Bohol, even as it gained global renown as a multi-attraction destination, has been maintaining its family-friendly image and the province’s tourism stakeholders, along with its predominantly Catholic residents, intend to preserve that wholesome appeal.
Seriousness to protect that image was made apparent recently by tourism industry players and civil society groups which quickly banded together to denounce the lewd topless show of a woman at a resort in Panglao, the province’s tourism jewel, that was caught on video and later drew nationwide attention.
“Daghan ta og mga seminar, mga branding exercises, permi g’yud na mogawas as the most outstanding feature sa Bohol, ang gisulti sa mga stakeholders, is ang probinsya usa ka wholesome, family-friendly destination. Mao ni ang image na atong gusto ampingan,” Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) president Lucas Nunag said in an interview over station dyRD on Monday.
Nunag said that Bohol should not tolerate activities that would destroy the province’s “wholesome” image and allow the ill sides of tourism to creep into the local industry which is mostly promoting the island’s eco-cultural sites highlighted by geographical wonders and centuries-old churches.
“This is not the type of tourism that we are trying to promote. We can do better than that,” Nunag said.
Lucas made the statement a day after the PTC along with the Diocese of Tagbilaran and several civil society groups issued a manifesto which called for action by both the provincial and municipal governments against the strip show in late February at the Amanzara Resort.
The resort also found itself in hot water after a separate video which also circulated over social media showed partygoers flouting health safety protocols during another series of parties at the resort last week.
Among the groups that signed the manifesto are the following:
- Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals
- Bohol Alliance of Non-Government Organizations
- Tagbilaran City People’s Council
- Federation of Filipino-Chinese Catholic Women’s Organization
- Bohol Arts and Cultural Heritagae Council
- Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants
- Bohol Federation of Travel and Tour Operators and Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Bohol Medical Society
The groups, through the manifesto, called on Panglao’s local government unit and the Capitol to take action against Amanzara’s violations but neither have shown a concrete move to address the incident.
Panglao’s Mayor Leonila Montero stood by her decision to merely issue a warning against Amanzara considering that it was the resort’s “first offense.”
Governor Art Yap, meanwhile, called on Montero to issue a cease and desist order against Amaranzara to suspend its scheduled parties pending investigation but the appeal was rejected by the mayor who instead told the governor not to meddle with her town’s affairs. (R. Tutas)