6 February 2017, Manila – The Philippines welcomes Canadian snowbirds anew as it kicks off Day One of Winter Escapade 2017. Originally conceptualized by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism and the Tourism Promotions Board in 2012, the tour is now on its fourth season and will be bringing two hundred and forty-five (245) Filipino and Canadian tourists from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec to the Ilocos region and Coron, Palawan from 6 to 14 February 2017. A group from the USA will also be joining the tour.
The first Winter Escapade was conducted in 2013, bringing more than two hundred tourists to Aklan, Iloilo, Guimaras and Manila. Since then, the tour has been conducted every year, visiting Bohol, Siquijor, Negros Oriental, Albay, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, and Palawan.
“Winter Escapade has always sought to provide Canadians and Filipinos a respite from winter,” says Philippine Ambassador to Canada Petronila P. Garcia. “What better way to spend Canada’s winter, than basking in the Philippine sun and immersing oneself in Philippine culture, cuisine, and natural wonders?”
This year, Winter Escapade opens with the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Rizal Park and a visit to Intramuros. The participants will then proceed with their itinerary to Laoag, where they will be feted with a welcome dinner hosted by Governor Imee Marcos. Their stay in Ilocos will bring them to the region’s iconic Spanish colonial churches and local sites featuring age-old Ilocano crafts that have endured through the centuries. Participants will also have the chance to swim in Pagudpud, walk the cobblestone streets of UNESCO World Heritage Site Vigan, and partake of the trademark Ilocano empanada, bagnet and longganisa.
A detour to Palawan, consistently voted as one of the best islands in the world, is a must for the Winter Escapade participants. This year’s participants will experience Maquinit Hot Springs, one of the few salt water hot springs in the world, and go on an island-hopping tour of Coron.
“We wish to thank the Tourism Promotions Board, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, our tour handler Rajah Tours, project partner Western Union, Local Government Units (LGUs) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for their work in making this tour possible,” Ambassador Garcia stated. “And we thank our participants for joining us as we discover more of the Philippines.” END