Random Thoughts on Branding the Philippines

Download BrandingthePhilippines.pdf (975.8K)

BrandingthePhilippines
I just want to share with you an interesting article on Branding the Philippines by Junie del Mundo and Robert de Quelen. You can download the entire article here: Download BrandingthePhilippines.pdf (975.8K). I would like to share with you my insights based on that article…

1. A Core Ingredient of the Philippine Brand is the Filipino People.

We need to instill in the hearts of every Filipino the deep sense of pride in our country. We grew up programmed to think negative of our country because of the corruptions in the government and negative publicity about our country. We need to start to be proud of “Made in the Philippines” products and appreciate our country even more. This has been the 3 year crusade of Our Awesome Planet. Each year, the passion to showcase the Philippines grows inside of me and one day I will dedicate my life to it.

Some practical tips for the new generation of Filipinos:
— We literally stopped watching TV already because media is a bad influence to our kids.
— Align your family to the “good side” of the Philippines and stay away from the “dark side” by choosing carefully the people you interact with.
— Every Juan should travel and see the beauty of the Philippines. Start with Boracay, then El Nido, Palawan, and then Batanes.
— Every March, go to Manila Bay and watch one of the Awesome Sunsets in the world.
— Live a life of passion and fear of the Lord.

2. Filipinos key characteristics: Caring, Colorful, Creative, and Collaborative.
We need to showcase the caring, colorful, creative and collaborative traits of the Filipinos. It does not matter if you are based in the Philippines or in US. What matters is, we touched the lives of the people we encounter each day. Share with them the beautiful traits of the Filipinos.

Some practical tips for the new generation of Filipinos:
Let’s continue to export nurses, doctors, musicians, IT people, to showcase to the world what Filipinos are made of. Develop Filipino websites that showcase the colorful and creative talents of the Filipinos.
— Attend the Sinulog — one of the best fiesta in the Philippines and showcases the 4C’s of the Filipinos.
— Appreciate the Halo Halo which is a metaphor for what it means to be a Filipino.
— Be creative and free!

3. Change our “alila” paradigm instilled by the Spaniards and the Americans.
I hate it that we have this mentality that the Spaniards and Americans are more superior than the Filipinos. We are brainwashed during our childhood and this cycle should stop in this generation.

Some practical tips for the new generation of Filipinos:
Stop watching TV to stop the hollywood brainwashing.
— Listen to OPM music each morning.
— Buy proudly “Made in the Philippines” products.
— Blog in Filipino (One of these days I’ll launch a Filipino blog)
— Celebrate the world class achievements of Filipinos.

Any thoughts or reactions on how we can have strengthen the Philippine brand?

52 thoughts on “Random Thoughts on Branding the Philippines

  1. I hate it that we have this mentality that the Tagalogs are more superior than the other Filipinos. We are brainwashed during our childhood and this cycle should stop in this generation.

  2. Work hard, Practice frugality. Live within one’s means. Once enough money has been saved, invest in the country.
    Kudos to you for such a very informative and positive sight. Keep up the great work!

  3. I’ve only recently discovered your blog and can’t stop reading. Great work here. If I might add – please continue blogging in English in addition to Filipino.

  4. Stop patronizing branded foreign items. Seek more and be proud of what Philippines has to offer. Anton, thank you for the insights.

  5. — Listen to OPM music each morning.
    I remember when I was growing up that there was a radio station that would play OPM each morning. No other music but OPM. I hope this is still done today.
    I think promote anything and everything Filipino to anyone. Buy only original Filipino dvds and cds. I do this. If you must buy pirated ones buy the non-Filipino shows and movies.
    Banish crab mentality. Savor and share a fellow Filipinos achievement rather than shooting them down.
    Very nice insights! Thanks!

  6. Keep doing what you are doing!!!
    The world is bombarded by bad news about the Philippines — corruption, instability, crime, natural disasters, etc. Mainly because our journalists are trained to spit out bad news in English which is quickly spread by foreign correspondents (including Filipinos!!). Sadly, they do not react in the same way when confronted with good news about the country.
    But you on the other hand are shouting all about the good news about our country to the world. Thank you!! We need more Filipinos like you who will tell the world that the country is more than just the natural disasters that appear on CNN.com.
    BRAVO!!!

  7. ….beautiful philippines….inspiring….personally…. history is history it’s long gone can’t bring it all back to correct mistakes….it is NOT totally whitemen’s fault….as humans they have needs to fill….they needed more partly coz whitemens continent are limited due to frigid winter weather….their advanced hard working societies-civilizations & courageous thinking made them superior without doubts why would they be expected to think less or otherwise? inferior human standards should NOT ALWAYS expect understanding from those who work hard-raised their standards-law abiding to make a good living to provide their deserving families comfortable lives as expected when one performed these kinds of human qualities-requirements….taking the credits away from any legitimate civilized non violent-educated whitemen is LIKE repeating past histories EXCEPT just REVERSE….repeating the same mistakes means YOU invalidate their past mistakes…..reason why i married a ‘poor’ american born with european descent instead of a younger king whose kingdom is almost unmatch or those wealthy bankers or heirs of huge businesses or sons of foreign ambassadors{state departments}or the almost wealthiest-priviledge junior high school boy in my small childhood town that i-we all always dream about lol!….why would any small brown ‘filipina’ girl or woman would throw away ALL those chances-possibilities….think about that….if you found the answers means you will never have any day of loneliness…..if you found the RIGHT answers….means PEACE for the rest of your life lol!….i hope so….

  8. I would like to express my sentiments in Filipino but as this website is in English, I guess I have to do the same. =)
    Some points:
    Love our language. We are in the Philippines, it’s just about right the we speak Filipino. The more we speak other people’s language, the more we lose our Filipino identity.
    I observe from other nationalities that the more they use their national language, the more they become successful. Why? Because everyone understands each other. Example, countries like Japan and EU states.
    Try to discover other places in the Philippines.
    Be nationalistic not just regionalistic. Don’t say I’m kapampangan, say I’m Filipino. Don’t say Bisdak unite, say Filipinos unite. Get the point? 🙂
    Stay away from the colonial mentality.
    Revive the Filipino First Policy.
    Accept that we are Filipinos and love ourselves for that.

  9. Is there anyone related here to Christine/happyslip for her meet and greet… messege for them
    Hi is there any other meet and greet that will happen other than the meet and greet at feb7 with christine/happyslip. it’s only for 100people and I didn’t get in.. very frustrating since the one’s who got in don’t have a vlog or no good vlog at all, some of them have a blog but does that count?.. they might won’t learn.. I wish I could go into that event since I’m a vlog at youtube and i’ve got honors there like most sub and most viewed.. if you want, check it out,, anyway is there any other event? thanks hope you could contact me cause I reallyx100 want to see christine and learn =) hopefully
    I also wish they could get 5 more people who are really deserving based on vlogs since that’s one of the purpose of the meet and greet at feb 7 right?

  10. I totally agree w you Anton!
    – Just noticed in our ATMs how come they encourage “Taglish” when you do language selection! Should only be English/Filipino!
    – Be it very disappointing that local travel is more expensive than Travelling abroad, like there are just a few in our country on backpacker rates that will encourage locals and on budget Filipinos to go around, yet thanks to Cebu Pacific at times for the promo fares. As it is really nice to be more familiar of your own country first before going out. Embarassing when you get caught and foreigners ask “so tell me about what we can see in the Philippines?”
    – Most of the Pinoy say…”di gaya sa ibang bansa ganito ganito masmabuti pa…” well instead of complaining of what is bad in our country why not do something about it instead of whining d ba?
    – Had number of foreign visitor friends and some like Manila some dont because of over population and pollution but still it is the same in all develooping countries and most Asian big cities! but the common positive feedback i get is the Night life is nice (i agree to this! after having seen the night life of some countries! nothing beats our night life); Nice people, no problems in communication
    – be an ambassador of the Philippines instead of badmouthing it to the foreigners, highlight the positives and forget about the negatives!
    – my own observations and rants: http://witchkitty.blogs.friendster.com/the_kitty_cats_blog/2006/07/index.html
    Cheers Anton for the write-up!

