Ah, Pinas. We know you've been rocked by this Gates of Hell scandal which, while the book it's based on is a work of fiction, could still potentially make aspiring tourists take a rain check in, well, checking you out.
But, don't fret, all 7,000-plus islands of you. You ain't that bad. And while you might not look good in Dan Brown's pages, other foreign peeps are still seeing you as the place to be, like the guys over at Microsoft!
The not-so-small-and-soft software giant, together with the Department of Tourism, have just unveiled special Windows 8 tourism apps that proclaim our nation's epic beauty while helping you plan properly your vacay here.
These tourism apps have the following features that make them interactive, informative, and really pretty to look at, courtesy of our not-too-shabby tourist destinations:
Start Menu pinning: After you DL these apps, you can pin them to the Start Menu of your W8 device (PC, tablet, smartphone). This will enable you to see updates on them without having to click on open.
Overview: Each app has an overview section which describes a specific local destination (more on this later) in a tourist-friendly manner. You'll also get nice tidbits about the place's history, geographical info, and even trivia. It's almost like hearing a tour guide's intro spiel that you can replay as much as you want.
Gallery: What's a tourism app without photos, right? These apps have them in loads, giving you an idea of just how pretty a certain place really is as well as the fun stuff (e.g. spelunking, mountain climbing, diving) that you can do.
Itinerary builder: And if you're convinced enough to pack your bags and get rollin', these apps can help you plan your stay with the itinerary builder which syncs up to your Outlook email and Windows Phone calendar.
DOT-accredited establishments: These apps also give you a list of nice places in a certain location, from restos to shopping areas and other establishments, with their contact info for convenience. These spots are also DOT-approved. In other words (more like one word), quality!
10 and counting...
Right now, there are 10 destinations apps in this Windows 8 More Fun Series that users can get: Boracay, Bohol, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa, Baguio, Bicol, Cebu, and Ilocos. We're betting more will be added to the list soon because there's just so much to explore here in the PH. We also think a Metro Manila app showcasing the dynamic lifestyle and tourist spots here in the city could be a nice touch as well, maybe even ending the "Gates of Hell" talk once and for all. Microsoft, make it happen!