This capital and oldest town of the province has been named the fastest-rising local travel destination during Google’s most-searched items in the Philippines in 2009.
Alipio Tuzon, executive assistant of Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, said this capital town emerged on top of the list of local travel destinations that include the Amana Resort (Pandi, Bulacan), Acuatico Beach Resort (San Juan, Batangas), Coron Palawan, Anawangin Cove (San Antonio Zambales) El Nido (Palawan) and 8 Waves Resort and Eco Park (San Rafael, Bulacan)
Tuzon said Baler’s new-found status as a potential tourism mecca was apparently spurred by the movie shown in late 2008 starring Anne Curtis and Jericho Rosales which showcased this town as a surfer’s paradise.
The period film swept major awards during the Metro Manila Film Festival in 2008.
Tuzon said the provincial government, through the provincial tourism office, has been aggressive in promoting not only Baler but the entire province as a tourism destination by participating in various tourism-related activities, including the North Philippines Tourism Fair where it was declared best tourism booth for the past three years.
He said the inclusion of Baler in the Philippine Zeitgest of Google was no mean feat considering it had to compete with Filipino online viewers’ attention fixated with the likes of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, presidential candidate Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, controversial doctor Hayden Kho and social networking site Facebook.
Google’s 2009 Year-End Zeitgest report said it contained what was on the minds of most information-hungry Pinoy Internet users in the past 12 months.
Therese Lim of Google Southeast Asia said 2009 was peppered with events that got Filipinos searching for more information online from politics to sports.
“Google was there to provide them with unlimited access,” Lim said. (PNA)