  11. ….branding the philippines in an increasing flat world….the shortest way to answer-reason that is to read an old issue here titled:….i am proud to be filipinos….philippines brands are dictatorship of former pres. marcos….shoes issues & clothing museums of the former first lady imelda marcos….nurses{cheating in examinations}….boracay….dogmeat….prostitutions{old subic angeles}….mt pinatubo….domestic helpers….manila bay sunset….rice terraces….jeepneys….corruptions….ati atihan….carabaos….cebu city jailhouse prisoners thriller dance….world class entertainers….now sweet mangoes….happy slip….anton’s our awesome planet….MALL of ASIA….branding is difficult almost impossible coz filipinos are loyal to foreign brands….etc.

  12. There are two old fallacies among the comments that I´d like to correct.
    1. “The more they use their national language, the more successful they are.” This is an old fallacy that language purists have been using to promote the use of Filipino in schools at the expense of English. Everyone points to the economic success of Japan, Korea and Taiwan as prime examples. They of course conveniently forget Singapore and Hong Kong´s government mandated use of English as a means for attaining economic development. Many rich EU citizens are also bi- or multi-lingual, especially if they are from small countries. Most people in Iceland, Holland, Denmark, Sweden speak English so they can do business with other countries.
    Bilingualism has nothing to do with economic growth. Besides, the use of Filipino is already so widespread nationwide and yes, we should use it as often as we can. But using English also does not diminish our nationalism, our ethnic pride nor our self-worth!
    2. “Traveling abroad is cheaper than traveling locally.” This is ridiculous. Cebu Pacific´s airfare is generally lower for domestic destinations. And of course, going locally means you don´t even need to fly — buses, ROROs, ferries are also great ways to travel. Hotel rooms may be a bit expensive but the rest of the costs are much cheaper here. If you think about it, there are very few countries in the world where meals cost less than a Jollibee 2pc chickenjoy meal.

  13. “Bilingualism has nothing to do with economic growth. Besides, the use of Filipino is already so widespread nationwide and yes, we should use it as often as we can. But using English also does not diminish our nationalism, our ethnic pride nor our self-worth!”
    I agree with you on this one. I also think that English should still be our language of education.
    But I only meant that if we look at our younger generations of Filipino, they like more to speak in English or in Taglish. IMHO, we are in the Philippines, maybe we better use our own language in our own country.
    Yes, other countries our bilingual, multilingual even. But if one observes, they give importance on their own language. And that does not mean they can’t speak other languages too. They do actually but in normal day-to-day basis, they use their own language. That’s not the case in the Philippines.
    Anyway, those countries mentioned, their language of education is their national language.
    I read somewhere that if one is fluent on his/her mother tongue, the easier it it for him to other language/s.
    One point, I think we are having “language confusion”. We are so freaking confuse on which language to use.

  14. ….fastest quickiest way or solution to create an almost impossible unimaginable but very POSSIBLE GREATEST ‘ 24 hours ‘ national philippine brand is to….for all kinds-types filipinos activities-businesses around the country to create topics-issues-arguments-stories-criterias-dialogues-confrontational corrections-questions-all types of public debates-rationalized in writings-public remarks comments{WARNING:….STRICTLY no public mentioned of names-adresses{personnal comments-issues origins}here in this site MEANS privacy reasons please & for a very good reasons why PRIVACY is a must} ALL about-around anton’s OUR AWESOME PLANET topic’s & issues written in this OAP sites including all radio stations all other media outlets….all government branches including the department of education….all filipino scientists psychiatrist psychologists etc…..theres thousands of educational topics written here that are extremely useful especially to all philippines ” law students ” where do you think MOST international schools and their professionals around the world get their educations UNDER THE RADAR?….the very reason why the philippines was for past decades a third world country….part of it is exactly what an article here titled ‘ i am proud to be a filipino ‘ exactly described that filipinos denied turned their heads-ears away from their own TALENTS their own wealths which are the talented creative imaginative colorful pools of talents & never ending ideas….just like what they did to charice pempengco as if her talents from the very beginning never showed nor was displayed so she never surfaces earlier….the solution is SIMPLE….i am calling all filipinos to start using OUR AWESOME PLANET by anton as resources-pools of ideas issues topics arguments to to begin-start with….in 24 hours only you will have a national brand that can topple-forget all other brands in the past by starting using OUR AWESOME PLANET OF ANTON as basis….GOOD LUCK smiling friendly imaginative BUT NOT very creative ENOUGH which means….put more extra efforts in the ARTS OF DESIGNING….designs without ARTS are not designs at all just writings outlayings no offense lol!….

  15. “Love our language. We are in the Philippines, it’s just about right the we speak Filipino. The more we speak other people’s language, the more we lose our Filipino identity.”
    I’m sorry to sound like a troll, but what about the native languages of the Philippines other than Tagalog? What about Ilokano, Cebuano, Waray-waray, Bikol, and all of the various other languages spoken on a day-to-day basis by an estimated 3/4 of the population? The Philippines is very rich because of its linguistic diversity, and part of being a true Filipino is acknowledging and appreciating that.

  16. Hey, thank you for posting our article, this seems to have sparked a passionate debate -exactly what we were wishing for when we started this advocacy.
    I love this blog, and the fact that you give due photo credits to the artists.
    Robert, the Pinoy-Frenchman

  17. “I’m sorry to sound like a troll, but what about the native languages of the Philippines other than Tagalog? What about Ilokano, Cebuano, Waray-waray, Bikol, and all of the various other languages spoken on a day-to-day basis by an estimated 3/4 of the population? The Philippines is very rich because of its linguistic diversity, and part of being a true Filipino is acknowledging and appreciating that.”
    Then we use that. 🙂 Im just saying that yes, we do in fact have different languages so why use English all the time. Or at least try to be “americanized/westernized” (I really hate the colonial mentality/inferiority complex spaniards and americans instilled upon us).
    I say use our native tounge whatver that might be. (although I wonder if other languages in the Philippines are just considered dialects. Hmm. Cebuano should also be a language.)
    I use “Tagalog” because I was born in Manila. But given the chance, I would like to learn Cebuano or Bicolano. =)
    Anyway, I chanced upon Travel Time and a certain tourist guide/historian said that Spaniards actually neither encourage Filipinos to have one language nor learn spanish is that because they wanted us to be “watak-watak”. Having many dialects favored them so that Filipinos will not understand each other thus creating regionalism and division. Out-of-topic but very interesting.

  18. “I say use our native tounge whatver that might be. (although I wonder if other languages in the Philippines are just considered dialects. Hmm. Cebuano should also be a language.)”
    I think you are right because I have heard the “dialect” refrain quite a lot, but only in the Philippines. Linguistically they really are separate languages and many contain their own dialectal differences.
    I believe I have taken this discussion a little too far off-topic.

  19. ….again i noticed lol!….so many people in this OAP sites are too focus to feeling guilty too worrisome too uncomfortable too sensitive too righteous too perfectionists too concerned about how they FELT they took this topics or that dicussions a little too far off-topic….one big out of so many reasons why a good solid philippine branding is difficult almost impossible in the past exactly coz of this unnecessary kind of worries thinking mentality….why? eh syempre normal lang yun kung saan saan mapupunta ang mga kwento kasi kung walang mag off the topics{also maybe not just wait for later issues coming lol}eh di limited ang resources-pools of ideas mo kasi sometimes those things that are off the topics are the ones we need to hear so the equations of the topics-issues can be seen in many angles….those imperfections sometimes are most useful openers sa new unheard of issues-topics continuations that prolongs extend new ideas from another equations angles views maybe not seen yet but as arguments ideas disagreements solutions unveils you will be surprise how that one small seemingly unimportant varieties of conversations became the whole universal life stories in anton’s future lines of books lol!….or the govt. education agendas lol!….if it is your way of thinking o your own personnal opinions and this OAP sites are not part of any world international o local examinations or some kind of judgements to pass o to earned degrees o merits o to score then there is NO such thing as OFF the topics or taking us away from the discussions lol!….any viewers should love & care enough to NOT to worry whatever comments they make coz WHO ARE WE{other viewers}to judge you lol!….philippine dialects of any provinces religions local customs-traditions are all beautiful & important but since filipinos & foreigners alike speak so many different dialects….it is imperative that all humans find one universal main language in case of EMERGENCIES in particular….a part of life saving measures NOT vanities….the world will appreciate you more if filipinos BUY their own locally produce made products at the same time buying also foreign trademarks-branded items that are not found or made in the philippines like ROLEX watches or FRENH CHAMPAGNE{originals}is what i meant….crab mentality is funny….best arguments-reasons to this is to read an old article-topic in this OAP site under:
    sala’s makati reincarnation….something like that i am not sure{experiencing senior moments lol}….philippines bombarded by excessive TOO MUCH media negatives….of course…that strategy works coz it helps DEMEAN dehumanize or even aided the lowering of filipinos national SELF ESTEEM….just imagine your whole country is listening-reading 24 hours a day how small incompetent pathetic ignorants unuseful impoverish dishonests violent corrupt your entire nation your entire government entire filipinos as a whole….no wonder filipinos are not productive nor inspired to create do huge changes….like new ‘focus’ new direction towards prosperity higher self esteem firm self confidence or to be just YOURSELF{no cohoersions}….remember philippines….if filipinos keep saying ‘mabuti pa sa ganoon o dyan sa’…..that means filipinos needs to raise standards….needs to be more creative o artistic kasi your own citizens saw others doing better but they believe philippines is better but JUST not doing it’s job enough o right which is a good thinking good remarks actually….it means they care to even notice the differences…
    lol!….good luck beautiful smiling caring phils.

