By Jennifer C. Tilos
The Diocese of Dumaguete has turned over interactive QR codes as tourism markers to parishes in Negros Oriental.
A QR Code is a two-dimensional barcode that is readable by smartphones.
It allows phone owners to read 4,000 character information in two-dimensional barcodes.
QR Codes, when scanned by an android or smartphone with appropriate software, leads users to a browser that hosts the data contained in the code for easy access to information.
The markers contain information on church heritage sites as part of the digital tourism campaign of Smart Communications and InnoPub to promote historical and cultural sites thru the use of mobile technology.
Churches that received QR code markers include St. Augustine of Hippo Parish Church in Bacong; San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish Church in Bais City; St. Anthony de Padua Parish Church in Sibulan; St. James The Greater Parish Church in Tanjay City; St Andrew The Apostle Parish Church in Amlan; St. Francis of Assisi Parish Church in Manjuyod; Holy Child Parish Church in Jimalalud; San Isidro Labrador Parish Church in Zamboanguita; San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish Church in Dauin; St. Thomas of Villanueva Parish Church in Bayawan City; St. Nicolas of Bari Parish Church in Siaton; and St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral in Dumaguete City.
In partnership with Smart Communications and InnoPub, the developer of the technology, Msgr. Julius Perpetuo Heruela, chair of the Commission on Church Cultural Heritage of the Diocese of Dumaguete, said the 12 QR markers easily provide visitors with the information on a particular church heritage site.
This is the second batch of tourism markers unveiled by the Diocese while the first batch of seven markers were handed over in July last year.
Heruela explained that mobile users with smartphones can scan the QR code and a browser window that hosts the data will provide information about the site or the heritage church.
“The information provided by the code are researched by InnoPub and verified by some memoirs and historians. But we encourage the public who have knowledge on a certain site to share some info as we do research for the right information,” said Heruela.
While next year marks the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines, Heruela disclosed that this year, four Pueblos are celebrating 400 years in Negros Oriental.
These pueblos include Dumaguete City and the municipalities of Bacong, Dauin, and Sta. Catalina where the Spaniards gave importance to these places 400 years ago, he added.
“Meaning there were already inhabitants in Negros Oriental in 1620, and of course, Tanjay also became a pueblo because it is a way where the people passed going to Manila, and the church in Tanjay is the house of the chieftain before,” Heruela related.
Additional QR markers will be installed in some heritage site churches in anticipation of the inflow of visitors for the quincentennial celebration in 2021, according to sources from the Diocese of Dumaguete.
Heruela noted that it is important to impart correct information on cultural heritage to the young generation through the use of technology or mobile phones.