A day tour at Samal Island

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

WHAT do you expect when officers and members of the Davao Hotels and Resorts Sales and Marketing Association (HRSMA) meet together in one place?

Will there be a clash of egos, too much shouting and discussion, or giving each other a cold shoulder.

Nothing such happened. In fact, it was more of camaraderie, getting to know each other, and strengthening the tourism industry in the region.


I knew it because I was one of the two media personalities (the other one was Tek Ocampo, a news anchor of GMA Davao’s “Testigo”) invited to attend the installation of its new set of officers for 2014-2015 and induction of new members.

Although we were supposed to leave Santa Ana Wharf at 6 o’clock in the morning, but due to some delays we finally departed one hour later. Thirty minutes later, we docked at Punta del Sol Beach Resort whose owner, Araceli Lanoy Ayuste, is the president of the Provincial Tourism Council of Davao del Norte. The resort is located at barangay Catagman in Island Garden City of Samal.

After eating our breakfast and conducted an ocular inspection of the resort’s rooms, we took the boat again. We were heading to Jorona Mountain Beach Resort, one of the newest resorts in the island. At first, the resort was exclusively for the family members and some of their friends. But later on, they decided to open it to the public. And last January, visitors and guests started to come to the place.

It was almost 10 o’clock in the morning when Arturo Boncato, Jr., the assistant secretary of tourism, came. He was invited as guest speaker and to induct the new set of officers and new members of the association.

But before that, Boncato said that tourism industry in the Philippines is booming. And Davao region has still to take a slice of the pie which other areas in the country are now enjoying. It might well to take advantage, he said, of the domestic tourism as more Filipinos are now traveling to other places in the country.

The new set of officers for 2014-2015 were composed of Gina May Aranda (of Eden Nature Park), president; Oliver Golosino (of Big 8 Hotel), vice-president for external affairs; Mia Echevarria (or Microtel), vice-president for internal affairs; Marga Corotan (of Hotel Tropika), treasurer; Thea Dimaano (of Park Inn), auditor; Tang Jabilles (of Marco Polo), press relation officer; and Sybil Angala (of Ritz Hotel), business manager.

After having a sumptuous lunch, we left Jorona and directly went to Taclobo Farm, to see giant clams being raised in the Samal waters. No one dared to see the clams under the water but a lecture was conducted before the members.

Feeling tired and exhausted, we left the Taclobo farm and headed to the Pearl Farm Beach Resort. But before we had our brief tour, we ate our snack and tried to refresh ourselves.

Yes, the resort is newly renovated. In fact, the restaurant is now bigger and cosier than it used to be. The infinity pool is much more beautiful compared with what I used to see. And yes, the pathways are wider and sturdier.

We left Pearl Farm at 4 in the afternoon. Before 5 we were already in Davao City.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 03, 2014.


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