“maajong pag-abut!,” (bohol dialect) which means “welcome,” were the first uttered words from the fifty plus year old manoy porting when we arrived in the made shift port assembly area for paddle boats en route the mysterious ‘lamanok island’ in anda, bohol, philippines.
mr. fortunato “porting” simbahon was our unforgettable tourist guide in our trip to the island. he shared with us a very infortaining (informative and entertaining) storytelling about lamanok. that is why he is the most sought tourist guide of anda local tourism.
manoy porting started to be a professional tourist guide when he grabbed the opportunity to be a local guide offered by the government to boost up local tourism. he participated in the workshop conducted by the government of anda in partnership with the department of tourism. With no formal education, this was never a hindrance to him. he is even glad to support and able contribute to the government in whatever way he can.
manoy porting gives you trivia’s, centuries-old stories and myths that he passionately communicate with tourists. there was never a single lull moment when he starts opening his mouth. he combines the information he got from the teachers and shamans and shares it during tour guides. he says his stories mainly focus on the life villagers, fishermen, and fellow protectors of the natural beauty of anda. but, whatever stories he tell, he always say a disclaimer to all the invalidated information so as not to create confusion to history. these stories are meant to inspire everyone to take care of the environment so as to take care of our future.
anda is the cradle of civilization in the philippines, as claimed by some individuals. they believed that people lived there during the paleolithic era. this is evident in lamanok island in anda, bohol where you would find paleolitic paintings on cliffs and prehistoric bones to name a few.
the travel from the main land to lamanok island took us more or less 15 minutes. the group of fishermen entertained us with the local songs thru their guitar and harmonica while on the boat. the women also sang while throwing petals to the sea. plus, I will never forget their dog barking in melodic harmony with them. the whole experience was just awesome.