Travel smart with Iloilo My Guide

It was in the years between 2002 and 2006 when I embarked on yearly travels in some parts of the Philippines. I did not get a travel guide because I preferred to do the research and bookings myself. Add to that the thrill of making last minute decisions, say, just getting on a ferry to the next island out of impulse.

Max Limpag explains Iloilo My Guide app to Ilonggo bloggers
For similar travelers and those who are equipped with android phones, there is good news. Well, at least for those who are travelling to my beautiful corner of the globe, Iloilo City. That good news is the digital Iloilo My Gude

The phone app was released last year in Cebu by InnoPub Media, a Cebu-based, all-journalist team co-founded by Max Limpag, editor of a Cebu newspaper. InnoPub produces new media products like e-books and takes advantage of tech to deliver content in new ways like QR (quick response) code scanning. They also produce content for clients as well as conduct trainings on writing and web technology.

The app for Iloilo displays links such as Welcome to Iloilo, #smartdinagyang, Where To Go, Travel Smart, Directory, Food You Should Try, Travel Tips from Cebu Pacific and About This Guide. You no longer have to carry heavy travel books with you. Whatever you need is already available in your lightweight android phone.
InnoPub and Smart Communications with Iloilo media and bloggers

Where To Go has a list of Iloilo City’s tourist attractions and each has a description. “We contact local people to help us with the project. We are working with Iloilo-based heritage experts,” Limpag told Iloilo bloggers during the launch last January.

InnoPub’s active partner is Smart Communications. Under the category Travel Smart, the telecommunications company guides the traveler where he/she can find Wifi spots.

“The Philippines is the fastest growing smart phone market. For the period of April 2012 to March 2013, there was a 146% increase in the use of smart phones in the Philippines. So, we see a rapid move towards smart devices. You see people using smart phones and tablets. Mobile is now. Phones are becoming our main computers; we write notes, store contacts, check email, use them as main cameras, browse, social network, take videos, store photographs, and more,” he added.

“We are combining technology and tourism, thus providing tourists accurate and relevant information on the spot.”
Top  photo: NN Navarro and Marlen & Max Limpag. 
Lower left: Blogger Purr and Ramon Salvilla. 
Lower right: Leonard Pineda and Jun  Tillaflor

There are two ways to access the guide – through mobile web version and the android phone.
“When you are using an android phone, scan the CR code and that will direct you to the Iloilo tourism guide. The listings on that site are active. For example, we provide a travel agents’ directory. All you need to do is click on the number and it will automatically call that number. There is also an option that shows you the location of a place with a GPS. We also have a listing of government offices,” Limpag said.

“You can also use Near Field Communication (NFC). Place the phone beside the marker and it will open the site. There is no need to scan the QR code,” he said.

The marker that Limpag is referring to, is placed on several landmarks in Iloilo City. When you scan the QR code provided on the marker, information about the place will automatically launch on your phone.
“We are placing download areas like this at the airport and tourism sites. This is really a useful program for tourists visiting Iloilo,” he said.

Another way of accessing the data is through Windows by accessing the Windows Store.

InnoPub is working with the Ilonggo community in order to put up more markers in other tourist areas. “We want to put up these markers in time for APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation),” he said.

InnoPub will be using the same model they used for Cebu. “We have a general guide in Cebu. There is a guide to the specific towns and under each town are specific categories. We will do the same for Iloilo,” Limpag said. “We are also working on Baguio and Bohol. This is going to be a massive national push.”

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