HIGHLIGHTING VALENZUELA’S HIDDEN GEMS
Valenzuela 2nd District Councilor Carreon proves
that through passion and determination, one can
revitalize tourism in a city even during a pandemic.
BY CAMILLE CABAL
PHOTOGRAPHY BY IVAN LLANETA
The city of Valenzuela has an interesting history. Formerly called Polo as it was then believed to be an island because of the surrounding rivers, the city eventually came to be named after Dr. Pio Valenzuela, part of the Katipunan triumvirate together with Emilio Jacinto and Andres Bonifacio. After a series of unification and division into separate local government units (LGUs), Valenzuela’s population eventually grew and its economy progressed, making it qualified for cityhood. From being a part of the province of Bulacan, it became part of Metro Manila.
Fast forward to the present, Valenzuela has further developed and is now dubbed as the Northern Gateway to Metropolitan Manila due to the major highways bridging it with neighboring places. Valenzuela is also known as a top manufacturing hub because of the growing number of factories in the area. Quite a few
historical, cultural, and religious establishments in Valenzuela have also become popular tourist spots. Determined public servants in the city, however, are convinced that Valenzuela has more to offer tourismwise, and are bent on making the city another major tourist destination in Metro Manila.
Discovering a place to convert to a new tourist spot in big cities is a serious challenge since historical, cultural, and other sites have already been previously identified and developed. But for Councilor Chiqui Carreon, the work doesn’t end where history did. As a tourism graduate, one of her goals is to give
Valenzuela a new character by looking for more places in the city that she and her team can convert into tourist spots, providing a living for Valenzuelaños.
TAGALAG FISHING VILLAGE
Unlike other places where pandemic stories include accounts of local tourism suffering, Valenzuela has a COVID-19 success story centered on Barangay Tagalag. Carreon shares that during her first term which commenced in 2019, no one was choosing the city council’s Committee on Tourism. She believed that as a tourism graduate, she could handle the committee excellently. “At first, I....