The making of an ecoguide

“An Ecotour Guide is someone who connects the tourist with the natural and cultural values of the places they visit. Guides do this by interpreting the special features of each place, sharing their passion for these places with the visitor, whilst minimizing the impact on the environment. They are responsible for the safety of and well-being, enjoyment, and education of their clients, while at the same time protecting the environments they work in.”

— from the ISST handout

October 19, 2010 — Arrival of the speakers and participants of the First Eco Guiding Course at the International School of Sustainable Tourism, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Philippines.

Warming up to each other.

Malaysian resource speaker Mr. Abu Kassim Roslan boards the school bus service.

A beautiful day.

Department of Tourism (DOT)  Assistant Secretary Ma. Victoria Jasmin delivers her opening remarks.

Mr. Carlos “Caloy” Librosada and Mr. Abu Kassim Roslan facilitate the first workshop of the day.

Gaining theoretical knowledge.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (DENR-PAWB) Assistant Director Tony Manila speaks about the Philippines and Climate Change.

Learning Basic Ecology from Mr. Robert “Robby” Cereno of the UP Los Baños College of Forestry and Natural Resources

Mr. Anthony Arbias shares his expertise on Philippine Flora.

Busy taking notes.

Mr. Mohd Yassim Suhaimi, a PATA resource speaker.

Dr. Mina Gabor, Chairman of the International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST), Center of Ecotourism, Biodiversity and Design, introduces Mr. Anthony Wong, Pacific Asia Travel Organization (PATA) Secretary/Treasurer, one of the speakers of the first Ecoguiding Course.

The basics of Jungle First Aid and CPR from Mr.Anthony Wong.

After sharing the passion and knowledge of a true ecoguide, Mr. Anthony Wong bids the group farewell.


Mr. Kasuy of the Aeta tribe shares his jungle survival skills.

The kawayan (bamboo) as a jungle survival tool.

Fire making technique.


Finding H2O. Donald Balanhi of the DOT Standards Development Division tries water from bikal.

Goodies from CORE, or the Center of Outdoor Recreation and Expeditions.

Tiara, home away from home.

Meeting Mr. Kasuy at the Pamulaklakin during the field excursion.

Jungle familiarization hike.

Learning the basics of wildlife tour guiding.

A welcoming beautiful creature.

Enjoying the environment…

Ready for the Triboa Mangrove Trail.

image by Don Balanhi
image by Don Balanhi
image by Don Balanhi
image bu Don Balanhi
image by Don Balanhi
image by Don Balanhi
image by Don Balanhi

Tree Top Adventure introduction.

Zoobic Safari adventure.

Close encounter with tigers.

Getting to know the flightless birds, ostriches.

A bunch of crocs, a familiar sight.

The first ISST trainees with Dr. Jojo Gulfan, speaker for Hazards of Nature.

October 29, 2010, the final day in school.

The 25 participants of the First Ecoguiding Course in the Philippines, namely, Peter Aclopen, (Region I) Christopher Alim (Region 5), Edgar Aquiatan (Region 12), Eugene Bañares (Region  5), Philip Bartilet (Region 5), Ruel Bimuyag (CAR), Ma. Reina Bontuyan (Region 10), Paul Calizo (Region 11), Ma. Perfecta Cosadio (Region 9), Eddie Dapliyan (CAR), Jonathan Estrella (Region 11), Chisum Christopher Factura (Region 10), Bertito Galleza (Region 6), Jesus Manuel Horca II (Region 8), Eires Mate (Region 8), Grema Nene (Region 6), Glenn Arsenio Oceña (Region 7), Manuel Paster Jr. (Region 9), Diogenes Simbol (Region 3), Ponciano Sumayod Jr., (Region 4) Frenzel Sumeg-ang (CAR), Veronica Tina Tan (Region 1), Jerson Ungkal (Region 12), Erwin Valenzuela (Region 3) and Antonio Mario Wenceslao (Region 7) wish to thank all those who made the 10-day Ecoguiding program possible. Mabuhay!

Special thanks to Mr. Donald Balanhi for the additional  photos
Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

8 thoughts on “The making of an ecoguide

  1. It was one of the best experiences ever…..and I was fortunate to have you as my room mate….. no loud TV and cluttered things, lovely chats, convenient bathing sked routine…hahaha! Thanks Tina….

    • Thanks, too, Reina! I was so used to our sked. I sleep early now and I wake up at 6:00 am, on the dot:) I’m missing Subic, somehow. Sort-of daydreaming… parang jetlag, heheh.

  2. hello tin…

    thank you so much for sharing your blog to us… i really missed the moments in subic with the group… i hope our group will stay strong eventhough we have part ways…
    i also hope to see you in february for another isst program….

    thanks again… miss you all!

    • hi, ganggang! i miss waking up early and sharing the day with you, guys. hope to see all of you again next year! i miss your coolness jokes. we’re cool with you 🙂

    • I really don’t have any idea since the course was not a regular course. It was sponsored by the school, ISST, the DOT and Pacific Asia Travel Organization. You might want to inquire directly at ISST. We are scheduled for a follow-up training next year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s