Inauguration of the Mangima Veterans Hall

DOT Speech 5

Inauguration of the Mangima Veterans Hall
Speech of Secretary Gemma Cruz Araneta
Department of Tourism
Manolo Fortich Municipality, Bukidnon
19 June 2000


Maayong adlaw sa inyong tanan!

Today is the birthday of Jose Rizal, which I usually celebrate in Calamba, Laguna with my relatives,   but I am happy to celebrate it here  with you, in this wildly  beautiful Municipality of Manolo Fortich. I learned that it used to be called Maluko but in 1957, the municipality was renamed Manolo Fortich in honor of the first governor of the District of Bukidnon.

My salutations to the officialdom of the municipality and the province of Bohol, the heads and members of tourism councils of both the government and the private sector and all other agencies that promote the message of “Pananmpulot ta tankulan. “

It is an honor to be invited to  the 6th anniversary of the Charter of Manolo Fortich Municipality  and to be a guest at one of the most -awaited events, the rodeo.  I have never been to a rodeo in my life, I have seen a charreada in Mexico which is similar to a rodeo, an old sport that originated from the haciendas of centuries ago. I never thought a rodeo could be so exciting, there were also funny moments specially when a sat down and refused to budge, no one could move him! Bull-headed , indeed!

I also enjoyed my visit to the oldest golf course in the Philippines, the one at the del Monte Lodge. Although I  don’t play golf, I appreciated the beauty of the greens and the trees, but I was told that the new golf courses discourage the planting of trees. At the lodge, I was served hamburgers made of meat of  pineapple-eating cows; it had a very distinctive taste. I also had kare-kare with pineapple-eating beef prepared by the teachers of that Central elementary school, it was a well-preserved Gabaldon Schoolhouse.

t. The celebration of the municipality’s 6th charter anniversary reflects the people’s pride in their history, culture,struggles and successes of their harmony with nature and their commitments. In the framework of the “Rediscoverly” program of the Department of Tourism, Manolo Fortich is one muciipality in Northern Mindanao which has a potential for Agri-tourism. In fact, Mr. Lorenzo at the Del Monte lodge suggested that I wake up at the crck of dawn so we could harvest pineapoples and eat them right there and then, How different the pineapple tasted compared to the ones I buy in a supermarket in Makati. That could be an excellent agri-tourism tour., a mode for small-scale sustainable tourism. It will certainly generate new opportunities for the locality.

This  inauguration of the Mangima Veterans Hall is also a significant event. The Mangima Shrine nearby stands witness to the municipality’s valient history of bravery and patriotism during World WaII. This shrine was constructed by the Department of Tourism in coordination with the local government of Manolo Fortich and the 52nd Engineering Brigade of the Philippine army. Today, we inaugurate the Mangima Veterans Hall, a multi-purpose structure which can be used for tourism purposes.

The tourism industry has to face many challenges these days due to the terrorist activities of the Abu Sayyaf and the secessionist movements of the MNLF and MILF. Many countries in our main tourism market have issued advisories against travelling to the Philippines. That is why the “Rediscovery”  program is strongly promoting domestic  tourism because Filipinos know that these are only pockets of conflict and there are other places in this archipelago where tourist destinations are safe and secure. For example, Manolo Fortich remains peaceful and businesses, specially those related to tourism, can operate here normally.