Basey witnessed massive destruction and loss when Typhoon Yolanda came in 2013. The Provincial Government of Samar, with the help of NGO's and other internation...al organizations, focused on this town to help its people rise up and rebuild their communities.
We saw the potential for growth of tourism in Basey, so from there, we explored the best support systems to offer them. Thankfully, our efforts are paying off as the Baseynons themselves are coming up with creative ways to add value to a tourist's experience.
Here in Brgy. Magallanes, the people have formed a sing-and-dance troupe to entertain visitors with renditions of Baseynon folk songs. We visited them last week to see for ourselves and encourage and applaud their efforts.
January ended with a humbling recognition of our tireless efforts in Spark Samar.
The Local Government Academy (LGA) and the Council of Local Authorities for I...nternational Relations (CLAIR) through this year's Japan-Philippines 2018 Knowledge Exchange Forum on Harnessing Community Involvement in Tourism Development and Promotion flew 132 Japanese and Filipino local chief executives and their representatives to Region 8 in order to listen to our story and visit our key tourist sites for a 2-day seminar last January 30 and 31, which opened at The Oriental Hotel in Palo, Leyte.
It truly was a distinct honor to be recognized and chosen by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to share our Spark Samar experience and best practices. With the theme, "On Track Towards Sustainable Peace and Development: The Spark Samar Development Agenda," I was able to proudly highlight the people's organizations we established post-Yolanda in our key tourist areas.
Among our successful and independent PO's are Sohoton Services Cooperative in Sitio Wespal (Basey), whcih manages the tourism services of the Sohoton Natural Bridge National Park, and TORPEDO (Tour Guides and Boat Operators for River Protection and Environmental Development Organization), the group that runs the Ulot River Torpedo Extreme Boat Ride in Brgy Tenani, Paranas, Samar.
The next batch of PO's that we helped establish are the association of ticog weavers in Basey and the women's group in Sta. Rita who run San Juan by the Bay. Our sights are currently focused on strengthening these 2 groups of women.
Indeed, the invitation to speak before the Knowledge Exchange Forum was a testament that Spark Samar is on the right track. We are thankful to DILG and DOT Region 8 for acknowledging our hard work and giving us a platform to share Spark Samar with the rest of the world.
Watch out for Tribu Katbalaugan of Catbalogan City, Samar who will once again compete in this year's Sinulog Festival in Cebu.
As we prepare our homes for the festivities and family gatherings in the coming days, may we also prepare and open our hearts to our brothers and sisters in nee...d.
All over Samar and Eastern Visayas, hundreds of homes are still in need of repair and many families remain waiting for help after the onslaught of Typhoon Urduja.
With the aid of servicemen and our barangay officials, we were able to bring some relief in different barangays all over our province immediately after the storm passed.
But the job is not over yet.
This yuletide season, we urge everyone to bring joy not only within our homes, but also in our communities as well. Let us share our blessings with the victims of Typhoon Urduja and let us bring good cheer to those who have less.
This Christmas, let us SPARK and LIGHT UP SAMAR with LOVE.
As part of our Christmas celebration we are inviting everyone to this year's #SparkSamar "Kids Can! Bazaar" participated by all cities and municipalities of Samar.
The bazaar will open at December 01, 2017 5:00PM at the Provincial Covered Court.
Christmas is just around the corner and the best way to spend your time this holiday season is to be with your loved ones.
Bring your family and friends and join us as we light up a tree at this year's #SparkSamar Christmas Village on December 1, 2017, 6:00PM at the Provincial Capitol Grounds for the Ceremonial Switch-On of the Province of Samar's Light A Tree 2017 (Paskong Pinoy: Puso, Pamilya, Tradisyon).
As part of the Spark Samar Comprehensive Research for Tourism Development for the 1st District of Samar, check amounting to P330,800.00 was awarded to Northwest... Samar State University thru Dr. Leo Lacaba. On hand to assist was Mr Jason Garrido, 1st Spark Samar Cave Summit Head Organizer and Ms Eugene Bautista, Division Chief of Conservation Development, DENR.
Been wanting a different kind of travel adventure? Check out our #TandayaTrail tours. Best experienced with family and friends!
Drop by the Bahandi Eastern Visaya Trade Fair from October 4-8, 2017 at Megatrade Hall 1, 5th Floor, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.