ITis not so presumptuous to assume that even in these troubled times, the country is seeing the tourism industry’s golden age. This, however, is not solely due to the state’s tourism marketing and promotions. It is surprisingly and significantly because of this generation’s two sub-cultures; “Selfies” and “Do-it-Yourself (D.I.Y.)”.
The “Selfie-culture”, which is naturally appealing to the human ego and fueled by the modern day tools of smartphones and social media, is perhaps the modern method of validating the human existence through stored visuals – the new way of crossing the bucket list. Add the encouragement of Facebook’s “What’s on your mind?” or Instagram’s “filtered-lifethis moment”/ “At the moment (ATM)”, and we have folks addicted to sharing their experiences; what they are doing, what they are eating, and where they went – they are considered tourism testimonials by digital beings though unintended.
This leads to the second culture: “Do-it-Yourself”. In the social-media world, DIYs are originally contributed web-contents that are utilized to increase web audience to just about any subject; ‘How to do this…’, ‘How to be like this...’, and ‘How to go there…’. This, however, thrived because of a very powerful human tendency which was amplified in this new information age: ‘crowd-sourcing’ or that ‘wisdom of the crowd’ marketing. This became a platform for travel information and suggestions which is more effective than the traditional production of printed brochures and coffee table books. Its operation is based on the idea that the people who actually experienced the travel is more credible in guiding the way to the beaten path for the newbies – the integrity of which is increased by the number of corroborating comments/ testimonies. These information-sharing activities, together with cheap flights and google maps, pave the way to young travelers around the country like we have never seen before. In the DIY Travel facebook page, there are travel updates of different people every minute. It seems that most in our generation are into “experiencing” the world before they leave it – a residue or perhaps, our version of the western ‘backpacking’ culture.
How is it a golden age of tourism? People may ask. In our neighborhood, the only people who have experienced riding a plane before are the OFWs and migrants. Most of my parents’ generation left the world without even being able to visit Visayas or Mindanao – in their time, plane flights are only for the rich or the elite, and travelling is only written on fancy books. Today, we have millions of teenagers touring the different parts of the country even without guides, experiencing the joy of travel more than their parents could ever have. Today, every person in my Facebook list of friends has at least posted a travel picture once in their FB statuses. Today, even struggling people like us can buy a ticket for a vacation in an ocean away from our caves. Today, most of us have seen more of the world and can write poetry and stories about our new experiences. This is the golden age – the enabling environment of the modern travel industry, and the accessibility of travel necessities. date the family tree or ancestral lineage of said applicant. I said that my heart truly bleeds for them. There is a word "ay piman met" which is unfair.
Former city mayor Peterey Bautista who is now the Chair of the Regional Police Advisory Board shared information saying: “Yes there is a height requirement, but that is exactly why they secure some proof to show that they are Cordilleran. Many have been taken in because of some show of cause. If it is NCIP for proof, so be it. Others lineage. That's still proof. Of course they also have to pass various tests. Mental, Physical etc. Another unfortunate thing is gender. Apparently there are many female applicants who pass but the quota for them is too little. Unlike the men it is the opposite they have a larger quota but too little passers. Hope this info helps. Applying is only the beginning, they get weeded out eventually. Blame should not be because of requirements. There are exemptions to the rule. If the kid deserves it, a board will study it surely. But let not the kids lose hope, try first. A criminology graduate has the edge but is not a guarantee. Today the police are looking for graduates in psychology, IT, social welfare, engineering etc.”
As I said, my heart truly bleeds for the girls whose heights are the same as my two daughters. In fact, my youngest wanted to be a flight stewardess for her to travel far and wide. But as the Ilocano saying goes…”anya ket garud ngay, dayta met ti parabor ti Apo a Namarsua”.
Cendana said the statistics should serve as a wake call to all stakeholders to be more responsive and aggressive in addressing this pressing regional concern “The latest report underscores the need for the full implementation of the comprehensive sexuality education.”
In 2013, the NYC again sounded the alarm bells when a Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality (YAFS) Study cited the Cordilleras as the chart topper for teen pregnancy.
Then, the YAF’s survey in the region logged an 18.4 percentage for teen fertility rates makes us top all other regions prompting alarm bells to be raised by both the private sector as well as government line agencies.