CMDI’s Tourism Management Program Celebrates World Tourism Day 2020

Written by: Mark Gil L. Sabay

CMDI’s Tourism Management Program Celebrates World Tourism Day 2020


The CARD MRI Development Institute (CMDI), Inc. celebrated the World Tourism Day with the theme, “Tourism: Building Peace! Fostering Knowledge!” on September 25, 2020. It was virtually conducted via Zoom and streamed live on Facebook.

Spearheaded by the faculty of the Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management (BSTM), one of the newly offered courses in CMDI Tagum this academic year 2020-2021, and hosted by BSTM Program Coordinator Bon Jovi Cabreros, the activity showcased tourism not only as a significant economic variable but also as a social development initiative, promoting values and peace.

The speakers of the event were Deputy Director-OIC for CARD MRI Hijos Tours, Inc. Raffy Antes and Dan Joseph Ferrolino from the Department of Tourism Promotions Board.

Antes shared the story of how cultural tourism was integrated into CARD MRI’s social development programs in 2013 through Hijos de San Pablo. From there, CARD MRI Hijos Tours, Inc. aligned its operations with CARD MRI’s mission of eradicating poverty in the Philippines by addressing the non-income dimensions of poverty. This includes the “lack of understanding about our history, the forgotten narratives of our past, and the great potential of hard to reach communities for tourism related opportunities.”

By creating “meaningful experiences” for travellers through heritage tourism, Hijos Tours contributes to the formation of values by promoting Filipino culture and historical sites, as well as by involving communities to exhibit their talents and to improve their quality of life.

“Kung babalikan natin ‘yung history, kung babasahin natin siya, ungkatin natin siya, our

 stories, the past, marami siyang mga kapupulutang mga aral. It is just up to us, to the tourism

 industry or to other organizations, kung paano niya i-communicate ito. Kaya in promoting values, importante kung paano mo i-curate yun,” Antes said.

Currently, Hijos Tours has established five (5) tour programs, all promoting different values: Hijos de Siete Lagos in San Pablo (women empowerment), Hijos de las Campanas in Balangiga (bravery and resiliency), Hijos de los Rios in Iloilo (innovation), Hijos de las Montanas in Baguio

(Dream????), and the Hijos de las Aguilas in Davao (values for growth and development).

“I would like to inspire all the tourism management students of CMDI Tagum campus, you as our future tourism practitioners, you are curators of change. You have the power to change the society, to change the Philippines by curating relevant experiences to the public, to your client and to your travelers. For Hijos Tours in Davao specifically, our way of changing the society is by curating our narratives and teaching them the importance of values,” Antes concluded.

The second speaker, Dan Joseph B. Ferrolino of the Tourism Promotions Board, talked about the role of tourism in building a culture of peace. He shared with the students the applications of ‘phoenix tourism’ in the process of promoting peace in strife-torn places. According to Ferrolino, the term was based on a mythical bird, the phoenix, that rises from the ashes.

“We are pushing this [phoenix tourism] because it signifies hope. Phoenix tourism gives us hope that even places like Marawi can still rehabilitate and give a boost to tourism,” Ferrolino said.

He also shared the tourism response and recovery plan of the Department of Tourism (DOT) to revitalize the industry amid the pandemic. The plan included assisting travelers affected by the pandemic, aiding businesses through financial assistance, honing the knowledge and skills of tourism workers for capacity-building, developing and enforcing New Normal standards, and promoting travel bubbles or corridors to restart tourism activities among others.

According to Ferrolino, “travel bubbles” originated in Australia and are now used by global tourism institutions and even countries like the Philippines. It is an arrangement within countries for travelers “to enter each other’s border without a need for strict quarantine or at least with very minimal periods of quarantine.” This is also referred to as the corona corridors or travel bridges.

“According to research, that is why the DOT come up pushing the travel bubbles because it helps to make up 40% of international arrivals,” Ferrolino said. “We hope that with the implementation of the travel bubbles and corridors, baka mag-boost ulit yung international arrivals natin.”

Ferrolino also explained the three (3) important sectors that should work together in order to promote tourism as a peace catalyst sustainable industry. These are (i) the host communities responsible for providing quality services to tourists while also protecting the environment; (ii) the government who must build necessary infrastructures and create regulations protecting the environment from exploitation and degradation; and (iii) the foreign stakeholders who support through investments that will promote the growth of the tourism industry.

At the end of his session, Ferrolino advised all tourism management students on the importance of tourism in building networks with other countries and in boosting the economy.

CARD MRI Chairman Emeritus and the Dean of College of Business and Management Dr. Jaime Aristotle B. Alip also gave his speech, emphasizing the roles and opportunities of the students in the tourism industry.

“Our students are in the best position para talaga tumulong sa pagbu-boom ng industry na

 ito. I am anticipating na ito ang isang industry na talagang magsha-shine kaagad-agad because yung mga tao have been confined in their own houses, in their own community. Human beings are very sociable in nature. That’s a part of our nature,” Dr. Alip said. “Let us celebrate this world tourism day despite of this pandemic but look at the future, reimagine the future, because this will all help us in our economy.”

A spiel delivery competition was also held during the event. Ten tourism management students competed in promoting selected attractions in Davao del Norte, mostly in Tagum City. Christine Mae Iroy, who highlighted the beauty of Alina and Okbot caves, won first place, followed by April Rose Cayran with her presentation of the Tagum Night Market. France Enoval won at third place with his spiel on Christ the King Cathedral. The other finalists include, Jennifer de Costo (Botanical Park), Janice Manatad (New Tagum City Hall), Cristelle Shine de Gracia (Energy Park), Jennycris Gomez (Robinson’s Place Tagum), Nevi Abellar (Banana Beach), John Matawin (Holy Rosary Garden), and Johnrick Mainit (Davao del Norte Sports and Cultural Center).

Before the activity came to an end, Program Coordinator Bon Jovi Cabreros introduced and led the oath taking of the first Union of Filipino Tourism Students of CMDI. The following are the officers of the student organization: Angela Viah Avans Asistido (President); Marc Reggie Credo Avenido (VP-Internal Affairs); Warren Basaya (VP-External Affairs); Kristel Shine Degracia (Executive Secretary); Merry Jean Corpus (Asst. Secretary); Karen Cadaon (Executive Treasurer); Jannille Shane Abraham (Asst. Treasurer); Nevi Abellar (Auditor); Philip Ardiente (Business Manager); April Rose Cayran (PIO); Christian Cuyogan, Angelika Gultiano, Jea-Nice Mendez, Crystalline Genito, and Anjo Labuga (Creative Committee Members).