  20. I think our country branding should focus on two core strengths: places and people. We can capitalize on our location to highlight the country’s unique features and cultures. We can capitalize on the reality that compared to other countries, the Philippines is not being marketed as aggressively and that there is much to discover about the country. We can also focus our country branding to the fact that we have a young population — the Filipino youth is energetic and dynamic, and even those who aren’t exactly young remain to be young at heart.
    I guess the key is to find sources of pride that can unite us as a people, and sure, that is one big challenge.

  21. Branding the Philippines? The essential natural product in the Philippines is its people therefore we have to brand this product: And to brand the Filipinos would be to define him : the pinoy is a product of joy from the natural smile and innocent laughter that transcend from the warm embrace of the Filipino hospitality ..

  22. Stand up, stand out and be proud to be Pinoy. Change the mindset of outsiders. Build the equity of the Philippines. Contribute to WikiPilipinas.
    A few years ago, Alex Lacson published a little book called 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country. Many have read it but few have internalized it.

  23. ….one of the above mine commentator got it right….NOW new branding is filipinos sweet innocent smiles….meaning happier people like happy slip….like the fun commenting-topics here in our awesome planet….like the unusual sweetness of philippine mangoes….like the laughters noises in filipinos festivals parades….like those filipino students cheerings of fun in school playgrounds….those happy charismatic stage filipino performances around the world….like those infectious almost flawless filipino world class entertainments- activities globally….like those innocent playful smiles of children in poverties in you tube or in any articles we read about….like those triumphant victimized children in bantay bata programs….smiles from exhausted sometimes double shifts filipino nurses anywhere in this planet….smiles from aging public street-sidewalk vendors….but i believe it is philippines LADY president’s accomplishments around the world is REALLY the MAIN new BRANDING of the philippines….i do not doubt the effectiveness of her national pprograms….and if you did not notice i laughed a lot in this site lol!….coz i am still in love lol!….

  24. GMMAHONEY…please write like a normal person…with paragraphs and sentences that end with periods…in the right places…your posts are UNREADABLE…unless that’s what you are trying to achieve

  25. ….lol!….only if….someone place rules that imperfect writings are not allowed…..or not normal people not included….or children who cannot write properly must be assisted by parents….or people who are going thru senior moments not allowed lol!….means that i have to create website for pEOPLE who are NOT PERFECT lol….if someone in your family will go blind and cannot print write in this website i hope there’s no ‘abnormal’ someone like you who will ‘bother’ to throw scold a blind person to write correctly….viewers need NOT tell you their personnal conditions just in case you belong to organized crimes….or if your intentions is to put me on the spot….you got the wrong person….i will assume for now YOU don’t mean any harm….

  26. this entry is so true! proud to be pinoy! “Free of charge!” hehehe…
    Have my fair share of travels both here and overseas and I must say that nothing beats Filipino Hospitality! no matter how other people would warn me about pinoy’s crab mentality… kulang pa tayo sa positive believers out there that we could be better Filipinos if we all try… someday…

  27. GMMAHONEY,
    I did not mean to insinuate anything about being normal. I apologize if I was unclear.
    I just wanted to point out that as a reader, your posts take me twice as long to read because we are used to reading things a certain way. My goal was just to make you aware that many times I find myself skipping your posts just because they are hard to read.

  28. ….ROG….no problem lol….thank you…. apology accepted….i am really sorry for writing unconventional unconditional….meaning those who made an effort to just accept what was offered here{post a comment}without being judgemental….more likely are the ones who are hopefully rewarded in the end….to see to know who has true caring patience but not totally disregarding unintentional ‘sweet’ & caring ‘short sightedness’on anyone maybe like you lol….i also do not mean-intend to keep posting comments here lol….

  29. The comment about Filipino smiles, happiness and hospitality leaves me with mixed feelings. On one hand, as a foreigner who had so many wonderful experiences in the Philippines, I could not agree more. On the other hand, I cannot help thinking a little bit more assertiveness would not hurt. In my experience, the Filipinos I had the privilege to meet were not just sweet and caring but also extraordilarily courageous, resilient and competent, and I would wish those qualities to be noticed as well.

  30. ….lol….a little ‘bit’ more assertiveness is not enough….considering what your article here is saying about ‘the increasing FLAT world’
    which you co authored lol….overall you successfully laid out how ‘competitive’ this world has become….so what that tells you-us….
    one way to look at it….’nobody’ will take care of you if you don’t take care of yourself..every countries in this planet has problems economic sciencetific geological o political….doesn’t matter what it is nor how rich big smart they are….believe me they ALL have problems lol….meaning less fortunate-important countries need to be much more ASSERTIVE to be notice o acknowledge o to be heard just to get the attention you want need to find ways means to solve your countries problems or needs…. like what philippines lady president is doing for years now….she is JUST simply reaching out asking her countrymen to help keep the peace at change their outlook attitudes{like those juan’s waiting for the mango o guava fruits to fall from the tree branch by itself}in life coz the rest of the world are moving fast accomplishing their national challenges NOT by sitting whinning relying on money aid help sent by relatives but by accomplishing projects things plans they individually dream about….o di kaya calling all huge world investors to invest or apply for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of financial credit assistances can ‘never’ be obtained or reached just simply by writing talking demanding about it….coz almost all societies countries IF not more than a hundred other countries are demanding doing or waiting for the same….meaning just a little bit more of assertiveness will not take you ANYWHERE…. meaning a ‘lttle bit’in an increasing flat ‘corrupt’ world of politics & power plays is NOT good enough….eventually it will make o keep non so-assertive countries reliant in the MERCY of other world powers sometimes international BLACKMAILS by opportunistic countries….so beautiful talented creative rich in natural resources philippines filipinos needs to be ‘much more’ assertive to become fully competitive to reach to attain your sincere decent NEEDED world-national economic & political needs o results….at to get out from being PASSIVE….out from past mistakes & negligences…..to get out from being an underdog in an increasing COMPETITIVE TWISTED flat world…..good luck talented smiling filipinos lol….

  31. ….core ingredients of philippines branding is the fiipino people….it is true and sometimes very sad….just listen & read your local news about most of your politicians corruptions-behaviours towards each other….some of them are behaving as if international diplomacies & business transactions are circus gambling type & nothing serious….i hope your lady president will scold these men behind doors seriously….if found guilty later hopefully she’ll replace them with people who are familiar with true professional diplomacy….guilty but not damaging enough cases politicians must be re-educated on how to do-conduct professional diplomacies & business seriously….it is very dissappointing sometimes to hear to see how most of your politicians & law enforcements conduct themselves as professionals….one day i believe they will be put to tests….and they will all learned lessons the hard way unless they change their way of ocnducting diplomacies & all other transactions to serve their people honestly & better ways….IF NOT their-your history will keep repeating by itself….NINGAS KOGON ang dating…..sana magbago na mga pulitiko nyo sana hindi na parang circus o laro lamang ang mga unfortunate events nyo dyan….good luck beautiful caring talented creative outspoken filipinos…..

