Info center for LB tourists launched

Photo By: Clarisse Abao

Photo By: Clarisse Abao

By Jiana de Guzman and Vivian Ceballos

The Los Baños Tourist Information Center opened in the New Municipal Building last September 17 during the celebration of the town’s 400th foundation anniversary.

Mark Lapid, COO of Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and Rebecca Labit, Regional Director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Region IV-A, graced the unveiling ceremonies.


(L-R) DOT Region IV-A Regional Director Rebecca Labit, TIEZA COO Mark Lapid, Bañamos festival organizer Robert Cereno, and Municipal Tourism Officer Rommel Manigas (Photo by: Vivian Ceballos)

According to Lapid, the purpose of the Tourist Information Center is to be a go-to hub of visitors in getting tips on the best spots to visit, food to try, and festivities to explore. He furthered that with the help of the Department of Tourism, “the center will offer [travel] packages where [tourists] can go in Los Baños”. Lapid added that plans for upgrading the center are already in place. He assures that by 2016, works for the 2nd floor of the center will start.

Los Baños Mayor Ceasar Perez also noted that the tourist center brings information closer to the visitors. “Ngayon na may Tourist Center na tayo, madali na magtanong [ang mga bisita].”

Many locals are not yet familiar with the center but those interviewed support its aim of boosting the town’s tourism. “You have to know more about Los Baños. Hindi lang UP, hindi lang Mt. Makiling, but other facets of [the town]…Promote certain aspects kung saan sila strong. I think this will boost tourism in Los Baños” shares a Los Baños resident, Toti Menorca.

Negosyo Center-LB opens last Sept 14

Photo by Joel Custodio

Photo by Joel Custodio

Negosyo Center-Los Baños, a one-stop shop for services to support small businesses, was officially launched last September 14 at the town’s municipal hall. The event opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a program, ceremonial turnover of a PhP 3.4M cheque, and press conference.

Headed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Negosyo Centers in the country are created through Republic Act (RA) No. 10644 or the Go Negosyo Act. Negosyo Center-Los Baños is established in partnership with UPLB, Center for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship (CTTE), and the Association of Laguna Food Processors (ALAFOP).

The Negosyo Centers offer start-up and existing small enterprises with services that are classified in three: business registration assistance, business advisory, and business information and advocacy.

According to DTI, in business registration, Negosyo Centers can provide details on registration documents. They can also help facilitate procedures for business name registration, business licensing, and other regulatory permits.


The municipality of Los Baños receives PhP 3.45M from DTI Region 4 for the set up and operations of Negosyo Center-Los Baños. (From L-R) Shown in the photo are the following officials: DTI Provincial Director Susan Palo, USEC Zenaida Maglaya, Sen. Bam Aquino, Mayor Ceasar Perez, Vice Gov. Karen Agapay, and DTI Regional Director Marilou Toledo. (Photo by Joel Custodio)

The Go Negosyo Act was authored by Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino who also graced the launch. Other government, DTI, and ALAFOP officials present were Laguna Governor Ramil Hernandez, Vice Governor Karen Agapay, Los Baños Mayor Ceasar Perez, Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya, DTI Regional Director Marilou Toledo, DTI Asst. Regional Director Marcelina Alcantara, DTI Provincial Director Susan Palo, and ALAFOP President Clarke Nebrao.

Los Baños holds the 90th Negosyo Center in the Philippines. Palo shared that four more centers are expected to open in Laguna next year in Sta. Rosa, Calamba, San Pablo, and Sta. Cruz.

For more information, you may contact (049) 530 2818 or visit Negosyo Center-Los Baños at the Los Baños Muncipal Hall, Brgy. Timugan from Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. (MRFSRolle)

LB to host week-long events for LB@400

To mark Los Banos’ 400th anniversary, a week’s line up of activities awaits residents and tourists from September 14 to 20 during the 14th Banamos Festival.

The festival kicks off with the opening of week-long local expos, the Banamos Sale and the Barangay Booth Trade Fair to be held at the old municipal covered court starting September 14, Monday.

An evening of culture will grace September 15. Members of the town’s public schools are poised to host DepEd Night where students will stage Philippine folk performances.

Also part of the activities is a 1990’s themed dance contest, Bailamos, on September 16, 7:00 pm. Twelve groups from Laguna will vie to bag cash prizes of PhP 20,000 (first place), PhP 15,000 (second place) and PhP 10,000 (third place).

Declared a municipal holiday, bulk of the activities will unfold on September 17, the town’s founding anniversary. The day opens with a Civic Parade which starts at Olivarez Plaza, 6:00 am, and ends at the old Municipal Covered Court at 9:00 am. Following the parade are two simultaneous events: unveiling of the Los Banos Museum and the foundation anniversary program. The old municipal building at Brgy. Baybayin will be re-opened as the town’s museum. To lead the ribbon cutting ceremony is Mark Lapid, Chief Operating Officer of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

In the foundation anniversary program, Outstanding Citizens of 2015 winners will be announced under the following categories:

  • Outstanding Citizen (Professional);
  • Outstanding Citizen (Non-Professional);
  • Outstanding NGO/ Civic Organization;
  • Outstanding Public School Teacher (Elementary and High School);
  • Outstanding Citizen for Sports Development;
  • Outstanding Cooperative;
  • Outstanding Municipal Employee; and
  • Outstanding Barangay Official.

On the night of September 18, ten bands will compete at Himigsikan. Winners will receive PhP 20,000 (first place), PhP 15,000 (second place), PhP 10,000 (third place) and       PhP 5,000 for the best original composition.

Everyone is invited to join the World Record Shower Fest on September 19, 6:00 am. According to the Municipal Tourism Office, Los Banos will aim to beat the world record of 350 people participating in a shower fest.

From world record to mass dancing, Los Banos will also host a series of Zumba sessions on September 15, 17, and 19 at the old municipal covered court. On September 19, the Zumba session will be led by Regine Tolentino, celebrity choreographer and dancer. Dubbed Zumbanos, this event starts at 3:00 pm. In the evening, 14 pageant candidates will vie for the crown, Miss Los Banos 2015.

The quadricentennial week concludes on September 20 with an inter-barangay sports fest, Palarong Banamos, 6:00 am; followed by a samba-themed street dance event, Bayle sa Kalye, 12:00 pm; and the closing program, Grand Revelry, at 7:00 pm.

More information on the schedule of activities is available at the Los Banos Municipal Tourism Office at (049) 530-2818.