US blogger asks Sorsogon council to reconsider persona non grata status | Inquirer News
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US blogger asks Sorsogon council to reconsider persona non grata status

/ 07:08 PM May 07, 2015

The American travel blogger who has been declared by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Sorsogon persona non grata over his alleged derogatory remarks against the local tourism office is appealing for the withdrawal of the provincial board’s decision.

In a post on the Facebook page of his blog “I Dreamed of This” on Thursday, Nathan Allen said the provincial board’s decision to tag him persona non grata had relegated all his works to promote the tourist spots in the Bicol region and the country irrelevant.

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“I sincerely hope they will reconsider taking such a drastic and damaging step. It seems like quite a misunderstanding, and takes away from the hard work I do promoting the warmth and beauty of both Bicol (and the Philippines in general),” Allen said.

He said he was worried that the media attention generated from the decision would shed “unfavorable light” on the province.

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On April 14, Allen wrote on his Facebook page his experience in Donsol when a tourism officer failed to assist him as he toured the place.

“It was a last minute trip, and I would understand if she wasn’t able to assist me in exploring the region. However, I was hoping she would at least send me a text offering some suggestions for a few attractions I could promote in Donsol. I was disappointed that I never heard anything from her. I ended up booking a whale shark tour in the tourism office,” he said.

In the same post, he also revealed some of his bad encounters with other tourism officers, slamming the Department of Tourism for the alleged incompetence of some of its personnel.

“Is the Department of Tourism just hiring members of their families who need jobs? I hope not … these people need to actually be qualified!” he added.

Allen’s post reached the provincial board member Eric Ravanilla who authored the resolution declaring the blogger persona non grata.

Ravanilla said the resolution was intended to “protect the tourism industry in Donsol.”

“Nathan Allen has unfairly insulted the tourism icon of Sorsogon and I cannot let that he will just besmirch the reputation of Donsol as the ‘Whale Shark Capital of the World’ through blog,” Ravanilla was quoted by local newspaper Sorsogon Examiner.

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The provincial board unanimously approved the resolution against Allen on April 27.

The blogger has since apologized for his post.

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TAGS: Eric Ravanilla, I Dreamed of This, Nathan Allen, persona non grata, Sorsogon
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