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Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Dante Balboa recognized for his tourism efforts

STAR CIRCUIT - Ricky L. Calderon - The Freeman

Makati-born and bred, and PUP BS Architecture and MA Filipino alumnus Dante Balboa (or Elmer Anisco in real life) was awarded Philippine Tourism Hero of the Decade at the 4th Asia Pacific Luminare Awards held June 26 at the Okada Hotel in Paranaque City.

His undying efforts to visit, discover, document, and photograph Philippine waterfalls, islands, churches, and landmarks for the past two decades or equivalent to 21 years was honored by the prestigious award giving-body.

“I am very grateful because all the efforts and sacrifices for our country are being recognized. Actually it’s very long overdue because it took 21 years for an award-giving body to recognize my advocacy for our tourism and our country. I’m doing this advocacy selflessly even without anyone knowing or noticing. I’m doing it sacrificially. I have received many awards and recognitions but this one is the most precious for me because I have been doing this for 21 years and I will continue doing so after the pandemic,” said Dante.

He took upon himself to research and shoot our country’s natural and man-made wonders, especially undiscovered waterfalls, caves, islands, Spanish churches, heritage houses and villages, historical and significant places – without the help from any government or private agency.

This is his humble way of serving our country and saying “Mahal ko ang Pilipinas, hindi sa salita kundi sa gawa.”

“I am doing my best but God will do the rest for me. This is my legacy for our country that is why I believe God will protect me every time I go to different provinces,” Dante added.

Asia Pacific Luminare Awards recognizes individuals with great contributions and accomplishments in their own fields or has a great contribution for the country. Recipients are carefully selected by the awards council headed by Dr. Eleonor Calayag, Mr. R.H. Khokan Lohagara, Mr. Macaslang Nalagon Jr., among others. Its overall chairman in the Philippines is Jose Vicente Mapa III.

“I hope that there are more award-giving bodies that will recognize individuals who have advocacies related to nature, tourism, education, heritage, culture and arts because in one way or another, nakakataba ng puso,” said Dante.

Other awardees include Boy Abunda as Most Accomplished TV host of the Millennium, Snooky Serna as Favorite Actress of All Time, Catriona Gray as Most Influential Beauty Queen of the Year, and Nora Aunor as the Hall of Famer of Philippine Cinema.

If there are LGUs or private tourism-based agencies who may want to partner with Dante and his advocacy, you may contact him through his Facebook account Elmer Anisco or his mobile number at 09178968287.

TOURISM
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