Kris Tiffany Janson of Like Pinas

Tausug cuisine, pink beaches, people rising from tragedy and the leadership of its lady local chief executive – these and more, the viewers got to see with the PIA’s new project Like Pinas.

For its pilot episode which aired Monday, March 6 on People’s Television (PTV 4) network, it featured Zamboanga City.

Kris Tiffany Janson, 2014 Miss Intercontinental runner-up, the program’s host, took the viewers to Sta. Cruz Island, which is over a hundred hectares of lush vegetation lined by pink beaches. It has various species of mangroves including a century-old tree, stingless jellyfishes, abundant sea grasses, seasonal wild growth of calerpa, starfishes, sponges and migratory birds.

Apart from the Sta. Cruz Islands, Like Pinas featured Tausug cuisine. It was a mouth-watering gastronomic experience, from Jualan, the local version of banana fritter to the savory satay or skewered chicken barbecue. For those who preferred something light, there was Pastil, a variation of the familiar empanada.

Like Pinas also goes in-depth into stories of public servants and personalities who are making change happen in our nation starting with their constituencies. On the spotlight this week was city Mayor Beng Climaco. The spunky Zamboangeña shared her first-hand account of how the Asia’s Latin City is rising back from the ashes of the siege in 2013.

“What we have learned after the siege is that as local chief executive, the city government must be inclusive,” Mayor Climaco. “You have to include Christians, Muslims, Lumads. And whatever language you are speaking, the essence is we are all Filipinos. We must learn to love Zamboanga because Zamboanga is our home.”

Like Pinas episode feat. Zamboanga City

Also included in this Zamboanga City episode was a story about the initiative of the International Organization for Migration in partnership with the Camp Coordination and Camp Management under the Early Recovery Cluster. Under the program, Bajao women in Masepla community underwent a five-day training on mat weaving with free kits that served as their start-up capital. A year after their training, the mat weavers have produced beautifully designed, colorful mats that are marketed locally and abroad through social media. These mats have reached as far as Germany, Australia, and Canada.

Rounding up the first episode were more good news that perked up everyone’s Monday morning and served as a balm against the caustic rush hour. Did you know that a One-Stop Service Center (OSSC) is now open at the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) offices in Mandaluyong and Cebu cities? Overseas Migrant Workers can get their passport, renew their OWWA membership and secure an NBI clearance without having to set foot outside the center.

Transparency is also getting top priority from the Duterte administration: the show featured Freedom of Information as articulated by Executive Order No. 2. which empowers the common Pinoy to demand information from the government.

Now that’s more than enough reason to really Like Pinas.

So what are you waiting for? You can catch a rerun of the first episode at 10:30 pm on Saturday. Like Pinas airs every Monday, 10:30 AM at PTV 4.

Like Pinas, a 30-minute weekly magazine show takes its viewers around the Philippines to provide Filipinos with a meaningful infotainment television program. Like Pinas will present local flavor, traditions, and events while raising the viewers’ awareness on the many happenings in our government including how local and national agencies respond to the needs of the people and how its projects impact their lives. (PIA)