In July 2011, Cebu City was named the new ASEAN City of Culture. The naming of Cebu City as an ASEAN City of Culture is in line with the declaration of the Philippines as the ASEAN Culture Capital for 2010 to 2011, a project where a country is designated an ASEAN Culture Capital for two successive years to showcase its best cultural heritage. This is by far not the first time that Cebu has been cited as the place to visit. Internationally known Condé Nast Traveler Magazine named Cebu the seventh best island destination in the Indian Ocean-Asia region in 2007, eighth best Asian-Pacific island destination in 2005, seventh in 2004 and in 2009.
With accolades and good publicity comes responsibility, and with MISSION Cebu, that responsibility is echoed in new projects that bring conscious tourism to life. Through our tourism projects, we are unleashing responsible, ecologically-friendly, heritage-conscious, children-oriented and developmental tourism…in quadruple perspective: the place’s, the tourists’, the tour guides’, and the local communities’ perspectives. Together, they share and engender a lasting, memorable experience of connecting, becoming conscious, and caring for a place, all its natural inhabitants and its people.
Two projects that spearhead this movement into conscious tourism are:
The I SEE THE PHILIPPINES children’s story and interactive book series, with its launch title I SEE CEBU (slated to come out in the fourth quarter of 2011). Published by Nomadic Tales Philippines, Inc., each “I SEE…” book will be an interactive children’s storybook that brings to life for the children a true sense of place—its culture, its heritage, its natural bounties and its local community. To create it, the writers and artists work with the place and its local stewards to provide an experience for the children that builds on the young minds’ curiosity and wonderment to understand and honor a place and to develop these children to take their place as conscious and nurturing stewards of the beautiful planet they are inheriting. The www.iseethephilippines.com website is still under construction by MISSION partner Projek Samadhi.
The New Tour System is a project that MISSION Cebu has been contracted to create with and for Archival Eco-House or House Close to Nature (HC2N) in the heart of Cebu City. HC2N has gained fast and widespread reputation for its being the first Green House in Cebu. Built by once-Councilor of Cebu, Engr. Nestor Archival, the HC2N is reputed to convert trash (1,000 kilos of it everyday) to compost and the rest recycled for different uses in and around the house; utilize free and abundant sources of energy like the sun, wind and biomass; raise trees, fruits and vegetables as well as goats, chicken and birds au naturale; and use only local materials, especially ones grown on the land, for food. As HC2N develops in its offerings and features, Engr. Archival has asked MISSION Cebu to partner in upgrading its tour and visit experience to be fun, educational, inspiring and life-changing for all. For more about HC2N, see www.houseclosetonature.com which is also going to soon be upgraded by MISSION partner Projek Samadhi.