LEGAZPI CITY(18-Feb-2013/PNA) – This city is preparing for another “something big” for its tourism load this year with the coming of thousands of Bicolano “balikbayans” from the United States for the 30th Bicolano National Association of America (BNAA) Convention in July.
“We are making this grand event memorable more than ever for these ‘kababayans’ of ours who have been successful in their respective careers and crafts in continental USA,” said City Mayor Geraldine Rosal on Monday.
“They will find Legazpi, now internationally referred to as the Philippines’ ‘City of Fun and Adventure’, very much different from what it was seven years ago–the last time the same affair was held here with over 4,000, including the BNAA second generation, in attendance ,” she added.
The number would be bigger this year, Maria Ong-Ravanilla, the Department of Tourism (DOT) regional director for Bicol, said, noting that this year’s convention themed “Balik-Bikol IV” would be a celebration of BNAA’s 30th year of humanitarian services to Bicolanos.
The BNAA was founded on Nov. 17, 1983 at the Capitol Site, Washington, D.C., in the presence of US-based Bicolano leaders or presidents of the Bicol organizations already in existence.
The association gives importance to one united umbrella organization of Bicolanos in a continental territory far away from their native land, Rosal said.
“BNAA membership provides opportunity to become connected with other Bicolanos in the US and work with other members in addressing the needs of our local community and the Bicol Region,” Adolfo Manlangit, its incumbent president based in Houston, Texas, said in a statement reaching here over the weekend.
For the past 30 years, the BNAA has been involved in relief assistance to victims of calamities and scholarship grants.
In yearly trips to Bicol, its teams would hold medical missions and build potable water systems in far-flung barangays.(PNA)