Here’s a big dollar-earner tourism tip based
on a success story from our friendly
How about a super annual homecoming of Dumagueteños, Negrenses, and different school
reunions, with a super treat to our balikbayans! Let’s
choose the right marketing date for this super event.
TOURISM: Bohol’s flagship industry gets one more
shot in the arm as thousands of Boholanos from all over
the world come home for the traditional once-every-threeyears
provincial homecoming called “Tigum Bol-anon sa
Tibuok Kalibutan” or TBTK on May 8-15.
Now on its fifth observance since 2000, the TBTK
has been a phenomenon in provincial homecoming
that then Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary
Richard “Dick” Gordon urged all provinces to
replicate the successful tourism experiment.
No province, however, has come close in terms of participants
and events celebrated, according to the DOT.
An institutionalized global get-together, which started
with just participants from the United States and Canada,
TBTK now includes the European countries, Middle East,
Asia and Australia, virtually the four continents. Not only
the expatriates and their offspring join the TBTK, but
Boholanos from other provinces as well.
It will be SRO (Standing Room Only) for Bohol
tourism since the event, which was traditionally observed
in the month of July, has been moved (this
2012) to May, Bohol’s “fiesta month.”
May is the unique fiesta month for Bohol, wherein almost everyday, a town observes a happy, well-attended “fiesta”
- giving rise to the so-called “professional fiesta–goes.”
Marketing budget in May is oftentimes saved ahead of
time for transportation to as many towns observing their
Already one of the most preferred tourist destinations
in recent years, Bohol and its famous island
resorts are expected to be “fully booked” during the
TBTK — even though at least one new resort is
opened every month in the fabled island, headed by
the Panglao Island, globally renowned for its azure
blue waters and white sandy beaches.
Diving and snorkeling in the famous sites, such as
Balingcasag and Pamilacan, will again be a preferred
activity, although dolphin-watching with an island-hopping
tour has been gaining ground, even among local tourists.
The most popular “countryside tour” featuring the
famous Chocolate Hills, the Loboc River Boat ride,
man-made forest, tarsier watch, the famous markers
of heroes and the century-old churches continue to
be a source of fascination, even for those who had
already savored the package tour.
Potentially, Bohol can bring in over 5,000 tourists per
day, assuming full capacity of the nine daily Manila-Bohol
flights of Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Zest Air and Air
Philippines and a slew of fast crafts from Cebu and nearby
The “new kid in the tourism block” for the
balikbayan, however, has to be the rise of the socalled
E.A.T. (Extreme/Educational Adventure Tour)
in the once obscure fourth class municipality of Danao
(some 95 kilometers northeast of Tagbilaran) headed
by Mayor Tom Gonzaga.
The Danao folks took the cue from the fantastic rise of
Camarines Sur as the No. 1 tourist spot in the country on
the basis of its active, water-based activities.
They sensed that there is a growing “tourism market segment,” who finds it more “fun in the Philippines”
if they are participatory rather than passive
visual observers of the beautiful sites in the country.
Danao’s mountainous terrain gave rise to high adventure
rides like the zipline (one-half kilometer, RP’s longest
and tallest), skyride, suislide and the breath-taking “plunge”
patterned after the thrill ride in New Zealand.
Wahig River now is the site of kayaking, trekking
and canoeing, while the mysterious caves and
sloppy hills give much room for the adventurous for
wall climbing, camping and a village tour, including
an educational section of organic farming.
Boholanos are keenly awaiting the jumbo boost that
the completion in three years of the P7-billion Bohol
Panglao International Airport will do to its tourism flagship
But for now, the thousands of balikbayans will be more
than content to savor all there is for the May 2012 TBTK
Among the enduring positive traits of Boholanos
has been their fabled attachment to their home province
— making the TBTK a homing instinct, a bird
to its nest event — that “stokes the inner Boholano
fire deadened by the ordinariness of daily life in a
It is the main reason all past four TBTKs have been a
The “May Fiestivities” begin on May 1, the big fiesta of
the provincial capital, Tagbilaran City.
The balikbayans will be escorted by Bohol officials
led by Governor Edgar Chatto on a courtesy
call on President Benigno S. Aquino III at
Malacañang on May 8, signaling the beginning of
the week-long celebration of TBTK 2012.
It is expected to be the biggest TBTK delegation ever
to visit Malacañang Palace. (PNA)