Monday, February 3, 2014

Bicol: The next boom region

It's more fun in Bicol campaign by the Department of Tourism (DOT)
It's more fun in Bicol campaign by the Department of Tourism (DOT)

by Earl Vincent H. Vista
Donsol Comprehensive High School

This essay is the winning entry in the secondary level category of the 2nd Bicol Essay Writing Competition. The National Competitiveness Council was a co-proponent of the competition held last December with the theme "Achieving Socio-Economic Development and Competitiveness of Bicol Cities and Municipalities," Organized by the Bicol Harvest Magazine, Kaya Natin Movement, and the Local Government of Daet, the on-the-spot writing contest aimed to encourage the youth to take a more active role in making their hometowns more competitive.

Land of infinite potentials and borderless possibilities, this defines the Land of Bicolandia!

Located at the south-eastern portion of Luzon is a God-made paradise ever since history had been recorded. Floating like islands of emeralds in the heaving bosom of the Pacific, Bicolandia is home to the people of excellence and brilliance - the Oragons.

Bicol is one of the rising regions of the Philippines nowadays. It is now competing both locally and globally and is now starting to create a sound that will somehow and someday shock the world. The region is subdivided into six different provinces which hold individual unique assets and potentials. These elements are what is now showcased and presented to the world as Bicol proudly smiles to the world with its competitive cities and municipalities confidently approaching the global economic development.

Bicol is depicted as one of the emerging regions of the country and there is no stopping this eastern gem. The vast pouring of investment and infrastructure projects presently happening in the region will improve the Bicolano lifestyle and will offer far greater opportunities in the population.

The memes have somehow helped in the development of tourism in the region and of the Philippines in general. The fun-loving people, rich biodiversity, sumptuous cuisines and rich historical background are reasons enough but the region can offer you much more than that. Facilities and equipment have been improving over the years. Transportation, communication and industries have been notably enhanced and developed. These changes marked the significant transformation of the region. A great evidence of Bicol’s capacity in achieving global competitiveness.

In today’s world, Bicol is undertaking the stage of socio-economic development, a process of social and economic development in a society. Socio-economic development is measured by indicators such as gross domestic products, life expectancy, literacy rate, levels of employment and many more. Causes of socio-economic impacts includes new technologies, changes in laws, changes in the physical environment and ecological change.

Achieving socio-economic development and global competitiveness of cities and municipalities in Bicol is not an impossible goal to attain. Since this objective is posted as a great concern of almost all areas, it is substantial to know that Bicol Region is now competing universally in line with different businesses.

We live in a globally-connected world and creating competitive cities and municipalities requires local leaders and local economic development strategies with the help and cooperation of all stakeholders of society embracing this reality. This is the key to open the gate of potentials of our cities and municipalities to face a world of global competitiveness. It is totally important to push progress through economic development in order for our cities and municipalities promote self reliance on development and build capacity for self-sustaining development. Socio-economic and global competitiveness also aim to accelerate development to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication. Moreover, this will strengthen policies, delivery mechanisms and outputs in key social areas and ensure affordable access to water, energy, finance markets and information technology for all citizens. Lastly, this will promote progress on gender equality particularly equal access to education and encourage broad-based participation and involvement of all stakeholders at all levels.

These are ideas behind the advocacy of promoting socio-economic development and global competitiveness of our cities and municipalities. This strategy will surely unwind every place’s capability of showcasing the world what we have, what we own and what else we can offer the world. This aim is merely a great reality for the region since it has been endowed with limitless potentials and great capabilities of utilizing the availability of opportunities and resources.

Poverty can be most effectively tackled through the promotion of democracy, good governance, peace and security as well as the development of human and physical resources. Key socio-economic thrusts involves gender equality, allocation of appropriate funds as well as the promotion of new partnerships between the government, the private sector and the civil society are essential to this area.

Bicolanos are known to be Oragons, and as Oragon is a person of excellence and brilliance. This skill dominant among us will be our strength and edge to continuously pushing progress through global competitiveness. Bicol is flooded today with the development in the region and progress overnight makes opportunities definitely endless.

Above all, if we really want to promote progress in our region, we must show the world who we really are and what we are really capable of becoming. This will help us make every place in Bicol significant to the world. At the end of all of this, we must all remember what made us all first globally known, our faith in God and to our Ina, Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia, the living mother of our region. In this way, we have something to summon our strength and there would be someone to guide us in preparing ourselves to face a life of economic development and global competitiveness bonded by faith.  

Achieving socio-economic development and global competitiveness of our region is a hard task to handle and a big challenge to conquer. Yet, if we are all determined to face a new life and a better future, this is only a simple occasion for us.

The rise of our economic development and the boost of our competence in global competitiveness will surely fuel the flame of desire of having a kind of life - an environment and a region equipped with consistent progress, development, satisfaction and contentment. All we have to do is to stretch up our arms, held one’s hands and let our heart be in it. May we translate it by heart into meaningful actions.

Bicolanos, let us work together to make a significant achievement for a lifetime history.
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