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Rising to the CHALLENGE


Pressure is high for La Union Governor Raphaelle
“Rafy” Ortega-David, but she is confidently stepping
up to the plate and is ready to serve the Elyu-canos.




Before the closure of Boracay in 2018, the famous island would receive millions of tourists. But when former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ordered the island-res ort’s closure and rehabilitation, beach lovers ventured to other popular islands and beaches in the countr y—El Nido, Coron, Si argao, and La Union.

La Union was somewhat of a hidden gem, albeit popular to surfing enthusiasts. In early 2018, however, the province decided to ramp up its promotional efforts to attract more tourists. Coincidentally, Duterte’s announcement of B oracay’s closure around April along with the dynamic advertising of the provincial tourism office led to an increase of 54.25 percent in tourist arrivals in the first semester of 2018.

Now, e ven with the reviva l of Boracay, La Union is still the go-to place for young professionals, barkadas, couples, and of course, surfers. Because of its proximity to Metro Manila and the op ening of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Pozorrubio to Rosario s egment in 2020, hundreds of tourists flo ck to t he province daily, even more during weekends. It is common to hear people say, “Tara, Elyu tayo (Let’s go to L.U.)”

Newly-elected Gover nor Raphaelle Veronica “Rafy” Ortega-David shares that the provincial government is thinking of coining a term to call the citizens of La Union and one of the top choices is ‘LU-canos,’ pronounced ‘Elyu-canos.’ The term aims to recognize the province’s Ilocano origins while at the same time, signify the province’s modern and youthful governance by using t he colloquial term ‘Elyu’ (after L.U., the initials of La Union). It also encourages patriotism for the province and unity among the people.

La Union, it seems, is at t he forefront of many trends. Tourism-wise, going to the province for the weekend for surfing and drinks is considered hip. When it comes to governance, the province ......

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