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Illuminating horizons - Tourist Rest Areas (TRAs) pave the path to vibrant tourism landscape

A radiant sense of hope envelops the enchanting Zamboanga Peninsula as it stands proudly in the limelight, ready to unfurl its boundless tourism potential. Amidst the applause of its people, a beacon of progress emerges - Tourist Rest Areas or TRAs, a visionary endeavor by the Department of Tourism (DOT) that holds the potential to transform the landscape of tourist destinations nationwide.

Undersecretary Myra Paz Valderossa-Abubakar takes the stage with immense pride and passion, sharing the vision that TRAs hold for the nation. 

"As a Zamboangueña, I am filled with immense pride to witness the Zamboanga Peninsula at the forefront, showcasing the beauty and potential of our beloved homeland," she declares during the recent Post SONA Forum held in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte. 

The Post SONA Forum anchored on the theme “Pagsulong ng Kapayapaan at Turismo Tungo sa Pag-unlad ng Zamboanga Peninsula,” has set focused on the region’s local tourism, its potential, opportunities, and government initiatives to boost tourism in this part of the country. 

TRAs stand as a tangible manifestation of the DOT's commitment to enriching the tourist experience. Clean restrooms, previously overlooked, now take center stage, prioritizing the comfort of travelers. But these rest areas are so much more - they embody havens of solace, where visitors can savor the soul-stirring flavors of the Philippines through its "Pasalubong Center". Within these spaces, the tales of local delicacies unfold, each one carrying a piece of the Philippines' vibrant culture.

Each TRA has a bountiful wellspring of local tourism information, inviting guests to embark on transformative journeys of exploration. Beyond brick and mortar, these rest areas harbor the spirit of a united nation, extending an invitation for all to delve deep into the heart and soul of each destination, fostering a sense of belonging and understanding for all who visit.

Usec Abubakar's eyes gleam with excitement as she shares the profound impact that TRAs have on local communities. 

"This establishment not only creates jobs but also nurtures love and pride for our homeland," she proclaims with a radiant smile. The TRAs act as conduits of prosperity, infusing the regions with hope and opportunity, laying the foundation for a thriving future.

With Cebu already inaugurated its own rest areas, Usec Abubakar shares the dreams that the TRA holds for the Zamboanga region. A glimmer of hope shines in her eyes as she expresses her heartfelt desire for the peninsula to embrace TRAs in the near future. The promise of these havens of respite and cultural celebration illuminates the horizons, paving the path to a brighter and more connected tourism landscape.

With great anticipation, the people of Zamboanga Peninsula region envision  a future where the TRA project extends its reach beyond Cebu, reaching other cherished destinations. 

The aspiration to inaugurate TRAs in Carmen, Cebu, as well as in Bukidnon, and Samal Island in Davao, reflects the yearning to foster a haven for every traveler seeking solace and serenity.

But this tale of transformation does not end there; it serves as a prologue to a grand adventure that unfolds across the enchanting landscapes of Mindanao. Locals of the Zamboanga Peninsula gaze towards  the horizon, envisioning the day when TRAs will grace the picturesque locales of this diverse region, inviting travelers to explore the hidden gems that lie within.

In the embrace of TRAs, the Philippines stands at the cusp of a new era, where hope and progress converge, igniting a flame that illuminates the hearts of Zamboangueños, beckoning them forward into a future adorned with possibility. As the TRAs cast their light upon the horizon, Zamboanga Peninsula and the entire nation find themselves on a transformative journey, united in a shared dream of embracing a radiant tomorrow. (KSA/RVC/JPA/ Zamboanga Sibugay)

Photo: DOT 9

About the Author

Jocelyn Alvarez


Region 9

Information Center Manager of Zamboanga Sibugay Province

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