  32. ….to say or to believe in some strange idea is a NO NO kasi baka mahusgahan tayo i do not want negative philippines branding lol…but i would like to give HOPE to ‘anyone’who doesnt mind about what i will say next lol….a huge flat screen as form of education{resources of subjects o booknotes o homeworks o debates or lab.}in high schools-universities are really necessary plus some teachers….kasi who knows someone maybe? will introduced-invent a possible future ‘branding’ of class lessons on how to ‘teach-learn’ things from those flat screen in front of students but ‘nothing’ visible yet students are learning lessons….almost like writings with invincible ink lol….a filipino scientist maybe? from university of the philippines?….sana nga later as new great educational filipinos branding….lol….patent might be necessary on that one just in case excited ako lol….

  33. ….dapat huwag pag awayin ang mga taong iba ibang adhikain kasi matatalo kayong lahat….nangyari yan dito sa america doon sa LA gusto raw ng mga itim ipakita na masama loob nila na galit sila na gusto nila ng mga changes at social issues na ma solve so nag awayan sila mismo so sinunog at ni ransacked ng mga itim ang mga sariling bahay nila sariling sasakyan nila sariling supermarkets at mga tindahan sinunog din nila yung post office nila at ospital at schools etc etc etc so that they could make a point in their protesta sosyal so they could wake up politicians so the world can hear them para ipakita na the same bulls law ng bansa.. mga lansangan sila before & after sa mga protesta nila na iba ibang grupo at famous sila in those few days coz the world heard them….citizens around the world cheered with them fighting for their causes at voices of the needy to be heard….kaso life is not always the way they would like things to turned into kasi the next day they saw how stupid at non sense ang protestang malakihan kasi hindi rin nila nakayang kontrolin….meaning lahat sila nag suffered sa mga actions na ginawa nila during protesta kasi….mga anak at asawa kapatid at mga magulang at mga kaibigan nila hindi makapag aral kasi walang mga bus sinunog kasi nila….yung may kotse eh wala ring eskwelahan kasi ni ransacked nila sa galit nila pati supermarkets so walang makaluto kasi walang koryente naputol sa mga gulong ginawa nila in those days ng protesta nila na nagsimula sa tawa saya ng paniniwala nila….walang perang pambili ng mga pamalit ng nasira nilang mga gamit kasi sinunog din nila yung mga banko at post office so hindi na deliver yung salary checks-wages nila at walang empleyado na mga pumasok to give them social services kasi natakot sa unkontroladong gulo ng protesta nila….lahat ng delayed delivery ng mga bills nila later they had to pay extra charges kasi delay is delay tapos mainit pa ksi no koryente eh walang air conditions din syempre at madilim ang mga kalye syempre din at dahil doon maraming kriminal na gumala lalo at maraming mga biktimang bago mostly rapes thieveries at mga senior citizens ang biktima nila at mga babaeng walang kamag anak na kasa kasama….maraming namatay maraming nakulong maraming napinsala at maraming utang for many years kasi hindi nila na kontrol yung mga damages ng mga protesters at yung mga nag riot sa lahat ng mga sulok….namatay yung mga sugatan na hindi ma operahan kaagad kasi walang dadaanan yung mga sinunog at sinirang mga sasakyan o ambulance man hindi makapasok liban pa sa takot na madamay sila….so for many months at mga taon nakita ng mga itim sa america na gago pala sila sa ginagawa nilang paraan kong papaano mag voice out ng galit o mag protesta na akala nila superman at super girl sila na they can all control yung mga tao at young people na akala nila ‘mababait’ lahat yun kasi parh\eho daw sila ng mga causes na ipinaglalaban they forgot na mamamatay tao pala yung iba at may mga magnanakaw at rapists din pala na marunong mga protesta sa kalsada….akala ng mga disente eh lahat ng kasama nila eh disente kasi pag perfecto sila eh di dapat lahat ng tao sa pilipinas eh diperfecto din….they learned the hard way….kasi nasira at maraming nawala at namatay tapos noong nag elections at bago na naman ang mga pulitiko akala noong mga nag protesta eh mababago na mga buhay nila yun pala ganoon din at lalong lumala ang kahirapan at dumami lalao at curruptions sa america kasi nakita ng mga puti na walang kwenta naman pala itong mga ipaglalaban nila na puro karamihan sannggano o magnanakaw o rapists o manlilinlang din lang tulad nila so….napunta sa wala din yung protesta nila ….nahalay pa yung mga nanay at ate at mga anak nila kasi nasa protesta sa kalye yung mga lalaki nila so walang nagtanggol sa naiwan nila na pinasukan naman ng mga ibang grupo na protestanti din tulad nila ‘malisyoso’ nga lang….until now naghirap sila lalo at it took many years to replaced what was na mga nasira pero yung karamihan hindi na puedeng ibalik….kasi it doesnt work that way….kaya makinig kayo sa sinasabi ko kasi para positive lang ang direction nyo at hindi paibaba hindi puede yun para sa akin…..kayo ang future so kailangan bantayan ko kayo lol….

  34. maybe we should start with ourselves…. instead of looking at what other people/filipinos are doing wrong, why don’t we set the example? eh di bumili ng mga Filipino-made or manufactured products. Naniniwala ako kasi sa kasabihang ” BE the change you want to see in the world”
    ung tungkol s mga ibang salita d2 s pilipinas, mga dialects un and hindi ata considered na language. i think it was best na nagkaroon ng isang language sa pilipinas na maiintindihan ng lahat, kung hindi, kelangan natin ng interpreter sa bawat lugar na ppuntahan natin sa mismong bansa natin. buti na nga lang ginawang official language ni manuel quezon ung tagalog kc ito ung pinakamadaling matutunan, gamitin and maintindihan.
    tsaka ung isang celebrity na nakita kong patriotic is Francis M., may nag-offer s kanya na mag-model ng isang american brand ata pro tinanggihan nya kc hindi naman gawa sa pilipinas. he’s now selling his own branded shirt. im going to buy it maybe next month, kapag nagkaroon cla ng stock ng gusto kong kulay. simple lng ung design as in super simple cya pero at least na-incorporate nya ung flag sa shirt. I want to have some kind of reminder na Filipino ako. It really should start with a person’s mind. Sana wag ng tumingin s iba ng kung anong mali nila, let’s be the change we want to see here in the Philippines.

  35. ….if people wants to be patriotic that’s fine with me & thank you for being supportive or your own identity or origin….but we need to separate ‘badmouthing negative causeless’ individuals who’s intentions are simply just solely for personnal attacks….meaning separate them away from those who are relating or from inspirational talks-conversations something like those personnal ‘awareness’outreach o programs like what i believe i am doing here in this sites which is STRAIGTH TALKS….also filipinos has to raised their standards even higher but those already higher that i-we saw anywhere i can say are gorgeous like the white gown of vina morales when she sang ‘pangako sa yo’ asean competition is a WOW architectures in tagaytay are also mostly WOW batanes palanan isabela jungle forest is a WOW charice pempengco francine dy regine voices are WOW greenbelts MOA
    are WOW makati city libis fort ortigas night life are WOW food in sala makati WOW diamond hotel WOW backstreet boys AZ dancers rochelle EB babes WOW baguio city batanes view WOW boracay bohol cebu davao palawan pristine beaches WOW kare kare ginataan sinigang o tinolang manok WOW high school life WOW ifugao benguet WOW liliw laguna hidden valley hotspring WOW puedeng umutang sa tindahan WOW lol etc.etc.etc. but i cannot buy or waste spending money on philippine made products that are not my tastes or styles or standards anything not needed but just because they are made locally….i cannot do that….but as gifts yes or pasalubong kung bibisita but not to waste or for mercy ONLY for LOVE lol!….i will always eat swiss o belgium chocolate watch korean telenovela WOW guapong filipino o filipina beauty WOW fiesta sa cebu negros pampanga o baguio city WOW eat filipino french & italian spanish food use italian french made perfumes also filipino bags-shoes clothings even haranahan sa probinsya but american sports wears & a husband lol!….but i will always admire or even obsessed on some filipino ‘exceptionals’lol….i am surprised why anton needs foreigners to wake him up….so many wonderful witty ideas intellectual strategic topics in his own sites to learn that i believe are where most americans & other non american professionals are learning from also….so many pragmatic logical common senses straight to the point ideas & reasonings to find here in our awesome planet sites….why even travel that far if they themselves are reading antons sites….if steve forbes of forbes magazine or mr.rockefeller do not read our awesome planet sites i will be really surprise or my face carries that i can’t believe it expression lol!….if presidents of most powerful advance countries or most powerful people in the world do not read our awesome planet i will be really dissappointed if not questioning….why not?…..lol!….lol….

