Tourism officials promote world’s tallest Virgin Mary statue in Batangas
HOUSTON, TX — Many economists say that tourism is the world’s leading money-making industry. The Philippines ranks sixth in tourist visits and dollar earnings in South Asia behind Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam respectively.
Tourism sector stakeholders are actively working to change this.
The province of Batangas is making a vigorous push with a visit to Houston, hoping to bring Philippine tourism to new heights over the next few years.
“It is partnered and endorsed by the department of tourism in the Philippines. And really promoting this love of country. We are asking Filipinos to go back, get involved in the development of the Philippines,” said Dodo Mandanas, Governor of Batangas.
This is their latest attraction, and it’s massive.
Called “Montemaria”, it is located in the southeastern part of the province, and is being developed into what they hope is the newest religious tourism and pilgrimage destination — with the world’s tallest Virgin Mary statue: the Mother of All Asia-Tower of Peace, standing at 316 feet.
“Taller than the statue of liberty in New York, and almost three times as tall as the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio De Janerio, Brazil,” said Mandanas.
“It’s going to be a landmark. Not only in Batangas, but in the Philippines,” said Pach Cansana, Business Development Director/Architect.
This development is expected to further push Batangas as a spiritual refuge…already known for its ancient basilicas and churches.
“It is a place for rejuvenation, it is a place for development, for renewal. So there will be wellness centers there. It is body and spirit we want to develop,” said Mandanas.
Much thought had to be given to environmental concerns, as the development is mere miles away from The Verde Island Passage, known as the most biologically diverse and productive water ecosystems in the world.
“It’s very rare for people who have practiced real estate to have an opportunity to be involved in a project like this. It’s an iconic project,” said developer Ren Cinco.
Batangas’ strategic location means the statue will be seen by all vessels coming to the Philippines, making it a unique gateway to the rest of the Philippines as well as the Asia Pacific Region.