March 23, 2015. After months of preparation, the 3rd Tourism HR Congress organized by the Tourism Industry Board Foundation, Inc. (TIBFI) was held at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City. I was honored to help as chair of the Programs Committee, and as a speaker for "Delivering on the M.I.C.E. Promise: It's More Fun in the Phillipines."
The well-attended congress was keynoted by Department of Tourism Sec. Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. And of course, with Asec. Art Boncato as our Davao host, everything went well.
Kudos to TIBFI chairman Anabelle Ochoa and to the hardworking board consisting of Dean Ma. Christina G. Aquino of Lyceum representing the Council of Hotel & Restaurant Educators of the Philippines (COHREP), Dr. Miguela Mena of the University of the Philippines Asian Institute of Tourism, Paul So of Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA), Daniel Edralin of the National Union of Workers in Hotels, Restaurant & Allied Industries (NU-WHRAIN-APL), DOT Director Maria Rica Bueno, TESDA Director Luz Victoria Amponin. Thanks too to Lady Razen Singson who led the Secretariat, and to Phoebe Areno, Marissa Gamuro, Leni Ugarte, Stephanie, Kevin and Brian who all pitched in to make the event a success.
I enjoyed meeting the illustrious speakers: Pa Putu Laksaguna who has an amazing singing voice, Kevin Moriarty, Prof. Eric Zerrudo, Tourism STAR awardee Anton Diaz, Ryan Sebastian, GeneRose Tecson, Kennedy Kapulong, Gaspar Gayona and Councilor Nilo Abellera Jr. better known as Small.
Hearty thanks to Mario Leofer Lim and his Kalumon Performing Ensemble for providing the dazzle in the Congress, both in entertainment and in the colorful decor. This group is truly world-class! Thanks too to Mary Ann Montemayor (Baby) for the delicious repast, and to Joji Ilagan Bian for the student volunteers who helped make the congress a success.
It was truly a concerted team effort, and proof that M.I.C.E. work can be fun in the Philippines, especially in Davao. I look forward to my next visit there.