Naga City, CamSur, win Ad Congress Bid
Bicol (February 24) – The Province of Camarines Sur and the City of Naga bested Cebu and Baguio as this year’s venue for the Philippine Advertising Congress. In a majority decision, the Philippine Advertising Board thought it wise to bring the 22nd Ad Congress to Bicol, which is fast gaining popularity among local and foreign tourists alike.
Local Government Units interested in hosting the largest gathering of advertising and marketing experts in the country were asked to submit their bids before January 31. Naga City formally expressed its interest as early as December of last year. Meanwhile, the provincial government of Camarines Sur also submitted its bid to the Ad Board.
Two other contenders, Cebu and Baguio, lost to Naga and Camarines Sur, which will be hosting the prestigious event for the first time. Naga City Mayor John Bongat said that he was pleased that the Ad Board has decided on Naga and Camarines Sur, citing that the city and the province have more than met the stringent qualifications set by the selection committee. The bids of Cebu province and Cebu City were considered as one.
The Ad Congress is usually held in cities that are able to comply with a strict set of standards set by the Ad Board such as a large plenary hall that can accommodate up to 5,000 delegates, quality hotel accommodation, local government support, adequate and transportation infrastructure. This year, the Ad Board also took into consideration the activities and destinations present in the bidding cities to allow delegates the chance to explore the during leisure time.
Naga has more than 2,000 hotel rooms and a flourishing tourism industry. It is also home to the largest bus terminal south of Manila. In a radio interview, Governor LRay Villafuerte, in an interview, said that the Ad Congress will benefit both Camarines Sur and Naga. They are also accessible by both land and air with two major airlines servicing the Naga Airport.
The bid for the Ad Congress was previously discussed by Mayor Bongat and Governor Villafuerte last December after the joint lighting of Plaza Rizal in Naga City. The two chief executives as well as the management committees of the provincial and city governments made it a point to collaborate on the bid to maximize their chances.
The world-famous CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC) is located within the provincial capitol complex and is popular among adventurous tourists who flock to Bicol to wakeboard and soak in the sun at the pristine beaches of Caramoan. Mt. Isarog Natural Park, located in Naga, is also a major destination for trekkers and nature lovers. Both Naga and Camarines Sur regularly hold athletic events like the Iron Man and various cause-oriented fun runs. In fact, Mayor Bongat says, Naga has recently been proclaimed as the “Fun Run Capital of the South” due to the number of scheduled fun runs this year alone.