Tag Archives: tourism

Tragedy in paradise.

I woke up late this morning, when I turned my computer on and start the day. Unfortunately, once I logged in on my social media accounts. Photos came out from the Visayas which left me very sad. It all happened 3 hours before I woke up, just past 8 o’clock in the morning here. When a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the island province of Bohol which was felt all over the Visayas region as well as some parts of Mindanao. The photos that came out were very tragic, as damaged and collapsed buildings and roads were all through my timeline. As of this moment, 67 people were killed with hundreds injured. But it is expected that the death toll will rise as most areas are unreachable at this point of time.

It’s a personal tragedy for me, in a sense that two years ago, I came to these magnificent places as part of the Domestic tour organized by the university. When I came over to visit both Bohol and Cebu, it was all a sight to savor as I was able to see these wonders that are a part of the history and culture of the the Philippines as well as destinations which make the country stand out with the rest of the world.

Jumping over the Chocolate Hills from the view deck circa. 2011
 Baclayon Church in all it’s majestic glory circa. 2011
Inside Dauis Church in Panglao Island circa. 2011
 Inside the Basilica Minore of Santo Niño in Cebu City circa. 2011
Photos ©Karl Carandang
As with every earthquake which we can never predict when it happens, never did I think it would come too soon after my visit to these wonderful tourist destinations. Yet it did, and the photos were very tragic.
 One of the hills inside the Chocolate Hills National Park collapse.
Photo ©Robert Michael Poole via Twitter @tokyodrastic
The view deck of the Chocolate Hills collapsed.
Photo ©Robert Michael Poole via Twitter @tokyodrastic
The collapsed bell tower at the Basilica Minore of Santo Niño 
Photo ©Reuters
As a future tourism professional, it is heartbreaking to see these sights as these destinations are a part to the growth of the tourism industry of our country. The destinations that we market not only for domestic tourism but also to attract visitors from abroad. In addition to the fact that these destinations played a part within our nation’s history at the same time it has it’s own significance to the residents and locals who live along these destinations. We could all say that this is a national tragedy, especially after the war in Zamboanga a couple of weeks ago, and recently Luzon was devastated with a typhoon that came along a few days ago.
Despite this tragedy that shook our nation, I believe all in well in the ability of the Filipino people to rise up from the tragedy and rebuild from these unfortunate times that the people there are experiencing at this moment. Especially with aftershocks expected within a week’s span from the earthquake. Now, we must come out and help those who are in need in these tragic times in our nation. In addition to funding the rehabilitation of not just the localities but also the heritage sites that were damaged and destroyed in this earthquake.
I’ve seen paradise in this land, and I believe that one day after all this tragedy, I will see it all again in all it’s crowning glory.
Pray for Bohol and Cebu, Pray for our nation.

Down south for some cool mountain air and the "Ala Eh!" feeling.

Last week, me and five of my blockmates went south to my home provinceof Batangas (though I‘m a person who was born and raised in the metropolis for most of my life). We went there as part of our research for one of our projects. We went to the area by public transportation, taking a jeep from school to the LRT station for a train ride to the bus terminal where we took a bus to the destination. We first visited the municipal hall of Sto. Tomas(which is my father’s hometown)for official business, then afterwards we went to my grandmother’s place for the night. Fortunately, we were able to catch up with the final moments of the PCCL Finals and I was able to witness UST’s victoryover Ateneo in Game 3 for the championship. Then, me and my cousin, went back to town to order dinner for myself and my blockmates as well as drinking water. Afterwards, we settled for the night. As expected, the cool air made for a comfortable and good night sleep.

The following day, the rest of my family arrived from Manila, then me and my blockmates went to the next town which is Tanauan City where the annual Ala Eh! Festival is being held. One of my blockmates who did not join us the first time joined on that day as well. We saw the parade showcasing every city and town in the province of Batangas. We also came to stream of shops from the locals including products from each city and municipality of the province. We had a great time there. Afterwards, we went back to Sto. Tomas to look for land around town for the project we are working on. After scouting the area, we went back home, then my blockmates brought their bags and left going back to Manila.

Well, after my blockmates left, I rested for most of the day. The following day, we celebrated my grandmother’s birthday at a nearby resort by the mountain for lunch. After the party, we packed our things and went back home to Manila.

It was a rewarding time to be back in my home province to get some cool air. As well as the opportunity to do something we want to achieve and make possible in the future. This is just the start of something BIG. I‘ll be back in town soon, and this time I’ll make the most of my time there.

