Program to Tour Manila via the LRT launched
IKOT MANILA. Participants read an instruction manual of the Ikot MNL Challenge, an Amazing Race type of event where players race four stations to perform fun tasks at nearby tourist sports, at the Light Rail Transit 1 (LRT-1) on Saturday (Aug. 11, 2018). The activity is a project by the Department of Tourism which seeks to rediscover Manila using LRT-1 as the main mode of transportation. (PNA photo by Oliver Marquez)

The Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) has launched a train based tourism campaign which features guided and unguided tours to rediscover Metro Manila via the Metro Rail Transit Line 1, southeast asia`s first Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, which traverses the city of Manila.

Dubbed "IkotMNL", the program features do-it-yourself (DIY) or unguided tours that tourists can choose from to see over 70 must-see places near LRT-1`s 20 stations, making for quick convenient stops via the LRT route.

For instance, those inspired to go on a religious trip may alight at the Baclaran station, which is a walking distance from the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help; or at the Carriedo Station, a few meters away from Quiapo Church that houses the Black Nazarene, which is also near the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros and the San Sebastian Church known for its gothic architecture.

The Masjid Al-Dahab, commonly known as the Golden Mosque, is also located a few walks away from Quiapo Church.

Other itineraries are available taking the tourist through various places of interest in the Philippine capital.

For guided tours, visitors may contact DOT`s official tour partners, Tralulu, Walk This Way, Old Manila Walks, and Kapitbahayan sa Kalye Bautista.

The campaign was formally launched on Saturday with Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and LRT-1 operator Light Rail Manila Corporation President and CEO Juan Alfonso signing a memorandum of agreement for the initiative.

Puyat is optimistic that the campaign will be a hit to all ages who want to see more of Manila.

She said the DOT is currently conducting development projects to further improve Intramuros, and other national parks surrounding Manila.

"We have a lot of projects with the private sector, soon you`ll be seeing it," she told reporters in an interview.

Alfonso, for his part, said the initiative recognizes the role LRT-1 plays in promoting tourism in Manila and its sustainable growth.

"As the LRT-1 operator, we are in a unique position to connect local and foreign tourists to the city`s most important and historic places in the quickest land travel possible," he said. (with a report from PNA)