Why I guide

A joy ride.
A joy ride in a wedding reception. Photo taken from Jo-an Lu Fernandez’s Facebook account.

Today I begin a special training session for tour leaders. I take this as a privilege to work with the best in the industry and also see this as an opportunity to make a difference.

From what I gathered from my guests this year, the Philippines wasn’t on their top list. Some have regarded our country as the last frontier in Southeast Asia. At times, it has been bypassed and the reasons range from the availability of direct flights to limited information or just the perception that it’s not safe.

As a tour leader, I have a chance to inform, to dispel myths, to enlighten more people and, hopefully, to turn them into our biggest endorsers when they return to their home countries. My goal is to show that our country can be an attractive option to spend one’s holiday. I believe that we have a lot to offer to the world and by being that bridge to better understanding and appreciation of our country and people, I think that I’ve contributed something to Filipinas.

As long as I can still do it, as long as my legs are still up for it and as long as my mind is still sharp, I want to dedicate myself to this task.

* * *

Long assignments are fun to do but there will be sacrifices and risks. There’s a good chance that I’ll be spending the holidays out of town. While Puerto Galera and the Cordilleras are excellent destinations, it doesn’t come close to the company of loved ones especially during the Christmas or New Year celebration.

I’m bracing myself for the days that I won’t be with the most important person in my life. I’m painfully aware of that.

However, I consider the coming weeks as a way of investing for our future. Aimee and I agreed that these tours would do us good in the long run and it would help in saving up for our retirement. I have faith that these sacrifices will be worth it. I will give it my best.


On the field of battle, fighting with delirium
others give you their lives without doubts, without gloom
The site nought matters: cypress, laurel or lily:
gibbet or open field: combat or cruel martyrdom