Back home for a reason worth pursuing.

Tourism: Not for the faint of heart.

People sometimes would ask me, 
What are you taking up in college?”.
I would say Tourism/Travel Management.”
Some of the people who would ask me that question would say,  
It’s an easy course. You’re lucky.”
This kind of question were asked to me when I was just starting at the university, where I still had little knowledge about the life as a travel management student. I let it go whenever they say that. But now, that I have gotten into the deep waters of my España journey, I have something to say whenever someone would say these words again.

Well, there is a misconception about not only Tourism/Travel Management but also of Hotel & Restaurant Management courses which are under one college in the University of Santo Tomas, which is the College of Tourism and Hospitality Management. Where in one academic year, 2 out of 5 students from the college were able to graduate with honors. Unlike in other colleges where the percentages are well below. Thus creating the perception by those from outside of the college, that the programsare “easy”.

However, these statistics and numbers are not as it seems. Well, because little people may know, but Tourism/Travel Management at the university is as challenging as the other programs of the university like Accounting, Architecture, Engineering, Pharmacy to name a few which have been notable as one of the most difficult courses to take.

Tourism/Travel Management may not have a lot of mathematics and science subjects as other courses, as well as the technicalities of architecture and drawing, the calculations of accounting, or the scientific concepts and skills taught of the sciences and medicine. but it has it’s own set of challenges as do other courses. 

One would be learning foreign languages along the way. In our case, French and German. Studying a foreign language would be our version of complicated mathematics courses like calculus or drawing of plates.

Aside from that a lot of other courses which include Tour Guiding where it tests our knowledge about places at the same time knowing how to deal with tourists on tours, Tour Packaging where we calculate for the cost for trips, Airline Reservations where we learn how to reserve and book flights or other trips, Events Management where we organize our own event, Tourism English (not once, but twice) which means we’re taking six English courses instead of the usual four most of the other students would take, as well as other courses that will be useful when we step into the labor force.

With time well spent studying at the university, I can say with full confidence that Tourism/Travel Management is not for the faint of heart. Because right now, I am currently getting into the more technical courses of Tourism/Travel Management this semester which is dubbed by many as the “most challenging semester” for a Travel Management student. Imagine, six out of the eight courses this semester would have something to do with the technicalities of tourism. Where failure is not an option and the only way to go with is to keep moving forward.

Every program has it’s own set of challenges, we can’t take away the facts that some look easy, while others look hard. However, studying no matter what program you are pursuing will always be a challenge. It takes hard work and dedication to succeed in studies as well as having a fulfilled life.

Next time they’ll ask me that same question. I’ll have something to say about it.

My craft is not for the faint of heart.

We SHINED in the DARK. But the work is not over.

After 3 months (at the most) of trials and tribulations, all the success and failures, the preparations and the events leading up to it. It all came down to one Sunday afternoon at the AFP Theater. As the class 3T5 presented Silhouette: A Glint in the Dark, The Search for the Next Miss Tourism Ambassadress 2012 which combines the two varying concepts pageant and dark tourism which has never been done before.

A lot has happened since the time we were conceptualizing the theme and concept for our event to the day of the event itself, to the times when our unity and camaraderie were tested on multiple occasions that tested our integrity and cohesiveness as a section, to the many successful ventures as well as ventures that came up short, now it all came down to one afternoon inside a large theater within a military camp, one shot of getting it right, and one opportunity to show everyone that we are one and we are 3T5.

On the event itself, I was up front at the lobby greeting the guests who are coming in and out of the venue as well giving out souvenirs to the hundreds of people who came in to witness the event.

Anything could go wrong during the entire duration of event, However, despite some criticisms, miscues and accidents. Our event was a resounding success. Even though the event started a little late, the production went well and the response from the audience about the event was generally good. Eventually, the title of Miss Tourism Ambassadress went to the candidate from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Ms. Jo-ann Flores. I do not have the photos of the event as I am writing this blog, but we will have them very soon.

So once again, on behalf of class 3T5, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude each and every one of you who came out to spend a Sunday afternoon of your life with us as well as supporting our event through social media. Our event would have not been successful without your presence and support. Congratulations to all the contestants from the 15 other participating schools, you did very well during the entire duration of the competition. We would also like to thank our sponsors, our event would have not been possible without your support. We also would like to thank the UST-CTHM administration and faculty for extending support for our event. We would also like to thank Mr. Arnel Cruz, our instructor for Meetings and Events Management Class.

