Diskubre tour featured in award-winning series “Discovering Routes”

Ms. Susan Del Mundo invites interested participants to the next Diskubre Tour in February. PCGNY photo

NEW YORK – The pilot batch of Diskubre, the heritage tour founded by the Philippine Consulate General in New York (PCGNY) for young Filipino-Americans, is featured on ABS-CBN International’s award-winning travel reality series Discovering Routes travels with Diskubre as digital exclusive content, which premiered on September 27 DiscoveringRoutes.com.

The Philippine Consulate General in New York hosted an exclusive premiere last September 14 at the Philippine Center to give guests and interested participants a preview of the series which documented the journey of four young travelers around Manila and the Cordilleras, earlier in July.

Discovering Routes Travels with Diskubre Team. (L-R) Jacob Acueza, Consul Khrystina Corpuz Popov, Calvin Santiago, Feih Hidalgo, Elaine Ficarra, Alexandra Brown, Director Keesa Ocampo, Angelo Balanon, Executive Producer Aileen Paredes, Sofia De Jesus. Photo courtesy of Kabayan Media

Consul General Claro Cristobal revealed that one of his first official acts as Consul General was signing the agreement between PCGNY and ABS-CBN International, to greenlight the project that had taken over two years to plan and implement. He expressed hope in sustaining the program for the youth in the community for the years to come.

Consul Khrystina Corpuz Popov shared a brief background on Diskubre, relating that the program is meant to introduce foreign-born Filipinos to their heritage and increase their understanding and appreciation of the Philippines. The 11-day itinerary was designed in collaboration with the Department of Tourism and Discovering Routes, with a focus on adventure, educational tours, and community immersion activities for an unforgettable experience. 

On behalf of ABS-CBN International, Project Manager and Executive Producer of Discovering Routes, Ms. Keesa Ocampo expressed her thanks for the partnership with the Philippine Consulate General, which aligns with their digital series that follows travelers to their lands of ancestry where big adventures fuel an inward journey. Discovering Routes travels with Diskubre will air new episodes weekly on Thursdays at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern.

The audience was treated to a preview of the official trailer, and a full episode featuring two of the most memorable personalities the travelers met during the tour – legendary indie filmmaker Eric “Kidlat Tahimik” De Guia and Sagada entrepreneur Binggirl Clements.

In the Q&A that followed, the travelers spoke of their experience in the Mountain Provinces of the Philippines.

New Hampshire native Calvin Santiago shared that he has never been prouder of his Chinese-Filipino heritage until Diskubre. Through the tour, he grew a deeper understanding of his unique culture – one that he can proudly talk about with his community. 

The event, which also serves as a summer networking party, draws the young crowd. PCGNY photo

Fil-Am beauty titlist Elaine Ficarra of Philadelphia was happy to have spent time with indigenous Filipino youth, where the learning and sharing went both ways.

Bronx high schooler Feih Hidalgo gained an enriched perspective of the Filipino way of life. She recalled that the most striking experience for her was walking the same difficult mountain trail that children walk everyday just to get to school.

Filipino-British Alex Brown was thankful for the insights from heritage tour. She stressed that young people should experience it at least once in their lives as knowing one’s self starts with getting to know one’s roots.

Consul General Claro Cristobal hopes that Diskubre will be a sustained program with the support of the community. Photo courtesy of Kabayan Media

FYLPRO alumnus Michael Vea moderated the panel, relating his own takeaway from his participation in the Manila tour of Intramuros for the series’ first episode and opening salvo. Being an educator, he recognized that the lessons he imparts to his students also come from his own experiences, and Diskubre added cultural depth to his wisdom.

Tourism Representative Susan Del Mundo expressed her pleasure in seeing the success of Diskubre and pledged the support of the Department of Tourism in the continued programming of the heritage tour in highlighting other destinations in the Philippines. Several community organizations and parents have already lodged their interest in having their young members and children join the next Diskubre Tour, scheduled in February.

The complete digital series Discovering Routes travels with Diskubre is available on www.discoveringroutes.com

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