The formation of the Philippine EcoGuides Association is a unique story. We are such a tiny group, but assuredly, the different regions in the country are well-represented. It’s that thirst for adventure that keeps us connected. We may live on the opposite ends of the country, but we breathe the same air. We practically live on the same thing. like Chisum Factura is the pioneer white water rafting outfitter in Cagayan de Oro; Reina Bontuyan, besides being a true-blue adventurer, co-manages Viajero Outdoor Centre, the leading outdoor shop in Northern Mindanao; Tsunami Valenzula is a seasoned kayaker as well as the best tour guide Bulacan can ever have; and Paul Calizo and Jonathan Estrella are assiduous tour guides in Davao. Together with Eric, Reina’s hubby, and new friends, adventurers Jason and Cham Garrido from Leyte, we exchanged ideas about the latest trends in adventure tourism, over Ilocano food at Saramsam, followed by coffee and beer at Johnny Moon. They got me Cagayan de Oro’s famous pastel (yummy yema-filled buns) and Paul brought over mangosteen and durian yema balls and a lovely silk pareo. More than the pasalubong, I appreciate so much the invitation to represent PEGA in the 4th National Tour Guides Convention held in Norte earlier this week.
In addition to the food adventure, got them stoked for LEAD Movement’s indigenous adventure in the Laoag Sand Dunes in La Paz, my turf. It’s that sense of place, pride and ownership that defines the very first sandboarding in Ilocos.
Promised everyone to attend the next convention in CDO a year from now. Mark Yañez offered to be my river guide! White water rafting, hell yeah!