Patriotic Tour – Adventure Travel to Fall in Love with our Country

What exactly is a patriotic tour? The same way we questioned what a pilgrimage is, we had to figure out what a patriotic tour is too. On the offset, we know that it is an adventure trip that allows the traveller to fall head over heels in love with our country. It is an expedition that one takes, off the beaten path, to be part of something bigger than himself. It’s a vacation that doesn’t just allow you to dip your toes into the usual touristy destinations – visiting sites and eating local food. It’s adventure travel at it’s finest, that allows you to dive into the culture of a people, that allows you to know them, understand them and love them.

Last week, friends from Melbourne decided to test our coordinating ability. Knowing that we were still in the learning stages of our enterprise, they took a leap of faith in us and asked us to handle the Bicol leg of their trip to the Philippines.

With Tom as their guide, they went to Masbate for the GK Bayani Challenge and Rodeo, then to Donsol for the butandings, passed by Cagsawa and Our Lady of the Gate in Daraga and ended up in Camarines Sur. Their last few days in the province were spent visiting the different Gawad Kalinga villages in the area.


Greg, Lindy, Rowee and Vanessa came to the Philippines to see how they could partner with GK – particularly in the field of their expertise: Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning. It never fails to amaze me how many of our countrymen abroad continue to find ways to come back home to help. They bring back their expertise and their friends and colleagues, sharing with them the beauty of their country (as well as the sad reality of poverty that we continuously try to change).

The group stayed at the little bed and breakfast in GK Libmanan. Thanks to the kapitbahayan and the passionate Care-taker team, the guests felt quite at home.


It’s starting to become clearer to us though that tourism is really not just for the tourist – for the person who leaves his home to visit a far-off place. Tourism is really more for the locals – and not just in terms of economic return. Sometimes, it takes someone from the outside to show us how beautiful our country is, and how beautiful our people are. It takes initiatives like this to push us to identify what exactly are we proud? What is it that we want to share? Who do we portray ourselves to be? Who is it that we want to be?

Through the Patriotic Tours, we hope our people, travellers and hosts alike, start to see themselves as the heroes that they are.