Tour guides help bring more visitors to Bataan
By Gilda V. Llames
Bataan (10 October) -- A group of young, smart and articulate ladies are now in the forefront of the provincial government's campaign to bring in more tourists to Bataan.
Vicky S. Garcia, chairperson of the Bataan Tourism Council Foundation, Inc. said the group is composed of students, teachers and workers from tourism-oriented establishments in the province who have been transformed into tourist guides after undergoing a five-day seminar conducted by the Department of Tourism-Manila.
The selection process from among 60 applicants proved to be a rather tough one because after the pre-screening, only 35 were left and this was further trimmed to 28, the final number who actually underwent the seminar proper and practical examination, according to Cesar V. Cuayson, head of the provincial tourism department.
Since last month when the tour guides started their new assignments, an average of five to seven bus loads of tourists, mostly students from Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog, come to Bataan on weekends.
A tour guide earns a minimum of P500 a day plus free meals, Christina B. Banzon, provincial tourism assistant department head, said.
Tourism destinations include historic Mt. Samat in Pilar town, the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Morong and the Pawikan conservation center also in the municipality of Morong.
The tourists are also brought to a souvenir shop operated by the Provincial Tourism Council in Balanga City, where the finest products of Bataan are sold at affordable prices.
In a related development, Ms. Garcia revealed that plans are afoot for the putting up of a model Aeta community in Bangkal, Abucay, which when established, would be another tourist destination in the province.
Garcia saw the potential of Bangkal because of the indigenous people living in the area, plus its scenic environment and good road network, despite its mountainous location.
"Once our plans for Bangkal pushes through, we intend to put up a hanging bridge in the area, which would be an added tourist attraction", Garcia stressed. (PIA-Bataan) [top]