Yell me a river in CDO

TGFed White Water Rafting

If you’ve lived life like how you’re supposed to do it, nothing scares you anymore. Yes, I finally leveled up from a beginner course to advance. I can’t stop laughing when the stories of Theredrafts river guide Jan Seriosa beckon in my mind. Rafting in Cagayan de Oro is my happiest adventure in years!

Would you believe the 19-year old CDO adventure started from department store-bought inflatable rafts and DIY wood paddles? I can relate. The river guides are now equipped with state of the art Sotar whitewater rafts.

The briefing was detailed. A first-timer will need basic skills like paddling forward and backward. And the most important of all is good focus. You will have to anticipate the guide’s commands and you can have fun all throughout the course.

One tip: If you are wearing dentures, leave them behind or plaster your mouth. The story of the biting teeth on the river floor was just too hilarious.

Cagayan de Oro White Water RaftingCDO White Water RaftingCagayan de Oro White Water RaftingIMGP4365IMGP2299Cagayan de OroIMGP4320Cagayan de OroIMGP4253

We were grouped into sevens. Only two men, plus the guide in our team. Someone from the other teams asked us our team name. Could you guess? Double P.

They let you rest a bit after the high fives. A characterless lull though.

Kagay OutdoorsCagayan de Oro RiverIMGP2203Cagayan de OroIMGP4308

The best part, of course, is the rapids. There were just too many and you’d be imagining really wild! Carlo fell on me at one point, omg!

Thanks, Kagay Outdoors, for taking care of us!

A bit sad that I wasn’t doing it with family.  Maybe someday.

White Water Rafting
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Photos by Kagay Outdoors and Blauearth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Defining the role of a tour guide in the 4th National Tour Guides Convention in Ilocos Norte

4th National Tour Guides Convention

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.”

Rondalla4th National Tour Guides Convention4th National Tour Guides ConventionGodfather of Philippine Tour Guiding Atty. Bien Claravall

The godfather of Philippine tour guiding Atty. Bien Claravall.

With the unsung heroes of the Ulocos Norte Tourism Office

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.

Pangasinan Tour Guides and Paul So

Pangasinan Tourism Officer and tour guides and Mr.  Paul So, a tourism icon.

Philippines EcoGuides Association Officers

Officers of Philippine EcoGuides Association, Erwin Valenzuela, Ma. Reina Bontuyan, yours truly and Chisum Factura

Bulacan and IlocosSamiweng Singers

The angelic voices of the world-class Samiweng Singers of the Ilocos Norte National High School in a well-applauded performance.

BusBangui WindmillsBangui WindmillsSaud BeachIlocano FoodEvangeline's, Pagudpud4th National Tour Guides Convention, Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel
DOT Region 1 Director Martin Valera and Laoag Sub-Office Head Ma. Milagros Gonzales

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.

TGFEDPresident 2013 Edwin Al Cuizon

Up close with TGFed President 2013 Edwin Al Cuizon.

4th National Tour Guides Convention Farewell DinnerAriba

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!

with the Tour Guide of the Year Awardee Ms. Letuli

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