From a meager Php 50 earning in 2009, Jomelyn Manigos, saw its average daily income rise to Php 500 in 2015.
Manigos is the vice president of Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association (BAETAS), the organization that operates the Bojo River Cruise attraction in the midwest Cebu.
She said the Bojo River is not yet known in 2009. But when their visitors started to share their experiences by word of mouth and especially in social media, their numbers in the succeeding years went up.
So, the dividend of Manigos and the other 39 members of BAETAS increased too. Now BAETAS and other communities in Cebu have a chance to be exposed to an even wider audience with the latest initiative of Talk and Text (TNT).
TNT launched on May 12 Panalo Ang May Alam Communities in the municipality of Boljoon, Cebu.
In partnership with social network Facebook, the project recognized “the inspiring communities nationwide” and “empowers them with information and relevant mobile content and services available in the Facebook’s Internet.org app.”
The event gathered people’s organizations from the BOSS tourism circuit comprising the towns of Boljoon, Oslob, Santander, and Samboan. BAETAS from town of Aloguinsan was also in attendance.
Nikko Galvez, TNT senior manager for mobile internet usage, said Smart Communications joined the Internet.Org’s internet for all worldwide advocacy. Smart Communication is also the owner of TNT and Sun Cellular.
The free internet access features essential services to the mass market, especially those who are first time or entry level online users.
He said these communities will be introduced to new opportunities and harvest actual benefits of mobile internet.
Aside from promoting their products on Facebook, they can also share their inspiring experiences online and thereby, promoting a footprint for other communities to follow.
“Make these winning stories viral information like the cultivation of the community and livelihood that is already given to them and is actually shared with other communities and thus multiply best practices,” he said.
In other words, Galvez said, “Spread the good news of internet in their lives.”
In the program, around 300 participants undergo a series of interactive sessions geared toward mobile internet education and business training specially designed according to their needs.
Go Negosyo will handle the series of lectures.
The groups, comprising of farmers and fisherfolk, are also awarded with a connectivity and retailer package. It includes gadgets that will allow them to take their business to another level using online services.
Smart has been working with BAETAS since 2010. The company also launches digital tourism project in the BOSS area.
From their previous connections established by Smart, Galvez the free internet access is just one value added service to their erstwhile investment with the communities.
TNT launched FB’s Internet.org app last March. This is the first in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia.
Boljoon Mayor Merlou Derama was very proud that Boljoon was among the pioneering towns in the program. He said he fully believed that tapping the Internet and social media as marketing conduit is the new norm.
The free internet access is available to all TNT subscribers. Those who are Android phone users may download the Internet.org app on Google Play Store.
The non-android users may get into the portal by keying www.internet.org on their mobile browser. They may also text INTERNET to 9999 or visit talkntext.com.ph/internetorg for the complete instructions.
Aside from Facebook and Messenger, the other websites the subscribers can browse are AccuWeather.com, Ask.com, Bing.com, BabyCenter.com and Mama, Dictonary.com, ESPN.com,Inquirer.net, Philstar.com, Rappler.com, Interaksyon.com, Jobstreet.com, and TESDA.gov.ph, among others.