  36. ….be more proud lol!….i heard about an old high schoolers from the 70’s who will launched-introduced their first ‘highly thought provoking’
    mini saga medyo science fiction na adventurous at suspenseful saga divided by two different worlds with many romance love story twists in it lol….i could’nt wait to read them one at a time as some of their mini coffeee table books will be in monthly editions the first ever in this type kind of book collections….i am so proud with this old high schoolers so brave enough to venture on book collections made by high schoolers from the 70’s lol!….good luck FIRST LOVE:A HEALTHY PLANET PARADISE BY: SOMETHING LIKE{NOT SURE ON THIS YET}70’S HIGH SCHOOLERS LOL….I BELIEVE it is EXTREMELY highly THOUGHT PROVOKING in an intellectual sense o level….unusual in other intellectual sense my criteria for wanting to collect them if it will be finally launched this summer 2008….people around the world i heard can learned a lot from this mini schooler’s book coming soon hopefully….meaning this summer of 2008 we’ll have a HIGHLY thought provoking BIG TOPIC to discuss debate criticized o argue about lol!…..i also found out that it was written to provoke the maternal-paternal sides of powerful men & women internationally….i could’nt wait to read the vey first one….

  37. we all wanna be proud to be filipinos but a lot of filipinos are infiltrated by so many foreigners with the wrong agendas for philippines asia america europe or the world like 2008 philippines sona wanting to help their economy by introducing showing to the world how refine how exquisite filipino made silken-pina hems weave together how filipino fashion ‘designers’are worth visiting or hiring for something as grand as sona 2008 but instead internet filipino news audiences was accusing gma & phils. government of an oscar awards night or royal carbon copy style activities as if the philippines do not have royalties in it’s history
    or it’s own famas awards or haute couture like pitoy cabral etc. maraming mga bastos at walang modo na filipinos kasi may ibang kahalo ang lahi kaya bastusin ang dating nila mababa ang trato sa pilipinong ka cultura nila kasi minamaliit din sila ng ibang sides na kalahi din nila kaya ayaw magbigay ng positibong chances para sa kapwa filipino nila sayang sariling kalahati nila sila rin ang bumababoy kaya pala ganoon ang mga sinasabi ni gmmahoney kasi dahil pala sa mga filipinong hindi independent at individualist minds pero sabi ni gmmahoney huwag daw magsawa sa pasensya sa mga walang modo at bastusin na filipinos anywhere it’s better with something difficult than nothing at all lol

  38. branding philippines? lol! in philippines newspapers internet commentaries
    an some groups & former politicians are throwing accusations that philippines-filipinos experiencing bad lucks because of phils. president gm arroyo as a cheating seating president and blamed it all in her headliners past corruptions allegations instead of admitting a lot-most filipinos are involved in some form of corruptions even some socially desperate law enforcers-politicians just like some americans in powers and all other countries are themselves partly running criminal activities organized crimes questionable associations etc.so they are causing the problems not bec. gm arroyo alleged’s cheating brought curses-bad lucks in the philippines not bad lucks but caused by many filipinos civilians or government employed involved in criminal activities to make dirty money-advances bad lucks-curses can never run any illegal activities cannot produce fake money cannot cannot do drug running cannot bribe cannot smuggled goods cannot run prostitution rings cannot beat their wives or girlfriends cannot lower dollar rates bad lucks-curses can never carry weapons cannot even invests to anything it cannot even cheat on elections as you accused ONLY CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES CRIMINAL MINDS can do all the crimes-chaotic things i mentioned so why look for other excuses-reasons-accussations if actions cannot possibly be feasible at all these type of filipinos throwing anything if really want to help or solve their country’s high crime rates-chaos-illegal activities the solution is simple ‘stop doing crimes’ and find ways to produce wealth legally not steal from other filipinos or foreigners it’s like stealing from your own mother or children.. is this filipino branding are you looking for lol

  39. gmmahoney was right..awareness programs are necessary in slums squatters societies in particular be responsible be aware of simple truth but of course foreign countries will not do the same about telling the truth too lol but eventually they will when evidences are not there they will wait for decades so filipinos should not asked too much from your lady president coz it looks almost pretentious since crimes are committed by all sides all parties coz of lack of will to fight corruptions briberies have patience coz righteous is a dream come true but has limits due to other human weaknesses but phils. lady pres. is doing a great job so continue listening to her pprograms coz the world can see the great job – accomplishments that takes time but she is rebuilding the philippines in general in the right directions as gmmahoney said europe america down under south pacific africa the americas in due time will follow suits gradually but surely will lead to a healthier wealthier kinder gentler enviromentally friendly world as GOD have wanted-wish it to be meaning a properous world and thanks for some philippines part in branding the world as a safer happier ‘prosperous’ our awesome planet earth lol

  40. Lovely Lianga
    By ARIEL ALLOSADA ALLERA
    ariel_allera@yahoo.com
    “Would you have the time off to travel?” asked a friend. “I’d like you to go to a town called Lianga in Surigao Del Sur and write about your experience.”
    She came through the phone like a godsend tasked to save this writer from a potentially boring weekend. So, without making bones about the thought of another seemingly exciting trip, I nodded as if she were in front of me, “Dear, I have all the time in the world for travel!”
    On a balmy Friday evening I boarded ship at the Port of Cebu together with a team. In less than ten hours we were already waking up to the early-morning sun of Surigao City, where a van had awaited, to carry us five excited souls through some of Surigao’s seductive sights such as the Lake Mainit and the glitter and glitz of Butuan City to the awe and splendor of Lianga town.
    The first to greet our hungry bunch was a tableful of Dr. Amado Layno family’s Lianga classics, mostly seafoods ranging from shrimps to crabs to lobsters. But the family’s visibly genuine hospitality and their abode’s cozy ambiance made us guests more pampered than spoiled. The neighborhood, pastoral and bucolic, bespoke of the entire town’s abundance of quiet and the richness of life, a map of a perfect hideaway from a deathly strenuous city fetes.
    Lianga became a municipality October 17, 1919. It was named after two lovers, Liangan and Go, who tied their knot after the death of the girlfriend’s father, a Manobo chieftain who ruled a peaceful settlement along the presently called Lianga River. Go was the lone survivor captured by the Manobo warriors in a bloody battle in Pananag-an Beach. He met Liangan and, soon after they exchanged their marital vows, they established their own settlement which they then called “Leanga.”
    Rich in biodiversity, Lianga boasts of its bundles of flora and throngs of fauna. It has a land area totalling to 25,000 hectares—20,000 of which is the timberland, the remainder comprising the settlement proper, agricultural areas and coconut plantations. We made our way to the Mahogany Forest in Sitio Neptune, Barangay Diatagon. Although I had been to a similar forest in Bilar, Bohol, it was here in Lianga where I started to fall in love with the woods. A companion shook me off from a minute of numb quietness, “Are you all right?” She didn’t have the slightest idea that I had quietly built up a “mutual understanding” with Mother Nature under the dense umbrella of Mahogany trees. When I was presented, later, with a mug made wholly from a piece of ironwood called Magcono, I brought gratitude back to Cebu for my early-morning best friend. “Here’s for the coffeeholic,” Dr. Layno announced in jest.
    Relatively the best-kept secret of Eastern Mindanao, Lianga is proudly facing the Pacific Ocean. And as proudly, we sailed on a pumpboat, hopping from one island to another within the crescent-like peninsula of Lianga Bay. Out of my wits, I was en route to what I now call the most unforgettable part of my Lianga experience. This over-confident, boisterously excited passenger slid through the slithery-as-an-onyx wing of the boat, that was already running somewhat a far cry away, beaching me, and causing me to flounder on the thankfully unruffled, clear waters. I swam like crazy, yielding like a baby to our host’s gorgeous nephew, Jay-R Layno, who was kind enough to have plunged real quick with the purest (and the only) intention to save this self-confessed assuming sissy in the sea. It was impossible not to be when, with a flicker of something in his enthralling eyes, he breathed, “Come on. Hold me.”
    The sight of the beach on Busbon Island made everybody too impatient to get there. I couldn’t help comparing the immaculate white sands to a face powder, the shade for a Korean model’s skin. Alone and elated, I strolled along the shore and saw a man building a castle. I tried out my own beside his majestic formation but, too desperate to even mold its base, I resigned to the smooth grains of the sand hoping to steal a forty winks away from my less tired companions, under the mercifully not so sultry heat of the sun.
    Not only does it teem with many islets of handsome shapes, such as the Turtle Island, the bay is also home to a seaweeds plantation and a 2,200-square meter fishpin owned and managed by the KMFI (Kalisod Ko, Tabangi Ko Micro-Development Training Corporation Foundation Incorporated). Both hold promise for the livelihood of the local folk whose main source of income is catching and selling fish. It goes without saying that Lianga Bay is not only a hub for tourists who want to have a ripping time island-hopping but, more important, a haven for those who want to make a living.
    After a long day’s tour of this middling town of Lianga, the Kansilad Beach Resort in Barangay Ganayon is perfect place to laze the afternoon away in a hammock, or along the sugar-white sandy beachfront, or around the tranquil repose of the resort.
    I did just all. But after the sun had set and everybody said their curt good nights to each other, I willed not to let my last night in Lianga wind up without thanking the Lord for such a wondrously blessed respite from the daily grind of work and all the hustle and bustle of the city of Cebu.

