WITH the return of full swing tourism activities and freer travel in 2023, Baguio’s media community is returning to an old tradition that has been shelved for the past three odd-years due to the COVID-19 pandemic – the Lucky Summer Visitors (LSV) program.
The tradition, which first started in its current form in 1983, is an annual program conducted by the Baguio City Broadcasters Club (BCBC) during the Holy Week in April. Shelved for a few years during the COVID pandemic, the program at its core revolves around picking the eponymous Lucky Summer Visitors for the year by stopping a random passenger bus headed to the city to pick a few first-time Baguio visitors among the passengers.
These passengers will then receive the full “red carpet” treatment, according to BCBC president, Joseph Cabanas. The standard LSV treatment includes free hotel accommodations, guided tours around Baguio and neighbouring Benguet, and gifts of local produce to take home.
“BCBC is bringing LSV back after a three-year hiatus, and we are building it up from scratch,” Cabanas said.
The last iteration of the LSV program was held in 2019 before travel was shut down due to the pandemic, where four travelers from Antipolo were selected and provided the full experience.
In this iteration, the lucky visitors, to be selected on Maundy Thursday, will be guided with tours not only around Baguio City, but also to neighbouring towns La Trinidad, Tuba and Atok, according to Cabanas.
According to lawyer Joel Dizon, a former newsman and a member of the BCBC, the project had its roots in the similar 1975 Lucky 100,000th Visitor Program.
The current form of the program took shape in 1983, following the BCBC organizing a “media camp” during that year’s Holy Week, a time when most publications were on break. The camp itself is also being revived this year.