Learn New and Amazing Things

Framework for Sustained Urban Dev't. with Tourism

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Going out of your community will open your eyes to new possibilities or even validate ideas that have been playing in your mind. Benchmarks, you find benchmarks (or pegs) to which new ideas can be anchored on. That, as out of the box or crazy as they may sound, those ideas are actually nothing new and have been generously applied in many other sites.


Mine came when I visited Cheonggyecheon Park in Seoul, South Korea. A wide stretch of highway that was transformed into a park. You cannot do that in the Philippines! It's the other way around, parks are turned into concrete buildings, parking lots or roads.

There has been a constant cry to take care of the environment. But taking care of nature has been a default burden to the government units and a pesky issue to many businesses. Space in urban centers are priceless. Why give them away to grasses, trees and the homeless? The only tangible value of space many understand is the money value of each square meter, down to square centimeter.

But there is more to taking care of the environment than just appearing to be a tree hugger. Many cities have shown the way. Seoul is one, Chicago is now experiencing "parks philanthropy" wherein private businesses actually spend for the development or upkeep of parks. And so many more (calling Singapore and Hong Kong!).

Because...... it makes real sense!

Parks and open spaces enhance an area. That's just for starters. The locals have sanctuaries they can visit anytime, and actually "own". And the side effect? Business addresses are enhanced and preferred. It then paves the way for more and improved businesses to locate in the area. Big companies come in because of the total environment the area offers (happy people, happy workers, happy consumers, cleaner streets, clearer air), and a lot of micro and small scale businesses crop up.

Its not too late for the Philippines, there are numerous emerging cities that are on the way to developing. This is a great chance to put into proper perspective the real value of taking care of the environment  which is actually headed towards ensuring the sustained development of the area, the quality of the community, and the overall quality of living. Which is the goal of every citizen in any area.

Below is a rough framework I developed, just in case local executives would consider looking at the enhanced or protected environment as a primary component in urban development.


The site has products, facilities and services that are developed to realize its economic upliftment. To ensure that these products are owned, championed and protected by the community, the environment must be regarded not as a burden, but part of the overall development investment for the area. If this happens, the community will reap the benefits and the businesses will respond to the community and transient/tourist demands, thereby ensuring the sustainability of the development.

In conclusion - invest in open spaces, study movement spaces and features, and create environment facilities that become part of the showcase of the area (and not something to be ashamed of).

So many countries have shown it works, we are playing catch-up, but I think we still can.

Ajah!



I don't know if I can answer some queries. But we can try by sending an email to pinoytourist@gmail.com 

Going to the Beach? Don't Pick-up That Shell!

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Ey, it's summer time again! And the best place to get that sun-kissed skin would be the beach. You swim and you snorkel in the azure-colored waters, and you walk on the white sand beach (okay, could be black, gray, pebbly, rocky... you get what I mean).

Then you see a living, slow-crawling sea shell (specifically, the one we call cone shell) and you badly need to pick it up. Admire it, maybe even talk to it like you're talking to your... puppy?....

DON'T!!

You see, when environmentalists tell you to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures, they just partly mean to save nature from man. The other half of the story is to save man from nature. Yeah... it gets a bit AlGoristic that's headed towards an inconvenient truth here.

Let's just get straight to the point!

A number of species of cone shells are highly venomous, A.K.A deadly. Yup, one cone shell can kill your entire family (I mean, its very strong venom. Don't get this crazy imagination of a cone shell doing ninja moves stabbing your family members one by one. It's plain anime, okay?). A cone shell's venom, no matter how small it is, is more deadly than most snakes'.

When you pick up a live shell (pun intended), It will stick out its weapon and stab your pointer or stubby finger (or your groin if you put it in your pocket). That tiny pin-prick can almost immediately put you into shock and probably kill you in a few minutes.

So the next time you decide to do a romantic walk on the beach, leave ALL the shells alone. Don't bring home any souvenir. It's good for the environment and YOUR safety.

If you want to know more, just google "poisonous cone shells."

Who Wants a Good Tourism Idea? - Sandcastle Park

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We are in constant search of new tourism ideas. Whether we're the destination or we're the travellers, that wanting to create or see new, innovative, compelling, or even recycled/upcycled ideas would make us want to jump out of our beds and basically be in the middle of that tourism concept.

As a tourism consultant, I am often required to come up with ideas that would make new and even existing destinations attract both tourism investments and visitors. Most of my ideas are out of the box, but generally exciting. Some have come into fruition, while others are in the active files, waiting for people to invest into their sites. And yeah, I get paid varying amounts for those ideas.

This time, I'm giving away one concept that should turn into a very good tourist attraction. It's not entirely out of the box. But a very interesting repackaging or upcycling of an activity that has been done all over the world for hundreds of years. It may not even be unique! But it could be very compelling.

All you need is probably one hectare of land ANYWHERE (preferably near or within an urban center, and AWAY from a beach area). Tons, of sand that is not quarried from the sea, and artists to create these magical creations.

Yup, I'm talking about a Sandcastle Park. And nope, its not anywhere near that Sandcastle theme park in the U.S. It will be just a small piece of land where sandcastles and other sculptures can be created. Very simple! and not an expensive investment!

Everyday, the sandcastle artists will create their new fleeting sculptures. People will witness the creation (or course, after paying the entrance fees), take selfies, buy sundry items, have a meal... the works! The key is, it's never a "been there, done that" destination. Because the sculpture are changed everyday, people will have a daily, weekly, monthly and whatever season and reason to visit the park!

Before posting this, I searched (googled, actually) high and low if such thing already exists. Nada, Zilch. But I'm not discounting the possibility that one already exists somewhere in this entire world, but definitely zero in the Philippines.

There you have it! A tourism idea given away for free! But of course, it wouldn't hurt if you hire me as your consultant! Hehe...

Naaahh!... Don't pressure yourself! I just want to see this in my lifetime.

"Breathing" Cave

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You only have a few minutes to witness this occurrence. The timing has to be perfect or you totally miss the moment.

The locals of Bucas Grande used to call it "snoring" instead of breathing. That's why the term, Hagukan.

Not everybody who goes to Sohoton Bay will get this opportunity. And if everybody tries to go at the same time, it will not be worth it. So many people crowding inside the dark and flooded cave, and many shouting and laughing, will only get you frustrated.

But if you're very lucky, meaning you got the timing right and you're the only group at the time, you will definitely savor the moment, plus you get to experience to swim and float in a luminescent. Or should I say, an aurora borealisque  illuminated water?

Make sure you watch till the end!

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