  41. My Little Island Experience
    By Ariel Allera
    ariel_allera@yahoo.com
    Getting to Camotes one early morning gave me and my colleagues a pain in the butt (literally!), for we were helplessly squatting on a pumpboat’s floor en route to the mystical island. But as soon as our arrival was welcomed by our hotel’s staff and crew all the agony from the travel had vanished in a jiffy.
    For once, it’s hard to believe that we were going to stay for the weekend in the posh and cozy Mediterranean inspired My Little Island Hotel nestled on a Poro hilltop, which provides a panoramic view of the land below and the bay off the greeneries.
    A nature lover like me wouldn’t have second thoughts about taking advantage of the swimming pool’s perfect location, where one could enjoy swimming or simply splashing down—whilst feasting one’s eyes on the green foliage and the quiet, crystal clear waters of Camotes sea in the background.
    I marvelled at the picturesque beauty of it all, tearfully thanking the Lord up above for giving me that opportunity to be in My Little Island. Being there is like seeing all of the islands at once because that part which the hotel looks over is enough epitome of all that is pure and mystic—which is Camotes. But, of course, one has to touch it—not to mention explore—if one wants to maximize the time to be in this Eden.
    Camotes is known to many as “The Lost Horizon in the South” because of its unspoiled beauty. It’s called “Camotes” because when they first arrived here, the Spaniards met some natives digging potatoes and they asked for the name of the place. Thinking that the foreigners asked what they were digging, the natives resplied “Camotes”—meaning “sweet potatoes.”
    Consisting of four exciting, exotic isles—Pajican, Poro, Ponson, Tulang—Camotes is situated off the waters of Danao city in the northeastern side of Cebu province. The people in its four capital towns—Pilar, Poro, San Francisco, Tudela—can enjoy the benefits of relaxing in its pastoral setting, with only the narrow trails providing access to most places. Valleys of coconut grove, corn and potato abound. After swimming at the Bakhaw Beach Resort in San Francisco, we were treated with refreshing buko juice at a nearby plantation. Another one in Poro—the Buho Beach Resort—is a potential attraction for tourists who love to dive, or to simply appreciate the serenity of the beachline’s recesses.
    Buho is a local term for “a hole in the earth.” The resort opens opportunities for spelunking in Pag-sa Cave, where I was able to see and admire stalactites and stalagmites up close.
    Fresh and naturally pure, Camotes’s picturesque lakes—like the Lake Danao in San Francisco—won an award for being the cleanest inland body of water in the Philippines. Never had I been to such a lake in all of my past trekkings. It was just a pity we were running out of time so that we could not go paddling around the 700-hectare area. What makes Lake Danao more magnificent is that when you are up there at The Quarry in (Alta Vista) San Francisco, you will experience a melodramatic display of the sunset’s last enticing rays splaying on its still waters.
    As the rays of light had faded out in the waters of Lake Danao, I found myself at the poolside of My Little Island Hotel, still overwhelmed with the raw charm of Camotes Island. And as I splashed down in the pool, I realized that my two days of fun and excitement hadn’t sunk in yet. No, it will never be. The memory is too beautiful to forget.

  42. SIARGAO: MINDANAO’S SHANGRI-LA OF AN ISLAND
    ariel_allera@yahoo.com
    The Philippines is an archaepelago of enticing islands. Not only does it teem with attractions to keep coming back to, it boasts a myriad other reasons why local and foreign tourists would think alike. Because the country is known the world over for its beautiful seascapes, how could the people let go of the best in experience? And there’s more to it than just plain beachcombing; that is, if you’re thinking of a more exciting experience.
    By Ariel Allosada Allera
    Invitations to an isolated, far-flung island are seldom to come by. So when one was verbally given me by my newspaper-publisher boyfriend Roel Catoto, how could a manic tripper like me turn it down?
    Although I’m no fond of surfing or swimming, I’m basically one to revel at the sight of sea and the sound of waves. Call me a weirdo, but while everybody would keep their fingers crossed, I’d rather thank the universe for the joy of riding a boat that is being rocked by swell, and the once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity of looking over the waves that basically remind how electrifying the current of Mother Nature’s blessings for mankind is.
    Roughly ten hours after I boarded at the port of Cebu, I found myself setting foot on the city of Surigao, excited to embark another two hours en route to Siargao. My runaway imagination did not shortchange my first impression upon arrival at Dapa port: not to mention being the surfing capital of the Philippines, it is a Shangri-la of sorts, especially where virgin islands and beach hideaways are concerned.
    Siargao is one of the lovely islands of Surigao del Norte, a province situated on the northeastern tip of Mindanao. A 36-nautical-mile away from the capital city of Surigao, its eatern coast overlooks the famous Philippine Deep and the Pacific Ocean, where strong winds and currents are coming from, intensified by the Mindanao’s current running westward through the Siargao Strait.
    In the course of every surfing competition where people from different countries come over to participate and enjoy the waves, this laidback island would turn into every tripper’s rendezvous, specifically the town of General Luna, home to one of the world’s top surfing waves, popularly called Cloud 9. Surfers and the aficionados alike do not only participate in or witness the competition, they also get to revel at some of Siargao’s unlimited offshore and underwater perks such as swimming, snorkelling, diving, sailing, spelunking, and sightseeing.
    Swimmers may cross the 27-mile long, white sugar-free sand strip of General Luna. While some would like to ogle the starfishes, the sea urchins, the mollusks, the crabs, not to mention the schools of fish through their diving masks in placid shallow waters of some islets, others could find their way to the Zaragoza Rock Formation in Sibale Island, where there is a one-hectare beach park of dagger-shaped structures standing erect at 20 feet and arising from waist-deep crystal clear waters.
    Island hopping is not to be missed once you’re in Siargao. Different modes of transport are available for rent: motor launches or the bancas, catamarans, and kayaks. The regulars who don’t feel like leaving the place have their own sailboats built there. Of course, there are yachts here and there.
    Those who take pleasure exploring the caves and tunnels will not go out of place because Siargao is surrounded with islands that have several of them. The Suhuton Cave in Bucas Grande is submerged in water most of the time, while the Silop Cave in the mainland is cathedral-like caverns glowing with luminescent spires of stalactites and stalagmites. With three tunnels leading to a cavernous tunnel three kilometers long, the Buenavista Cave in Hikdop Island also has a knee-deep pool inside and a palatial chamber replete with a “king’s throne.” Off the island of Dinagat there’s the Suy-ang Cave. Its high Gothic interior makes it a must-see for cave explorers. But for those who want to see a labyrinth of caves interconnected by tunnels and halls, they had better go to the mainland caves of Mapawa because this island teems with the like.
    It’s quite hard for a nature lover like me to resist the beckoning spots of the springs, the lagoons, the coves, the waterfalls, the mangrove forests, the whirlpools. The list of this island’s places of interest does not end here, for there’s more in Siargao than all of the above. As it seemed I was not allowed to leave the place without having been satiated with its splendor, I vowed to the tidal waves, to the powdery white beaches, and to the hospitable people of Siargao that I would be back— come what may.

