BUKIDNON NEWS | COMMENTARY | BUKIDNON ONLINE | TOURISM IN BUKIDNON | KAAMULAN FESTIVAL 2011 – [This blog post also serves as a reply to all the email-inquiries I’ve been receiving the past few days] Are you a tourist who wants to witness the Kaamulan Festival 2011? I have bad news for you. Before that, however, a little backgrounder.
For many days now, Bukidnon Online has been bombarded with several inquiries from people outside Bukidnon (two are even from abroad). They all want one thing: updates on the much-anticipated Kaamulan Festival 2011, which is expected to begin around 3rd week of February 2011 up to March 10, 2011 (the very day the Province of Bukidnon celebrates its Foundation Day).
Like all of us who want to attend a festival for the very first time, these tourists all want to plan their trip early – they want to know how much they should save up, they want to know where to stay, they want to know what Bukidnon products to buy, they want to know what to expect during the festival etc etc. y’all know the drift.
Well, despite the fact that Bukidnon Online is a mere privately owned blog, we do aim to grant requests every now and then. After all, shouldn’t tourism promotion be an everyday thing not only for government officials but for the residents themselves? I’ve said this time and again – the people behind this Bukidnon blog understand the role this site has been and is playing in the community. The 800,000 visitors over the course of 3 years is already a big reminder.
So, for the last three weeks, my Girl Friday has been busy following things up not only at the Bukidnon Tourism Office but at the Provincial Governor’s Office as well. The first time she went to the Bukidnon Tourism Office, she was told that the former Kaamulan Festival Overall Chair, Ms. May Flor Beltran-Intong, took a leave of absence and is currently in the USA. My Girl Friday was told that Ms. Intong will be back next year. She was also told that there was no definite line-up of Kaamulan 2011 activities yet because the committee chairpersons still needed to meet and finalize things. She was told to come back Friday of that week.
When Friday came, my Girl Friday went back and followed up. She was told the same thing. No updates yet and that she should just come back December 10, 2010. Hopefully there will be updates, she was told.
December 10, 2010 – roughly 60 days before the start of Kaamulan Festival 2011 – my Girl Friday went back. I’m sure by now you guys already have an idea of what happened.
No updates. No fixed schedules. And here’s the clincher — she was offered by Ms. Laila of the Bukidnon Tourism Office a list of the Kaamulan Festival 2010 activities instead. She was told that perhaps people can have an “idea” of what to expect next year based on the previous festival’s schedule.
Y’all can probably sense my frustration so I won’t delve into that any further.
To be fair, I GUESS I can at least bring myself to say this — I HOPE that the people in-charge of the Kaamulan Festival 2011 are doing their job and are doing their darnest best not only in planning the festival well but in PROMOTING it as well. There’s practically no use of holding a festival when we hardly have any promotional measures. And no, I’m not just talking about PAYING media outlets in order to promote the event. I’m talking about tapping FREE resources.
Let’s see if YOU can figure out what I’m trying to say.
Take the case of Davao City’s Kadayawan Festival. The city government has a website for it and starts promoting it SEVERAL MONTHS before the festival itself. This way, tourists and guests can plan their trip well. Tourists from other areas, for instance, can most likely avail of promo airline fares or can book hotel rooms in advance. Other LGUs tap bloggers to help them promote activities. This also means engaging the community.
Can’t help but wonder if Bukidnon can ever do the same.
By the way, as of today, December 12, 2010, the Official Website of the Bukidnon Provincial Government is STILL OFFLINE.