Calbayog City Misses Out Again

MANILA, Philippines - When it comes to getting a slice of government developmental projects, Calbayog City is an unlucky entity.

Last Thursday was the second time that the city of 180,000 missed out of getting what would have been a big booster in its long-cherished goal of increasing its maritime revenues.

The first was in June when it was excluded from the list of seven provincial airports that would be modernized. Thus, it lost a meaningful participation in domestic tourism prospects, frustrating the city's plan of marketing its allures to visitors.

Developmental projects of the Department of Transportation and Communications are up and churning - airports, seaports, lighthouses.

In these areas, DOTC calls the shots.

The DOTC last week put out full-page advertisements in broadsheet newspapers (the Manila Bulletin on August 16) inviting private concerns to participate in the bidding to construct 33 lighthouses all over the country.

Unluckily, the present dilapidated structure in Calbayog was not one of them, not even for rehabilitation and upgrading. It must now be more than 60 years old. It tells inter-island ships and other seacraft of the long shallow sea extending from the city's shoreline.

Last June, DOTC also announced the rehabilitation and modernization of seven provincial airports. The one in Calbayog - with a short runway, ramshackle one-story terminal building, antiquated communication facilities - was not in the list.

My hometown must either be out of the smiling range of Lady Luck, no political underwriters, or is seen simply as a non-entity by the people at DOTC.

Caticlan, Tagbilaran, and Puerto Princesa are blessed with excellent tourism and travel infrastructures. While those with potentials but ''unlucky'' are left to brood in one corner.

And yet we always hear the government preaching about developing the country's potentials to the hilt in the provinces, the so-called eco-tourism sites.

I think it is short of a ''crime'' to give less importance to cities that have always strived by themselves to entice visitors to their tourist attractions, notwithstanding their present missionary-style airports and their primitive lighthouses.

* * *

'HOME AND MODERN LIVING EXPO'. Organizers of product and service exhibits are wisely adding spectator and industry participations to the events to enliven them and keep them from being drab and stale. That is what the proponents will be doing to the upcoming Home and Modern Living Expo that is slated at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City August 31 to September 2.

Their enticing message is Bringing the Industry Close to the Market. And they're staging this in a lively and festive site, and yet conducive to doing business.

More come-on features: (1) Making the expo a one-stop-shop for builders and developers of both residential and commercial properties; and (2) setting up a Student Design Competition to be participated in by students of interior design schools.

The exhibitors include SM Development Corp., Robinsons Communities, Robinsons Homes, Sta.Lucia Land, Inc., Home Mavericks, L+A Design Concept Furnishing, Inc., AHAM Corp., Colent Diversified Products, Inc., Como Furniture, and Prime Creative Dimension, Inc.

Premier Events Plus Group, Inc., in cooperation with the Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards, are the organizers.

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