Explora.ph: Heart of Philippine tourism Edit

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June Canicosa Hebrew  • Contributor
Opinions expressed by Explora.ph Contributors are their own.

I have always wanted to travel but whenever I would plan a trip, I always meet a dead end. I’d like to know more about my destination so at least I’d have a pretty accurate idea on what to expect. Not to mention, I’d like to be able to manage my logistics without being dragged from one place to another. I visit places to relax not to be reminded that I’m pressed for time before going to my next spot. 

And this is what usually happens when my friends and I plan travels with many tourist providers. We are always pressed for time. We only have to stay in a spot for 30 minutes or so and then move to the next and stay for 30 minutes and then on to the next, then to lunch for 1 hour then visit another place, then another place, then dinner, then back to hotel. (I’m pretty sure here that you can relate.)

Then came explora.ph.

The goal of Explora.ph is to make traveling easier in the Philippines.

Perry and JR have always been passionate – not only about travel but more about the Philippines! When I met with Perry a few months back, I could see in his eyes the passion, the enthusiasm, and the drive to put the Philippines back in the forefront of premier destinations in the world. When we were chatting over coffee, I suddenly bought his vision to make traveling easier, to make travel information more accessible, and to make tourists (local and foreign) fall in love with the Philippines. And I saw it too in JR’s eyes – the love he has for the Philippines as he rambled about how beautiful our country is and how not a lot of Filipinos recognize this beauty. They spoke to my Filipino heart and their words tugged my Filipino heartstrings.

Recently, I was invited to the soft launch of VisitSox.com that Explora initiated with the Department of Tourism-Region 12, SOX (or SOCCSKSARGEN). It was an intimate event attended by very few people who share Explora’s vision. I was in awe when they showed a video featuring tourist spots in SOX. I gasped and I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe those lovely spots were in SOX. For a moment, the whole video brought me into a dream, an escape that made me breathe in and breathe out as I was walked through the beauty of this place. 

During the launch, SOX Regional Director, Nelly Dillera, signed up for her own account at VisitSox.com. “There’s so much to see in Region 12,” she said, “We’re happy to show its beauty through explora.ph’s platform."

But not everybody knows what SOX has to offer.

“The website has a user-friendly interface, actual photos of the destinations, links to maps, and a secure booking system--traveling should be an enjoyable experience, so we want to empower our users,” says JR Felipe, CEO and Founder.

I know well what Paris has to offer or perhaps what New York has in store for me; or perhaps Vietnam, Cambodia, India, South Korea, Japan but not so much of what the Philippines has in store for me. And I’m a Filipino. A proud one might I say. But this – this video has made me even prouder.

I must have been really busy looking at the outside world when there’s a whole new world here IN the Philippines. I wouldn’t have known I was missing so much – not without Explora.


It’s true what they say when you visit explora.ph – you will fall in love with the Philippines again, and again, and again. And I’m in love.


(Explora is a Filipino start-up company that is committed to elevate local tourism and make traveling easier in the Philippines. For more information, visit explora.ph.)


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