Tagbilaran City’s Heritage Tour – Balik sa Kagahapon

Tagbilaran City’s goal to promote its beauty and not just as a gateway to Bohol is the primary goal of conceiving the idea of the Heritage Tour. According to Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” Yap, the city envisions to promote the city as a tourism destination.

So, what is this Heritage Tour?
It has already been known to us that Tagbilaran City is the center of business, entertainment and leisure in the province of Bohol. But, unknown to many young Boholanos, the city has a rich history and culture. This program aims to promote Tagbilaran City and to introduce the history of Tagbilaran to all Boholanos and the visitors of Bohol. The tour was a literal trip down memory lane from the Spanish Era to the American Colonial Period to the Japanese time. But, as of now, the recent heritage tour was just a sample of what to expect a year from now.

Launched in celebration of Bohol Day, “Balik Sa Kagahapon” Tagbilaran City Tour is a project of “BOL-ANONG KABILIN, ATONG BAHANDI” BOKAG-TAGBILARAN initiated by Mr. Lutgardo “Gardy” Labad and brought about by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Process Bohol, Kasing Sining Teatro Bol-anon Ensemble, the Provincial Government of Bohol in cooperation with the City Government of Tagbilaran Tourism Office and Culture and Arts Office. This program is a 2-year plan. The recent tour was just a culmination of its first year. For the second year, the government agencies will be focusing on getting the feedback from the spectators of the tour.

Who were present during the test run?
At 3:00 PM, the invited guests, was brought to the remnants of the City of Friendship’s history. Present during the tour were the tour operators in Bohol, government employees, the media men and other invited guests. By the end of the tour, they were expected to give feedback of the event on how to make it work to the public.

What is the Tour’s Route?
* PLAZA RIZAL

The tour started at the Plaza Rizal with an orientation by Mr. Lutgardo Labad of the happenings for the last year in order to produce the tour. Mr. Marianito Luspo then followed with his stories of the place and the surrounding area. He was also the historian during the duration of the tour. After Sir Luspo’s story-telling, a reenactment of how the Boholanos were able to work during the Spanish regime has been shown.

* Spanish Era
After the Plaza Rizal show, the tour proceeded to Sitio Ubos. Sitio Ubos is located at the lower portion at the back of the St. Joseph Cathedral, left side when going to Dauis. Houses made of wood welcomed us when we got there. Casa Rocha, Casa Rocha-Suarez and Beldia House have been preserved and standing still despite the calamities that the province have been encountered recently.

Casa Rocha
Casa Rocha-Suarez
Beldia House

* American Period
The Reyes House in Street has been the house that represents the American Period time.

* Houses along the Tour
While on the bus, we’ve been taken into various houses in the city.

* Japanese Period
The two-hour tour concluded with a cultural show at the Balili Heritage House, an ancestral home built in 1930s and owned by Eladio and Pancrasia Castro Balili. Daughters of Eladio and Pancrasia Balili were present during the event.

The Balili Sisters with their sister-in-law

* Cultural Presentation
The cultural presentation showcased Bohol’s talents from DCPNHS, City Science High School, and City Choir.

* Creative Industry
Another highlight of the tour is Tagbilaran’s CREATIVE INDUSTRY represented by REPUTANA GUITARS from Manga, TINAPAY of TALOTO, Upcycled products from TAGBTIC/FABLAB, and more.

What to expect from the event?
A year from now, they are expecting to open the tour to the public. Yes, everyone has the opportunity to experience the same experience as what we had.

How can you avail the tour?
As of now, the organizing committee is not yet accepting bookings for the tour. They are still in the phase of accepting suggestions to make the tour organized and worth it.

Here is Maám Shobel Ligalig’s facebook post about the recent heritage tour. It was not easy to organize such activity with the attendance of various agencies and government personnel.

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Thank you LORD for making the launching of the BOL-ANONG KABILIN,ATONG BAHANDI” BOKAG-TAGBILARAN Project
“BALIK SA KAGAHAPON” TAGBILARAN CITY HERITAGE TOUR a HUGE SUCCESS!
Despite the rain and drizzle, the show went on as planned…

IT TOOK A VILLAGE TO MAKE IT ALL WORK OUT:

So, our sincerest gratitude to the following:

Governor Edgar M. Chatto
Mayor John Geesnell “Baba” Yap
City Administrator Edi Borja
Head, Economic Enterprise Ofc Beben Inting
City Tourism Officer Shobel Ligalig
City Events, Culture & Arts Ofc Alexis Cadelina
City General Services Ofc Chris John Torralba
City Engineer Pianicita Castolo
SP on Tourism Councilor Greggy Gatal
SP on Tourism Councilor Jonas Cacho
PROCESS-Bohol Emmie Roslinda
USAID-SURGE Rosalinda Paredes
BOKAG Over-all Artistic Director Gardy Labad
HNU/Tagb. History Expert Marianito Luspo
Costume Designer Mr. Cooper Resabal
City DepEd Head Dr. Virginia Zapanta
Ms. Jeycelle Inting-DepEd/CCCA Treasure
Dr. Butch Bernas, Ph.D-DepEd/CCCA Dance
Mr. Edison Gumapac – DepEd/CCCA Dance
PERFORMERS:
Marie Aleli D. Antoni-Singer-Math/Glee TCSHS
Cornelio Reputana-GuitaristREPUTANA Guitars
Balitaw Singers Christine Ancog Grade 11
DCPNHS and Michael Cosmod Grade 11, UB
Kundiman Singer Alvin Jake Adovo(DCPNHS)
DCPNHS Special Program for the Arts/Instrumental Trainors:Tammy Relampagos and Rancy June “Jokjok” Micabani
DCPNHS Special Program for the Arts Theater Arts Majors Adviser/Trainor Mrs Farah Anaviso
Ladies in Filipiniana in 3 heritage stops:
Maria Erica Zafra,Julien Fabroquez, Whenhel Saco, Ma.Whelby Agravante, Jea Navea & Mary Grace Lopez..
Guardia Sibil at Sitio Ubos: Christian Alaba & James Dee Belhida.
American Soldier: James Miguel Dumagan
AND OF COURSE, The Heritage House Owners:
– Heirs of Eladio Balili:
ARCH. GLORIA BALILI-KATZ
MRS. AMPARO BALILI-CASTANEDA
– SITIO UBOS (Spanish Era)
MR. SAMMY CAL -Overseer for CASA ROCHA and CASA ROCHA-SUAREZ
MRS.NORMA GICA-BELDIA for BELDIA HOUSE
– FERNANDO REYES HOUSE (American Period)
Owner MR. ALEJANDRO UY

CREATIVE INDUSTRY Participants:

Shiro Takaki- JICA/FABLAB Projects
Chitato Kanno -JICA Volunteer
Akiko Sugiyama of BABITA HOUSE
Rowena Bernales- TAGBTIC Upcycle products
TINAPAY of Brgy. Taloto
GWYBarquillos of Brgy. Cogon
MALAGKIT of Brgy. Mansasa

This heritage tour has been supported by:
The NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR CULTURE and the ARTS (NCCA), PROCESS-BOHOL, KASING SINING TEATRO BOL-ANON ENSEMBLE, The PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF BOHOL, CITY GOVERNMENT OF TAGBILARAN through its CITY TOURISM OFFICE and CITY EVENTS, CULTURE AND ARTS OFFICE.

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