Monday, December 21, 2015

A Worthwhile Day with UP Travel Society

Me upon receiving an email from UP Travel Society -

I was like "OMG, what is this? An invitation to give a talk. Maybe they inadvertently sent the email. Oh but wait, I saw my name."

So, it's confirmed.  And then I got excited.

Yes, undeniably, it is a great privilege to speak before the students of one of the top universities in the country. But more than anything else, I was so excited because it's really my aspiration to impart my knowledge [about hiking for this particular case] and it has been my dream to teach (yeah, as in a classroom setting). And this one? It has initially fulfilled that dream.

This is not my first time to become a speaker and talk in front of many people but definitely this is my first time to be invited by an organization which I would say just found me even in the vastness of the internet. No, I am not popular blogger to begin with.

So I was like smiling the whole day.

The event was sponsored by the UP Travel Society in participation to the alternative classroom learning experience a.k.a ACLE in which the University of the Philippines (UP) - Diliman holds every semester. This aims for the university organizations to hold their own program and choose a topic that they would like to discuss for their group. The students in the university then are given the opportunity to attend the ACLE that appeals them the most.

The UP Travel Society, on the other hand, is a duly recognized socio-civic organization based in UP Diliman - Asian Institute of Tourism. "We are the first travel-based student  organization in South East Asia," as mentioned by Rowee Tanafranca who was the one that emailed and invited me to this event.

As an active participant of  ACLE, the UP Travel Society conducted an event called "Take A Risk: Adventure Tourism in the Philippines."

Photo courtesy of UP Travel Society
Can you see, I am posting this one here in my blog this late? [blame it on the tight schedule at work] hehe.

The event aims to share knowledge about the different kinds of tourism activities in the Philippines and the thrills/dangers in partaking into these kinds of activities. It is also intended to promote domestic tourism by identifying the places that the bloggers can recommend and encourage to visit.

I really appreciate UP Travel Society in this advocacy. Admit it, tourism in the Philippines is getting popular because of the exposures in the social media. And yet we have to be cautious. Yes, everybody can visit any destination but we still have to be mindful of the risk that can be encountered throughout the trip. Yes, every traveler or tourist should be responsible in visiting these wonderful places (for the love of our country, please). I guess it is always a better idea to hear personally from those that have actual experience of a particular place.

L - R: Gem, Jed and Me
So yesss! By the way, we were three bloggers who were invited to give a talk to this event. It was my pleasure to meet Mr. Jed Rosell of Biyaherong Barat and Ms. Gem Muzones of Travels with a Hobo. Maybe one of the best things in meeting fellow bloggers is hearing their ideas that you can apply to your own craft in travelling.

One of the unforgettable pieces of advice that I heard from Jed was this: "Speak positively about our country." Wow, that was something meaty! In a country bombarded by almost undesirable news and publicity every day, particularly  corruption, politics, being worst airport ever and 'forever and ever ' traffic, it must be hard to think and speak otherwise. Well, folks, the good news is, the Philippines is not 100% bad.  Explore the Philippines and you will know the answer. Jed has explored the Philippines through his restless backpacking activities and he really can attest on the true beauty of this nation.

Similar to Jed's stand is Gem's sort of campaign to travel the Philippines first and she has circulated online her advocacy through the hashtag #Philippinesfirst. See more of this on her blog: An Open Letter to Filipinos: Travel the Philippines First.

I would like also to showcase below some of the insights I shared with the students [purely from my own experiences and Basic Mountaineering Course]:

Really, it was my privilege to speak before the students in the said university.

Together with the officers of UP Travel Society...

As my conclusion, I imparted to them the favorite quote of mine that I heard from a good preacher a long time ago... and which have inspired me in climbing since then.

Thanks UP Travel Society for having me! :)

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Congratulations! That was a powerhouse team of speakers, you guys :)


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