Undoubtedly, and I’m sure many Filipinos will agree, that Christmas season is the best time for tourists and ‘Balikbayans‘ to be come back home in the Philippines!
‘Balik PInas Balik Saya’ Campaign
And to further emphasize this fact, a private-led tourism campaign “Balik Pinas Balik Saya” was recently launched at Resorts World Manila, as headed by Creative Travel and Tours International founder Mrs. Rubyrose “Bessie” Rustia.
This campaign comes at the right time as Philippine tourism continues to flourish with foreign tourist arrival increase of 10.4% from the first half of last year. The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced last July that foreign visitor arrivals reached an all-time high of 3.7 million for the first half of 2018. To make things better, Philippines took 3 out of the 5 spots, namely: Siargao, Boracay, and Palawan as Best Islands in Asia by the Condé Nast Traveler.
“We’re going to give them a brand of service, wherein they will have a ‘VIP’ treatment from the airport, to their preferred destination, until they return to their foreign homes. We can tailor-fit the program based on what they want, or we have a ready program for them.”
Mrs. Bessie Rustia expressed that we can support the ongoing efforts of the government by gathering partner hotels, travel agencies, and various stakeholders in anticipating and assisting our tourists, particularly “Balikbayans”.
“We want Balik Pinas Balik Saya to be embedded as a natural fiber and vein intertwined within each and every balikbayan’s cry, plea and aspiration, ‘Gusto kong umuwi,’” said Jose Francisco Juan Rivas, co-founder of BPBS.
He said they created a platform to provide a dedicated linkage, a personal concierge and a private travel planner for clients to maximize their planned vacation within their term leave of absence from work. Rivas said 70 percent of Filipino repatriates cannot go home during special occasions due to conflict with scheduled leaves and contract of work.
With this in mind, the campaign offers “The Give Love Package,” which addresses the need to commemorate these events by sponsoring the travel, the experience, the celebration of family events in behalf of their loved ones based abroad.
“With this special gesture of affection coming from the balikbayan, the recipients will truly appreciate with full gratitude the acknowledgement of the family milestone or achievement. Such memorable selfless act of giving something is never forgotten and always remembered,” he added.
“This is a concerted effort of all stakeholders who believes that our balikbayans deserve a vacation that goes beyond instagram-worthy or trending online, we want to make it memorable for them while they’re on vacation” adds PR & Marketing Director Jeoff Solas.
“We are very fortunate to have Yeng Constantino of ABS-CBN to compose and perform “Gusto Kong Umuwi” it was her brilliant artistic inclination that made the song very sincere, nostalgic and exciting. We also are fortunate to have Kimpoy Feliciano, the mega-online influencer (also from GMA 7) to star in the video and be our brand ambassador. Both of them have sentimental relevance to the campaign and understands the need to have real experts like DOT-accredited tour guide officers to assist our balikbayans and other tourists,” he shared.
Balik Pinas Balik Saya, inclusive for the Younger Generation As Well
To further bolster the Balik Pinas Balik Saya campaign and encourage the younger generation to travel and appreciate the beauty of the Philippines, the campaign tapped millennial singer-celebrity Yeng Constantino and YouTuber Kimpoy Feliciano.
The former offers her endearing song “Gusto Kong Umuwi” for the ‘Balikbayans‘, while the latter, as an influencer, invited Balikbayans to come Home.
It was a fun discussion with the Pinoy Dream Academy champion and ABS-CBN Diva, Yeng Constantino that inspired the song. Yeng was in London for a Kapamilya concert when she suddenly misses her family back home. Being one of the cherished artists of ABS-CBN, Yeng frequently goes on tour to perform her hitsongs like “Hawak Kamay” that dates her 11 years of success in showbiz industry. Currently she is promoting “Tahimik” under her album Synesthesia with Star Records.
Listen to the song “Gusto Kong Umuwi” by Yeng COnstantino on Youtube:
“Gusto Kong Umuwi” is the official song of the private-led tourism campaign Balik Pinas Balik Saya as headed by Creative Travel and Tours International founder Mrs. Rubyrose “Bessie” Rustia.
As for YouTuber Kimpoy, he migrated to New Zealand with his family when he was still in junior high in Bulacan. He coped up adjusting to the different culture and still very friendly community of his new foreign home but his strong connections to his friends and family back in the Philippines makes him more excited to visit the country again. Instead to be homesick, he started his YouTube vlog where he creates sensible “hugot” or inspiring quotes that inspired numerous fans or followers, making him one of the most sought after media influencer. His online channels became his ticket to be back home and paved the way to his growing career from singing, to television guestings, and brand endorsements.
Mrs. Rubyrose “Bessie” Rustia chose Kimpoy to be its ambassador. Kimpoy is a concrete example of a balikbayan or Pinoy who have migrated abroad to find greener pastures but still would want to continue his or her affinity or love to our country and their loved ones who are staying in the Philippines. He recently received numerous awards like the Alta Media Icon from the University of Perpetual Help, Gintong Kabataan sa Larangan ng Sining at Kultura ng Bulacan, to Most Liked Kapuso Newbie of the Year.
More About Balik Pinas Balik Saya
Apart from private partners, BPBS already gained support from the government, led by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“Programs promoting Philippine tourism have been mostly government-led. I am happy this program is purely private sector-initiated and sponsored and that the organizer has already lined up a number of events to convince Filipinos abroad to visit the old homeland and feel the joy of meeting friends and relatives once more,” she said in a statement.
The representative of the Second District of Pampanga is hopeful other corporations can also help the government in promoting tourism to Filipinos abroad and other nationalities.
“In launching of the Balik Pinas Balik Saya campaign, Pampanga is poised to become not just the new hub and growth area after Manila, Cebu and Davao but the next top choice of destination by both the Filipino tourists and also the foreign tourists, apart from Koreans, who have made Clark their home away from home,” according from Ms. Cherry Manalo (Provincial Board Member of Pampanga) who represented Governor Lilia “Nanay’ Pineda during the event
As a show of readiness for the expected influx of repatriating Filipinos in Pampanga, she noted that Clark International Airport, renamed as Diosdado Macapagal International Airport now serves 170 and 296 weekly international and domestic flights, respectively. Some 1.53 million passengers have come in and departed through the CIA since January, the highest passenger traffic to be recorded at the airport here.
“Philippine tourism is growing. And with the Department of Tourism’s target of 5 million tourist arrivals this year, we Filipinos are certainly in for better and more robust business in this industry,” Pineda shares.
Know more about the “Balik Pinas Balik Saya” campaign via their website www.balikpinasbaliksaya.com.ph , Facebook Page, or email your inquiries to [email protected]. You may slao send SMS or Call (+63) 926.783.5847.
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Congratulations to the organizers of the “Balik Pinas Balik Saya” campaign! We need more activities like this to uplift our tourism industry and the whole Philippines as a nation!
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