We travel to experience the spectacular sights, exciting adventures, and unique local cultures that our country has to offer. But more than that, we always strive to make a positive impact in our trips. We promote destinations through our blog and social media networks so we can boost the tourism industry in our humble way. We interact with locals or try out exotic meals so we’ll have a better understanding of their culture. We include contact details of guides in our blog posts to help these hardworking people earn income.
Thus, it’s great to know that we share the same philosophy with Bo’s Coffee, one of Cebu’s most successful homegrown businesses. According to Bo’s Coffee’s CEO Steve Benitez, it all started out with the idea of showcasing and using Philippine Coffee Origins Arabica beans in their coffees to help out local coffee farmers.
The concept branched out to promoting places, culture, and merchandise to support tourism, homegrown brands, local talent, and Filipino creativity. He then realized that travelers are important conduits and agents to this endeavor.
We were actually surprised when we received a personalized invitation from Bo’s Coffee to attend the launching of their revolutionary travel journal.
Bo’s Coffee at the former Baseline Restaurant served as the venue for the launching. Baseline has been demolished, and a new high-rise condominium and entertainment complex has taken its place.
There were already a number of bloggers and media personnel who were in the café. Let’s see: we have John Mendoza of Dive Ta Bai, Doi Domasian of The Traveling Feet, Angeli Bas of Foodie Craft, and more.
Bo’s Coffee upped the notch on traveling and exploring the Philippines. Indeed, their interior design reflects that passion and vision.
While waiting for the event to start, Bo’s treated us with their special homegrown holiday treats. I had Nutty Choco Peppermint, which has a Benguet espresso base mixed with peppermint and other herbs, which gave the drink a minty, winey taste. Sweetie had Green Tea Pistachio, using the same base but mixed with green tea and topped with chopped pistachio nuts. Absolutely, delightfully Christmassy!
At 3PM, the launching officially started. Ms. Ivy Benatiro, Bo’s Coffee’s National Operations Manager, introduced us the company’s idea of social responsibility in the travel and tourism industry. How does our passion leave a constructive impact in the people we meet and the places we visit?
Bo’s Coffee Art and Music Director Johanna Michelle Lim and Press Relations Manager Zar Castro are the brains behind the travel journal. They wanted to develop a project that not only helps travelers and adventurers but also promotes the beauty and culture of our country. Most importantly, they envisioned a project that aims to bolster indigenous local talents, social enterprises, and Filipino creativity.
Supported by the company as well as dedicated travelers, artists, musicians, SMEs, and other contributors, Ms. Lim and Ms. Castro developed the idea to what became Origins: A Travel Journal.
One of the journal’s contributing writers, Palanca awardee Jona Bering of Backpacking With a Book, shared her experience in climbing Mt. Apo, the highest mountain in the country.
Cattski, a famous local songwriter and musician, explains how music plays a pivotal part of traveling. Each country, province, region, city, town, or mountain village has its own unique music. Experiencing those rhythms, tunes, and beats is all part of an insightful travel experience.
And think about this: thousands of travelers turn on their music players to listen to their favorite songs while on a long flight, cruise, or road trip.
Travel bloggers and media partners who attended the launching also shared their travel experiences and the best places they’ve visited.
Then it was time for the main event, the unveiling and formal launching of Origins: A Travel Journal. Everyone held their breaths as Ms. Benatiro slowly opened the package.
Ladies and gentlemen, here’s our new traveling companion, Origins: A Travel Journal. It was such an honor to be among the first recipients of this handsome journal.
Ms. Benatiro gave us a sneak peak of the journal’s features.
Inside the Journal
Compact and travel-friendly, the Origins: A Travel Journal is bound in a gorgeous reusable leather jacket with an embossed stamp of Philippine Coffee Origins and the Bo’s Coffee logo. It also features a spine made of colorful, beautiful hand-woven fabric from ANTHILL Fabric Gallery, a Cebu based social enterprise. A long leather strap can be wound around the journal to tie it shut. Thus, when you buy this travel journal, you are actually promoting our local products!
We also received flyers from advertisers, postcards with artwork from Cebu-based illustrator Kenny Badana, a nice bookmark made of recycled paper, a P500 gift certificate, a limited edition Homegrown Brew Challenge pin, and a bag of ground Benguet coffee beans.
Inside is a foreword from Bo’s Coffee’s CEO Steve Benitez, explaining the purpose and advocacy of the project.
Helpful travel tips are compiled by Trail Adventours, a national adventure outfitter.
Meaningful quotes inspire you to travel more.
Esteemed travel bloggers contribute stories of their adventures in the journal. Here’s one from Johanna Lim telling us a story of her Sagada adventure.
Do you know that the Babuyan Islands are birthing grounds of humpback whales? Do you know that the largest pearl in the world was found in the Philippines? Know more about our unique and amazing country through the pages of this journal.
Origins: A Travel Journal is designed to be interactive, and one of its interactive features is the Homegrown Brew Challenge. Each of the twelve specially selected Bo’s Coffee branches around the Philippines issues a unique challenge to the traveler. Once you complete several or all challenges, you get prices, ranging from goodies to 365 days worth of great coffee! This is the real deal for travelers who are also coffee lovers!
That’s taking customer engagement to new heights! Check that out—we have completed our first challenge (see the stamp).
The journal had Bo’s Coffee coupons. Just hand in any of the coupons on your purchase, and you get either discounts or freebies. Lovely deal, isn’t it? In fact, we used our first coupon as we waited for our flight to Manila during our Sagada adventure.
Special coupons from business partners such as Kawil Tours, Route +63, Friggies, Gugu, 22 Tango Records, and more are also provided. Using these coupons allows you to enjoy discounts or freebies.
There’s a list of all homegrown partners and contributors who helped made this project come to life.
Before leaving your house and locking your door to set off in a lifetime adventure, check yourself: have you forgotten anything? The journal has a checklist of items you need to bring as a traveler. It also has a list of all Bo’s Coffee outlets in the country so you won’t have to cry in exasperation searching for that much-needed froccino.
The last page features a map of the Philippines which you can shade off as you visit each province.
The best part of the Origins: A Travel Journal comes in the form of more than 120 pages of blank pages which you can use to jot down your itinerary and schedule, scribble your travel experience, glue down photos or mini-maps, write down numbers of your travel crushes, put up a list of mountain climbing movies that you want to watch, and more.
No lines, calendars, or tick boxes. Just blank pages with the occasional illustrations and travel quotes. Thus, this journal can be your planner, diary, photo album, school notebook, scrapbook, bucket list, quote notebook, ledger, will and testament holder, and more. You have all the freedom to do whatever you want with your journal.
Are you a traveler, adventurer, and explorer? Are you an advocate of homegrown products? Do you love what our country has to offer? And are you a coffee lover? Then you need to get your own copy of Origins: A Travel Journal now in any Bo’s Coffee branch in the Philippines. It is yours for only P 1,000.