  43. Coming Again to Camiguin
    By Ariel Allosada Allera
    ariel_allera@yahoo.com
    Revisiting Mindanao’s best-kept secret afforded me new and exciting memories which I owe to Camiguin Beach Club for the invite. My virginal visit the year ago was enough for me to be captivated by this island’s raw beauty and exotic charm. But until my recent visit, I was always hoping for another occasion, to be captivated some more—after all, Camiguin means: Come again.
    The smooth-sailing voyage did not prolong my renewed excitement because, in 10 hours, I was able to view this pear-shaped volcanic island. Apparently nothing has changed in the visage of the port of Balbagon in Mambajao town, including the porters who are well trained to respect the privacy of tourists who do not want their goods and chattels touched.
    It’s hard for every tourist not to gaze at the clean roads as well as the green environs of Camiguin, to embrace its cool, refreshing ambiance, and to kiss the island’s distinctive romantic aura. It’s not surprising why many tourists keep coming back here. And to articulate their impressions: “Camiguin’s main attraction is the sheer concentration of its natural wonders and its residents who are simple, genuinely friendly, hospitable.”
    Good examples are the staff and crew at Camiguin Beach Club. Lovely couple cum operations resident managers Mahleen Zaragosa and Jay Jamero have not run short of their kindness and hospitality since the previous time they accommodated me. Strategically located in Yumbing, Mambajao, the resort boasts of its century-old Bita-ob trees that provide a cool shroud over the swimming pool. Owned by Mr. Jacinto Jamero, this is the only one in Camiguin which has its own natural beachfront with a boardwalk where guests can enjoy the magnificent scenery of the famous White Island some two kilometers off into the sea. Boating my way there reminded me of the White Sand Bar on TaĂąon Strait between my hometown of Malabuyoc, Cebu, and the town of Manjuyod, Negros Oriental.
    White Island’s crescent-shaped sand bar with tiny pebbles is uninhabited, and is surrounded by crystal-clear waters—perfect for swimming, sunbathing, snorkelling, and shell collecting. What I enjoyed here most was the picturesque view in the background of two of Camiguin’s seven volcanoes—the dormant Old Vulcan and the active Mount Hibok-Hibok.
    Old Vulcan’s eruption in 1871 wiped out a lot of Catarman town’s essential parts, including the San Roque Church, the convent and the bellfry in the small village of Bonbon. It is now a tourist spot, known as Catarman Church Ruins, which reminds us of Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga, Albay, with just about the same story to tell.
    A stone’s throw away are the Cross Marker and the Sunken Cemetery. The latter lies 20 feet underwater. The cross was installed in 1982 to mark the community cemetery that sank during the above-mentioned volcanic eruption. Aside from being a tourist spot, this landmark has become a pilgrimage site where Bonbon folks hold their fluvial procession every November, bringing flowers and candles, to honor the graves of their forefathers.
    Four kilometers north in the uplands lies the magnificent Sto. NiĂąo Cold Spring. The icy cold water is ideal for picnickers who want to have fun together at the pool, like myself and my companion/best friend/boyfriend, Roel Catoto.
    Lying at the foot of Mount Timpoong, some five kilometers southeast of the Camiguin’s capital town of Mambajao, is Katibawasan Falls. Its cold waterfalls, which measure 256 feet high, cascade to a rock pool surrounded by ground orchids, wild ferns, trees and boulders—ideal for those who want to cool off. If you’ve been to the famous Kawasan Falls in the southwestern town of Badian, Cebu, you would know what I mean.
    But for those who want to get a natural treatment for their ailments, Ardent Hot Spring is perfect! Its sulphuric hot water is said to be a medicinal element that can cure virtually most illnesses. Located in Esperanza, Tagdo, six kilometers southwest of Mambajao, its hot spa is a natural pool of about 40-degree Celsius coming from the bowels of Mount Hibok-Hibok. What I loved most in Ardent is its lush vegetation, which offers serenity and quiet for stressed out people like me. Uh, I wish I could stay here longer but time didn’t permit me so.
    A must-see for religious tourists is the Via Cruzes. As part of Camiguin’s annual celebration for Panaad every Holy Thursday and Good Friday, devotees from the island and nearby regions pay a visit to each Cross of the 14 stations, by trekking the walkway leading to the peak of Old Vulcan. Because it was only a few days away to the holydays, I didn’t let that opportunity slip away despite the downpour. With the same intention of expressing penitence and enriching spirituality, others walk the 64-kilometer circumferential road circling the whole island of Camiguin.
    What an exciting weekend it was for me! I had made the most out of everything with these new experiences afforded me by this paradise of an island called Camiguin. I wouldn’t have learned to appreciate more its beauty and charm had I not come again to this enchanting part of Mindanao that they also call “… the island of your imagination.”

  44. Bicol’s Beckoning Beauty
    By Ariel Allosada Allera
    ariel_allera@yahoo.com
    My favorite movie Kailangan Kita (I Need You) was shown on PBO recently. Claudine Barreto and Aga Muhlach were right on the money. Not only did they justify their lead roles, they likewise made perfect partners in promoting tourism in Bicol, where the film was entirely shot. Most scenes visited me, reminding me of the wonderful memories I have of my Sorsogon-Albay sojourn a few summers back—courtesy of Cebu Holiday Tours and Travel’s Ricky Tio.
    The journey from Cebu to Masbate to Sorsogon seemed eternal. But all the stress paid off when I arrived in Donsol town, province of Sorsogon, excited to have the first leg of my tour which was the Butanding interaction.
    I hadn’t any idea what a Butanding was, until I was sent out to the middle of the deep blue see where—too late for me to back out—I was to dive and, worse, swim alongside a school of whale sharks which before me looked as huge and grayish as an aircraft sinking since time immemorial. Said to be the world’s largest fish, they are found collectively in the waters of Donsol where every Bicol-bound tourist ought to get by and experience the Butanding interaction.
    Still consumed by a sense of fulfillment for having conquered my fear of sharks, I wasn’t the least bit ready for my next stop, San Benon’s Mateo Hot and Cold Springs in Irosin town. But the sight of rock-tree pools sitting in different sizes/shapes beckoned another Bicol experience to behold. Having been in Donsol’s cold waters, I had to dip in the warmth not really of the pool’s but also of the hospitality of Bicolanos.
    They gave me a red-carpet treatment, washing away my previous perception of Sorsogon. Laidback, yes; but backward, no. The downtown is cleanly and orderly, whilst their suburbs clean and green. They have dandy restaurants like Casa Dominga and posh hotels like Fernando’s, where I was billeted in during my first night.
    For having underestimated their province below the belt, I said sorry to Mrs. Cecilia Duran who was the hotel’s general manager, chairperson of Sorsogon ProvincialTourism and vice-chairperson of the National Tourism Council. In between a square meal of Bicol express and snatches of Pili nuts, Director Maria “Nini” Ravanilla of the Department of Tourism-Region V discussed Sorsogon tourism. The information that there was more we could see, such as the Rizal Beach, the Bulusan Lake, Mt. Bulusan, the Barcelona Church, the Irosin Church and others, made me more than unwilling to call it a day.
    Like it or not, the early morning’s wake-up call had me head for the province of Albay. But knowing that I was en route to the very place where Carl (Aga) insinuated to Lena (Claudine) of her impeccable beauty by looking over the comparatively beautiful Mayon Volcano gave me too good a reason to yield to my call of departure. Wouldn’t I be excited enough to see it for myself, to kiss the foot of Mayon in Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga town, and leave a mark of prayer for the thousand and one souls who were buried under what is now a blackened church tower? (Note: The Volcano erupted February 1, 1814 and sent lava flows which cascaded down its side. The worst of all its 40 eruptions since 1616.)
    Today, the Ruins provides a magnifecent view of Mount Mayon which then grinned seductively, impatient to be explored by this hopeless romantic. A European visitor whom I asked a favor to take my picture said, “The erased place of Cagsawa and its weathered ruins are part of a park and a highlight for tourists like me and our cameras.” Visibly abroad around the park are souvenir shops as well as Pili nut sweets and orchid stalls, so are a children’s playground, a swimming pool, and the Ayuntamiento Art Gallery that is open to the public every day.
    The silhouette of Mount Mayon’s triangular shape dominates the panorama of the eastern landscape of Albay. From the Mayon Skyline nestling almost at the tip of its near perfect cone, I was afforded the spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, the different towns, lakes, villages, fields, and other mountains. The hanging clouds plus the cool, invigorating air have makes it an ideal summer resort with just about similar temperature as Baguio at 28 degree Celsius. It erects majestically at 2,700 feet, 2,462 meters from a broad base, about 10 kilometers in radius. It has a notched rim where a high and mighty mountaineer can find a pool of hot lava boils and rich coal deposits.
    The name Mayon is derived from the Bicol word magayon, meaning “beautiful.” An American writer described the Volcano as an overly perfect backdrop painting of a Hollywood jungle movie, while a couple of Japanese visitors likened it to Mount Fuji in Japan and said, “Maybe, even more beautiful.”
    Feeling uncontainably happy for that equally beautiful opportunity of being in Bicol, I went back downtown, jauntily, and displayed an almost maudlin expression of gratitude to the Lord inside Our Lady of the Gate. This church was built on top of Daraga hill in 1773 by Franciscan missionaries and is one of the oldest in the country. Its rich baroque architectural designs, with archaelogical remains of saints and rare religious seals ingeniously carved throughout the entire facade, make it a priceless relic for art afficionados.
    At once I wondered there was something I hadn’t noticed in all the church’s awe and splendor. On the way to my hotel in Albay’s capital city of Legazpi, my mother wit told me to stop by Albay Freedom Park fronting the City Hall and Provincial Capitol Building, as though the answer to my question was there. I racked my brain, wished to the Liberty Bell Monument, and before it could liberate me from my perplexed conscience I caught myself awed by the splendid sight of the Albay Cathedral Parish which seemed there had been a wedding ceremony a while ago.
    At the garden outside more guests were frolicking, some wiping their tears, mostly tossing their wine glasses. Then I saw a kalesa (horse taxi) coming out of nowhere, carrying a lovely couple, and running past this passionate writer.

