“Quirino: Your Basket of Happiness.”
Team Out of Town Blog Hub (outoftownblog.com) – This is the new tagline that the province of Quirino gave itself in an online rebranding video presentation that was launched on Nov. 4, 2021, on the province’s official Facebook page, in partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Tourism Promotions Board (TPB). Hosted by Karen Ibasco, Miss Earth 2017, the presentation served as a “virtual tour” of the province that showcased its many tourist attractions.
Gov. Dakila “Dax” Cua, who welcomed the “tour participants” to Cabarroguis, the provincial capital, explained that the province decided to rebrand itself to better promote the many attractions that Quirino offers, from its many natural wonders to its friendly and hospitable people. Describing his province as a “seemingly bottomless well of attractions,” he said the new brand “best describes the whole package that is Quirino!”
Nestled in the southeastern corner of Cagayan Valley, Quirino is located on the central portion of the Sierra Madre mountain range where the headwaters of the Cagayan River are found. Thus, while it is surrounded by tall mountains, it is crisscrossed by pristine rivers dotted with numerous cascading waterfalls. One of the few remaining provinces in the Philippines that still have virgin forests, it also boasts of lush woodlands that make it, according to Carmelita Jimenez, the provincial administrator, “an unspoiled wonderland for nature lovers and adventure seekers.”
Like many of the country’s tourist destinations, Quirino is already preparing for its reopening to tourism once the travel restrictions the government has imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are lifted. In line with this, the provincial government has been continuously promoting Quirino as an emerging tourist site.
Its rebranding project is, in fact, only one of the promotional initiatives the province is doing. Last September, to mark its 50th founding anniversary, Quirino launched a coffee table book that features its various attractions through photos and stories. It is also currently finalizing a new website that will allow visitors to see its many tourist sites and even “walk through” some of them.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, who joined the video presentation as a very special guest, lauded Quirino for its promotional efforts. “Innovative ideas and initiatives such as this are exactly what we need at this time to revive our tourism industry and to help the Philippines regain its stature as a prime tourist destination,” she said. Describing Quirino’s new tagline as “very catchy and so inviting,” she assured the provincial officials that, once travel restrictions are lifted, the DOT will help drive tourist traffic to the province.
Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, Tourism Promotions Board chief operating officer who also “participated” in the virtual tour, congratulated Quirino for what it is doing as well, particularly for pioneering digital tourism in the country. The province’s new brand, she added “will breathe new life into the local tourism scene and make it more enticing.”
Greeting the virtual tour participants towards the end of their “journey,” Elmor Villaruel, the head of Quirino’s Provincial Economic Enterprise Office, pointed out that the province’s “Basket of Happiness” is not only about tourist attractions, it is also filled with many business opportunities. Aside from investing in tourism-related ventures, marketing Quirino’s high-value commercial crops, such as bananas, coffee, and cacao, as well as its famous fossilized flowers and other exquisite handicrafts could also be a very promising business for forward-looking entrepreneurs, he said.
The virtual tour ended with an audio-visual presentation that provided visitors with a closer and thrilling look at Quirino’s many tourist attractions. A jingle on Quirino’s Basket of Happiness was likewise aired for the first time.
The province’s rebranding launch was also crossed-posted on the social media assets of Quirino’s digital and media partners: ANC Channel, Asian Journal Media Group, Our Awesome Planet, Out-of-Town Travel Blog, Pinoy Adventurista, the Lakwatsero, and TripZilla.
Quirino’s rebranding video can still be seen at the province’s official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/quirinoprovince official/.