TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol July 4, (PIA) –“When God closes a door, He opens a window.”
That was how Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto sums it all, when responding to travel and leisure magazine writers who asked how Bohol has fared after the October 15 great earthquake.
Speaking to local media and national leisure magazine writers at the sidelines of the Bohol Sandugo Month opener during the Tagbilaran City 48th Charter Day, Chatto, along with City Mayor John Geesnel Yap and Provincial Tourism Council (PTC) representative, Nonette Bolo univocally declared Bohol tourism rising better than expected, after the earthquake.
The three of them agreed that the earthquake dealt a nasty blow to Bohol tourism: centuries old churches toppled and reduced to rubbles and Chocolate Hills scarred as landslides and earth movements ruined tourism road networks.
But, the earthquake also pushed Boholanos into opening up more tourism destinations, even in the most disaster wrecked areas.
The earthquake has partly toppled the historic Punta Cruz Watchtower in Maribojoc, the tremor uplifted the coastlines in the vicinity of the historic important cultural property stone tower gaining for this part of Bohol, more land when the water permanently receded exposing wider coastlines.
“In the more than 400 hectares of additional coastal areas in Maribojoc and Loon, a geological science center will rise,” Chatto said.
The earthquake which hit Bohol early morning manifested itself through a five-kilometer, 3 meter subsidence in Anonang Inabanga, which instantly became a tourist destination on its own.
Bohol Fault Museum will rise in the five-kilometer faultline that manifested, Chatto told media at the Bohol Cultural Center Tagbilaran City press conference.
As Bohol lost major churches in Loon, Maribojoc and Loboc, the governor shared that some of the churches would be rebuilt, some other ruins offered as tourist attraction where monuments and markers would show how the church was before the earthquake.
Even the Chocolate Hills, which have earned the interest of scientists wanting to study the core of the hills now present itself as an easy specimen, the multi-awarded leader shared.
Some hills among the 1268 hay-cock hills in Bohol were sheared, exposing the core of the mounds and providing scientists that elusive chance to see for themselves the structure that has baffled many people across centuries.
Meeting media at the launching of Bohol’s premier festival month that carries with it the biggest load of tourists in Bohol’s monthly arrivals count so far, Chatto, Yap and Bolo also represent the new management of the Sandugo Festival in 2014.
Then managed by Bohol Sandugo Foundation, the now month-long festival is a cultural celebration based on the historic blood compact between Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and local chieftain Datu Sikatuna celebrated in July.
This year, despite the disaster, Bohol officials all the same, invited tourists still, to the Sandugo, and then to the new tourism destinations opened after the tremor interrupted tourism activities here. (PIABohol/RAC)