Manila, Philippines – The Bohol local government launched its newest tourism campaign about a week ago called “Bohol: Heart of the Islands, Truly Philippines.”
With a vision to make Bohol the preferred eco-cultural tourist destination of the Philippines (and eventually in SouthEast Asia), the Boholanos were in support of Governor Edgar M. Chatto of the Province of Bohol.
Geographically, Bohol island is indeed located almost in the center of the country making it apt to be called its ‘heart.’ Moreover, in the reveal, Gov. Chatto mused that this is just one aspect of the campaign and that more is to be expected. In fact, the month of May just marks its beginning and that two major events – a food fest and an investment forum – are scheduled for July and October, respectively, as well.
“As a nation, Philippine Tourism is in search of its own identity because our local culture is a complex mix of many different cultures,” says Bohol Governor Edgardo Chatto. “But unknown to most Filipinos, Bohol is as authentically Filipino as it can get. The province has not only preserved the traditions brought by our colonizers, but has also promoted the much older traditions and beliefs that are authentically Filipino.“
This are done in partnership with the Provincial Government of Bohol, Provincial Tourism Council, and the Philippine Bohol Arts Foundation Institute (PBAFI).
Further elaborated by public relations head Ms. Amor Maclang of GeiserMaclang, the campaign is strengthened on its five pillars of value proposition enumerated as the following:
- Sense of Self/Spirituality – Bohol offers a unique sense of spirituality influenced by the province’s rich history and tradition
- Unique Architecture – Bohol is covered in structures representative of its colored history such as preserved cathedrals and their architecture. One of the country’s oldest church – the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is in Baclayon.
- Arts/Bohol Crafts – Rich in the arts heavily influenced by a history in crafts work, Artist Village, crafts, and artisans
- Boholano Cuisine – although relatively unknown outside of Bohol, it has its own unique flavor of food such as the Boholano Ginger Cuisine at Amorita
- Sense of Vibrancy – Bohol not only boasts of lush landscapes and incredible scenery, but also of night life in city or beach.
The local government also expressed that they wanted to concentrate on community-based rural tourism.
More of Bohol
On the other hand, the Chocolate Hills of Bohol will always be its prime attraction. Even the world’s smallest primate – the tarsier, is already an endangered specie. Nonetheless, they want to offer more than just the usual destination to give tourists reasons to come back and explore more.
Some of the potentials pointed out in the launch were the following: Bohol has/is the…
- …highest marine biodiversity in the country
- …biggest mangrove plantation in the country
- …investment opportunities in services, tourism, agri-tourism, and the food industry
- …proposed new Bohol airport which has already been approved by the President last February 2012
- …rice granary of the Visayas
- …the only double barrier reef in Asia
- …protected sanctuary for giant clams (town of Calape)
- …dolphins in Pamicalan
- …among the best dive sites
- …Abatab River cultural features
- …extreme adventures in Danao
- …Spanish-inspired churches and heritage houses
Philippine Tourism Rose this 2012
Honorable guest speaker DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez was optimistic on the campaign saying “Bohol always show strong initiative” in the tourism drive.
In an interview, the secretary revealed from the latest statistics that the Philippines had 1.14 million tourist from January to March of this year which has surpassed last year’s numbers.
Bohol Moving Forward
We wish the province of Bohol all the best in their plans of development. May they do this with consciousness and “heart” to care for their natural riches using sustainable development such as the masterplan being crafted for having a cable car nearby the chocolate hills. Although with the objective of increasing tourism activity, it’s impact on the environment should be carefully studied. We are one with you Bohol: Heart of the Islands.
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