MANILA, Philippines - As part of its advocacy to raise public awareness on the importance of cultural heritage and rekindle the Filipino spirit through the lessons of history, the Department of Tourism (DoT) recently launched 'Icons of Greatness', a three-tiered program that seeks to involve the youth's participation in the search for heroes and appreciation of important events through a tour itinerary-making and poster-making competition.
Organized in partnership with the University of the Philippines Manila and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), 'Icons of Greatness' is a program that involves research, creativity, and tour itinerary components. The project aims to enhance appreciation of the inherent greatness of the Filipino people and give new meaning to old places by re-contextualizing them in the life or event of an icon.
''The DOT would like to take this opportunity to dedicate this launching to Secretary Jesse Manalastas Robredo for being an icon of greatness himself, for his exemplary style of public service and servant leadership. He will certainly be an inspiration to all of Filipinos especially the youth,'' Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. said during the program launch.
He added: ''We hope that this project will engage the youth to be informed of their history, instill pride in cultural heritage, develop love of country, and bring more fun and excitement to travel in the Philippines.''
'Icons of Greatness' seeks to honor the country's heroes and commemorate the significant events in the history of the Filipino nation. Participants are also encouraged to incorporate the tourism campaign, 'It's More Fun in the Philippines', through a fun and creative interpretation of history.
''One of the most common misconceptions about the Philippines is that there is not much culture and history readily available for first-time visitors. What they don't know is that the Philippines boasts of numerous ''icons of greatness'' most commonly known as the national symbols, which embody our nation's exceptional identity. These symbols highlight what the Philippines has been since time immemorial. They are the unending hymns echoing the magnificence that has been and continues to be. Moreover, they are reminders that we are second to none when it comes to cultural diversity. These icons of greatness continue to inspire everyone, Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike,'' Professor Bernard LM Karganilla, special assistant to the Dean of External Affairs of University of the Philippines Manila said.
Entries for both tour itinerary and poster must feature at least one of the ''icons of greatness'' defined as significant people, places, and events in Philippine history that have been translated and memorialized into shrines, landmarks, heritage sites, and museums.
The icon must be a recipient of any of the following distinctions: National Artist, National Shrine, National Scientist, National Observance Day, UNESCO World Heritage Site, National Historical Site, National Monument, National Historical Landmark, Military Shrine, Order of Lakandula, Order of Sikatuna, Philippine Legion of Honor, Order of Gabriela Silang, Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan, Gawad Mabini, Order of the Golden Heart, and Presidential Medal of Merit.
The competition is open to bona fide Filipinos aged 15 to 30 years old residing in the Philippines. Submission of entries will run from 28 August 2012 until 31 October 2012. Winners will be awarded in November 2012.
Icons of Greatness is also supported by the Presidential Communications Operations Office, Philippine Information Agency, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, National Youth Commission, Philippine travel industry stakeholders, various educational institutions, and corporate sponsors.
For more information visit www.iconsofgreatness.wix.com/tourism or contact the Office of the Director for Tourism Planning and Promotions at 524-22-51and 523-84-11 local 258.