LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – “It is not the money that makes the difference… it is the heart.”
This was stated by no less than former Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) secretary Regina Lopez during the National Tour Guide’s Day celebration held at the Sison Auditorium on June 18.
The celebration which forms part in the National Tour Guides Convention and General Assembly, organized by the Philippine Federation of Professional Tour Guides (TGFED) and hosted by the Pangasinan Tour Guides Association (PTGA), was participated in by 40 associations from across the country.
Known for her ecological advocacies, Lopez called for environment protection and preservation through initiating projects out of love that support this advocacy.
Aside from her sparkling brainchild project Bantay Bata 163, Lopez launched another foundation called “Investments in Loving Organizations for Village Economies” or I LOVE Foundation which aims to transform communities into tourism hubs for community development.
Lopez added that not only does this project rejuvenate tourism sites across the country, but also, help our Filipino natives in their livelihood ventures.
“We have the resources to build economy,” Lopez affirmed as she stressed the lack of attention of Filipinos to area development for the benefit of the country and of its people.
Lopez also told the participants another prime role of tour guides apart from channeling tourism problems – to become “Earth warriors” and “change agent.”
As such, Lopez assured support to the future endeavors of the TGFED as she noted that love for the country and its treasured wonders is the key to economic growth.
Meanwhile, Nelly Nita Dillera, Department of Tourism (DOT) – Office of Industry Manpower Development director, urged each tour guide to effect change for the common good.
“As tour guides, connect the world by being channels of understanding, respect and complementation,” Dillera said.
The program was centered on the theme: “Tour Guides: Shepherds of Tourists, Stewards of Mother Nature.”
It can be learned that through Proclamation No. 574 series of 2013, the third Monday of June every year is declared as the National Tour Guide’s Day.
/Shiella Mae C. De Guzman