MANILA, JUNE 23, 2007
(STAR) CĎEST CEBU By Honey Jarque Loop - The admirable people of Bohol have preserved their islandís blessings, both natural and man-made, and are always delighted to share them with visitors and holidaymakers. It is no wonder why Bohol has become a favorite destination for all seasons and reasons.

Strategically situated between Cebu and Leyte, Boholís unique urban yet laid-back lifestyle is ideal for tourists and travelers of every kind.

Recently, tourism-inspired activities brought us once again to this lovely, surely-it-grows-on-you island.

Under the auspices of the Central Visayas Regional Office of the Department of Tourism, it was the simultaneous launch of the preview and premier of the brand-new eight-minute promotional video on Central Visayas by Ted Ramasola, and the Guide Book on Bohol that features many destinations within the area.

The book, written by journalist Quennie Sanchez Bronce and this writer, with fabulous full-of-life photographs by Daniel Carpentier of PDP Digital Inc., features the islandís various eco-tourism attractions, such as the Chocolate Hills, the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary, Loboc River, and centuries-old churches, as well as the beautiful white sand beaches, dive sites, and mangrove plantations, all from a totally different perspective never seen before.

Guests of honor were Provincial Governor Erico Aumentado, Congressman Edgar Chatto, Tourism Undersecretary for Planning and Promotions Edu Jarque, and Regional Director Dawnie Roa.

In their brief remarks, the distinguished elected Bohol-based officials commended the Department of Tourism, headed by Secretary Joseph ďAceĒ Durano, for their accomplishments and achievements, which further established the region, Bohol in particular, as a must-visit priority destination.

DOT Undersecretary Jarque and Director Roa, for their part, pledged their departmentís continued support to the travel industry stakeholders in their aggressive promotional and marketing campaigns in tourist and investment markets abroad.

* * *

Just the other day, we sailed toward the trash-free-of-any-kind and in-full-bloom bougainvillea-lined port of Tagbilaran, an ideal model for wharfs of all sizes, to attend yet another tourism event.

The venue was a striking building that proudly stood in the very heart of the pier with a bold inscription that simply read Welcome Center.

Constructed by the Philippine Ports Authority, the blue-and-white bungalow houses five tourism-related organizations, namely the Department of Tourism; Bohol Federation of Travel and Tour Operators; Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants; the Association of Bohol United Transport Services; and Bohol Tourist Services Multi-Purpose Cooperative, that gladly inform, advice and assist tourists upon their arrival, equipped with well-stocked brochures, lists of accommodations, and sights to visit.

Guests of honor at the simple blessing were Tourism Secretary Joseph ďAceĒ Durano, Boholís movers of progress and strong believers of tourism, Governor Enrico Aumentado, Congressman Edgar Chatto and Tourism Undersecretary for Planning and Promotions Edu Jarque.

Also in attendance were provincial board member Corazon Galbreath, Director Dawnie Roa, Cebu-based tour operators Jenny Franco and Ricky Tio, travel specialists Peter and Zarah Dejaresco of Angels Wings, Fred Carmona of Ananyana Resort, and Richard Lim of Eskaya Resort and Spa, the islandís newest luxury hotel.

As always, we said goodbye to Bohol wanting to stay for just one more day, but as always we reluctantly had to move on.

A visit to Bohol will surely lead you to an entire world of adventure, culture, and nature that will thrill and delight you in more ways than one.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved