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Actor Dante Balboa to receive Tourism Hero award

STAR CIRCUIT - Ricky L. Calderon (The Freeman) - June 11, 2021 - 12:00am

Another Guinness World Record holder might come from the Philippines and he is Dante Balboa or Elmer Anisco in real life (actor, multi-degree holder, a professor and tourism advocate) who visited, discovered and documented more than 1,000 waterfalls thru his own efforts and expenses without the help of any government agencies and private sectors.

To date, Dante had just finished documenting 1,051 Philippine waterfalls to be exact (372 from Northern Luzon, 237 from Southern Luzon, 254 from Visayas and 188 from Mindanao).

He started his advocacy 21 years ago, at the average of 40-70 waterfalls per year, until he was able to document up to 1,051 waterfalls. He vows to continue after this pandemic.

“It is a privilege and honor not only to myself and my family but for the entire Philippines to be listed in the prestigious Guinness Book of World Records because it uplifts a nation’s pride and honor on a positive or good record,” he said.

To date, other Filipinos listed in the Guinness World Records are National Artist Levi Celerio as the only man who could play beautiful music with a leaf, former First Lady Imelda Marcos as the woman with the largest collection of shoes, and Eriberto Gonzales of Camalig, Albay as the fastest chili eater, to name a few.

Dante said he pursued this advocacy after he thought of a possible world record that no one can easily break.

His advocacy involves many difficulties – natural challenges such as traversing life-risking terrain along his way to the waterfalls where he might encounter snakes, cobras, crocodiles, and mosquitoes infested with dengue and malaria; he also needed to be physically fit as he sometimes needs to walk more than six hours in order to reach the falls; and too much heat during the summer season might cause heat stroke.

In terms of financial needs, he needs to spend P1,500 per day excluding plane tickets. He also needs to convince a stranger to go with his advocacy that requires an eight-day tour.

“That can be emotionally tasking since I need to adjust or please my companion all throughout the tour, as well as my dedication to go back to a falls that I had previously visited but have not documented because there was no water during the summer season,” he said.

Dante also said that some people might not understand his advocacy, thus questioning his patriotism and love for his country. There is also the problem of security in some isolated areas which might be occupied by the MILF, MNLF and similar groups.

“The most difficult part the methodology because I need to convince a friend from Facebook, for example, who is totally a stranger, to go with me on a specific province in the Philippines for 6-10 days as I need to maximize my documentation of the places based on a certain or limited budget or expenses, limited time, and planned itineraries,” he explained.

This June 26, Dante will receive an award as Philippine Tourism Hero of the Decade at the 4th Asia Pacific Luminare Awards to be held at Okada Hotel, Paranaque City.

After the pandemic, he is planning to hold a Grand Photo Exhibit entitled “1,001 Philippine Waterfalls You Must Visit before You Die” to be held in a mall and at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Lobby followed by an informative Coffee Table Book for the benefit of students, tourism enthusiasts, local government units and all Filipinos.

To individuals and LGUs who want to help Dante and feature their local waterfalls in upcoming exhibits and a book, you can contact him thru his Facebook account Elmer Anisco, mobile number 09178968287, or you can avail of his Messenger Secret Group showcasing the Philippine Waterfalls.

rickcalderon2005@yahoo.com

DANTE BALBOA
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