In pursuit of the Philippine Foreign Service Posts (FSPs) in North America and the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) banner tourism project, and consistent with co-organizer Department of Tourism’s (DOT) theme “It’s More Fun In the Philippines,”
According to Philippine Consulate’s PTO OIC Juan Gabriel Agcaoilli, “The annual ACGTD tour’s purpose is to bring home balikbayans, especially second and third generation Filipino-Americans to visit their homeland so they can experience the culture and heritage (of the land) where their parents grew up and for them to immerse themselves into the culture and fun destinations that their country has to offer.”
As part of the 9th ACGDT’s Pasaya tour which aims to showcase the beauty and culture of the Philippines and let the delegates to reconnect with their culture and roots, the TFC team opened the doors of ABS-CBN and toured them around the studios. The tour included stops at longest-running news program “TV Patrol” where some delegates played newscaster during the tour; a glimpse of the biggest studio 10 where widely watched “ASAP XV” is staged live every Sunday; DZMM Teleradyo and 630 during “Failon Ngayon” with Ted Failon; and a live guesting at “Ready, Get, MOR” with DJs Papi Charlz and Chikki Boom-boom.
Love For Fun (Pagiging Masiyahin)
As the highlight of their tour, the delegates took stage time at top-rating variety show “It’s Showtime.” The delegates got to see a ‘sample (word made popular by the show)’ of the Filipino culture as main hosts multi-awarded celebrity Vice Ganda, dynamic duo BillyVhong (international star Billy Crawford and multi-awarded comedian Vhong Navarro), trivia expert Kuya Kim Atiena and returning host Anne Curtis engaged the crowd in an afternoon of music, games, ad libs and gags, showcasing the Filipino talent (Galing ng Filipino) plus love for fun (pagiging masayahin).
The delegates composed of members of the business sector, the academe and community, were in awe of the stars and studios that they could only just see previously on-screen via TFC. Delegate Kazzandra Ruaro a student from Agana said while their Filipino teacher in the University of Guam required them to join the tour as part of their curriculum, she sees it more as an immersion rather than a requirement. Ruaro said: “The most important part of it is that it (the tour) creates awareness and shows the young generation a different side of the Filipino, the Philippine culture and the country itself and how it is becoming more modern, especially in ABS-CBN, how we can use media to our advantage and expose the Philippines in a positive light.” For Ruaro, media plays an important role in showcasing the Philippines’
Mariezel Pioquinto, a 35-year old student nurse from Emmanuel Hospital in San Francisco affirms this type of exposure as important to the young generation. “Sa mga new generation, (the importance is) the feeling of getting to know their origin - saan sila galing, why the parents are so attached to the country, kasi kung minsan nawawala na (To the new generation, this exposure is important because they get to know their origin, where they came from and why their parents are so attached. Sometimes, the connection gets lost). Pioquinto adds, “Like my children, they don’t feel it (culture) anymore. I think they do understand the language but they don’t want to speak it. They say they are just making common sense of what they see on TFC. They say it’s the scenario (they understand).”
According to Agcaoilli, “The visit to the ABS-CBN studios is the most fun part of the tour. Like right now (a few minutes before “It’s Showtime” started), the audience is being hyped to dance and sing along with everyone. This makes it more fun.”
Aside from the tour of ABS-CBN, the delegation also travelled to a local tourism site in Batangas, Southwestern Luzon and Manila Ocean Park in Manila as part of their Pasarap provincial tour, and to a local spa as part of the Paganda component. The highlight of their tour, aside from the tour of
ABS-CBN, is their meet and greet with the highest official of the land, President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino in Malacañan Palace.
Hospitality (Mainit na Pagtanggap)
Agcaoilli said he foresees the ACGTD making ABS-CBN and TFC as a part of the yearly itinerary. With ABS-CBN TFC’s mission to be the companion of overseas Filipinos in every part of their journey, through a showcase of homegrown programs and the companionship of stars, TFC seems to be the perfect, perennial tour stop.
ABS-CBN TFC’s programs, including “TV Patrol,” “ASAP” and “It’s Showtime” can be seen via TFC’s various platforms worldwide. “Ready, Get, MOR” can be seen and heard on DZMM Teleradyo and 630 via TFC’s platforms in Middle East, Europe, Australia, Japan and the rest of Asia-Pacific and can be heard in North America. Connect with fellow global Filipinos. Visit www.facebook.com/