FAMOUS: Dante Balboa’s 20 years of heroism for Philippine tourism

Published May 7, 2021, 2:00 AM

by Jeff Fernando

Dante Balboa

The great veteran entertainment editor Ricky Lo gave Elmer Anisco, also known as Dante Balboa, the title “educated hunk” after he finished eight courses from different universities. Nineties sexy actor is now carving another meaningful journey in his environmental advocacy in discovering and promoting different waterfalls around the Philippines. 


In an exclusive interview, Dante recalled his humble beginnings with his love affair with nature. “Pinili ko ang waterfalls kasi kumbaga kahit mayaman ka, hindi mo gagawin kung may pera ka naman, maghahanap ka ng kasama parang ganun. So ito ang pinili ko kasi bukod sa maganda, at the same time, may drama siya eh. Ang isla, kung titingnan mo siya ng eye level, pare-pareho lang halos ang itsura nya; sand tapos nandoon ka lang sa shore. Ang waterfalls kasi iba iba ang itsura. Puwedeng isang bagsak, pwedeng layered.”

Dante’s sexy films were “Kasiping”; “Takaw Tingin”; and “Temptasyon,” among others. There’s no stopping Dante from conquering his goals. He just graduated M.A. Filipinology in PUP. But challenges are always present, and he told us the greatest of them all. 

“Ang naging challenge lang sa akin kung paano ko gagawin? Kung mapapansin ninyo sa pictures, it’s a photoshoot at hindi selfie. Ibig sabihin lagi ako may kasama na ‘yung kasama na yun siya ang obligado na mag photo shoot sa akin at ‘yan ang pinaka mahirap na part sa napili kong advocacy. Lahat ng nakasama ko from the start hindi ko sila mga kilala personally kaya kumbaga paano mo hihikayatin ang total stranger?” he asked.

All of his 1001 waterfall adventures are compiled in a book which he plans to be part of an exhibit after the pandemic. He also said that his search for waterfalls nationwide never stops.

“To be honest, tapos na ang 1001 nakaka 1071 waterfalls na ako. Ibig sabihin lagpas na siya sa target natin. Ito kasing advocacy ko parang naging panata na so after this pandemic, kapag nakaka-luwag na, wala ng tanong-tanong sa pinupuntahan na probinsya. Pero nasa process ako ng elimination, meaning ‘yung mga napuntahan ko ng probinsya na 1071, kapag may napuntahan ako na mas maganda, magtatanggal ako doon, sa nakalista, parang ganun kasi bago ko siya i-publish as a book, kailangan salang-sala ko siya,” Dante said.

Years from now, Dante wanted to be remembered as an ordinary person who uplifted unpopular waterfalls to top tourist destinations. He even recommended three of his favorite falls.

“Siguro yung Maria Cristina Falls; yung sa Sta Cruz, Lanao del Norte na di ko naman sinasabi na ako naka discover noon maganda rin yun parang Niagara Falls din siya; at yung Lemunsudan kasi ito ang tallest waterfalls sa Pilipinas at nasa boundary siya ng tatlong probinsya (Lanao del Sur and Norte; Bukidnon) kumbaga siya ang naging boundary ng tatlong province. Itong ginawa ko na advocacy na naging eye-opener sa kanila. Biro mo, ginawa ng isang ordinaryong tao na di naman nagtabtrabaho sa kanila kaya itong ginagawa ko talaga the greatest contribution ko ito sa Philippines. Parangal nga lang ibigay sa akin masaya na ako eh,” he said.

 
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