man vs wave
From newly appointed Tourism Secretary Jimenez :
“The best marketing communication campaigns anywhere in the world are really hinged on the simplicity of a proposition. It is not all about infrastructure. It is really about a single-mindedness of image.
“If it is about infrastructure, then you would imagine that in North America the most visited place next to the United States would be Canada because the infrastructure would be the same, right? That’s not true. Next to the US, the biggest draw is Mexico because the image of Mexico, even now in your minds, is very, very clear. You can see the tacos and the hats and the ponchos, etc., even if all I said was Mexico. That has not happened for our country yet, and that’s what we have to create.”
Now, how can this marketing tool be applied to Cantilan? What is that “single-mindedness of image” that captures and defines our town that a mere mention of the word “Cantilan” gives someone an instamatic image of the place ?
It’s a question worth pursuing because if you mention Cagwait the image that immediately comes to mind is that long beach; Hinatuan is the Enchanted River ; Bislig is about Tinuy-an Falls, that if you close your eyes you can feel the mist on your face and the roar of cascading water. If you hear “Siargao” ,it’s the surf in Cloud 9 that springs to mind. Well there’s a town nearby whose claim to fame is to give you a sandstorm experience without ever setting foot in Dubai
What would be Cantilan’s tourism icon , the town postcard that will be worth a thousand words ? The image doesn’t need to be singular , it can be a collage , in a way that when you mention “El Nido “, it conjures no signature image but a collection of pictures that spell sun , sea , sand.
Judging from the photos I have seen here in Barangay FB, I would say it would be the islands . Isla, Ayoke, Casarica, Huyamao are the four aces up our tourism sleeve. ( Quick, himo-i nijo nan acronym, pero pastilan ajaw lam GCAsH – General,Casarica, Ayoke, Huyamao and if ever you’ll come up with travel brochures it won’t hurt to attach an adjective to each of the island’s name : Charming Casarica, Alluring Ayoke and please veto Reno’s suggestion that Isla be labeled Gay General kay basin an Commander nan Cantilan’s 241st Tong-its Blue Diamonds-sa-Bahara Squadron mangisog. Hmmm, Temptation Island ? Puyde pa).
My point is to think out of the basanday (box). For example, one can capitalize on the first four letters of Ayoke, to give it a mystical , magical mantle. Timan-i nijo mas dabo na mobisita did-on kun mahanog it sija ( but in a playful manner though) as an enchanted island. And you can latch these islands to something big like a geographical landmark like the Philippine Deep, sa unahan ra balitaw . Picture this : An Ayoke Island poster and this tagline. “ You may never climb the highest mountain, but you can swim on the deepest sea.” Hampan sa ubos an ngayan nan sponsor : “Duero Air will bring you there.”
The materials for a tourism literature about Cantilan are already there, from Edward H’s stunning aerial photo of the islands, to Richard Orozco’s captivating Malibod series-in-the-making, and other photos which can be culled from the individual portfolios of the members of the Mangodakay nan Cantilan FB Group .
An sunod na pangutana mogikan tingan sa iban na magduda na dili mo-saler na tourism sa ato kay díli kun marajaw na infrastructure . Partly true, but it will not totally deter. No bad road can stop the most intrepid traveler to a place whose beauty makes one powerful draw. (Naga-Caramoan is twice the travel time of Surigao-Cantilan, and the latter about the same distance as Puerto-Underground River) Jaon “luksurious road” sa Nobenta mahuman ra iton. Jaon kuyang na kahuy-an , stoke the demand and demand will create the supply.
And speaking of infra, we may lack the mortar-and-stone type created by man , but the four islands are God-made infra with a price tag of hundreds of billions of pesos, simply unquantifiable. (Palit kaw nan puti na buhangin kuman sa Manila P200 an sako, an gamay na aquarium sa Cartimar P10,000, an swimming pool ni Tantoy P2 million , so you can just imagine the monetary value of , say, Isla and its surrounding seas which are one big infinity pool. ) For all his billions, not even Bill Gates would dare create a man-made Huyamao. How would you put a sticker price on a Baybay sunrise?
Tourism will not solve the jobs drought in our place, but it can ease the situation. What was the math on tourism receipts ? Attracting just a half-a-van of visitors a day (napuyo ka tawo) will result in receipts of P34 million a year. Some will say that this amount is chicken feed . 100% chicken feed is captured by this post in another thread , to the effect na “kalooy sab nan Cantilan , ya nija kuhaa an P6 per metric ton na ibajad sa ija nan mina.” Ponder this : 55,600 metric tons of Cantilan soil was sold to China at P2,322 per metric ton ($54 X P43) an kabahinan baja nan Cantilan per metric ton SAIS PESOS or two pieces of menthol candy? Kun an isa ka trak , five metric tons , an lu-on nahalin nan P11,610. An ibajad sa Cantilan TRAINTA PESOS (dili gan makapalit nan isa ka kilo na bugas) . At least Judas sold Christ for 30 pieces of silver, but you for 30 pesos ? Whether you are neutral, pro- or anti-mining in Cantilan , you should rankle at this kind of estafa .
Nosiway naman hanu-on ta. Balik ta sa tourism. Well the liberalization of the airline industry has caused ticket prices to tumble down and has created a generation of frequent fliers that many have run out of domestic places to go. It’s time to ride on this boom, beginning with members of the big Cantilan nation who should be enticed by kith and kin to start making regular pilgrimages to the mother ship . Which is why the “2012 Visit Cantilan Year” is crucial in jumpstarting this.
And I have just talked about the beautiful places of Cantilan, waya pa an beautiful people. Now, that would cause a stampede to our place.Nanubra an tourism poster boys, girls and gays.
So what do you think is Cantilan’s selling point ?
by: Bebong Arreza