ONE VOICE
Bohol turns 162
by Bingo P. Dejaresco

BIRTHDAYS ARE CELEBRATED .They are as meaningful as wedding anniversaries and if one is Christian they are like Christmas and Easter Sunday. The Bohol natal day is marked as July 22,1897.None of us were alive then.

Certainly, the Bohol then is not the same Bohol today with folks enslaved by internet addiction and fulltime lovers of their cellphones and selfies. Bohol has progressed, yes; that it has meant progress for all-no. Progress is not really progress if we leave many behind.

Let us, therefore, find meaning in the festivities these days as they affect the poor-the ones who are left behind.

There is JICA(Japanese International Cooperation Agency) whose representative Takashiro Sasaki is our Guest of Honor. Even in the worst of times when the communist rebels were trying to impose illegal taxation on them- JICA stayed in Bohol and stained its hands so as to help develop the province. Name the major irrigation dams, the large roads and the New Bohol Panglao Airport- JICA was an all-around partner for them.

Indeed it is one sight to behold: Bohol and Japan-enemies in war; partners in peace.

In our contemporary tussle with China over the Shoal Island,along with America, Japan is an able, vocal ally. Japan is a true friend.

Six individuals will also be given special citations for risking their fortunes in Bohol, mainly in the Rest and Recreation industry.Tourism secretary Jimenez has toasted to tourism firms as the greatest generators of jobs and for our dollar reserves. Tourism helps the poor -directly and indirectly.

Likewise-is hoped for immensely that Bohol will not just be an emerging BPO center but a leading one.

BPO creates over US$20-B in foreign exchange income giving the OFW remittances a run for their money. The number of young Boholano graduates entering that field-gainfully, lucratively employed is many a Boholano family’s dream come true.

That is how important, therefore, the tripartite agreement drawn among the province, the city and National Information Communication of the Philippines is. It can,of course, start by revving up an internet signal which appears to suffer from technological anemia here. It can eventually broaden the communication linkages among all LGUs and the national seat of government.

The coconut farmers, as we know on the one hand, are one of the most impoverished groups in the nation regardless that we see coconuts swaying around as far as our eyes can see. The inauguration of the Bohol Agri-Based Processing Hub for coconut products istherefore- not just a shot in the arm it is the vial that will awake the comatose coconut industry into lifealongside the emancipated Coconut Levy Fund.

Mention has been made of the success of the Countryside-Purok Power Movement. To us, anything that stirs the local economy to an awakened state cannot but be empowering for the rural folks.

Of course, “man does not live by bread alone.” and thus we see awardees among the achievers are coming from all sides: government, business and the arts. Government is the entity that creates the environment for the community to thrive,. business lubricates its sinews but it is the arts that “feeds the Boholano soul.”

Let us never lose track in our development plans that man is body,soul and spirit.

It is apropos that as we celebrate Bohol Day our paisanos who migrated to other provinces to prosper their lives many of them are back here now with us in deep solidarity with the aspirations of all as One Bohol.

Lest we forget Bohol would not be the Bohol today without our heroes who fought the Spanish and Japanese wars. And the countless others that have served as public servants or productive private citizens to move Bohol development from minor ot major over these many years.

Let us hereby also take lessons from the lovely dance of kuradang Bohol’s answer to the Spanish curacha which will be given emphasis in these days of celebration. It can first be a feverish chase like aiming for the Olympic gold but in the end, as the kuradang ends the chase ends in victory. And toasts of joy.

Such is a happy ending such every Boholano aim for as we celebrate Bohol Day last Friday. For comments: email to dejarescobingo@yahoo.com or boholrd@ mozcom.com


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