Last March 14, 2016, the Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC) opened the first ever fully interactive tour in the Philippines called Ton’neru Sorosoro. Ton’neru Sorosoro which means Sorosoro Tunnel in Japanese, is a tour through an undocumented Japanese war tunnel built during World War 2, situated in Brgy. Sorosoro Ibaba, Batangas CIty. This, however, is not your ordinary tour as visitors become instant “actors” which participate in an interactive theatrical play as the story unfolds.
From costuming, wielding props, and getting a treat like refreshments of kapeng barako and boiled camote, the tourists are treated like guests in the WW2 styled Soro-soro Community in 1945, with all that old houses and industries being portrayed in that era. This multi-sensorial and experiential approach to tourism takes a further high, as you get to participate in the middle of the conflict between Japanese soldiers who dwell in the tunnel, and guerilla forces during the waning days of WW2 in Batangas City.
Try not to be captured by the attacking Japanese forces and join the guerillas in liberating the town. Tourists also get the chance to decide on matters that will affect the play like the fate of the collaborator/traitor, and on specialized tasks or mission inside the tunnel itself.
Ton’neru Sorosoro is the latest project which utilized the Bahay-Bahayan System and Philosophy. This is the completed prototype of the Bahay-Bahayan for Tourism strategy whose aim is to create interactive open air museums and tours through the use of theater. The system encourages participation and resourcefulness as local residents particularly the OSY or out-of-school youths served as researchers, organizers, writers, designers, and performers of the play. Their talents were honed and cultivated through workshops by Bahay-Bahayan System pioneer Gian Carlo de Jesus.
Ultimately, this project generated a employment or source of livelihood since the attraction will be a permanent show in the community as part of tour packages being offered in the Sorosoro Springs Resort that is managed by SIDC. For inquiries and booking please contact Sorosoro Springs at (043) 300-4058 to 59 or email at email@example.com
(Photo Credit: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/files/2013/12/t1223ncca-artsmonth_feat9_1.jpg)