  45. Bicol’s Beckoning Beauty
    By Ariel Allosada Allera
    ariel_allera@yahoo.com
    My favorite movie Kailangan Kita (I Need You) was shown on PBO recently. Claudine Barreto and Aga Muhlach were right on the money. Not only did they justify their lead roles, they likewise made perfect partners in promoting tourism in Bicol, where the film was entirely shot. Most scenes visited me, reminding me of the wonderful memories I have of my Sorsogon-Albay sojourn a few summers back—courtesy of Cebu Holiday Tours and Travel’s Ricky Tio.
    The journey from Cebu to Masbate to Sorsogon seemed eternal. But all the stress paid off when I arrived in Donsol town, province of Sorsogon, excited to have the first leg of my tour which was the Butanding interaction.
    I hadn’t any idea what a Butanding was, until I was sent out to the middle of the deep blue see where—too late for me to back out—I was to dive and, worse, swim alongside a school of whale sharks which before me looked as huge and grayish as an aircraft sinking since time immemorial. Said to be the world’s largest fish, they are found collectively in the waters of Donsol where every Bicol-bound tourist ought to get by and experience the Butanding interaction.
    Still consumed by a sense of fulfillment for having conquered my fear of sharks, I wasn’t the least bit ready for my next stop, San Benon’s Mateo Hot and Cold Springs in Irosin town. But the sight of rock-tree pools sitting in different sizes/shapes beckoned another Bicol experience to behold. Having been in Donsol’s cold waters, I had to dip in the warmth not really of the pool’s but also of the hospitality of Bicolanos.
    They gave me a red-carpet treatment, washing away my previous perception of Sorsogon. Laidback, yes; but backward, no. The downtown is cleanly and orderly, whilst their suburbs clean and green. They have dandy restaurants like Casa Dominga and posh hotels like Fernando’s, where I was billeted in during my first night.
    For having underestimated their province below the belt, I said sorry to Mrs. Cecilia Duran who was the hotel’s general manager, chairperson of Sorsogon ProvincialTourism and vice-chairperson of the National Tourism Council. In between a square meal of Bicol express and snatches of Pili nuts, Director Maria “Nini” Ravanilla of the Department of Tourism-Region V discussed Sorsogon tourism. The information that there was more we could see, such as the Rizal Beach, the Bulusan Lake, Mt. Bulusan, the Barcelona Church, the Irosin Church and others, made me more than unwilling to call it a day.
    Like it or not, the early morning’s wake-up call had me head for the province of Albay. But knowing that I was en route to the very place where Carl (Aga) insinuated to Lena (Claudine) of her impeccable beauty by looking over the comparatively beautiful Mayon Volcano gave me too good a reason to yield to my call of departure. Wouldn’t I be excited enough to see it for myself, to kiss the foot of Mayon in Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga town, and leave a mark of prayer for the thousand and one souls who were buried under what is now a blackened church tower? (Note: The Volcano erupted February 1, 1814 and sent lava flows which cascaded down its side. The worst of all its 40 eruptions since 1616.)
    Today, the Ruins provides a magnifecent view of Mount Mayon which then grinned seductively, impatient to be explored by this hopeless romantic. A European visitor whom I asked a favor to take my picture said, “The erased place of Cagsawa and its weathered ruins are part of a park and a highlight for tourists like me and our cameras.” Visibly abroad around the park are souvenir shops as well as Pili nut sweets and orchid stalls, so are a children’s playground, a swimming pool, and the Ayuntamiento Art Gallery that is open to the public every day.
    The silhouette of Mount Mayon’s triangular shape dominates the panorama of the eastern landscape of Albay. From the Mayon Skyline nestling almost at the tip of its near perfect cone, I was afforded the spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, the different towns, lakes, villages, fields, and other mountains. The hanging clouds plus the cool, invigorating air have makes it an ideal summer resort with just about similar temperature as Baguio at 28 degree Celsius. It erects majestically at 2,700 feet, 2,462 meters from a broad base, about 10 kilometers in radius. It has a notched rim where a high and mighty mountaineer can find a pool of hot lava boils and rich coal deposits.
    The name Mayon is derived from the Bicol word magayon, meaning “beautiful.” An American writer described the Volcano as an overly perfect backdrop painting of a Hollywood jungle movie, while a couple of Japanese visitors likened it to Mount Fuji in Japan and said, “Maybe, even more beautiful.”
    Feeling uncontainably happy for that equally beautiful opportunity of being in Bicol, I went back downtown, jauntily, and displayed an almost maudlin expression of gratitude to the Lord inside Our Lady of the Gate. This church was built on top of Daraga hill in 1773 by Franciscan missionaries and is one of the oldest in the country. Its rich baroque architectural designs, with archaelogical remains of saints and rare religious seals ingeniously carved throughout the entire facade, make it a priceless relic for art afficionados.
    At once I wondered there was something I hadn’t noticed in all the church’s awe and splendor. On the way to my hotel in Albay’s capital city of Legazpi, my mother wit told me to stop by Albay Freedom Park fronting the City Hall and Provincial Capitol Building, as though the answer to my question was there. I racked my brain, wished to the Liberty Bell Monument, and before it could liberate me from my perplexed conscience I caught myself awed by the splendid sight of the Albay Cathedral Parish which seemed there had been a wedding ceremony a while ago.
    At the garden outside more guests were frolicking, some wiping their tears, mostly tossing their wine glasses. Then I saw a kalesa (horse taxi) coming out of nowhere, carrying a lovely couple, and running past this passionate writer.

  46. i agree with most of your ideas on how we filipinos should uphold our pride as a people and as a nation. on the language issue, a fine line has to be drawn and having said this, i know that i could quickly be taken wrong. i mean, we need to speak tagalog if necessary and that depends on where, when, with who, situations,: this is the fine line i mean. tagalog really has to be the everyday language. speaking english in a situation when you need to, –you still get criticism from some pinoys especially the advocates of
    “tagalog only for unity and progress” kind of mindset. speaking a foreign language does not make anyone a denier of his own, and to say that we are slow to progress because of using english more than our own is absolutely laughable. japan, korea, any country that don’t speak english but is progressive is the result of their attitude as a united people– a people that is prompt, disciplined, honest and industrious. a people that punishes a guilty politician instead of giving him pardon; a people that don’t put uneducated actors in public posts even after clearly having stolen from the people. filipinos are just good at these. to think that millions of us are voting again for joseph estrada? if these attitude changes, WE WOULD BE A FIRST WORLD NATION AND A WORLD CLASS PEOPLE.

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