On a personal note, I would extend my biggest thanks to my fellow blockmates, the class 3T5. I may have been a “Devil’s Advocate”, the “antagonist”for most of the times leading up to the event, but I would like to thank each and every one of them for keeping me in check when the times were rough. So I will mention all my blockmates, starting off with our captain, “Cap” as I would refer to her, Michelle, our overall event chairman for keeping her integrity in every challenge we as a class had to endure for the past 3 months. To Hosanna our Executive Assistant, Carms our Production Head and Kat our Administrative Head for keeping all of us in check when the chairman is not around. Jeanie our Secretariat, and Kim our Assistant Secretariat. Isa our Budget Head, and Alyssa our auditor. Kym, our Creative Lead. The Programs committee led by Ronileen with Jeruinne, Beah, Cza and Rosary. The Marketing committee led by Cae with Jean, Nicole, Yna, Ellah, Ate KC, Gui, Angel, Badeth, Abi, Dek and Era. The PATS committee led by Claudine with Marx, Amethy, Kate and Ate Monique. The Personnel committee led by Arjay with Prici, Mela, Trixia, Mai, Lak and Shane. My secondary committee the Registration and Logistics committee led by Trudeece with Fatima, Hannah, Precious, Jessica and Hazel. Finally, to my main committee, the Documentation committee led by Riana with my fellow staffers in Pau, Marrick and Sheila.

Well, as a part of the Documentation committee, the work is not done for us. Actually, the real work has just begun for us. Since I’ll be responsible in writing down the events and happenings during our event. All I need right now is a lot of inspiration and dedication to my craft, as shown in all the jobs and tasks I accomplished leading up to our event. Aside from this, there are other commitments in school that we need to work on from research papers to video projects, to quizzes and other kinds of school activities that will come our was as the semester winds down to the last 2 weeks before the Final Examinations are up.

I feel awesome and good that it generally went well for us during the event and was a redeeming grace for me after all the failures I endured and lessons I learned leading up to the day of the event. even though there were some unfortunate events, at some points I myself got sick and had to miss time in class, it all went well. The hardest part may be over, but there are still a lot of unfinished business to work on, and I still need to push even harder to pull off a feat I am trying to achieve right now.

We SHINED in the DARK. 3T5 is all in.

A collection worth reading in my free time.

 Photo ©Karl Carandang

In my room, there are a lot of reading materials stacked in my side book shelf. From school papers to travel guides. My book shelf is loaded with a lot of materials. Yet one thing I am proud of sharing is my collection of airline magazines from different airlines around the world.

Photo ©Karl Carandang
Believe it or not, I have been collecting airline magazines since I was 6 years old. Every time my mother or some of my relatives fly to different places, I always make the point of asking for airline magazines to bring back home with them. I haven’t flown out of the Philippines. But I had flown on a airplane on two separate occasions. Both of them flying from Manila to Cebu then back again to Manila. The first one was in 2004 with my mother and the second one was last September with my classmates and batchmates at the University of Santo Tomas as part of our Domestic Tour subject.

My airline magazine collection contains different issues starting from 1992 (2 years before my birth) until today. I have issues from local airlines like the Phillipine Airlines’ Mabuhay and Cebu Pacific’s Smile. As well as issues from foreign airlines like Singapore Airlines’ Silverkris, KLM’s Holland Herald, Thai Airways’ Sawasdee, Malaysia Airlines’ Going Places, Cathay Pacific’s Discovery and a host of other foreign airline magazines even the old Northwest Airlines’ WorldTraveler.

Most of the time, I was only interested with the route maps that each airline have and I take time to look at each and every one of them. Because I’m a person who can’t get enough of reading maps. Right now, I also take time to read the articles that can be found in each issue of these airline magazines for they are useful right now in my study of Travel Management at the University of Santo Tomas. I have learned a lot of different stories from every issue of airline magazines I can grasp and read upon, and some of the things I have learned from reading has been useful whenever we discuss topics on subjects related to travel and tourism.
This airline magazine collection I have is one of my prides of joy, I enjoy collecting and reading airline magazines, and by the time I am able to fly to different places around the world through the different airlines out there. I’ll be ready to take home these airline magazines on my future flights in and out of the Philippines.
“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself. – Danny Kaye