Tourism has come ALIVE!
BicolMail column BLUE and WHITE
by Joaquin F Perez Jr
For the past several weeks I have been ‘bothered’ by the traffic caused by several huge brand-new Tourist Buses maneuvering near the corner of the UniTop building in Barangay Dinaga; and at the same time ‘gladdened’ by the fact that these buses have been bringing busloads of lively and exciting Tourists to our ‘Pilgrim City’; even if their destinations usually are the Cam. Sur Water Sports Complex, and/or the Gota Beach in Caramoan. Even then, just occupying our clean, cozy, and strategically located hotels, and patronizing our tantalizingly ‘hot’ and delicious Bicolano Cuisine (which we will soon be ‘expanding’ with the ‘promotion’ of the omnipresent and invigorating ‘KINALAS’ which is found only in Naga City, by way of a ‘Kinalas Food Festival’ sometime next year), is something which should inspire our fellow Bicolano Entrepreneurs to work hard in order to make Naga City’s presence felt in the Tourism Map!
The recently opened Naga City Coliseum (the ‘Big Dome’ of the South), has opened up a lot of possibilities, ranging from P.B.A games, National and International Cockfights, Professional Boxing Matches, Chess Competitions, Concerts, Operas, National and International Conventions, International Car Shows, and the very ‘invigorating’ Beauty Contests and Fashion Shows!
With the able and benevolent leadership of Mayor John Bongat, who has almost single-handedly ‘inspired’ the resurgence of Tourism in this City with his Naga City ‘SMILES’ (at the World), we cannot but come together and help each other really get our Pilgrim City chugging along 365 days a year on our ‘Tourism Express’ towards 2011 in cooperation with the Tourism ‘Blitz’ of Gov. L-Ray and the Provincial Government. We really need to make Bicol Tourism a concerted ‘symbiotic’ effort. We need them and they cannot help but need US. We are the ‘HEART’ of Bicol, and nobody has ever tried to survive without a heart!
Along the ‘Tourism Line’ we now would also like to solicit everyone’s Positive Suggestions (including those of Bicolandia’s ‘Tourism Champion’, Gov. L-Ray) as to what we can do to make our newly ‘acquired’ Plaza Rizal, not only something to be ‘cleanly’ proud of, but something which Tourists will be delighted and happy to show pictures of to all their friends here and abroad! Specialty Food Stalls and Bicol Souvenir Shops can be strategically placed all over the place; and a Naga City Chess Club can also be located somewhere in the Park. An Early Breakfast Nook can be situated in the original coffee shop to cater to early morning joggers and aerobic exercisers who will be inspired to relocate their ‘sweat’ to our new and superbly CLEAN Rizal Park! Weekly Barangay Elimination Contests: ‘Naga’s Got Talent’ can be done in the Park with the December Finals to be made in the Naga City Coliseum. The ultimate winner will be sent on an all expenses paid trip (among other prizes to be solicited by our Tourism Committee from our Big Time Donors like S.M., San Miguel Corp., Camella Homes, etc.) to join the National ‘Pinoy Got Talent’ Contest in Manila. Photographers who are registered with the Naga City Tourism Bureau will be encouraged to ply their trade in the Park; and a strategically located Pay Toilet will also have to be constructed to give everyone a sanitary place to relieve themselves in. Several plainclothes policemen will be placed on rotation duty 24/7 so that everyone will be able to securely and leisurely while their time away. Everyone will also be treated to Oil Painting Exhibitions by none other than renowned Bicolano International Painter, Pancho Piano; and a Concert at The Park performed LIVE every Sunday by Barangay Musical Talents, with the whole family in tow. With our good Mayor John Bongat’s innovative imagination guiding us, there’s no doubt that our Pilgrim City will continue to be on the right track to real and very Visual Progress! Mabuhay ang Tourismo sa Naga! Mabuhay kita gabos! Viva la Virgen Penafrancia!