TO PROVIDE well-researched and accurate information on certain heritage sites, the Archdiocese of Cebu adopted digital tourism in anticipation of the influx of tourists for the quincentennial celebration in 2021.
In partnership with Smart Communications and InnoPub, the developer of the technology, the Archdiocese launched on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, the QR code markers at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and the Archdiocesan Museum of Cebu.
The QR code marker easily provides the visitors the information on a certain heritage. Users only have to point their phone camera on the QR Code and the history and information on the site will appear on their phone screen.
It also features near-field communication technology. By placing the phone near the QR code, the information is displayed on the screen.
“Once you scan it on your phone, it will give you the information. In this case, the old photo of the Cathedral will be displayed, as well as various historical information about the place,” explained Max Limpag, InnoPub co-founder.
He said the contents provided by the code are well-researched and are even vetted by historians and researchers, and even by the archdiocese’s heritage commission.
Limpag said the misinformation that some tour guides and locals provide tourists prompted InnoPub to innovate and go into digital tourism.
He recalled a family trip to Bohol where their driver volunteered to be their tour guide.
“He told us that the blood compact really happened here (Blood Compact Shrine in Bool, Tagbilaran City). That’s what the locals believed. However, it was not the exact location,” shared Limpag.
He said there is a need to provide tourists the curated and vetted information of a certain heritage attraction, thus the creation of the QR code markers.
Fr. Brian Brigoli, head of the Cebu Archdiocesan commission for culture and heritage, said the technology would help disseminate correct information to the public.
“The project would help us disseminate the accurate and relevant information that we like to share to the people for heritage to be appreciated and to be celebrated. There are already a lot of false information but the QR code would help us propagate the exact information,” said Brigoli.
He said that all heritage sites and heritage conservationists have stories to tell, “and the QR code is the best way to continue that storytelling.”
In 2021, the Archdiocese of Cebu will lead the local religious celebration of the 500th year of the Christianization of the Philippines as part of the quincentennial celebration.
Lawyer Maria Jane Paredes, Smart Communications Visayas-Mindanao public affairs head, said it is important to impart heritage to the present generation and one way they can do so is to blend technology and heritage. Besides, she said, the youth are more inclined to using phones than books.
”Can we marry the old and the new? This is exactly what we are going to do via QR code,” Paredes said.
After Monday’s event, the team will proceed to southern Cebu to install QR code markers.
This week, they will be in Carcar City and to the towns of Argao, Dalaguete, Sibonga, Boljoon, Oslob, Santander and Barili. (JJL)