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Traveling with a Guide

I've always found traveling with a guide better than doing it the other way. The knowledge and insights of the travel guide give me a better understanding of the place, much like google-ing the things I want to know instantly.

I remember what Bryan Ocampo, an ally who has left a profitable career in public relations and advertising for tour guiding, shared in his blog. "My experience tells me that guiding senior citizens is just great," he wrote.

He goes on to enumerate his reasons:
  1. They know what you're talking about.
  2. They ask good questions and relate them to their experience. They're generous to share what they know.
  3. They have a different kind of sense of humor. The old school type which I kind of dig.
  4. They make you feel like you're their grandchild and they take care of you.

Not that only senior people need guides, but travel guiding, if there is such a term, works both ways - for the tourists as well as the guide.

Why Filipinos Make a Good Tourist Guide

Like our Southeast Asian neighbors, the Philippines' travel industry is a sunshine industry. With our 7,100 richly endowed islands, we have a lot to offer in terms of rich biodiversity and colorful culture - the basics of tourism. We also make great tour guides, here's why:
  • We know English well, sometimes complete with New York or British accent.
  • We are humorous. We make good company because we are friendly and funny.
  • We go the distance of making our guest feel better. There's a term for this virtue, hospitable or pakikipagkapwa tao. We ace that, no questions asked!

And if it is truly your passion, travel guiding would be so easy and rewarding. You not only get to explore new places, you also get paid doing it. It has been my mantra over the years to work with your zone, because that is the best way.

P300,000 for the Best Travel Guide

To push it further, IslandsPhilippines.Net, a cutting edge Philippine Travel Portal is looking for the best destination guide from around the Philippines through its seven-month nationwide tourism rally dubbed Wow Tour Guide.

Yes, they are giving away P300,000 cash prize to the winner. Whoa! To join, you must be at least 18 years of age, and willing to represent a Philippine destination. Attend the pre-screening process at the Department of Tourism Auditorium on April 19 and 20 and complete the FREE Tour Guiding Seminar, also facilitated by the Department of Tourism, which will be at the SM Mall of Asia on April 22-25.

Those who will qualify must then submit a 5-minute tour guiding video featuring their destination. The best 30 winners will be chosen through an online poll and on-ground judging by representatives from both private and government sectors.

This contest which aims to ignite the sense of nationalism and to answer the tourism industry’s need for destination guides, is also a great chance for everyone to introduce less explored destinations to the rest of the Philippines and the world through creative tour guiding videos.

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