P28-M road leads to Pangasinan religious tourism site

DAGUPAN CITY: The 1.3-kilometer access road leading to the St. Vincent Ferrer pilgrimage site in Barangay Bani, Bayambang in Pangasinan province is ready for the expected influx of devotees during the Holy Week. Department of Public Works and Highways Ilocos Region information officer Esperanza Tinaza said the PHP28.4-million road is part of the Bical Norte-Tanolong-Inanlorenza road line. "This is an effort to elevate accessibility and preserve cultural and religious attractions" she said in a statement Tuesday. In a phone interview also on Tuesday, Bayambang tourism officer Rafael Saygo said the access road will greatly benefit the religious tourism site. In December 2023 alone, the local government recorded 197,000 tourists who visited the pilgrimage site and the town's Christmas Village inspired by the Japanese animation Studio Ghibli. For the whole of 2023, tourist arrivals in the town reached 345,674. Saygo said faith tourism has been the attraction in Bayambang since the pilgrimage site opened in 2018. Its main attraction is the 164.8-feet (50.23-meter) St. Vincent statue, awarded in 2019 by Guinness World Records as the tallest supported bamboo structure. Source: Philippines News Agency

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