Together with other five Philippine EcoGuides Association (PEGA) members, I participated in the recently concluded 4th National Tour Guides Convention held in Ilocos Norte.
Headed by President Edwin Al Cuizon, the Philippine Federation of Professional Tour Guide Associations (TGFED) organized the event which aims to professionalize the tour guiding practice and take it to world-class level.
Tourism icons and officials of the Philippine Department of Tourism emphasized the importance of continuous education and buildup for a tour guide to be able to keep up with the ever growing demands of the tourism industry, primarily that the country is in a travel and tourism sunrise.
The important role of the Department of Tourism in SETTING STANDARDS and training COMPETENT TOUR GUIDES was discussed. Also the bright future of local community members as eco tour guides and STEWARDS in responsibly promoting their beautiful locales as a means of alternative livelihood.
What struck me most from the visiting delegations is the tight camaraderie among the associations, the alliance between local government offices and their counterpart tour guide practitioners, with the local tourism officers or RDs chaperoning their co-workers. As DOT Northern Mindanao Director Catalino Chan has poignantly mentioned in his remarks, “We do not compete, we complement.”
The godfather of Philippine tour guiding Atty. Bien Claravall.
With the unsung heroes of the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office, perennial tour guides/production assistants, etc., and Michelle Jacinto, President of the Ilocos Accredited Tour Guides in a dinner hosted by Governor Imee Marcos.
Officers of Philippine EcoGuides Association, Erwin Valenzuela, Ma. Reina Bontuyan, yours truly and Chisum Factura
The angelic voices of the world-class Samiweng Singers of the Ilocos Norte National High School in a well-applauded performance.
With DOT Region I Director Martin Valera and Laoag Sub-Office Head Ma. Milagros Gonzales, hosts of the Farewell Dinner at the Sierra Madre Ballroom of the Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel.
Up close with TGFed President 2013 Edwin Al Cuizon.
Key people from the Giya-Amihan Mindanao Association, host of next year’s (5th) Tour Guides National Convention. Stoked, like them, I have a year to prepare!
Meeting the Tour Guide of the Year Awardee, German-speaking Ms. Letuli. Truly an inspiration to the tour guiding community.
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013