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by Abraham G. Tan

Prelude to an Encore

It was just a casual visit – I dropped by a friend’s place to return a loaned training manual.  We had been through five years at the University that his place is already like a second home to me.  We were in his room littered with much paperwork, books, pens, and blue prints.  I was logging into my Hotmail account and he was there telling me how I was wasting my resources maintaining a website for Bulusan, since, in his opinion, nobody’s interested in going to Bulusan, anyway.  Shrugging off his remark, I turned to check out my inbox, and immediately opened the mail that seemed to be of the topmost importance.

It indeed was. I went through the message with my friend curiously peeking at it from behind me.  The e-mail was from a guy named Peter.  He said he had just visited my website and was interested in going to Bulusan within next week (Holy Week).  He left me his cellular number hoping I’d contact him. 

With a sly smile to my friend who looked like somebody who has just literally eaten up his words, I logged out and said my good-bye and thank-you. 

Peter, who turned out to be a young Tsinoy entrepreneur, only need to climb one major and two more minor peaks to become a full-fledged member of his mountaineering group.  They are considering Mt. Bulusan for one of those treks, thus his research on the locality.  His interest grew more with all the pictures and articles showcased in the website, particularly in the gallery and tourism pages.

            He was in Bulusan from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday (April 17-20, 2003) with two other friends from their group.  Had it not been due to certain personal circumstances, I would have accompanied them myself.  As it was, I could just arrange accommodations for them at the Bartilet place, thanks to Mamay who served as my local contact. I was also able to dish up a suggested itinerary for them, and given them more Internet links and tourism articles including some from previous issues of this Gazette.

            Peter’s text message immediately upon return more than compensated for all the anxiety I’ve gone through while they were there.  What if Bulusan fall short of their expectations? What if there is actually nothing special about Bulusan and that it is just my innate hometown pride that says so?   Have I, in fact, crossed the line and overly promoted Bulusan?

The phrase “had a gr8 tym n bulusan” was enough. I know that Buluseños have a great potential and are ready for tourism-related activities. I know that I am doing the right thing – that I have not exaggerated in anything.  Bulusan is simply a great place and its beauty alone can speak for itself. 

To all those who have given Peter and his friends a taste of true Buluseño hospitality, salamatonon tabi! Hopefully with such a good attitude and our concerted efforts, we could attract more tourists and fellow Buluseños to return and have their fill of Bulusan.  This is just a prelude – an introduction; encores are well on their way.  (bulusanon@hotmail.com)


Vol. XV No. 7 (March - May 2003)

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