI) under the leadership of Tarlac Governor Susan A. Yap, it was held last October 17 and 18 at the ASEAN Convention Center in Clark Freeport Zone.

“For the first time, we have embarked to put a gargantuan task. It took two years to plan this Central Luzon Expo where all the seven provinces will be able to showcase what their strengths are and what they have to offer not only in terms of their products but in terms of investments, tourism, employment opportunities, and many others,” Yap said.

It featured seven beautiful pavilions that pitch each province’s products, tourist destinations, festivals and traditions.

Bringing the glory and historic value of its top destination, the province of Aurora used the replica of the remarkable Baler Church as the façade of its pavilion. Guests were greeted with the best-seller indigenous handicrafts, tasty food and other products hailed from the different municipalities. Aside from culture and history, the pavilion is also oozing with summer vibes because of the displayed promotional materials on its beaches and falls. 

From one striking province to another, lo and behold Bataan showcased one of the known symbols of Philippine valor- the Dambana ng Kagitinganlocated in Pilar town. Apart from the symbolic cross erected at the center of its pavilion, the province exhibited its capabilities and attributes through informative leaflets and hi-tech kiosk that allows visitors to explore Bataan in just a few clicks. 

Meanwhile, the distinctive sound of Bulacan played by a live band and accompanied by graceful dancers seems to catch every eye in the room. The Barasaoain Church-inspired pavilion demonstrated class and elegance in the colors of natural elements. The impressive hand-painted walls display the handicrafts and unique products such as buntal bags, rattan bags, leather and other crafts.  Consequently, visitors were offered a taste of the minasa of Bustos, chicharon of Sta. Maria and pastilyasof San Miguel.

On another note, the Nueva Ecija pavilion was a fusion of modern and traditional concept with an agricultural touch. The province has brought its best products such as rice coffee, batutay of Cabanatuan City, onions of Bongabon and dairy products of Talavera to let the everyone taste the never-ending palatable pride of the province. 

Walking a few steps, a pavilion has exemplified enough reasons to love Pampanga. It showed the craftsmanship of Kapampangans in producing export quality furniture, guitars and of course, lanterns. It also depicted photos of its heritage churches and other tourist attractions.

Moreover, the Tarlac pavilion was inspired by two known landmarks of the province- the Provincial Capitol and the Diwa ng Tarlak. On display were a wide array of products ranging from those made from bamboo, pastries, and processed food. Those into pilgrimage were enjoined to visit Monasterio de Tarlac which is home to the relic of the true cross of Christ while adventure seekers were enticed to try the trek and hike to Mount Pinatubo.

And lastly, inviting sound of the waves called people as they come closer to the Zambales pavilion. Known for its famed islands, coves and beaches, it offered a virtual reality experience to Potipot Island, Crystal Cove and many more. Aside for sun, sand and salt, food products from local resources were displayed for everyone to see. Furthermore, Zamba Ball of Fortune informed and gave away prizes to visitors. 

The sneak-peek provided at the expo was a good experience. However, it is better to see, taste, hear and experience all of them personally. Each province has something special to offer that would never disappoint you in your next travel. Hence, explore Central Luzon and experience only the best! (CLJD/TJBM-PIA 3)