ILOILO CITY -- The Iloilo City Festival Committee (ICFC) is promoting heritage tourism by getting the services of its former city tourism and development officer Benito Jimena.

Fresh from his trip to Vietnam, Jimena on Wednesday underscored the need to promote the heritage tourism in the city like what our Southeast Asian neighbor is doing.

He said the Vietnamese are “very keen on promoting the heritage tourism of Vietnam.”

“We only take it for granted. In fact we only look at old houses as infrastructures but we don’t appreciate. We have not linked it with what we have done before as a way of life,” he said.

Iloilo City’s Calle Real or the J.M. Basa Street, where array of restored heritage buildings can be found, was declared in 2014 as a heritage zone by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, this year’s celebration of the Bonifacio Day and succeeding years thereafter will have the involvement of various sectors and not just a gathering of residents of Barangay Tanza Bonifacio every 30th of November.

"There will be a celebration, although we are still wanting of time, what we can do is look at the activities that we can muster but probably next year we can include it in our calendar of activities,” he said.

Jimena said that activities of the city should be treated as “community collaboration.”

“Without the cooperation of everybody, it will not be successful" he said.

As special assistant for festivals, he said that he would “be looking at the events of Iloilo City and make sure that there are people who will be doing the important things.”

The council was created by the city government to plan and coordinate with all sectors for the successful conduct of festivals and other significant events. (PNA)