The city government of Dagupan re-launched the river cruise adventure, a major tourist attraction of the city seven years ago.
The thatched-roof boat took its maiden voyage again along the Dawel River on December 27 as witnessed by Dagupenos.
It had as initial passengers Mayor Brian Lim, Pangasinan Fourth District Rep. Christopher De Venecia, Ralph Du, city officials and Rev. Fr. Manuel Bravo.
The cruise, first conceptualized in 2012 by then Mayor Benjamin Lim to showcase the cleanliness and bounty from the waters, traverses the Dawel-Watac-Mamalingling rivers.
Mayor Lim said as water is the purveyor and center of life for most people around the world especially in Dagupan, people converge on the river, thus the need to protect and love it.
“Everytime I pass by Dawel, I feel serenity and peace. Mararamdaman ng dumadaan that he is one with God, one with nature and one with Dagupan. It is my dream for tourists to come and experience that,” Lim said during the re-launching activity and blessing of the river cruise.
Lim added that the project was envisioned not only as a tourist attraction for the city but also as an economy booster to provide livelihood to Dagupenos.
Future plans include a fish-feeding at the end of the cruise, restaurants on the side that will serve the famous Dagupan “bangus” (milkfish) and a zipline crisscrossing the river.
Prior to the initial cruise, the officials released 5,000 molobicus tilapia fingerlings, 10,000 ulang and 200 sea bass.
Two giant turtles were also released to the river.
They also distributed non-motorized bancas to 85 fisherfolks from Barangays Pugaro, Salapingao and Calmay.
City Agriculturist Emma Molina said as Dagupan is the home of the best and tastiest “bangus”, it is fitting to give back the benevolence and respect to the river.
“We give recognition to the river and the fisherfolks. The river is our life in the city,” Molina said. (JCRAMB/VHS/PIA Pangasinan)
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