Movies for Western Visayas Tourism-A A +A
As I See It
Saturday, September 7, 2013
THE drive, “Experience Western Visayas First,” is a serious invitation to tourists to visit our region and enjoy what we can offer in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras and Negros Occidental. We have them all -- festival, food, natural and historical attractions.
“Iloilo,” the movie, makes it good in the international market. The story is about a domestic helper but it projects the capacity of a Filipina to commit herself to her work. It also features the character of our people, “pliant like the bamboo.” DOT Region VI is coming up with a new production, “Pengyow.” This is intended for Asia-Pacific audience.
Probably, our movie producers and directors from Western Visayas can come up with a good story using our scenic locations for shooting.
The baroque church of San Agustin in Iloilo is a structure we could be proud of. The Calle Real of Iloilo City still reminds us of the remnants of the “Queen City of the South.” The well-preserved colonial structures of Negros Occidental jog our memory with the presence of the semi-feudal lords and the days of the muscovado sugar and “molino de sangre.” Capiz is the “Seafood capital of the Philippines.” Guimaras produces the best mangoes in the country. Both are centers of agricultural tourism.
Aklan is the Philippines’ oldest province. It is famous for its Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival, and Boracay Island boasts of its four-kilometer stretch of pure white sand. Antique is the Marble Central of Panay. This province is famous for its Binirayan Festival, the enchanted Mt. Madia-as, the magical Rufflesia flower (the biggest in the world), and the captivating Bugang River, the cleanest inland body of water in the Philippines.
The movies to promote Western Visayas could be culled out from the patience of the “sacadas” of Antique who worked with their agility in Negros Occidental, the “Sugar Bowl of the Philippines.” I should know this because my parents and grandparents are “sacadas.” The screenplay could be about Bendahara Kalantiaw, the country’s first lawgiver. He is famous for his Code of Kalantiaw. A period movie could be said about Miguel Lopez de Legaspi who lived in the town of Arevalo, Iloilo in 1569.
For epic-like movies, we can have the colorful life and style of leadership of Bugrong Maniabog, the hero of Carul-an in Kabankalan; or the adventure and misadventure of Papa Isio. The love, life and heroism of Anecito Lacson and Juan Araneta could be connected to the Cinco de Noviembre 1898 Bloodless Revolution in Negros. The sub-plot may include the existence of the ‘Gastronomes’ (eat and drink group) of the “buena familias,” the making of the first Philippine flag in Silay; the Legend of Kansilay or the Story of Sugarcane.
Festivals with cultural significance can also dominate Western Visayas-based movies: Panaad sa Negros Festival, Karosahan Festival of Nueva Valencia, Tambobo Festival of Ajuy, Santacruzan Festival of Sta. Cruz in Arevalo, Buling-Bulingan of Banga, Kali-kalihan of Don Salvador Benedicto, Manlambus of Escalante, Kansilay of Silay and many more.
Hometown food and delicacies could be well promoted in movies, like in “Namits” of Peque Gallaga: Negros chicken inasal, La Paz batchoy, chicken binakol, kadyos-baboy-langka (KBL), Manapla puto, lumpia ubod de Silay, guapple pie of El Ideal, original tourism piaya of Jessica Go, pinasugbo, biscocho, Napoleones, kalkag, pinitaw, kalamay-hati, pili square, peanut bandi, tabyos ginamos, puklo-puklo (century shell) diwal (angel wing). We have a kilometric list of food that could be attributed to Western Visayas.
A movie is a good vehicle to promote our tourism potentials and all of us could be actors. Acting is simply doing what is best for tourism with or without a camera. Film rolling… action!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 07, 2013.